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Rated: E · Other · Contest Entry · #1595286
WINNER Daily Flash Fiction 8/28 (300 words)
Author's Note: This item was written for the Daily Flash Fiction Contest on 8/28/2009, using these prompts: traffic, knot, sleeve.
(Word count: 300)

Howard's High Pressure Job

Howard Sachs sat in his car.

He knew he was late, but he just couldn't gather the strength to get out of the car. 

Howard closed his eyes and put himself in the Zen state that he needed to face the coming ordeal.  Then, he got out of his car and walked across the field.  He nodded at the few people who greeted him along the way.  He marched up the stairs and planted himself in his chair.

Howard looked at the list of planes, and at the order of planned take-off and landing times.  The flights are really stacked today, he thought.  The schedule reminded him of a Gordian knot.  He picked up his pencil and made some notes, shuffling times, and assuring that everything would flow smoothly.  He was responsible for everything that happened today, he reminded himself.  He was the Air Traffic Controller.  He had no radar like the larger airports; just his nimble mind and his determination.  He loosened his tie and swiped his sleeve across his sweaty brow.  He didn't even have air-conditioning.  I bet all the other Air Traffic Controllers have air-conditioning, he thought with ill humor.

This job requires precision and complete concentration, he thought, but I never get the recognition and respect that - a voice at his elbow interrupted his thoughts.

"Hey, Mister?  Are we ready to start soon?"

They're always pressuring me! Howard thought.  He flicked on the microphone, and took a deep breath.  "Will all the contestants please assemble at the staging area."  He stared at the little blond boy standing beside him.  "That means you," he whispered.  The child whooped in delight and ran over to stand with the rest of the children at the starting line.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the sixth annual Model Plane Competition."
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