Day 21: Excoriate

Word of the Day:



  1. to denounce or berate severely; flay verbally: He was excoriated for his mistakes.
  2. to strip off or remove the skin from: Her palms were excoriated by the hard labor of shoveling.

Here goes:

It was common knowledge to all who were acquainted with him that Bob’s happiness level or—God forbid—unhappiness level was fluid and ever-shifting.  This is not to say that he was somehow bipolar or cruel, merely that he was completely unafraid to thoroughly excoriate anyone who dared make a mistake—especially if the mistake was his.

So when Bob decided to go to work for Hallmark and subsequently realized that this was the greatest mistake of his sternly unsentimental life, the office (filled with quick learners, the lot of them) quickly emptied to allow him a moment of self-scolding.

“But what on Earth is wrong with you?!” he whispered at himself.  “I have no romantic or tender or emotional inclinations, and I, in all my infinite wisdom, knowing this, decided to work for the sappiest company on the planet!”  He sighed heavily.

His resignation was typed up and delivered thirty minutes later.

Cara Kennaway


4 thoughts on “Day 21: Excoriate

  1. James had long since decided that, if ever a man was looking for someone or something to excoriate him, the best place to look was a forge. Between the overseer’s scoldings over James’s apparently numerous failures and the endless scorches, scratches, cuts, bruises, and blisters that came from the various implements and processes employed in the work, James was beginning to feel more battered than he could bear.

    “I don’t think I like you working in that place,” Anna said softly one night as she was bandaging up yet another wound. “Maybe you should try to find someplace else.”

    James, smarting from another day spent on the receiving end of his boss’s disapproval, was inclined to agree with her. But facts were facts. “Like where?” he asked tiredly. “Times are bad. And it’s the one skill I’ve got. I have to have some way to provide for you.”

    She sighed as she tidied up her first aid supplies. “Things have to get better soon.”

    “They will,” he said. “I swear to you, they will.”

    She smiled wanly. He reacted out and clasped her hand, making sure not to wince when she squeezed back.

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