Brinestone Press Electronic Edition

Outsourced is a selected title from Shorting the Undead and Other Horrors: A Menagerie of Macabre Mini-fiction

(release Dec 2011)

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“Do you remember when outsourcing meant hiring cheap, unskilled labor in some faraway place, like Asia or South America?”

Nobody answers. The sun beats relentlessly down on us and we all just shuffle forward and keep our thoughts to ourselves. Nobody speaks, except him. He just won’t shut up. I swear I’m going to shoot somebody if he doesn’t shut up.

Those were the days,” he finishes.

I roll my eyes and pray he doesn’t remember me from yesterday. What was his name again? Bill something or other. I forget. Smith, I think. Or Brown. Something obnoxiously vanilla and utterly forgetful. Not that it matters. He could be named Jesus H. Christ for all it matters. Won’t change how I feel about the guy, which is that I hate his freaking guts. And he only just started coming here this week.

I used to write books,” he tells the guy behind him.

I’ve heard this story before, three or four times at least. I could practically recite it by memory.

Now I can’t even get a job flipping burgers.

Now look at me. Couldn’t even get a goddamn job in a fast food joint. Not that I’d take it, mind you, if I got offered one. Who the hell wants to work for what they’re taking nowadays? It’s just not right.”

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