“Fermenting Feng Shui,” blared from the intercom on Patricia Thirdday’s desk. Then Denise’s voice:
“Verbosicus Giganteum is here.”
Patricia frowned. “She was here Monday.”
“. . . worms will be eating eyeballs . . .”
“I think it’s an emergency, “ Denise replied.
Patricia put down her book and looked around the room. She stopped when she found her stainless steel thermos.
“Send her in in three.” Picking up the phone, she hit four buttons.
“Hello, is this maintenance? Yes, this is Patricia Thirdday. I need access to the roof. Thank you.” She hung up and crossed the room to stand next to the door, picking up her thermos on the way. Verbosicus Giganteum burst through the door, arms outstretched.
“Fetid cotton fungus sprouting in corners . ”
Patricia hit her on the back of the head.
V. G. sat up slowly, sweaty clothes sticking to her body. She was in a transparent tent. Outside the tent, Patricia was directing two men as they shifted around what looked like a very large metal bowl. V. G. reached out as if to touch the walls of the tent, but flinched and turned her head when suddenly blinded.
“Ms. Thirdday, explain these baffling circumstances.”
“We’re distilling you.”
“Repeat your preposterous statement.”
“Little droplets of you are collecting on the walls. Soon a puddle will start to form in the downhill corner. What were you going on about when you arrived at my office without an appointment?”
Verbosicus Giganteum was turning red and sweat ran down her face.
“Tottering ceramic monuments to domestic servitude, swaying on the
V. G. swayed, eyes unfocused.
“No longer will I queue at the protest kiosk!”
V. G. collapsed. At the same time, the bright contents of the bowl melted a hole in the plastic tent, letting in a rush of cool air and Patricia’s curses. Patricia scooped what she could of the little puddle into her thermos. She lifted Verbosicus’s head and poured the liquid into V. G.’s mouth. V. G. coughed and spluttered.
“If you don’t start cleaning up after yourself, I’ll kill you.”
Patricia Thirdday, Problem Solver, helped Verbosicus Giganteum to her
feet. She pulled a note card and a small, steel mechanical pencil from her pocket and copied down the sentence in tiny block letters. Slipping the card into a plastic sleeve, she handed it to V. G.
“The usual tribute to your insatiable averice?”
“Give it to Denise on your way out.”
Read story commentary Evolution of “Patricia Thirdday Gets To the Point”