100 Themes 025 - Trouble Lurking

Ok, so I had this idea and then decided to fit it around one of the 100 themes. I don't know if the result's any better, but it certainly gave the piece a little bit of structure. The tone's different too; negative theme, so negative tone.

On other news, I lost all the planning I did for this year's NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. I will still be taking part, though. My ideas must not have been that good, as I've not had an urge to rewrite either of them... still, I like the peacock riders idea. Might work on that.

I'm reading a textbook at the moment, and therefore am in no mood to review a book :D So, here's another 100 theme. Interestingly, I got up early and wrote this before 7.30 in the morning! Rarity for me, if you know what I'm like. I'm usually dead to the world before then, and after then too.

 I had this idea after someone said the word 'satisfactory' and they were complaining about how it only just sounded 'good'. As a teacher, 'satisfactory' is ok, 'good' is better and the best is 'outstanding' when it comes to being marked on our performance. The alternative is 'unsatisfactory'. But it's still a harsh word.

Anyway, this guy works in the SatisFactory. Makes you wonder what the UnSatisFactory working conditions are like, huh?


025 – Trouble Lurking


"This is your uniform; put it on, please."

The foreman handed me a shapeless grey all-in-one and pointed to a screen. I was desperate to appear excited about my first day on the factory floor, so I grabbed the drab clothes and went to change. The screen only just covered my body, and it was a bit of a balancing act. Mr Landel kept talking while I changed.

"You'll be assigned to Faith. Not so much call for that these days; it'll be something to give you a good grounding, get your feet under you. Eventually I'd like you working in Risk."

Wanting to appear at least a little human, I came out from behind the screen smiling. "Do they play a lot of board games in Risk?" The foreman's face was completely impassive, and I suddenly realised I'd misread the conversation. Heat rushed to my face.

"Anyway," the foreman said turning to leave, "We'll pass through several other departments." Through a pair of double doors was a corridor, and beyond that the factory floor proper. I couldn't help but look around in awe.

It was enormous, stretching up so high there looked to be clouds up there. I couldn't see the far wall. Some of the machines were monstrosities, towering over all around them, and everywhere were people in the ubiquitous grey smocks.

Mr Landel had swept onwards, and I had to scurry to keep up.

"This is Hard Work. It's a tough place, but a necessary one; only my most experienced workers go here. Past there, on your left, you'll find Time. A lot of these departments are split up even further, so Time is split into No Time, Time's Up and No Time Like The Present. They deal mainly with sending feelings of hurriedness, auras of efficiency and, of course, care packages of adrenaline. There's a research team in there somewhere investigating at the moment; some of the feelings have been coming with increased levels of Cortisol in them." The forman shrugged. "They'll sort it out, I'm sure."

We moved past three people gathered around a machine that was belching steam and smoke. They were all holding wrenches, and were seemingly unconcerned that the machinery behind them was damaged. Their eyes followed me as I passed and the middle one, a blond giant, tapped his wrench slowly against the palm of his hand.

Watching them, I nearly walked into a trolley full of sandwiches apparently left in the way for just that purpose. I shook my head and stepped around the trolley; the foreman was waiting for me, and, seeing that I'd stopped, he made a note on the clipboard he carried.

We set off again. "On the right, toilets. Next right, Luck. The demand for Luck in recent years has been enormous; lotteries and gambling are on the rise, people are calling for Luck in record levels. We can't staff it quickly enough, basically." As we walked past, more people turned and just watched me. Had I got something on my face? Was there something wrong?

"May I ask, sir, why is Faith small compared to Luck?"

He made a little irritable clicking sound and shook his head. "Faith is on the decline. The section you'll be starting in, Blind Faith, is at its lowest for years. People need a sign before they're willing to have faith, these days. Next left, staff canteen. Lunch hour is between twelve and one."

We walked for another minute in silence. I felt the atmosphere of the conversation getting steadily more strained as I thought of nothing to say, and the foreman's back walked on in front of me. Suddenly, it was over. He stopped and turned, pasting something approaching a smile on his face. It was more like a grimace.

"This is Blind Faith. I hope you work hard here at the SatisFactory." He turned and walked off without waiting for an answer.

Four people had gathered from out of the machinery jungle. They leant nonchalantly, watching me. I smiled and gave a weak little wave.

"Um, hi; I'm just starting today, and my name-" but they were turning, leaving me alone. The factory floor was suddenly a noisy and unfamiliar place, and I knew I was in trouble.