Accounting Anxiety, #99Word Stories

February 7, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes anxiety. Who has anxiety or what is the source? Is there conflict? How can you use anxiety to further a story? Go where the prompt leads! Submit by February 12, 2022.

“I can’t do this again,” I mumbled. I’d tallied the debit and credits four times and they still didn’t balance by mere pennies. I prided myself on balancing to the penny. My face grew hot.

O.K. calming breaths. I inhaled and closed my eyes as I slipped into the darkness of meditation. Colors danced behind my closed lids. Peace and calm filled my soul.

“Colleen, are those expense reports ready? They were due an hour ago,” my boss called out.

My meditation finished; I added the numbers again. The error was obvious. I’d transposed a number.

“On my way!”

Published by Colleen M. Chesebro

An avid reader, Colleen M. Chesebro rekindled her love of writing poetry after years spent working in the accounting industry. These days, she loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. In addition to poetry books, Chesebro’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of her writing community on Word Craft by organizing and sponsoring a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, where participants experiment with traditional and current forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry. Chesebro is an assistant editor of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology & Gitty Up Press, a micro-press founded by Charli Mills and Carrot Ranch. In January 2022, Colleen founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to assist poets and authors in creating eBooks and print books for publication. In addition, she creates affordable book covers for Kindle and print books. Chesebro lives in the house of her dreams in mid-Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with her husband and two (unicorn) cats, Chloe & Sophie.

53 thoughts on “Accounting Anxiety, #99Word Stories

    1. I worked in accounting and tax prep for over 20 years. So glad that is all behind me… but do you see why I like syllabic poetry and the counting os syllables? LOL! It’s been a week. I’m so behind. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Too easy to transpose numbers and letters …. and it never helps when one is pressed for time – always a good thing to remember to stop, breathe, blink and clear the mind – before looking again.

    Sounds like you’re rushing – so follow your own story advice – take a few moments, get up and shake it off, change direction for a few minutes, then decide how best to proceed. You’ll feel much better for it I should think. 🙂
    Have a good weekend – remember “you time” is equally important my friend (almost typed ‘fiend’! 😂😅 oops!)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, there will be days and weeks like these, to be sure! But each “check mark” is something done. Hopefully you get some time to catch your breath!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I worked as a cashier in a private bank for two years before I started teaching. In the end, debit, credit and tally were hard work for me. Nice story, Colleen!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jane. I enjoyed the idea that everything had to balance. It is hard work though. You always have to thing one step ahead. I worked in a bank for a few years as well (before computers). Everything was hand counted. YIKES!! ❤


  3. Well done, Colleen. I like the way you showed the anxiety without using the word. It’s amazing how much clearer things can be when looked at with ‘fresh’ eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On yes… I started my accounting career in the Air Force in 1976 as a chaplain’s assistant. We did all the books by hand, with those huge ledgers. Many years later, I used accounting and tax programs. But, you still end up talling debits and credits. LOL! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I took several accounting courses…one class in high school and several in college. Loved it, but transposition of numbers was always a problem. My high school teacher said something to the fact that the transposition errors were always divisible by nine or something like that. All I know is that when the columns don’t balance, I am fraught with anxiety and that includes every time my checkbook doesn’t balance. On the other hand, my husband just looks at the account statement and never worries about balancing it. Maybe he has it right, but I’ll never know…I want it to balance! ~nan

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  5. Sometimes I like to sit with a problem until I figure it out. However, more often than not, after a while, I realize that a break is needed. Clearing my head does wonders.


  6. Reminds me of a time when a boss of mine didn’t like how ‘slow’ or accurate I was taking in sales. She took over my drawer and I watched her get scammed. I made her count the drawer right after that customer left. She came up short. Anxity followed because bosses don’t like to be proved wrong!!


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