Office Heretics

Length/Rating: 338, PG, Gen
Pairings/Warnings: None
Summary: It’s the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo and I was looking for something to jumpstart the muses… We only had to use four of the eight words, but I got a tad carried away. Written for the Terrible Minds Flash Fiction Challenge: Eight Random Words.

“Flowerpots are wheelchairs for plants,” Penny deposited the petunias on my desk with an almost triumphant cheeriness.

“Then take it for a walk, I’m working.” I was down to the last set of reports that our yearly funding depended on and the last thing I needed was flowers. Or Penny.

“I did. You need some color to pretty up your cage, you’ll go crazy trapped in so much gray.” She gave my naked cubicle the same disapproving glare she always did. Some days she looked a heartbeat away from redecorating it the moment I turned my back.

I pushed the plant back to her side of the desk. “This is not a habitat in a zoo, it’s a desk in an office, and I like gray.”

“I know what I saw,” she said stubbornly. “You need some color; they don’t keep the boring ones.”

“Janice quit, Jose took a promotion to the west building, Doris retired, and the next time someone offers you a milkshake at an office party ask if there’s vodka in it and spare the rest of us your hallucinations.”

“Don’t be a bully; I’m just trying to help.” She nudged the plant back across the desk.

“Take your plant and your delusions back to your own office.”

“It’s staying and Tony’s birthday party is this afternoon, so try not to be a grump by then.” She looked up at the security cameras. “They’re watching you know.”


And thankfully she did.

But I went to the party later and told myself it was just to celebrate the fact our funding request was finally complete.

Later, soaking in a well-deserved bath, I got the text that confirmed we’d pulled in enough funding to cover costs for next year and 90% of the year after that. Even Central was starting to take notice of our success, which meant I might be able to work in an expansion in a few years.

All thanks to Penny and a faulty window… maybe I’d keep those petunias after all.

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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