Manual for Bureaucracy – Friday Fictioneers

Step in line for a summer rerun. Thanks as always to our splendid host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s photo was provided by Sandra Crook. Thank you, Sandra. If you haven’t read Sandra’s stories, you simply must.

Enjoy! It’s time to go look for Pokemon.

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PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

(99 words)

Manual for Bureaucracy

1. File in, collect a number, determine destination.
2. Sit down, complete paperwork, wait to be called.
3. Talk to the hole in the glass, return paperwork.
4. Wait.
5. Talk to the glass; learn you need a Specialist.
6. Repeat Step 2, add paperwork.
7. Walk through long, white corridor. Hint: Turn left, left, right, no left. Just follow the red tape.
8. Repeat Steps 1 and 4.
9. Talk to the Assistant who talks to the Specialist.
10 Repeat Step 2.
11. Learn it is the wrong Specialist.
12. Repeat 2, 4, and 9.
13. Take multiple flights of stairs. Hint: Follow the red tape if you’re lost.
14. Read the sign: Sorry. We’re closed. Come back tomorrow.

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A Momentary Lapse in the Fun House – Flash Fiction

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My leg cramped from sitting at a table with too many people. Our chairs bumping into one another and an occasional knee brushed mine. I could smell the mustard on the leftover sandwiches permeating the stale air of the conference room where we gathered before the start of a semester to discuss budget guidelines and tweak our educational plans from the year before. The sandwiches always smelled and here they were, right on schedule, smelling again. They really needed to refrigeration immediately.

My eyes shifted from the clock to moving lips, clock to beads of sweat and foul body odor, the smell of crusty, dirty socks causing me to tune out periodically. My aesthetics proving most critical when I had the least control over them.

Students can’t get their classes. Poor Jake here had a line out the door last semester. Students even brought their lawn chairs. Isn’t that right, Jake? Jake?

“Huh. Oh, yeah. Right. That did happen,” I mumbled and cleared my throat.

I bet the chicks dig you, that must be it. Larry panned into my face, all nose, smiling from ear to ear. I felt nauseous and the room tipped from side to side. Throughout Larry wouldn’t go away.

I turned my head toward the door, wanting to dash with no one noticing. Trouble was, everyone stared at me, their faces etched in stone, as if I had the winning answer to the billion dollar question. I tried to hide my temporary lapse of daydreaming.

“What?”

“Tell us how you do it, Jake.” Larry pressed, as if challenging me.

“Well, Larry, it’s just that my class makes everyone feel like an expert. They take my class to try to impress their friends. It always happens in an election year. They want to talk politics. Let me tell you something, my class is not politics. It’s not! It’s government, which is different.” I slammed my palms on the table, not realizing how worked up I was getting.

“Of course, Jake,” said Marla, the Instructional Dean at the helm. “Thank you for sharing.”

Larry’s smile faded and he popped up to help himself to a warm sandwich.

More mumbling and shifting of paper, sorted and passed. A stack of paper landed in front of me with a thud. The little hand on the clock jumped a whole hour or I may have napped, let my head fall. Drool escaped from the side of my mouth, a promising indicator that sleep did occur.

“I’m sorry. What was the question?”

“Your educational plan, Jake. If you’re done with it, you can set it right here.” Marla patted the stack.

“Sure.” I hadn’t looked at the thing since last year.

Manual for Bureaucracy – Friday Fictioneers

Manual for Bureaucracy

1. File in, collect a number, determine destination.
2. Sit down, complete paperwork, wait to be called.
3. Talk to the hole in the glass, return paperwork.
4. Wait.
5. Talk to the glass; learn you need a Specialist.
6. Repeat Step 2, add paperwork.
7. Walk through long, white corridor. Hint: Turn left, left, right, no left. Just follow the red tape.
8. Repeat Steps 1 and 4.
9. Talk to the Assistant who talks to the Specialist.
10 Repeat Step 2.
11. Learn it is the wrong Specialist.
12. Repeat 2, 4, and 9.
13. Take multiple flights of stairs. Hint: Follow the red tape if you’re lost.
14. Read the sign: Sorry. We’re closed. Come back tomorrow.

*********************************

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for her dedication and leadership to this group. If you would like to give it a try, visit her Addicted to Purple blog for instructions. Thanks to Sandra Crook for the photo today. I like this one a lot.

I tried a little something new today. I’m not sure it qualifies as a story. Tell me how you feel at the end of this. Thanks for reading.

Click here for more stories from the talented Fictioneers.

Genre: Humor (99 words)

Copyright – Sandra Crook