Archive for October 6th, 2011

6th October
written by amber

Lunch Break

A bunch of my fellow workers were gathered around the opening of my cubicle to discuss where we’d go for lunch. Andrew displayed his phone screen – “Look, Perk Your Day has texted the lunch menu to me. They’ve got triple cheese southwestern chicken paninis on special today.”

“That sounds yummy,” Amy commented, “but Coffee Coffee, where I like to go, emailed me a two for one coupon, so that’s where I want to go.”

Everyone one winced. “Amy,” I explained, “the food there sucks. So unless you’re going to eat two dry sandwiches by yourself, the coupon’s no good to you.”

“Coffee shop sandwiches always suck.” Gary was already bouncing on the balls of his feet. “Come for a run with me. We’ll swing by Coffee on the Go and get energy flax-quinoa bars and triple hits.”

I was about to suggest that we all go to the conference room, put an episode of The IT Crowd on the big screen and order in from Coffee Espress, when an emanation from the next cubicle plunged us all into silence, breathing deeply.

“What is that?” Amy sighed.

“Do you have cinnamon buns in there, Ryan?” Gary demanded.

Andrew chimed in, “And an oven. He’s got to have an oven for the buns to smell so fresh.”

Ryan stuck his head over the top of the cubicle. “It’s that new app I developed. Weren’t you guys listening when I told you about it last week? Smell-o-phone. I sold it to Buns in the Oven, my favourite coffee shop, and now they let me know when a fresh batch of cinnamon buns is ready.”

I was nearly crushed in the stampede toward the elevator.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story written every day and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

My friend, Natalie Charlton, gave me the idea for this story when she told me that her customers at Hinton’s coffee shop, The Old Grind, asked her to text them when the cinnamon buns were coming out of the oven.



6th October
written by amber

Grizzly Discoveries

Thank you, Mr. Stone and everyone else in the Chamber of Commerce, for giving me this opportunity to describe our business.

Grizzly Discoveries came about for two distinct reasons – technological advance and consumer demand. Since our incorporation six months ago, our customer base has steadily expanded and we are now on the verge of acquiring more equipment so we can meet an international need for our services.

How it works is this – initially we undertake aerial surveys with our highly sophisticated detection devices. We use helicopters for this aspect, and we fly as near to ground level as possible. Our search parameters are determined by various data such as motion predictors, terrain influences, et cetera. If third party manipulation is suspected, we bring in experts in that field. Underground target sites, rather than above ground, as I’m sure you can imagine, are much more difficult to locate, but it’s not impossible.

One we get a hit with the detection equipment, we move to the next phase. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself, perhaps making it sound too easy. Frequently, we are forced to expand our survey area. I mean, if the target was that easy to locate, our services wouldn’t have been required, would they?

But most of the time we do get a hit, and then we put people on the ground, after carefully triangulating what we refer to as ‘the sweet spot’ using monitoring from various orientations and taking wind velocity and direction into account. Our ground crews travel by all-terrain vehicle and they carry handheld monitors which aren’t as sophisticated at the big detection devices in the helicopters, but are sufficient when the probable location of the ‘sweet spot’ is already known.

Lastly comes location and confirmation, and I can tell you a funny story about our first job. Before we were called in, the search for the target had been ongoing for more than a month. Finally, someone realized that the task had reached the phase where only equipment such as ours would produce a timely result. We’d been waiting for our first customer for a while by then so we were happy to finally have a chance to show off our skills. We got a hit on our first day of flying, and we announced that we’d be going in the next day to confirm that we had, indeed, found the target.

And just in case you were wondering, we do not use the words ‘sweet spot’ in our communications with media and the general public. We do have some sensitivity.

Anyhoo – the next day, the ground crew went in, and they found a dead moose that had somehow become wedged between two trees and couldn’t get loose. You see, our detection equipment has no way of discerning between decomposition gases of human or animal origin. All it reveals is that the body in question is a large one.

The day after that, the old guy – who had been missing in the woods for 55 days at that time – walked out to a road fifty miles outside of the search zone. So it was good news for all, and ultimately not a bad way for us to establish our business reputation. At least it didn’t hurt.

Thank you. Any questions?

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story written every day and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

You may notice that this story is posted a day late. Peter Mansbridge is partially to blame. We went to Hinton to hear him speak; we got home late and when I went to post my story, our dial-up connection at our house was on the fritz.

There is a local business called Grizzly Discoveries, but I don’t think this is what they do. Funny choice for a name…