Flash Fiction Friday – Wishful Thinking

Here’s a bit of wishful thinking in the form of prose. The first little bit is autobiographical except for the names. Art imitating life and all, hah! Hope you enjoy this silliness.

Wishful Thinking

“Downloading… 23 %”

Mina fidgeted with her phone, watching the numbers slowly tick upward. Way more slowly than they should be. She should’ve installed the game earlier, before what was apparently agreed upon by all her neighbors to be torrent o’clock. But she hadn’t, and here she was. 

A ding drew her attention from the twitter thread she was reading, and she glanced over at her second screen and cringed. She’d left her work e-mail open in a tab from earlier, but her inbox had been so tranquil she hadn’t noticed until now. The upside of telecommuting was not wearing pants on days like today, the downside was shit followed you home. The download was inching toward 40% slowly, so she opened the tab and immediately regretted it. 

“Hey Mina, just to let you know I got a page that said permission denied when I tried to sign up for the mailing list with the link you sent out. All the best, Bob,” said the email.

“Fuuuuuck,” said Mina as she navigated over to the administration panel for the mailing list and started clicking around the options trying to see what was wrong. Maybe there was a quick fix, like something she forgot to change from a ‘no’ to a ‘yes’ that was preventing people from signing up. 

By the time the game finished downloading, Mina still hadn’t found a quick fix. Usually she’d leave it for Monday, but that e-mail had gone out to several dozen people and if she wasn’t proactive about it she’d have so much confusion greeting her when she got to work after the weekend. She set the game to install, and took to Google to find the solution, but to no avail. After a restart, the new icon was taunting her from the desktop and she was no closer to understanding what the rather 90s-looking mailing list was on about.

“God damn it,” she groaned. “Can you just fucking tell me what the problem is?”

“What problem are you referring to?” The voice made Mina jump and look around, but there was no-one there. No surprise – she lived alone. Even if someone had been in the flat with her, the voice it was too loud to come from outside of her noise-canceling headphones.

“What the fuck?” she mumbled.

“I said: what problem are you referring to?”

Yeah, the voice was definitely coming from inside her headphones. She checked all her windows and tabs for playing audio but came up short. “Uh…”

“I’m sorry, I do not understand that.”

Mina blinked slowly, wondering if she had fallen asleep at her desk.

“What problem are you referring to?” the voice said again, and Mina decided to just go with it. After all, if it was a dream what hard could it do.

“People are getting an error message when signing up for this mailing list.”

A beat of silence passed. “There appears to be a problem with the permission settings. Would you like me to show you how to change them?”


“Wonderful. First, make sure you are signed into the administrator panel. Next…”

The following morning, Mina would wake up convinced that she’d dreamed it. She’d post about it on Twitter, amused that her brain would create a work-related stress dream and also a magical solution to it, at the same time. By Sunday, she would’ve forgotten what the voice had sounded like. She didn’t check her work email all weekend.

On Monday morning when she arrived at her office and switched on the computer, there was a message from Bob, received on Saturday morning at around ten a.m. “Hi Mina. Thanks so much for the quick fix, I could sign up with no problem now. Best, Bob.”

One Reply to “Flash Fiction Friday – Wishful Thinking”

  1. Pingback: Fave Links Friday 5/31/19: Shark Vomit, Invisible Cities, Wishful Thinking and more! – CandidCeillie

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