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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Biographical · #2165605
Bob's dream job causes tragic consequences — flash fiction for Pesky Prompts Contest
What would Bob's life be like now if he'd managed to get the job he dreamed of during childhood…?


The Reverend John Botham loosened his dog collar and smiled at the vast throng of mourners gathered in the churchyard under a blazing summer sun. Hundreds crowded around the grave and thousands flooded the neighboring road and sidewalks, mostly ladies aged from their teens into their nineties, almost all a little on the chubby side. He raised his voice so that as many as possible could hear the eulogy.

“We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of Robert Edward Baker, a man beloved by many.”

A pretty, teenage girl with a waistline to rival a sumo wrestler's sobbed into her handkerchief.

“Bob dedicated his whole life to the pursuit of excellence…”

A grandmotherly lady who looked like she might be pregnant with twins openly wept.

The Reverend gestured to Bob’s coffin — a unique design, the only spherical coffin he’d ever seen — suspended over the open grave by an industrial crane.

“For twenty-five years straight, Bob won the Employee of the Year award from Thornton Chocolate Company for his dedicated work in the Research and Development Department.”

The Reverend waved over an elderly man in a smart gray suit. The gentleman shook hands with the vicar and then addressed the crowd.

“Many of you won’t know who I am.” He shrugged. “I was never as vital to the company as Bob. My name is Charles Caruthers, Managing Director of Thornton Chocolate.” He lowered his eyes. “Bob was an irreplaceable asset. Never before have we employed such a talented and inspiring Chief Chocolate Taster.”

He took out a handkerchief and wiped a tear from his wrinkled cheek.

“Bob had no fear. Without his passion and courage, we would never have produced our best selling Flaming Hot Chili Chocolate range, and without his inspiration, the Bitter Bites Darker Than Dark Chocolate range would never have seen the light of day. Because of Bob, Thornton Chocolate is the best in the world.”

Many mourners nodded their heads, and some waved half-eaten chocolate bars — or empty wrappers — to signal their agreement.

“His determination to push the limits never wavered. Though the team of doctors brought in to advise him all insisted that he must stop eating chocolate immediately to avoid an imminent heart attack, he refused to step down from his position and continued to dedicate his whole body and soul to his selfless search for the sublime.”

The Reverend came over and patted him on the shoulders. “Yes, Bob’s demise was tragic, coming only days before his fiftieth birthday. But at least he lived his dreams.”


“Bob! Wake up, Bob.”

Something hard dug into Bob’s ribs. He moaned and opened his eyes.

His wife was glaring at him. “Bob, you're drooling all over the pillows.”

He sat up and blinked. “I really wish you hadn't woke me. I was having the best dream ever.”


What is a vicar's dog collar?

"Drama Newsletter (August 22, 2018)

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