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The duck had been following me for about a day and a half now. My efforts to ignore it were beginning to falter. It intruded on every thought now. All roads led to the duck.

I peered out the window of my second-story office and was dismayed to see it still pacing back and forth, exactly as it had been since I arrived two hours earlier. I usually took my lunch at the deli down the street but it looked like I would be patronizing the vending machine today.

"It's just a duck. A stupid duck, one of the least intimidating creatures on earth. No one has ever died of duck-related injuries, except maybe of asphyxiation in a Chinese food joint."

This was my mantra as I struggled with the most mundane tasks. I managed to slog through the workday and stole out the back door. Fearing the bird would recognize my car, I hailed a taxi and left my Mazda in the company lot.

It seemed as though I had fooled my strange admirer as I relaxed in front of the TV that evening. I had checked out the window frequently until I lost the light and there had been no sign of it. I sipped my whiskey and let my shoulders drop a little more.

Then I heard the pat-pat, pat-pat of webbed feet on the linoleum outside my apartment door.

Date Written: March 07, 2005
Author: deliciousbrains
Average Vote: 4

03/16/2005 qualcomm: don't you mean the hideous pat-pat, pat-pat of webbed feet on the linoleum outside my apartment door?
03/16/2005 Will Disney: yes, qualcomm, the guest author meant that.
03/16/2005 Will Disney: the guest author who i bet is klause muppet.
03/16/2005 The Rid: The other point of view from the Aflac ad?
03/16/2005 Mr. Pony: This is going to sound totally regular and boring, but then what happened?
03/16/2005 Jon Matza: Enjoyed this quite a bit. Why won't the duck just let him alone?!? May have to five this.
03/16/2005 Klause Muppet (4): Sorry, not me. Wish it was. GOD! Why can't i write shorts with ducks in them!!!
03/16/2005 BOOTIEANDTHEHOFISH (3): This'd work great as a Brit-tv comedy skit, but it doesn't quite do the do as a short.
03/16/2005 Litcube (4): Did you name the duck?
03/16/2005 Ewan Snow: This was a pretty good idea, but there a number of (small) oddities with the writing I found distracting. These were:

1) ending both the first and third sentence with "now". I think the third should have ended with "thought".
2) use of "since" rather than "when" in first sentence of 2nd graf makes it seem like he'd looked out the window several times already, which maybe you intended. This is a nitpick, but I think "when" would have been simpler and more effective.
3) "Chinese food joint" rather than simply "Chinese joint"
4) use of "mantra" and its reference to a three sentence quote (rather than something short like "It's just a duck."
5) Forced variation (using "bird" and "strange admirer" rather than "duck" again)

I know that all of these, really, are nitpicks may not have bothered anybody else. I do like, however, how it ends right at the critical point, and how no explanation is given for the duck.
03/16/2005 Ewan Snow (4): 3.75 or so...
03/16/2005 Front (5): Creepy. Wonderfully creepy.
03/16/2005 Jon Matza (5): Guest five. It had its flaws (agreed w/most of Snow's points) but as I said, I enjoyed it a lot. Author: I expect you'll repay me with lots of undeserved fives and mistakenly assume I'm a nice guy.
03/16/2005 The Rid: Really? A five? This is a three, but I feel like dropping a corrective two.
03/16/2005 Partytime: this duck?
03/16/2005 Partytime: 2nd try
03/16/2005 The Rid (3):
03/17/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs (4): Enjoyed.
03/17/2005 Mr. Pony: STBD, my man, you have been keeping some late hours!
03/17/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs: So what are you saying? Huh? My hours too LATE for you?
03/17/2005 Front: Why didn't my comment show up? I tried. Stranger, still.
03/22/2005 deliciousbrains: Rid, I actually entertained an Aflac-related punchline but scrapped it for being too easy. I liked the absurd panic vibe. Snow, you're right about the errors. I need an editor to keep me in line.