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The Volunteer

(2005)
My sister volunteered to help hurricane victims in 2005, but was rejected after she took a telephone call on her cell during the interview. Big mistake.

The rest of the story follows my own three day weekend in the Sierras at a Goa Gil rave. Boy, was I glad when the music finally stopped.

an excerpt from this contemporary short story …

Nancy swept both hands along her flanks to straighten her skirt as she sat down in a folding chair opposite three people she really wanted to impress.

“Good of you to be so prompt, Miss Hastings,” the middle person, a gray haired woman with a steady gaze and matronly air said by way of introduction. “We are happy you want to volunteer to help hurricane victims. As you know, this is your final interview. We intend to put you on a plane tomorrow and send you where you will assist with Red Cross efforts. I am Mrs. Standish, this is Mister Howard and to my left Deedee Wells.”

“How do you do,” Nancy said politely.

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Mrs. Standish wore a pair of glasses with a thin silver chain that fell in arcs from her ears and wrapped around the back of her neck. She lifted the lenses to hover over the bridge of her nose, squinted into them, dropped them back on her nose and gave Nancy a two second stare before asking, “Are you prepared for this sudden and abrupt change in your lifestyle? You will essentially be camping out with our staff and your fellow workers in a devastated area of the country where the humidity is overwhelming, the insects hungry, facilities few and your work load full with almost no time to yourself. In short, Miss Hastings, this is no piece of cake. You will be gone for two whole weeks. Have you any idea what you are getting yourself into?” the woman demanded. “I assume your employer,” the glasses rose again from the bridge of her nose as she read from a piece of paper on the table in front of her. “You work for a newspaper I see. And what do you do for this newspaper? Are you a reporter?”

This story is 25 pages long, available in PDF format.
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