Flash Fiction: Story takes a 5-minute potty break

“What does it take to tell a story?”

This is what Paul thought as he hovered over the toilet.

“Who was it that suggested hovering anyway?”

It was a terrible idea, but this is where he found himself. This is where he found himself after turning a handful of ideas into actionable items. That is to say that he had acted on decisions he had made. He was using words like actionable. Also impactful.

Paul was concerned with the actionable impact potential of his hovering hump. The water was a good 12 inches below his ass. He hated dirty toilet seats. “But this is ridiculous,” he thought.

Water splashing his bare ass would have a regrettable impact on his day, which includes a—potentially impactful—conversation with his boss.

He was thinking about telling his boss that he’d fucked up. “But really, I don’t think of it as a fuck-up,” he thought.

“This guy deserves that full package. His special circumstances are special. In this one case, I get a chance to help a guy who needs help.”

“Financial Aid is business, Paul,” his boss might say. “We help people, but we want to help ourselves too,” she said.

“So many times, she said it.” Paul thought.

“We can’t help these people if we don’t follow the rules, cross the i’s and dot the t’s.”

“Yes, she speaks like this,” he would say to himself. “These people, and mixed-up idioms.”

Paul didn’t hope to help all of the people he saw through his office. Well, he did, actually, but he’d given up on that a while back.

“But this guy’s story is crazy. He fled persecution. Immigrated here. Worked in restaurants. Got put in the hospital when the people he fled found him. Spilled all this to INS. Got covered. Now he needs money for school. For a career.” This is the staccato story that Paul will be forced to tell.

“No,” she’ll say. “We can’t do it and take the chance that it hurts our standing.”

Paul dropped his load. No splash.

“Fuck,” he said. “I clipped the seat.”

This entry was posted in Writing and tagged Fiction, Financial Aid, Flash Fiction, Immigration, Short Story, Student Financial Services, White Collar Work. Bookmark the permalink.

One thought on “Flash Fiction: Story takes a 5-minute potty break

  1. Freakin love it. Not just cuz I love you but this was a quick, cold splash of a story– in a good way: more like the kind of splash from the sink (rather than the irksome booty splash from the toilet bowl) that although cold& a bit shocking*, is definitely refreshing… Thanks for pushing it out :) haha…. Though it seems that like Paul, you didn’t have to push very hard– instead it seems to have just eased out after some deliberate thinking. That’s skill. Thanks for sharing!!!!!

    *by shocking I mean the language and unexpected moments that made me smile while reading… For instance the boss being a woman- broke my initial assumption of correlating boss to man-might be just me that makes the assumption but oftentimes a woman boss for a man isn’t as prominent in media. Love the humor of this story about some real ish. Could say more about the merits of it but I won’t. ill just say-Kudos bro! For writing, period. You da bomb. 😉


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