The joy of the flash fiction challenge rolls around again and despite being a little later than normal, I’m raring to go. Chuck commands us to click on this link here to generate five random military operation names.
Choose one of them for a title and then write my piece of flash fiction. I clicked, and the gods of chaos gave me the following…
- Operation: Beaming Privet Bush
- Operation: Smouldering Industry
- Operation: Ejaculating Bear
- Operation: Destructive Beaver
- Operation: Nerve Wracking God
It has to be said there was a large part of me wanting to write the tale of the ejaculating bear or the destructive beaver, but my brain just didn’t want to go that way. So instead, I used ‘Nerve Wracking God’.
Anyway, I hope you like it and you feel it’s worth a little ol’ comment.
Flash Fiction: Nerve Wracking God
‘Knock Knock!’ Brian said poking his head round the door into Terry’s office. Terry was laying back, facing the ceiling and spinning on his chair. ‘Ah, Terry. Perfect.’ Brian continued ‘I’m glad you’re here, there’s something I need to discuss with you.’ Terry stopped spinning on his chair, and looked expectantly at his visitor.
Terry sighed, and stopped himself spinning. ‘Sure, what can I do for you?’
‘Well it’s come to my attention that you’ve not being hitting your targets over the past few months. Is there something wrong?’
‘Hmmm?’ Terry looked up. ‘No no, everything’s fine.’
‘I see? Well your output has been a lot lower and the quality of your work is well below your usual standard.’
‘Don’t know what to tell you, boss.’
‘Ok’ Brian sat down in the chair opposite. ‘Terry? How long have you been with us? Four, five…’
‘Six centuries.’ Terry interrupted.
‘Six centuries, and you’ve done some great stuff; some timeless stuff. There’s things out there you created centuries ago, that are still just as goddamn annoying today as they were then. Waiting for a kettle you haven’t turned on yet, the solitary spoon left in the washing up bowl, 1970’s novelty records. These are the type of irritations you’re capable of.’
‘Yeah, I have a knack for annoying people’ Terry said with a sigh.
‘You do, but your recent attempts have been disappointing to say the least. What was your last submission?’
Terry cleared his throat ‘Accidentally buying more fish than you’d want and being unable to exchange them.’
‘Do you see my point, Terry? That’s rather confusing and only slightly annoying, in fact in certain circumstances people may actually be pleasantly surprised by owning more fish than they’d paid for. Your job is to make things irritating. What are you working on now?’
Terry gave an embarrassed smile ‘Finding an extra box of ice-cream hidden at the back of the freezer.’
‘What? How is that…? Why?’ Brian stammered.
‘Well, you eat the ice-cream and feel better about bad stuff that might have happened.’
‘Feeling Better? We’re not in the business of making people feel better or pleasantly surprised, and certainly not happy.’ Brian spat out the word happy as if it had stuck in his throat. ‘You will never get promoted to Lust or Wrath or any of the major divisions in this company until you can prove you have an aptitude for people-management.’
‘Why do we always have to do the bad things, like making people angry, sad or upset, why can’t we be the nice guys for a change? 600 years I’ve been doing this, and I don’t even get any credit. Everyone keeps blaming Murphy’s law. Murphy works in Accounting not Legal for goddamn sake; it’s not even the same department.’
Brian straightened his tie and sighed, reclining back in his chair.
‘I don’t think this is going to work?’ Terry mumbled without looking up.
‘Indeed, I think we are going to have to look for other opportunities for you. I really shouldn’t do this, and if Mr Bub asks about this, you’re gonna have to lie. One minute’. Brian took out a small mobile phone from his inside pocket, flipped it open and tapped a few keys. Terry could hear the phone ringing a couple of times before a voice answered.
‘Hey David, How are you?… Great thanks…. You still looking for someone to run that department?… Perfect. .. What’s he like? A natural, he shows real feelings of pity and guilt towards people. He sounds perfect… Ha ha exactly. Brilliant, I owe you one… later’.
Terry waited for Brian to shut his phone and return it to his inside pocket. It looks like it’s your lucky day. I know one of the exec’s in a rival company, we’ve been bowling buddies for decades, and he’s looking for someone to head up their Guilt department, you interested?’
‘Guilt, I thought that was our area and doesn’t it make people feel bad?’
‘It’s one of our few exports. They’ve had a real run on guilt this year, so they must need a whole department to manage it. Guilt makes you feel bad, sure but people usually do good things afterwards to try to compensate so you’ll be helping people feel good.
‘Then goddamn it, I’ll be there.’
‘You start tomorrow at 8:00, wear something white and you’d best watch your language.’
‘Thank you, god thank you.’ Terry shook Brian’s hand vigorously and paced around the office.
Brian stood up, and walked out of Terry’s office leaving him bouncing around the room.
Ring Ring, Brian took out his cell phone and answered it.
‘Mr Bub, Morning, what can I… What? How did you…? I’m sorry sir, but Terry wasn’t… We play golf together… No sir, I have complete confidence… Yes sir. No sir. I’ll be down right away.’
Brian clicked off his cell-phone and returned it to his inside pocket. He straightened his tie, stood up straight and started the long walk to his bosses office.