Berence Trett’s Business Cards – #FridayFlash

Berence Trett, production editor of the Forest Herald, had heard that Sunny Haze was teaching a social media workshop for the editorial department.

This annoyed him.

Sunny was, what, 153? At the most? Her vernix caseosa clung stubbornly to her ridges and she still smelled like shortbread, for Louden’s sake. She’d only been at the Herald for a couple of decades and you’d think she was the first one to ever write a log-blog.

Trett had a log-blog. He had more followers than Sunny, too. Way more followers. And his followers were intellectuals. Important elves. Elves with substance.

Trett also had more followers on Twigger than Sunny.

She did have more friends on Facecordbook but who really cared about Facecordbook anymore? It was so last millennium.

The point was, he was just as well-versed in the social media game as Ms. Haze, if not more so, and he resented not being included in the seminar.

He had even heard Joel Littlebloom, the Herald’s esteemed publisher, was going to attend.

Trett conjured up Jabber on his computer and buzzed Sunny. Her friendly face appeared on his desktop.

“Hi Mr. Trett!” she trilled. “How are you? What’s new? Gee, you’re looking swell!”

Trett tried to maintain a dignified face. “Hello, Sunny. I hear congratulations are in order. You’re teaching a social media workshop? Well done. I am confident your energy and enthusiasm will make it a workshop to remember.”

“Oh Mr. Trett, that means so much to me, coming from you! You are who I aspire to be! Your experience! Your wisdom! Your supreme knowledge of the Forest and all who live here!”

Trett wondered if it was possible for her to speak without exclamation points. “I heard Mr. Littlebloom would be attending. Does that make you nervous?”

“Oh yes,” Sunny gushed. “He is such an important elf!”

Trett cleared his throat and spat out the next words before he could change his mind. “Do you need any help? I do have a log-blog, you know, and I am quite familiar with modern social media and all its ramifications…”

Sunny’s face fell a tiny bit. He could see her trying to come up with a way to turn him down without hurting his feelings.

So he said, “But I am sure you will be fine. A young elf like you, with your talent, will make out splendidly. Well, I won’t keep you. I’m sure you have much to accomplish before deadline.”

Sunny’s face was brightening as he clicked out of the chat program.

Trett slumped in his chair and stared at the new box of business cards on his desk. He opened the box with wrinkled fingers, nails thick with age, knuckles gnarled with arthritis, and pulled out one of the cards. Brand new. Blindingly white cardboard, thick, expensive. The letters were embossed. Tamarack green cursive writing; elegant; austere. He had designed them himself.

Under the ancient logo of the Forest Herald, eight words: Berence Trett, Production Editor, Writer, Photographer, Graphic Artist.

They summed up his long career in the newspaper game, a career filled with prestigious awards and rave reviews. At one time his advice was sought after. Articles were written about him, praising his talents to the skies.

He had noticed, in the last few decades, that no one asked for his opinion anymore. He tried to point out layout mistakes, poor headline writing and bad grammar to the many youngsters who worked at the paper but none of them paid him mind.

Trett was all but invisible and he wondered just when that had happened. And he wondered why.

He fingered the business card and he thought hard about the lingering disappointment his career had become.

After a while he realized that it was nothing to do with him. It was just his age and their age and the vast string of years, a precipice of time, that stretched between them.

He couldn’t blame them, the young. They always knew better; they always would.

!sdrawkcab ... hsalFyadirF s'tI

April Fools! The story you just read appears here on my blog as a part of the Great April Fool’s Day FridayFlash Blog Swap, organized by Tony Noland. You can find my story for today at Cathy Webster’s website. To read all the dozens of stories swapping around as a part of the GAFDFFBS, check out the GAFDFFBS index over at Tony’s blog Landless. For hundreds of thousands of words of fantastic flash fiction stories, check out the FridayFlash hashtag on Twitter. It happens every Friday!

Cathy Webster is an old-timer in the newspaper game. She also has a blog, Life on the Muskoka River, and knows enough about Twitter and Facebook to get by. She lives in the northern wilds of Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada with her much-younger new husband and her two astoundingly good-looking sons. Happy birthday to Cathy’s son, Angus, who is 14 today!

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About Mhairi Simpson

Writer, dreamer. Magic, dragons, pink mice, cake. Come say hi!
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20 Responses to Berence Trett’s Business Cards – #FridayFlash

  1. Harry says:

    Aw, poor Mr. Trett. It is so difficult commanding the respect of those century and a half old whipper-snappers.

    C.W. has no such trouble. Fun and funny tale, whimsical but rooted in truth. Super swap Cathy!

  2. A.M. Harte says:

    A great story! I enjoyed every minute of it and even felt guilty at the end for being one of the young and always right. 😉

  3. Tony Noland says:

    I spit my coffee at Facecordbook. Excellent framing of the old dog / young pup tension.

  4. kathryn says:

    Hey! Great story as always, Cathy. Loving the new names of all that new-fangled social media….what an imagination you have!

    Poor Trett. Amazing how a few hundred years can put you out of circulation. That Sunny’s such a whippersnapper.

  5. LindaSW says:

    off to twigger this! loved the take on names, and it made me smile. happy day of fools! peace…

  6. John Wiswell says:

    Trett does feel more like a Webster/Oliffe/Webliffe character! Good one, Cathy.

  7. Cathy: What can I say, you always bring it… You should see how young my newsroom has become in only two years!! I used to be the young one 😉 …

  8. Excellent, loved the way you put real life into a fantasy world…

  9. Laurita says:

    Poor Trett. The young do not always know better, they just think they do.

  10. ganymeder says:

    Oh that was wonderful! I wonder when the elves will upgrade to electronic business cards now!

  11. Thanks for a great story, Cathy! I feel so bad for Berence 😦 That Sunny thinks she knows everything, how dare she??

  12. antisocialbutterflie says:

    Very fun. It’s good to know that elves can be just as jealous as us mere mortals. Good job.

  13. dannigrrl says:

    Great story, Cathy. The next generation always seems to run right over the previous one. And I love the new names of the all the social media sites. Nicely done.

  14. Chuck Allen says:

    Such a cute story! There were so many little things in this one (150 year old youngsters, Twigger, etc.) that kept me smiling all the way through. Great job!

  15. Icy Sedgwick says:

    Loved this! Inventive, as ever (Twigger? LOL) and fun, with a hint of pathos for Mr Trett.

  16. Aidan Fritz says:

    A great tale of technological change and how it affects people. I liked how this was staged with the elves and the technobabble of slightly off social media platforms was a lot of fun.

  17. FARfetched says:

    Even in the Elder Realm, it seems the generation gap is insurmountable. But I’m guessing it’s more a matter of a comfortable Trett getting out-schmoozed by the young ambitious upstart.

    I loved this! Yay Cathy!

  18. This was a lot of fun. All this new media pushing the old timers out. It’s simply not fair. Ah well, hopefully he’ll still show that he can show the youngins a thing or two.

  19. PJ Kaiser says:

    Very cute, Cathy – the age-old conundrum. I’m having trouble adjusting to my mature status as well … I’m always astounded with I meet other parents at my son’s school and realize that I could be their parents. Blergh. Ah well – experience must count for something, right? RIGHT???

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