The entry-level helpdesk technician looked at the clock: 4:55 PM. Five minutes until clocking out and getting a ride from her date. She was dressed up a little nicer than normal. Nothing too fancy, since it was a work evening, but it’d also been a while since they’d gone out anywhere. Just as she was starting to daydream about dinner, the Eville Medical helpdesk phone rang: “IT… this is Sammohini!” “Yeah, hello, just a quick question.”
Can we really do whatever we want, or do we limit ourselves based on circumstances? Focusing within the realm of fiction, how much freedom do we truly have in telling stories? If I were to write the tale of John [left] and Trishna [right], comprising a majority segment of “The Story,” exactly as I wanted, would it sell? Would it matter? Is that why we tend to compromise, accept our fates, and don’t challenge ourselves?
Spoilers?: Minor (character brainstorming, perhaps)
WANNA READ A WINDING THOUGHT PIECE ABOUT FICTION AND REALITY? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Two computer repair technicians at Eville Medical were packing up for the evening. One was upbeat, with stylish clothing, while the other, dressed in plain black, looked tired.
“Doesn’t feel like I made a dent in my workload. What a waste.”
“Aww, don’t say that, Hank! You helped me out a lot! Err-umm… I took some of that time from you, so I’ll help you out tomorrow!”
“No worries, Sammohini.”
“…Can I ask you something?”
The computer repair technician was typing an email before hearing…
“Yeah, I’m back,”
Sammohini’s colleague at Eville Medical, Hank, had a crackling voice,
A violent cough disrupted the phone conversation.
Sammohini saved the email, locked her workstation, and rushed over.
trashcan between his shoes,
and Hank huddled over the trashcan.
Depressing the mute button, “so our W7000Ks have a- hhoughhh!”
“We’ve gotta hot one, Sammohini. Wanna swing up to fix a printer with me?”
“Huh?” The junior computer repair technician stopped typing. “Oh, yeah, sure!”
Hank held a large circular toner cartridge like it was a bazooka.
“Let’s blast,” he pretended to shoot the toner-bazooka, dramatically recoiling, “this one outta the water!”
She chuckled, looked at her screens momentarily, re-read the email she was typing, clicked “Send,” locked her computer, then ran to catch up.
A new ticket appeared at the top of the ticket system’s list. High priority! “obscura4 down!” The second-level computer repair technician tasked with managing the queue, Sammohini, read through the ticket details. In the private notes, the first-level technician noted “customer says venkat always fixes this. hes out sick. does we need 2 call him?” She assigned the ticket to herself. ‘No one’s here,’ she thought, ‘and Venkat’s out sick, poor guy… let’s find his notes!’
“You look sicker than normal.”
The younger furniture mover reclined in her seat, cradling her dark-orange water bottle.
“Yeah. I feel it, too.”
The older mover readjusted his faded red cap and looked over.
“Maybe you should go home?”
She looked pale.
“My nausea is tolerable, headache manageable… and I need the hours.”
The older mover started up the truck for their morning route.
“At least it’s a short run. We should be back by 11.”
I’ve been writing and rewriting “The Story,” scene after stochastic scene, for as long as I can remember. An idea will pop up while I’m riding the bus, talking to someone, or reading a book. I’ll see a couple on the bus and think about John [left] and Trishna [right]. Better than stressing about work! In these situations, memories, or maybe more, I wonder: how much of “The Story” will be based on real people?
I don’t completely endorse the idea that settings are like characters. While someone’s workspace or personal space can convey surface-level symbolic meaning over personality, what is tolerable or not, and more, I don’t think it’s a comprehensive glimpse into a person’s, or character’s, mind. Still, in “The Story,” there are some key settings that could provide interesting anecdotal information into the minds of Trishna [left] and John [right]. Let’s declutter the psychology from the physical.
Spoilers?: Minor (set-building… as character-building?)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW THINKING TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH ABOUT SETTING CAN BE WASTEFUL? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
“IT, this is Sam!”
“Hello, my name is Dr. Hardman. I would like to re-configure a password for my account.”
“Sure thing, doctor! Just let me just get some information from you so I can verify your identity before I reset that password for you!”
The recently-hired, entry-level computer support person typed away at her keyboard while talking on a wired headset.
“Why do I need to do this? Cannot you edit my password promptly?”