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Title: Mismatched Class
Author: jsblume
Style/Genre Prose / Fiction / Literary Fiction
Description: Sam is in love with a woman above his class.
Notes: Write a Literary Fiction piece about a cooper who gets lost. At some point, the cooper must appear in an accounting office and encounter baking goods (not necessarily at the same time).

Sam Cooper’s trade was well represented by both his name and physique – he was a barrel-chested man who made wooden staved beer barrels. He walked with an odd gait that made one wonder whether he would topple over, which lent an impression of drunkenness. Nevertheless, he was a well-mannered man with a carefully trimmed beard and mustache beneath curly black hair.

At this moment, Sam was striding purposefully toward the town accountant’s office bearing a box of banana nut muffins. The warmth of the freshly-baked goods curled out from the edges of the box into the chill of the morning.

Sam took the three steps in a single bound and paused at the door. Through the glass he could see Maggie O’Connor sitting behind the receptionist’s desk. Her skin glowed with the dawning sun. She raised one hand to brush her silky auburn hair out of her eyes even as her brows knit in concentration. Sam was captivated – she was a vision!

The bell tinkled as Sam entered the office. "Morning," he said, nodding his head.

Maggie stiffened. "Good morning." Her voice was as cold as outside.

"Brought you some muffins."

"I’m busy." Maggie didn’t spare a glance at the box Sam had set on her desk, but her nose twitched a bit as the aroma permeated the air.

"Maggie." Sam slumped into a chair.

"I thought I made myself clear. You’re a tradesman!"

"You did, lass. I’m just-- been lost since I met you."

"You’ll get over it. Now please leave." Maggie set aside the paper she had been reading and opened a ledger. After turning several pages, she ran her finger down the entries until she found the one she wanted. Reaching for a pen, she updated the entry.

Sam stood and watched her work. Maggie studiously ignored him. Setting his mouth, Sam angrily pulled open the door. He stopped before leaving the office.

"You are a hypocrite."

Maggie looked at him. "I’m a what?"

"You heard me. I know some college words too. I’m not stupid."

Maggie shifted uncomfortably.

"You pretend to be the secretary. Everyone knows you do all the books. Why can’t you admit to the truth about yourself? And about us?"

Maggie lowered her eyes. "It would not be proper. This is men’s work. And you are a tradesman."

"Well, I’m not done yet." Sam pulled the door shut hard behind him and pounded down the stairs.

"Please be done with it soon," Maggie whispered. She wiped a tear from her cheek, hiding the act with a brush at her hair. She closed the ledger, set it aside, and picked up the next piece of paper from her inbox.

Copyright @2013 by jsblume. All rights reserved.
jsblume has granted JS Blume Publishing™ non-exclusive rights to display this work.

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