What follows is another exercise from my Writer’s Group. The brief was to write a piece containing as many clichés as possible. It was a fun exercise, the only problem was knowing when to stop!
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When all was said and done Danny Wilson was not wet behind the ears, he knew that this time he had really cooked his goose. There was no two ways about it; the fat was in the fire. This time his back was up against the wall. He had been lying through his teeth when he signed on claiming to be a Jack-of-all-trades, able to turn his hand to anything. You want it done he could do it standing on his head with one hand tied behind his back. It must have been that great brute Lieutenant Barker, who had spilled the beans that he was as useless as a chocolate fireguard. He smiled wryly to himself; having spent his life being pushed from pillar to post he was coming to the end of his tether, this had been his Last Chance Saloon and he’d blown it, but he only had himself to blame. He would have to jump through hoops to plead his cause but the cat was well and truly among the pigeons now and he couldn’t help wondering if he would manage to pull it off. Filled with trepidation he knocked of the Captain’s door.
“Come,” came the command.
Danny entered. “You sent for me Sir?”
“Ah, Wilson, Close the door, we need to talk. Need I say how disappointed I am that it has come to this? You, young man, are a ne’er-do-well, a slacker of the first water, a wastrel.” The Captain regarded him with his usual hangdog expression.
“Yes Sir,” Danny hung his head. “Are you going to give me my marching orders?”
“God knows I ought to,” came the reply. “However, for some reason, against my better judgement, I have decided to stay my hand and give you a second chance. But for you, young man, things are going to change. Believe me my lad; you have jumped from the frying pan into the fire. You are going to pull your socks up and put your best foot forward from now on. I am going to keep your nose to the grindstone and you are going to learn to apply some elbow grease and shoulder your responsibilities. Lieutenant Barker tells me I can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but by God I am going to try. Do you hear me?”
“You will not know what has hit you. Night and day you will keep your shoulder to the wheel and your eye on the ball. I shall be on your case twenty-four seven. You will not get me off your back. If you so much as blink I will come down on you like a ton of bricks and should you so much as bat an eyelid I will see you hauled over the coals. We will take every opportunity to make an example of you. There will be no let up. It will be the making or breaking of you. We are in for the long haul and I brook no failures. At the end of this trip of ours I will have made a man of you if it kills me, and let me tell you, laddie, my death is not on the agenda. When I have finished with you your mother will not recognise you. You are going to wish you had never been born. The good times are over, it’s payback time and you will pay in blood, sweat and tears. From now on work is the order of the day. You owe me big-time my lad. Now get back to your duties at the double. Dismissed.”
“Yes, Sir, thank you. Sir. I won’t let you down Sir.”
“Hrumph,” the Captain glared at him. “Take your miserable sef out of my sight. Go!”
As he left the Captain’s cabin Danny shut the door behind him. “That went rather well,” he sighed with relief. It was the understatement of the year!