Tag Archives: short story writers

Lost dreams in the big city

28 Oct

Only an Idiot Gets Lost in Chicago

“I don’t give a shit about that,” Buck said.

Buck stood in the newsroom staring past Stan through the window at the gray early November afternoon. Outside, it was lightly snowing. Like swirls of confetti, the flakes fell onto the windshield of Stan’s new car parked on the street just outside the window. Stan had his own parking spot, one of the perks of his title. The vehicle had just been purchased the previous week, one of the upcoming year’s models.

“Perhaps you should give a shit,” Stan said looking up at Buck from his desk. “You know, it’s not that hard to pick up the phone and do some checking. We can’t have the Tribune beating us on these kinds of stories.”

Buck didn’t really care if the Tribune beat them. And why should he? At ten bucks an hour they could give his job to some kid eager to get the latest scoop. And yet, he felt a bit ashamed about it all. Yeah. He could have done better.

“Your new car’s getting covered with snow,” Buck said.

“Buck. This is serious.”

He looked at Stan. His boss wasn’t smiling.

“Look … just try to do some more thorough checking.”

Stan eyed Buck. Buck knew Stan was only trying to do his job as editor of The Progress.

“You looked bad on this one Buck,” he said. “A few phone calls and you could have had a much better story.”

Buck looked away.

Yeah. A few phone calls. It had been pretty sloppy reporting. But damn. What the hell was he even doing on the police beat anyway? Besides, he’d had other stuff to do that night without getting an identification of some body at the bottom of a coal shaft. And he had tried to get the coroner on the phone. Okay. He should have tried more than once. Shit, it was all nuts and bolts reporting anyway. Something they could just about train a monkey to do.

Stan leaned back in his chair and studied him.

“What’s been going on with you anymore? You used to care Buck.”

Buck looked down at the floor. The two of them had been through some great times together. Back when they’d both been cocky young reporters, banging out their stories. They were the Gold Dust Twins. A crusty editor with a drinking problem named Smiley had dubbed them that. When they weren’t trying to top each other with scoops they were closing down bars in the downtown. But that had been then, and Smiley was long gone.