The Truth About Uselessness [ficlet]

His codename was “Useful.” It was his private little joke. The back-story was that he’d been inept as a kid, all quivering insecurity. He trembled in front of girls, longing to speak but held back by the shackles of shyness. He was timid even with family, unable to stand up to his brothers’ taunts.

“Why won’t you say something?” His mother would plead but he would just hang his head, prompting her to call him “useless.”

Flash forward ten years. In college he fared no better. He did have a few girlfriends, but his life-long habit of passive submission stuck with him, leaving him mute in arguments.

“Why won’t you say something!” his current lover would invariably yell, to which he’d respond with hung head, prompting her to call him “useless.”

After graduation he searched the want ads for a job. One in particular caught his eye: “Wanted: Double Agent.” He called as a lark, sure it was a joke. It wasn’t.

When they asked him to come up with a code name, he didn’t hesitate. “Useless” had become useful at last.

2 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

I've been watching you back up your Ficlets here but didn't post anything until I saw my name cross the RSS feed. Those were the days! /edithbunker Now I've got my eyes glued to Kevin Lawver's blog ( because a little birdie told me Ficlets has a successor -- unofficial, of course, no thanks to AOL -- that might possibly definitely be on the way soon. See you there?

Unknown said...

LOL I thought of Edith Bunker too when I read that. I will definitely be there, in whatever form Ficlets 2.0 will take.