Bridges #WEPFF Challenge No. 5 featuring unknown title #amwriting #flashfiction

So, I’m on vacation and totally forgot to schedule this post. Also, I started working on it a few days ago and then forgot about it being too busy celebrating birthday month and working on a new blog project. This piece is unfinished and unpolished. My plan is to turn the segments into journal entries, but as you can see, I have a long way to go.

Well, all in all, I don’t think this is my worst work, but it shouldn’t be too bad. I look forward to seeing the other entries and thank Denise Covey and Yolanda Renée for yet, another, great challenge.

~
Unknown Title

Figie’s all the time going on about things as if he knows what he’s saying, but everyone knows he just hears things and repeats’em. I guess this time around, Figie heard something that no one wanted him to go around repeat’n.

So, here we are, running for our lives. Well, he’s running for his life and I’m trying to help’em, but as soon as others realize I’m help’n em, I’ll too be on the run. Been traveling by night and hold’n up during the day. Too many folks round here so dependent on solar power that life pretty much comes to a standstill come night fall. Sure folks use lunar power a bit, but none bother much to go out when everything inside is all lit up like it’s still daytime.

I hoarded a bunch of portable recharging batteries a few years back in case I ever decided to leave town and do some adventure walk’n. Folks just don’t adventure walk like they used to. I member people laughing at me for wasting space on old tech that probably wouldn’t work, but who’s laugh’n now?

I’m pretty much doing everything on my own to keep me and Figie alive. He’s a complete wreck; shake’n and twitch’n all the time. Spect’n someone to come punch’n out of the dark and kill’em in his tracks. Crazy thing is, after explain’n the situation, Figie hasn’t said another word. I have no idea what he heard that’s got folks com’n after’em.

Soon well be reach’n Pillar Peak. I figure, we could hold up there for a good while. One way up, no way down, and too cold for most to live. With us charging our batteries during the day and keeping a fire going all the time, we should be able to get by.

Food shouldn’t be a problem wit the way the fowls dip and dive all around. Most times you can’t even see the exact point of Pillar Peak ‘cause of all the swarm’n fowl. Wit the collapsible dome we been using for shelter and my skills with a sling, we’ll be just fine for a while.

Well, it’s been a full Lunar since we bunkered at Pillar Peak and not a soul’s come look’n for us. I’m thinking maybe Figie’s done lost it. It was fun for a while. Got to go on that adventure walk I always been talk’n bout, but now what. Just catch’n fowl, keep’n the fire, and sleep’n. Tonight Figie’s gonna tell me what this is all about or I’m break’n camp and head’n back wit or wit out’em.

Holy walk’n spirits are we in a terrible mash. No one’s come look’n yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Stupid Figie, hang’n around gathering other folks knowledge instead of learn’n his own. What a fool. To think he once had me believe’n you didn’t need to bother wit read’n and learn’n if you just pay attention to other folk. “Other folk,” he’d say, “they’ll teach ya e’er thing ya need to know, if ya just listen and be patient.” So, what happens when you learn something you don’t want to know… I’ll tell ya. You run for your life.

Stupid Figie. Hanging around the High Lord Scholars, all the time trying to sound smarter than anybody would believe him to be, found out where the Bridge is. Heck, he found out that it’s actually real. I mean, no one goes looking for the Bridge no matter how much wonder and power might be instore, ‘cause no one actually thinks it’s real. But foo on me, it’s real and Figie knows where it is. And they know he knows.

Now I’m twitch’n day and night just like Figie. He’s at least come back to his senses a bit and his help’n out. We’re alternating sentry duties. I’m still hunting all the grub, but he’s cook’n it and clean’n up after. Don’t really matter. Our nerves are so on edge, every pound we put on, we shake off in nerves. We won’t make it to the frost season; not up here. We gonna have to leave, but that’ll probably get us caught and killed. Seems no matter what we do or don’t do, we’re head’n to the Endless Ferry.

~

714 WIP- unkown title 2017 Copyright © Toinette J. Thomas
Seeking full critique.



Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Back of the Drawer #WEPFF Challenge No. 4 featuring “He Knew It; I Knew It” #amwriting #flashfiction

Surprise, surprise, I waited to the last minute, but here it is. Hope you like it.

He Knew It; I Knew It

No one saw what happened, but I did.

He knows I saw, but he doesn’t care. He knows I have no voice and he knows about my spells. He knows no one would believe me even if they did take the time read my handwritten statement with is childlike lettering.

I can’t help being what I am. I was born this way. I can’t help that sleep doesn’t always come so easy for me. And I can’t help that I was out digging for worms to put in my tank the night Larry turned dangerous.

It had just stopped raining and the ground was soft and sponging. The perfect time to pluck out worms, causing them little harm, and the perfect time to drag a body around. One sweep of the garden hose and the evidence would disappear with all the other mud and leaves that the rain washed away.

I tried to hide myself as he passed by, huffing and straining against the heft of the body. He never would have seen me had I remained behind the bush, but something caught my eye and I could ignore it. I ran out and scooped it up. That’s when he grabbed me by my hair and pulled me to my feet.

Tears ran down my face and my fists clenched in agony. When looked into my eyes and saw my silent scream, he dared to chuckle, but quickly silenced himself. He dropped me to the ground. “No one can hear your scream, stupid mute girl. No one will come to your rescue if I end you right here.”

I curled in the fetal position and protected my jar of worms from the point of his boot. Vomit spewed from my mouth when the blow hit my stomach. He ran for the hose and sprayed the evidence away, dousing me just for fun.

He walked to put the hose away as I rocked in my cradle of protection, hoping this was the end of my pain. Hoping that he’d simply kill me or leave me there to pass out. When I heard birds chirping and sensed a brightness behind my lids, I knew he’d spared me.

I opened my eyes to let the sun burn away my sleepiness. I could hear the morning nurse, Samone, screaming for help as her heavy feet thudded toward me. “Oh Clara. Oh Clara, what are you doing out here? Are you hurt? You’ll catch your death.”

She tossed a blanket over me and rubbed my head. Soon Terence followed and scooped me up. “What happened Miss Samone?”

“I don’t know. Looks like she was collecting worms again.”
“I’m sorry I wasn’t on duty last night.” Terence winked at me and slowed his pace as he turned a corner, so as not to bang my head. “I never would have let this happened if I had been.”

Samone was livid. “Don’t know if you could have stopped her. This one is stubborn. Seems the harder I try to keep her safe, the more harm she causes herself.”

Terence placed me down on a cot and two more nurses rushed in to tend to my cleaning and injuries. One of them called out, “Go get her note pad. See if she can tell us what happened.”

Terence began to step out of the room, but I kicked my feet and shook my head. I stared at him, willing him to look my way. He paused a moment, leaning his head as if baffled by my sudden outburst. Then he looked me in the eyes.

I blinked as fast as I could and extended the jar still wrapped in my arms. Terence smiled at me and stepped forward. “It’s okay Clara. I’ll put them in your room.” He slid the jar out of my hand and I exhaled. “Get better so you can take care of these little guys.”

After Terence left, a note pad was shoved into my hands as my soiled clothes were ripped away and warm soapy water washed across my skin. Samone grasped my hand, “Clara, tell us what happened.” Despite her strict rules and military-like marching about, Samone really did care about each and every one of her patients. I hated to see her so worried over me. I was happy to tell her exactly what had happened, but then he walked past the exam room.

He stood there, outside the window, with a broom in his hand pretending to clean the floors. I couldn’t stop myself from reacting. I flinched and kicked my feet again. Samone became agitated with not having the answers she sought. Leaving the other nurses to finish my clean up, she ran out the room and retuned shortly with a needle. It was time for me to calm down whether I want to or not.

After I was calm and fully treated, Samone asked me again what happened. Again he was there, outside the window of my room. Surely his shift was over. Did no one else wonder why the Larry, the night custodian was still hanging around? Under his scrutiny, I couldn’t tell the truth.

I wrote slowly, “I fell on the ground and hit a rock.”

Samone rubbed my head, clearly blinking to hold back tears. “You were collecting worms, weren’t you?”

I shook my head.

“Why, why do that alone in the middle of the night? What if you had an episode and suffocated in the mud?”

I nodded my head, “I couldn’t sleep. I’m sorry.”

After a while, Samone left me to attend to other patients. Larry walked by my room few more times that day before finally heading home. A week went by and Larry was starting to act smug, no doubt thinking no one would ever find out. None of the other nurses or staff could explain why Gail had stopped coming to work, but she was new and they all agreed that this wasn’t the right job for every nurse.

One Saturday afternoon I convinced Terence to play cards with me in the kitchen. We programmed my communication board to say ‘go fish’ and “you got any…”, then all I had to do is hold up the card I wanted. Terence and I had played the game a lot and figured a single suit of cards for me to use as choice options was the best way to go.

As we played, Ron the handy man came through to fix one of the drawers that had gotten stuck at some point during the week. It held all the specialty utensils for grilling, and with family day coming up, we’d surely need those.

Only partially paying attention to my game, I watched Ron out the corner of the eyes as he banged on the drawer trying to loosen it. Finally, the drawer snapped out and fell to the floor with a crash. Then Ron yelp.

“Oh my God!”

Terence was already on his feet, standing in front of me protectively. “What it is Ron?”

“Look what’s in the back of the drawer.”

Terence patted my shoulder and then stepped toward the drawer. Just then Samone and Larry came rushing in from the hallway, each just starting their evening shift. There it was; even with the sparkly new engagement ring missing, the moon shaped birthmark gave it away.

Terence yelled, “I think it’s Gail’s finger. Gail’s finger is in the back of the drawer.”

Samone covered her mouth and gasped. She blinked a few times and then pulled out her cell phone. “I’m calling the cops. I hope no one here has anything to hide.”

Larry stared daggers into the back of my head, but I didn’t bother turning around to look at him. He knew I’d done it; just like I knew he’d done it.

1306 words – He Knew It; I Knew It © Toinette J. Thomas 2017



Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Gardens #WEPFF Challenge No. 3 featuring We are Jardin #amwriting #flashfiction

Gardens inspire me in so many ways. I’ve included gardens in my other works so many times including my Eternal Curse Series and other short stories such as Our Place. I actually wrote three different stories in preparation for this challenge, but I couldn’t keep my word count down or limit my story lines to tell the whole story I wanted to tell. Finally, I gave up and decided to simply share part of a story. The sample below is the introduction to a fantasy adventure that still exceeds the word count a bit. Oh well.

~

“Agent Trence Howard to see Professor Jardin,” announced the short round woman with chestnut skin. She pulled from her front blazer pocket a folded booklet of identification and smirked impatiently.

The clerk glared up at her through his glasses and sighed. He reached for the booklet and responded, “So you are. You are Agent Howard, and let’s face it, pretty darn lucky.”

Trence pocketed her identification back into her red blazer and clicked her matching heels together. “Is there going to be a problem here?”

“Oh no; no problem here.”

The clerk stepped away from his desk and pointed down a long hall leading into darkness. Trence nodded her head and then followed behind him quietly. Her red heels had no reason to clink at this time.

“What makes you think I’m so lucky anyway?” The clerk paused a moment to look Trence in the eyes and then turned to continue down the hall.

“You do realize that you’ll be the first to enter the professor’s private quarters? I mean, you must realize there has to be a reason why you had to get a letter from the judge in order to force your way in there.”

“I did what I had to. As long as the professor has nothing to hide, there shouldn’t be any problems.”

This time, the clerk stopped without turning. “You can find it from here. It’s the only door at the end.” Trence sighed and lifted her skirt, letting her heels express her annoyance. After a few steps, the clerk called out. “We all know he has something to hide, but some of us trust he has his reasons for hiding it.” Trence didn’t respond as she marched forward.

The hall seemed to narrow and grow cool. Moisture lingered in the air with a sweet fragrance, like a mist of rose water. Soon the floor seemed to soften. Try as she might, her heels had been quieted by the cushion beneath her. Just ahead the shape of a door could just be made out in the silhouette of light streaming from behind it.

Hands shaking Trence scolded herself, You are an agent of the High Court; nothing will happen to you here without dire consequences. She grasped the handle of the door and took a deep breath as she plunged forward.

Tripping on an odd green wire, Trence fell forward, dropping the booklet she’d placed in her hand as she opened the door. Expecting to hit the floor hard, Trence was surprised to end up in the arms of a tall thin man with a scruffy beard and emerald-green eyes.

“I’m so sorry to barge in like this. I didn’t mean to make such a scene.”

“Well, this is quite a surprise. I assume you are from the High Court. I must say, I was expecting a man.”

“Of course, you were; everyone expects me to be a man. In any case, I’m here to inspect your work in order to find answers concerning your achievements in biochemistry.” Trence straighten herself and dusted off her skirt. The button of her blazer had popped off and it made her feel a bit vulnerable, but she wasn’t going to let the thin man know that.

“Straight down to business, are we? Shouldn’t we at least have introductions?” The tall man bowed and extended his hand. “I’m Professor Jardin.”

Trence patted around in search of her identification, ignoring his extended hand, and then huffed. “I seem to have miss placed my credentials, but I assure you, I am Agent Howard and we should be getting straight down to business. I understand you keep a garden and a laboratory, aside from your exclusive collection of books.”

“You mean my library?”

Trence blinked. “Sure, your library. I assume this is it we are in now. Should I begin by cataloging the books?”

“I don’t know if you should handle the books; they are so rare and delicate. Surely they can’t be of any real importance.”

“Perhaps Professor, but that’s for me to decide. I can at least discover what the books are about and list them alphabetically.” Trence looked beyond the floral-toned book bindings, taking in the smell of fresh moss and a subtle trickle of water. “Is your garden nearby?”

The professor smiled and the corner of his eyes sparkled. Trence shook her head thinking she was seeing a glare, but from where she didn’t know. “Yes, the garden is near. This is such fun. I think you may actually figure it out before long.”

“Figure what out. How exactly is this fun for you, Jardin? Don’t you understand that your life’s work is under investigation?”

“Of course, I understand, but soon you’ll be wondering why, now of all times, I am being investigated.”

“It’s not for me to wonder why. I’m here to collect data for the initial hearings. That’s all. So, now, please where is the garden, where is your lab, and where do you actually work? You must have an office; at least a desk.”

“I have all of those things and more. It’s all here. Look around and open your eyes.”

Trence pursed her lips and pushed air through her nostrils. Of course, the only female agent in the Court gets stuck working the cuckoo case.  “Please just tell me what I want to know so we can move this along.”

Professor Jardin stepped toward Trence and begin to speak when something caught his attention. He shook his head and closed his eyes. “Professor, what are you doing? It seemed like you were going to say something.”

Jardin kept his eyes closed but begin to turn his head from side to side. “Ah, it seems we’ve found your missing credentials and a red button. Are you missing a red button?”

Trence looked around briefly and then stared at the professor with his eyes closed. “Yes, I had a red button.”

Jardin lifted his head and opened his bold emerald eyes. “That’s good because they are right behind you.”

Slowly, Trence began to turn around, clenching her fist and wondering why she was letting this man get to her. Before she completed her turn a wall of vines took her breath away. It wasn’t there a moment ago and yet it was a wall, lush green cords and orange buds, some hanging from the unseen ceiling and others shooting up from the mossy floor. Her credentials and button rested neatly in a nest of leathery leaves emerging from the surrounding foliage.

Without turning back to the professor, Trence eeked out, “Who exactly are we?”

~

1099 words- We are Jardin 2016 Copyright © Toinette J. Thomas

Seeking full critique.

On a separate note, I’m seeking reviewers for an anthology I did not contribute to. See my review here. Click the image below to learn more.
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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Youthful Frights vs Adult Fears #WEPFF Challenge No. 2 featuring Dolls & Eternal Curse Series #amwriting #amreading #movie

Well, I’d like to start off by saying, Happy Birthday to Me! That’s right. I’m the big 3 5 today and not ashamed one bit. Reaching 35 years of age unscathed, non-committed, non-incarcerated, and non-impoverished is something to be happy and proud about. I am blessed to have lived another year, simply put.

Now let’s talk about childhood fears…

When I was a kid (and let’s be honest, even now sometimes) I collected stuffed animals and toys. I wasn’t much into dolls, but where my sister had Barbie I had G.I. Joe. I did, however, love teddy bears. One year for my sister’s birthday, my parents decided she could have a sleepover and pick out three movies to watch, and one could be something none G or PG as long as they approved it first. I still to this day don’t know how she got this movie passed them, but I think it had something to do with the title.

Now at that time, I was nine years old (turning 10 in four months) and my sister was turning 12. She picked this movie thinking it would be corny and not really scary. Ha. I was the only one out of her bunch of friends to actually finish watching it, which I still regret to this day. I wasn’t even supposed to be at the party, not that I wasn’t invited, but I wasn’t interested in all the girly stuff that happened before the movie watching began. In a rare instance of kindness, back then (she’s lovely now), my sister gathered me from my room to watch the movies because she knew how much I enjoyed films; even at that age I knew more trivia than all the adults around me.

So, what all this boils down to is that after watching the movie, I realized that I needed to find a place to sleep. My room was out of the question. Every toy and doll in that freakish scary movie was in my bedroom along with dozens more. I’m pretty sure I remember waking up in the bathroom tub to the sound of my mom yelling, “What did you do to your sister?”

I’ve watched this movie since and it’s not nearly as scary, but still very creepy … Who makes these movies!

ECGAfront-png

I find dreams to be nerve-wracking sometimes. When it’s a good dream you don’t want to wake up from it and when it’s a bad dream that’s all you want to do. I don’t throw around the word hate a lot, but I hate it when I’m having a bad dream and I can’t wake up from it, even though I know it’s not real. I can’t stand that sense of helplessness, of not being able to do anything about my situation. It’s like being mugged or trapped. That’s my adult fear and I used that idea to write the following passage. Not sure if I quite captured the sense of desperation I wanted.

Looking for general feedback here. Even though this piece has been published, the beauty of self-publishing is that I can update my work anytime I choose. 😉

~

     He looked down toward the ground and saw an attractive young woman carrying a large pail into a barn. Her skin was freckled and pale, and she had rosy cheeks. Her hair was long and straight, and it was black like the night. She seemed so familiar to him, but he didn’t know her. Giovanni watched as the young woman filled feeding troughs with water to be cleaned. As she reached for a scrubbing brush, Giovanni could see that someone or something was following her. He sensed that trouble was on the way. He tried to call out to her, but she could not hear him. His voice made no sound. Giovanni left the tree and swooped down to the ground to achieve a closer look.

     There he saw a creeping perpetrator bouncing from beam to beam in the rafters of the barn. Drool slipped from the monster’s mouth while it hovered over the unknowing young woman. Giovanni tried to fly up to see this fiendish stalker, but he couldn’t lift his feet off the ground, and his wings would not flap. Giovanni knew something bad would happen, he could feel it in his heart, but it seemed he could do nothing to stop it. He did not understand. Why was this happening? How could he appear to be so powerful, be so angelic, and not be able to help someone in need?

     Giovanni refused to give up his pursuit. He pushed his body forward and moved from door to door, and window to window, trying to get in to warn and protect the young woman. Looking through a window, Giovanni finally saw the villain’s full horror. He established a clear vision of the attacker as it leaped down from the ceiling toward the woman. It was the most hideous monster he’d ever seen, much worse than his own reflection.

     A twisted and mangled troll with charcoal for skin on a hairless body stalked about. It had empty holes carved out of its skull where eyes once were. There were two large dull spikes protruding from its hunched back, where it looked as though wings had been violently ripped from its body. Its hands were made of jagged bones held together with rotting ligaments, and its feet crackled as it moved along the floor.

     In the troll’s hands were two long golden rods that whipped back and forth almost like lassos. Each rod was attached to the end of a large iron spike that punched through the shoulders of a young man’s dying body. The rods held up the young man’s body as though he were a puppet being pulled by strings. To the young woman, however, the troll simply appeared as a shadowy figure lingering around the painfully disturbed and ailing young man moving toward her.

     The troll maneuvered the young man’s body around the girl for attack, delivering blow after blow.  The monster had taken over this young man’s body; it was using him as a weapon to attack this poor girl for what seemed to be the sheer enjoyment of it. It laughed a loud cackle as it threw the girl down to the ground, tearing her raggedy dress. Giovanni could see the girl’s anguish and could hear her screams. Throbbing empathetic pain consumed him in every place the girl was struck, but Giovanni could do nothing to stop it.

     Giovanni began to cry out, weeping and sobbing. He tried to look away and he tried to get away, but he couldn’t. That’s when it began to happen. He became consumed with anger and hatred. Giovanni’s body grew hot and began to sizzle. Smoke and steam began to rise up from his body as his wondrous glow began to fade and he became shrouded in darkness. Everything around him began to catch fire as he began morphing into anger. The smell of burning wood and flesh assaulted his tortured senses and Giovanni knew he was changing.

Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel 4th Ed. Copyright © 2015 Toinette Thomas

Since it’s my birthday and it’s the season of spooky, the EC: Giovanni’s Angel ebook will be on sale for 99₵ the next few days. Check it out if interested and be sure to visit other stops on this challenge hop.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Friday Fiction: ToiBox Edition No. 006 #fridayreads (luck, office, couple, whistle)

So, I’m a little late. It’s still technically Friday where I am, so here goes noth’n.

fridayfiction

Prompt # Prompt #343693121
Topic/Theme: luck | Location/Setting: office
Character(s): couple(s) | Object(s): whistle | Action: NA | Random Additive: NA

F5

I think I want … a … candy bar. Yeah, let’s try … F5.

Ben looked up and noticed Sam staring at him from around the corner. “Hey Sam, what’s up?”

“I don’t think you ought to be using that machine, Ben,” stated Sam while looking around nervously.

“Why not? It’s here and I’m hungry.”

“Ben, I’m telling you, that machine isn’t normal. You don’t want anything out of it. Just go down to the second floor like everyone else.”

“Sam, why exactly is this machine here, if everyone uses the one downstairs? What’s wrong with this one? Eats everyone’s money and never puts out?”

Sam stepped forward slightly, waving his hand for Ben to move towards him. “You don’t know the half of it. Please, don’t put any money in that.”

“Too late, it already has my money.”

Sam stomped his foot. “Let it go. Leave it behind. I’ll buy you something downstairs.”

Two weeks later Ben was pulling a late shift trying to complete a special project that would be presented to the managers the next day. Ben was glad the floor manager’s assistant had taken pity on him and stayed to help him out. He was still the new guy on the cube block and everyone was waiting to see if he really had ‘what it takes’ to make it at the firm.

Shirley yawned and stretched as she returned from the copy room. “Man, we have at least another hour of this and I’ve already burn off my dinner.”

Ben jumped up, “I got you covered. Anything you want out of the vending machine is yours?”

“Wow you really know how to thrill a girl, don’t you?” Ben slumped his shoulders and Shirley sighed. “Oh, Ben. I was just kidding. Something from the vending machine would be great.”

He perked up. “Great, what would you like?”

“Feel like making two stops?”

“Sure, but why?”

“There are no drinks on the second floor and the one on this floor is on the other side of the block.”

“It might be a little bit more walking, but I wouldn’t call it two stops. I’ll get your drink them come back get your snack around the corner.”

Shirley’s mouth dropped open and she stared at him for a moment. “You’re not going down to the second floor vending machine?”

“I wasn’t going to unless what you want isn’t available in the one here.”

Shirley took a few steps back. “You haven’t been using that machine, have you?”

Ben sighed. “Not yet, but what’s the big deal … If it’s that crappy, why keep it around.”

“No one told you about the vending machine? It’s bad luck.”

It was Ben’s turn to drop his mouth open. “Are you serious? No one uses that vending machine because it’s bad luck?”

Shirley fidgeted. “Well, not all the time. Every now and then, it grants someone good luck, but it’s an awful big risk to take.”

Ben started to walk away towards the aisle. “Fine, I’ll go down to the second floor.”

“Maybe I should come with you.”

“Seriously, I’m not going to try to trick you and give you ‘bad luck’.” Ben’s use of finger quotes didn’t ease Shirley’s mind. It was clear that he didn’t believe her, but she decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Two weeks later Ben was moving into his new office. He was the first cubie to be promoted to an Assistant Manager’s position in only a month. Now he even had legitimate access to the managerial assistants and often had lunch with Shirley. Though they tried to remain low-key, everyone knew they were a couple. As long as he wasn’t her manager it wasn’t a problem, but they often discussed her transferring to another department in case he got promoted again.

One late evening, Sam returned to the office to pick up a file he meant to work on over the weekend and noticed Ben’s office light on. He went in to say hi, but Ben wasn’t there. He heard a strange sound around the corner and followed it. As he approached the lounge he recognized the sound of a vending machine taking money and ran. “Noooo!”

Ben jumped back and shouted. “What’s the matter with you, scaring me like that?”

“You’ve been using the machine haven’t you? That’s how you got that promotion…It won’t last you know.”

Ben caught his breath. “I’m not using it, I’m just feeding it. I thought you all were crazy at first but then my life started getting so good, I couldn’t risk it all going bad.”

Sam stepped into the lounge but kept his distance from the machine. “What do you mean, you’re just feeding it.”

“I never make a selection. I just put in the money and think about what I want. I’ve actually lost about eight pounds not eating the stuff I want. Add to that my new promotion, my sweet lady, and the reduction in my rent, I’ll keep feeding this thing as long as it’ll take my money.”

Sam smiled, “So you cracked it. You figured out a way to beat it or maybe you figured out a way to please it.”

Ben shook his head. “Yeah I guess, but I still feel like I’m treading on thin ice. Anyway, you want to give it a try?”

Sam backed up. “No, I’m good. I don’t believe in messing around with luck. I’ll just keep my life simple and predictable.”

Two weeks later, Shirley can down from the director’s office to meet Ben for lunch. He was breaking in his new office and assistant. After showing her around and introducing her to Shirley, he bid her farewell to go off to lunch.

Having just started a few hours ago, Margie wasn’t really hungry but was eager to dive into her new duties. After about a half hour, she became restless. There was plenty to do, but most of the managers and assistants had gone off to lunch and she wasn’t feeling motivated. She decided to visit the lounge to seek out a simple snack.

She walked up to the vending machine and almost pressed her face against the glass since she’s left her glasses at her desk. Leaning forward, she extended her hand to brace herself and accidently pressed a few buttons, unknowingly making a selection. Just then the rack on row F5 begin to turn moving a chocolate bar forward. When the bar dropped to the bottom of the tray, Margie looked around and considered whether or not she should take it. She hadn’t paid for it; heck she hadn’t even selected it, but there it was.

A few moments later, Annie, the file clerk came into the lounge to get a cup of coffee. In the middle of the floor lay some woman she’d never seen with a candy bar in her hands. Annie dropped her coffee cup, pulled out her whistle, and began to blow. She ran up and down the aisles of the cube block blowing her whistle. People were scattering about, jumping into action as though this drill had been practiced before.

When Ben arrived back to his office five minutes late another manager was waiting for him. Ben pulled at his tie and approached with caution. “Say Norman, what’s going on? Did I miss a meeting? Parking was terrible out there today.”

Norman approached Ben and extended his hand. The two men shook and then Norman spoke. “Ben I hate to be the one to lay this on you, but you’re being transferred. I know how much you like it here; don’t worry, it’s not a demotion in anyway. The guys upstairs just feel like an up and comer like you needs to be in a division with some real growth potential.”

Ben sighed with relief. “Well that’s fine, that’s great. I was afraid it was bad news.”

“Oh no, not at all. You’re solid as a rock around here Ben.”

“Great, but what about my new assistant? Is she coming with me?”

“No, she’s already been informed of the blunder. She never should have started here today. She’s also being reassigned.”

“Oh, well. Seems like a lot went down while I was away to lunch.”

Norman patted Ben on the back and looked over his shoulder out the window, facing the cube block and winked. “You don’t know the half of it son.”

1,407 words

September ?, 2015 – Prompt #1563136199
Topic/Theme: fashion | Location/Setting: jungle
Character(s): NA| Object(s): bug | Action: NA | Random Additive: ink/paint

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