Friday, February 05, 2010

Read'N'Dash Fiction: Has she been arrived?

The bald man slips his hands into his pockets. He scans the hustle and bustle in the office area, resigned to wait as long as it takes to get things sorted. He glances at the posted sign again with a sly smile sneaking across his face.

We're in the process of switching over to a computer system. Thank you for your patience.

The small, Asian woman behind the counter sighs and pushes her thick glasses higher up on her nose. She runs a hand through her white hair and mumbles, “I did that already.” She stares at the monitor before her and scowls at it. She looks like she's trying to destroy it with her mind. She looks up at the woman who hovers over her right shoulder. “The computer is telling me to do it, but I did that already.”

The bird-like woman above her leans forward and nods. “Yes, I'm not sure why it didn't work.” Her hair sways towards the other woman's face causing her to sway back and away from it. “Sorry,” she whispers. She leans back and smiles awkwardly at the bald man before turning her focus back to the monitor before them.

The older Asian woman drags her finger over the screen, then taps it. “See, this one. This one has already been arrived. But this one has not gotten here yet.” She growls out, “They were double booked.”

Something in her voice makes the bald man think the person who made the error is in the same room. He looks up and around the room – trying to see guilt in someone's eyes.

“She's already been arrived?” The bird woman scowls.

“Yes. Yes, that's the problem. They were double booked. When I arrived her,” she says pointing, “this thing arrived them both. They were double booked.” The venom is back.

The bald man is sure her voice is higher when she says it. He looks up to see an olive skinned lady in bright scrubs narrow her eyes and walk away.

“The computer won't arrive both. There must be another problem. It doesn't do that.” The bird lady stands tall as if to show solidarity with the new computer system. Her head is held high on her long, thin neck.

“Doesn't do what?” Another woman strolls up. Her tight, lime green shirt is stretched over an ample bosom. She looks to be in her fifties and as she smile to the bald man, braces glimmer in the office fluorescents.

“Some sort of double booking accident.” The bald man shrugs and smiles.

The three ladies look at him, smile, then look towards the monitor again.

“Why don't you help this man first, then we can address the issue. Ok?” The braces lady smiles to the bald man politely. The new arrival turns to leave.

The Asian woman grumbles out, “This is not easier.”

The braces lady turns and repeats her request. “Can you help this gentleman, then we can fix the double arrived issue?”

“Yeah, see, this makes no sense. They both show as arrived, but one is not here. What happens when she gets called and she's not here?” Again, the woman pushes her glasses up on her nose.

The bald man frowns. “Yeah, that's going to be awkward.”

The Asian woman looks at him sharply. He thinks he's pushed the limit until he hears her blurt out, “Exactly. They'll call her name thinking she's arrived, but she isn't here.”

“The double booking arrived the two at the same time,” The bald man says sadly with a nod.

“She's been arrived.” The Asian woman nods.

The braces woman has had enough of the whole situation. She steps up again and leans on the counter with the palms of her hands. “Can I help you, Sir?”

He looks to her. “Do you have a restroom?”

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