Archive | January, 2013

Worst Case Scenario Example

14 Jan

I’m trying out this whole Fiverr thing. I’m offering a few different gigs, and one of them is to write a worst case scenario of an upcoming situation you’re nervous about. I don’t know how well it will sell, but… I had a lot of fun writing this one, so I hope to get at least a few bites. Here’s my page, in any case.

The situation I chose for this example was that Johnny had applied to colleges, and was worried about being accepted into them.

“It’s a bright, clear day. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. You got to eat delicious cookies in your English class as part of a classmate’s presentation. Your favorite television program is starting back up tonight after being off the air for three long weeks. You feel like the world is your oyster. But, as you near your house, you notice that something isn’t right. You can’t put your finger on just what, though… With trepidation, you take the walkway to your front door. A strange, high-pitched, keening sound bores through the door and into your ears. Trembling, you turn the knob and push the door open. Your mother is slumped before you. Her face is slick with salty tears, her eyes are redder than her signature shade of lipstick, and she is emitting a tortured wail that can only be described as dinosaur-like. She is the source of the strange noise you heard through the door. Her features are crumpled into a tragic caricature of her normal beauty.

“Johnny…” she gasps, gesturing at the floor around her.

Only then can you tear your gaze away long enough to notice that she is surrounded by hundreds of envelopes, all of them opened. Some of them have been torn neatly down the crease, others have been ripped savagely into pieces, their contents spilled like blood onto the floor.

“Wh- what is this?” you stammer.

Your mother pauses dramatically for a moment, as if sucking the last bits of strength and courage she has left inside of her, and then bawls out, in a ghastly howl, “REJECTION LETTERS!”

You snatch up the nearest missive. Application rejected. You grab another. And another. And another. They are all the same. They are all rejections to your applications. You grab more envelopes. Surely they can’t all be application rejections. They aren’t. There are notices from colleges you didn’t apply to, as well. These are notices not to apply, ever, because they have reviewed your qualifications on Google, and want never to see your face in their halls, for fear of the shame you will bring down upon their fine institutions. Every college in America has denied you entrance.

You sink to your knees, the foul papers crumpled in your fists.

“Mother,” you beg, “Please… I’ll try again next year… I’ll work and save money and then-”

“It’s too late!” screams your mother. “Your future is ruined! Our family is ruined! The shame of your failure was too much for your poor father… his heart… it wasn’t strong enough… it just… gave out…” She points to the kitchen, where you see your father’s body. He is clutching at his chest, more of the rejection letters on the table before him. You gasp.

Your mother continues. “Your sister is gone. I sent her away, to your Aunt’s. If she is ever to have a future, she must begin a new life, with a new name. No one can know that she is associated with you. The tarnish on her reputation would last the entirety of her life, and she would never be able to accomplish her dreams, never be able to marry…” Your mother collapses into a fresh fit of sobs. “And now you must leave me, too. I can’t bear to look at your face, you boy who took my life and family away from me.”

And so, you leave. You throw a few things into a duffel bag, and hop on a bus to nowhere, to try and somehow pick up the pieces of your shattered life. You spend a lot of time tucked under bridges, wrapped in your old sleeping bag, your belly rumbling with hunger. Eventually, your need to eat surpasses your pride, and you get a job flipping burgers at McDonald’s. With every twirl of your spatula, you shed a single, poignant, salty tear as you remember a time before this… a time when you were happy.