Space Tinting?

Have you ever been going about your business, trying to make your way in the world like a normal person, when suddenly your life gets flipped on its head? Well, I have. In a huge way, too. It was late on a Friday afternoon, and I was getting ready to wrap up a long day of window tinting. I’d head to the pub with my mates, get a nice cold drink and a parma to celebrate the end of another week.

That was when the spaceship showed up. It was a strange blue vehicle that almost looked like an iron standing upright as it flew through the sky. The ship bore a name that I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed to say here. Anyway, this odd spacecraft landed before me, and out stepped a man in blue and silver armour. It was very fancy and looked extremely expensive. I bet not even a powerful plasma sword could cut through that stuff.

“Mr Alfred,” said the armoured man. “I have searched across the galaxy for the greatest window tinter to ever live. My quest has brought me to you. Supreme Chancellor Palantine wishes for you to be his personal window tinter, giving him the privacy he needs as he leads the Republic to a new era of peace and prosperity. They say that you offer the best window tinting services near Melbourne. Is this true?”

“Supreme Chancellor?” I stammered. “Republic? Galaxy? You mean an alien overlord wants my window tinting services?”

“Just answer the question,” said the man. “Are you the greatest window tinter I’m going to find or not?”

I gulped. “I suppose I am. I have the most five-star reviews out of any window tinter I know.”

“Excellent, you’ll be coming with me, then.”

Using his jetpack, the intergalactic traveller sprung forward, grabbing me by the underarms. He hauled me over to his spaceship without even asking if I wanted to go. So, I guess I’ve technically been kidnapped by aliens, which is a bit of a twist I wasn’t expecting in my life. Anyway, how has your day been?

– Charlie Alfred

Window Tinting Winner

I strode confidently into the lobby of my office building, gazing up at the brightly-lit bank of elevators with an optimistic grin plastered on my face.

         Today was the day.

         I pressed through the throng of almost-late workers, weaving through them with unexpected ease. It was amazing what a good mood could do, I thought.

         I half-ran for a closing elevator, managed to squeeze myself in and punched my floor number. With a polite ding, they shut in front of a red-faced, sprinting man, suit jacket slung over his arm. I shot him an awkward, apologetic look until the doors were closed, then promptly forgot about him.

         Today was my day.

         After a short amount of time – and only a couple of stops ­– the elevator landed at my floor and I got out gratefully, adjusting my tie as I went. I walked past a few new hires oohing and aahing at the frosted window tinting. For an office, it wasn’t half-bad, I thought to myself, seeing it through their fresh eyes for just a moment.

         Zeroing in on my cubicle, I quickly deposited my briefcase on the ground next to my chair, checking the clock on the wall across from me: five minutes early.


         ‘Stephens!’ a voice boomed across the still-filling office floor, and I snapped to attention. My boss (my boss’s boss, actually) was hanging out of the door to his corner office, scanning the room for me. I shot a hand up to acknowledge his summons and quickly followed him into the sunlit room.

         ‘Shut the door,’ he said gruffly, and I obliged. Squinting against the sun, he pressed a button and lowered the blinds across the view he’d worked so hard to acquire.

‘You don’t happen to know where to get office tinting, around Melbourne, do you?’ he asked with a sigh.

‘No, sir,’ I shook my head, almost unable to suppress the smile on my face. ‘Sir, was there something you wanted to say to me. Maybe offer me…’

‘What?’ he frowned. ‘Oh. Right. You’re fired.’

The blood slowly drained out of my face.

Turns out – today was not my day.