Flash Fiction Friday – Tech Difficulties

Last weekend for my new Solo Storytelling Sunday stream (every 2 Sundays at 10 am CEST, be there!), I played a game called Superhuman Industrial and Immaterial, Incorporated. It was a ton of fun and I’m definitely playing it again some day. I really liked the little story I wrote while playing, to such a degree that I’m considering writing this fall’s NaNoWriMo project based on it. So today for Flash Fiction Friday I thought I’d play a little with the same setting. I’ll be honest – the below didn’t tickle me as much as what I wrote on stream. I realized when I was almost done that it was because the text on stream was written in the first person while I wrote this in the third, and I think it lost some charm in that change. It’s pretty cute either way and I hope you enjoy it!

Tech Difficulties

Boop. The phone signal echoed lightly over the speakerphone as Myrtle glanced out the window and waited. Boop… boop… After the fifth signal there was a click and the distracted voice of someone in IT not quite managing to identify themself. 

“Hello, this is Myrtle from the administrative services department. I’m afraid we’re having a bit of a problem with our wifi again.”

“Uh, have you tried turning it on and off again?”

She took a slow deep breath and reminded her some people needed to be asked that question. “Yes, I did.”

“All right, and did you make sure you’re trying to connect to a wireless network and not a cabled network?”

“Yup, yup. And I’ve input the right security key and everything. I think the problem is less what I’m clicking and more the infernal imps.”

There was a long pause during which Myrtle imagined the person at the other end was hitting their head against the desk or maybe throwing their keyboard out the window in exasperation. She heard vague mumbling, as though from behind a hand that was covering a microphone, and she was sure at least 75% of it was profanity. 

“I’m sorry?” The voice returned, unmuffled and very tired-sounding. “Did you say infernal imps?”

“I’m afraid so.”

The sigh that followed lasted almost 5 full seconds. “I thought we had exterminators in last week to deal with those…”

“Apparently they missed some. I saw one sitting on the coffee machine just this morning. Scared the crap out of Kurt.” She shrugged a bit, wiggling a pen between her thumb and index finger. “And now they keep casting spells and disrupting the wireless reception. Could you send someone down?”

A pause, and to their credit the profanity seemed to be largely internal now. “I’ll send someone down.”

“Wonderful, thank you very much. You have a good day, now!” 

She disconnected the call after a half-hearted goodbye from the other end, and smiled to herself. She couldn’t really complain. The imps settled for messing with the tech equipment but left people alone, and they gave her an excuse to not really do anything until the problem had been solved. Sure, she could tidy up her bookshelf and make sure the printer was full of paper, but as for the proper work… Hopefully no one would be down until after lunch. Maybe she’d have time to inventory her stationary, too. But first: tea!

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