Posts Tagged ‘shock value’

Flash Fiction Month #3, Episode 1: Malicious Noncompliance

Flash Fiction Month is back… …again! I’m sticking with the last two years’ rules. Each month’s posts will be a self-contained story, most likely of about the usual 400-500 word length. I make no guarantees of subject, style, or anything else. You can read last year’s installments here.

Monday, 11:31 AM. I always like to clean the men’s restroom before the big lunch time rush. Can you imagine a horde of jocks stampeding the facilities, stumbling over themselves to get to the toilets before they become toilets, only to find that some hung over executive had a little too much hair of the dog and has filled a stall with his… well…

Okay, perhaps I should be honest with you. My challenges as a janitor in the Winnebago Building go above and beyond what my fellow travelers in the sanitation industry have to deal with. Still, I like the challenge – it keeps me busy and gives me an opportunity to exercise the power and responsibility my supplies give me. In that spirit, I head into the restroom to make everything shine… and the first thing I see is a clogged toilet disgorging filthy water all over the floor. Someone’s stuffed nearly half a roll of toilet paper into the bowl! I have a philosophy when it comes to using such quantities of paper – flush early, flush often, pay your penance when the water bill comes. You do not try to see how much the system can handle in one go.

This is, in fact, the fourth time this has happened in this cell this week. It’s not my duty to name and shame whoever’s abusing the fixtures, but I can at least hope to educate the people I serve. As part of my supplies, I keep a pen, paper, and some clear tape so I can leave messages as necessary. How does this one go again?

“Please stop flushing so much toilet paper in one go! If you need to use a lot of toilet paper, then flush multiple times in order to prevent the pipes from backing up. Thank you.”

I find appending pleasantries at the end usually improves compliance. Usually. There are some exceptions. I return to the men’s restroom the next day and open the door for the first round of morning cleaning, only to find a veritable wall of white rushing towards me-

It took me a second to put it together – this is toilet paper! A heck of a lot of it, too! A quantity of toilet paper so enormous that it’s buried me up to my knees and jammed the door open in the process. I look up to see a solid, impenetrable wall of thin tissues, except for a small indentation where it collapsed on me.

“Who did this?” I shout at the tissues. They are unmoved.

“What were they thinking?” They remain unmoved.

I figure I’m going to need my claw tool for this. Usually, it’s reserved for removing stray turds from the corners of toilet stalls, but for all I know some of that toilet paper could be smeared with unmentionable waste; best that I put a little distance between myself and the product just in case.

“What’s going on here?” says a voice to my side, just as I’m pulling on my gloves. Oh crap. It’s the building owner; he likes to patrol the halls at odd hours for whatever reason.

“Some monster filled the entire bathroom up to the ceiling with toilet paper, as far as I can tell! You’ve got to call the cops or something,” I respond. The building owner shakes his head and grimaces at me.

“I can’t get the cops involved on this! It’s probably just a prank. You’d better get this bathroom usable before everyone else gets here.” With that, he wanders off, as if this happens all the time. I can’t argue with him; I’ve got fifty, maybe a hundred bucks in my savings account? I spend easily that much a month on cleaning supplies!

Today is going to be a long day.


Flash Fiction Month #2, Episode 5: The One Drop Society

The final installment of Flash Fiction Month #2 is a story idea I’ve had banging around the inside of my cranium for some time. Extracting stories from your head and putting them to paper (or pixels) is a good way to stave off madness. Read the last installment here, and read the installments from the first Flash Fiction Month here.

NOTE: This story contains sensitive content that may be offensive to various demographics. You’d think they wouldn’t be able to collaborate to deadly effect, but Destruction released a song called “United By Hatred” on their 2nd album, Eternal Devastation (which I have, in fact, reviewed). Any resemblance to actual political positions, real or imagined, historical or contemporary, left or right, purple or pink with yellow polka dots, etc. is entirely coincidental.

It’s 1842. For whatever reason, the town of Aschaffenburg in South Carolina recently passed a law stating that a person with even so much as one African ancestor would be considered black for legal purposes. One of our undercover agents blew their cover by calling the proposed bill a “one drop rule” in a fit of spluttering rage. When we were done reprimanding him, we admitted he’d given us an idea.

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