Jonathan Powers, award-winning playwright, sits at his mahogany desk in his penthouse overlooking the Thames and stares vacantly into space.

Half an hour has passed since he heard the devastating news.  It seems Miss Clarke lost control of her car, the policeman had informed him, and hit a tree.  Sadly, she didn’t survive.

Miss Clarke, his dedicated personal assistant, who had idolised him and hung on his every word.  Miss Clarke, who had devoted her life to him, attending to his every need.   Miss Clarke, who had expected so little in return.

***

Miss Clarke’s working day began at 9 am.  It would rarely end before midnight.  Yesterday was no exception.  The deadline for Jonathan Powers’ new play was looming and the vital twist in the final Act continued to elude him.  He paced the floor in a foul mood; it was Miss Clarke who had borne the full brunt of it.

Driving home, mentally exhausted, what was uppermost in her mind?  Her warm, comfortable bed?  Or the memory of Jonathan Powers’ face, contorted with rage, spewing verbal abuse?

***

The shock of Miss Clarke’s death has temporarily shielded Jonathan Powers from the full impact it will have on his life.

He will not meet that deadline.  And he will never again write a successful play.

How easy it had been to exploit the vulnerable and besotted Miss Clarke.  Rob her of any recognition for the brilliant flashes of inspiration that, over the years, had injected humour and emotion into his lacklustre plays.  Given them life, without which, they would never have enjoyed their long runs.

And, on that fateful night, when she’d struggled so desperately to summon the inspiration Jonathan Powers demanded, and was now so dependent on, how easy it had been to crush her adoring heart.

What was Miss Clarke’s state of mind as she headed home?  How did she come to lose control of her car on a quiet, familiar road?

These are questions that will continue to haunt Jonathan Powers over the long years ahead.  No longer the darling of the theatre… a reclusive and forgotten man.

0 0 votes
Post Rating

Help support our family-friendly mission
Buy our Kindle Book- or -Become a Patron

20 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago

That’s a very powerful and thought-provoking piece of writing, Linda. Hopefully a lesson in there for other people who take their PA’s for granted. Nicely done!

Genya Johnson
Genya Johnson (@genya-johnson)
7 months ago

A story full of emotions. If only he had showed her how much he valued her work. Now, without her he is nothing.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills (@greene-m-wills-2)
7 months ago

Loved it Linda! You portrayed a classic example of a parasitic relationship and exploitation. Inspiration is not something one summons at command. One is left wondering if Miss Clarke just had enough…

Help support our family-friendly mission
Buy our Kindle Book- or -Become a Patron

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
7 months ago

This is such a compelling story that brings many work relationships into perspective. Sadly, too often people in positions of authority will abuse this privilege by verbally abusing those who strive to please them. This was well written and definitely thought-provoking.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
7 months ago

This story is heartbreaking. I wish people will not take for granted those who are there for them, stay for them, praise them, and do everything to please them.

Help support our family-friendly mission
Buy our Kindle Book- or -Become a Patron

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
7 months ago
Reply to  Linda Rock

Yes, Linda. I agree. Hope they will realize that.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
7 months ago

Hello again Linda, another powerful piece of writing from you. The story you wrote can be read not just from Miss Clark’s (I like the way that you have not given Miss Clark a first name) or Mr Jonathan Powers situation (I like the reason you chose the name Powers) but it can be every teenager, ha, ha. And fit into the lives of all those who are selfish, even to a lesser degree. 10 out of 10.

Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
7 months ago

I’m sure Miss Clarke would not want Jonathan to waste his life…perhaps he will change his ways and be an inspiration to others. We can only hope, although I suspect he will wallow for the rest of his life. A great interpretation of the theme, Linda. I enjoyed it very much 🙂

Help support our family-friendly mission
Buy our Kindle Book- or -Become a Patron

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
6 months ago

An excellent piece of writing, Linda! My thoughts went to the recent, award winning movie The Wife, with a similar relationship where the man became successful and famous. I’m sure that there are many narcissistic and demanding Jonathans out there and likewise many Miss Clarkes, working hard without being appreciated. A very powerful story!

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti (@dipayan-chakrabarti)
6 months ago

Your story stimulates careful consideration, Linda. Jonathan Powers fails to appreciate the value of his secretary and thereby represents the common human folly.

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti (@dipayan-chakrabarti)
6 months ago

You’re welcome, Linda.

Help support our family-friendly mission
Buy our Kindle Book- or -Become a Patron

Most Voted Comments

Avatar
8

Bait

It takes a real talent to tell a story in so few words. What was…


Avatar
6

Endure and Sing

Inspirational piece. Am glad you picked the rat to be the protagonist in your story,…


Avatar
6

Endure and Sing

Such a sweet tale - and with a good moral to the story. I thought…


Avatar
5

Endure and Sing

Wow! This is a good story! Really good to read to little kids, the moral…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, it really does add an extra dimension to hear your story read aloud…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

In my neighboring country Denmark, we have the classical storyteller Hans-Christian Andersen. Your sweet story…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

A really nice one with a wonderful story line. I can see why this was…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

A beautiful story! I was reminded of seeing Paul Potts and Susan Boyle on Britain's…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Your story inspired me to keep going no matter how discouraging it gets. At times…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Thank you so much for the feedback! I pray that the young readers will be…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Thank you for taking the time to comment and convey your thoughts on the story.…


Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, don't we all feel like the rat in your story at times! We…


Avatar
4

Vows

I must admit it was the picture of the church, with its grave yard, under…


Avatar
3

In Memoriam

It's terrible to lose someone you love and accept that he is not a part…


Avatar
3

The Problem with Women

I think Carrie has said it all. We rest our collective case.  ? 


Avatar
3

The Fisherman and the Sea

A good story with a strong message. The time has come that we should do…


Avatar
3

The Fisherman and the Sea

It is giving me great joy to read such beautiful comments from you.Thank you for…


Avatar
3

Voice.club 2020 Year In Review – OPEN

The New Year has always been a time for reflection, and to focus on what…


Mary Kot
3

Endure and Sing

I wish all of us were more like this little mouse! His confidence and courage…


Avatar
3

Endure and Sing

I'm really glad to hear that! Leena Auckel did an amazing job and I'm so…


Recent Comments


Become a PatronHelp support our family-friendly mission

Contest – CLOSED – Scary

20
0
Selected Authors may submit comments (5 Credits)x
()
x
Scroll to Top

Sharing a Post

Why do my friends need to SignIn to read the post I shared?

Actually, this is a voting security feature. Only club members can read posts submitted into a contest. Since anyone reading the story is able to vote (click the Like button), we reserve these capabilities to members who SignIn. Before we implemented this security feature, people were voting multiple times and making the public voting process unfair and out of balance. To fix this, our staff finally decided to allow only members who SignIn to read the stories. Membership is free and easy, and ensures our club is safe, secure, and family-friendly!

Gems Stories are public:  On the other hand the Gem stories are different, since there is no voting on Gems. During a Gem event, your friends and fans can come on and read without a SignIn. This is one of the great advantages of the Gem events.