"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.
This is a prequel piece to a much earlier story, ACCIDENT NO.4, the thirteenth piece of flash I posted on this site. (It will open in another tab, recently edited.) Enjoy the start of this little serial I think I’ll develop in tiny tidbits.
To be in this room – this lavish office – Matt had either done something really special or spectacularly devastating. Huge window views weren’t natural in this building where cinder block walls and ultra-white lights are the norm. Matt had never seen his boss in the six months since his promotion to Lead Engineer at Vishnu Arms, a division of KDLcorp.
Two men, superior ranking managers, stood at his side and translated for his benefit. Matt’s boss sat across the desk. Handsome in an artificial way, he barked orders. All three wore their party and social class badges.
The manager on Matt’s left said, “Your boss informs you that two years conscription have been added to your contract.”
Matt looked up at the man, terrified, “What? How . . . What for? Your assistant set up the printer. He created the failures.”
The manager on Matt’s right translated more barking, “It is now three for arguing with superiors. You did not verify the settings and we now have forty faulty units circulating!”
Matt spun his head to the right, “As a foreigner, to infer doubt or question actions of your assistants is forbidden. How can I verify the work without violating rules?”
The left side manager continued with more translation, “Four years! It would be wise to stop now and work harder! Or,” and he smiled snidely, “you can go sweep floors until your ninety-nine.”
Matt looked at the floor, giving serious thought. Anger grew hot in his face with ongoing misfortune and, in brief flashes, recollections of how an amazing future at the engineering hospital slipped away – brought on by genetic disability. He understood the lengths they would go to keep him as long as possible. His top-of-class talents were wastefully used to make generic replacements even cheaper. The hospital put his educational servitude on the open market, selling out the best young talent in the country, if not the world. KDLcorp was cleared of any hacking charges relating to talent acquisition, forcing his move across the Pacific. He got up in a huff, turning to leave. The plastic faced boss hollered at him like a drill-sergeant.
Matt turned and gave a textbook bow and smile, “I’m sorry executor Ki. I will work harder. May I resume my duties?”
Ki nodded slowly, speaking in smooth immaculate English, “Four years . . . and . . . One month for insolence. You are all dismissed.”
Matt left the room, putting the forty faulty arms in size forty-four regular out of his mind, replacing them with new thoughts on how to get the hell out of this new, twenty-four year nightmare.
(Author’s notes) February 16th, 2016: Buffalo, NY
This concept has been stewing in my head for years and years. It’s one of the origional ones that started this whole writing thing. It’s one of the few ideas that won’t go away. I will develop it once I have learned a bit more story crafting. I have so much to write and the time? Limited to the point of other ideas coming on strong while I haven’t yet started on the other big ones. Too much. I really feel good vibes from most of them. This one is a biggie for me. The above is a brief condensed moment in my protagonist’s life of science slavery. But what makes my character’s story so unique is not so much what’s in this story, but what the world I built, that you really haven’t seen, can bring to his abilities. (Picture credit: Mine!)