Flash Fiction: Story takes a 5-minute potty break

“What does it take to tell a story?”

This is what Paul thought as he hovered over the toilet.

“Who was it that suggested hovering anyway?”

It was a terrible idea, but this is where he found himself. This is where he found himself after turning a handful of ideas into actionable items. That is to say that he had acted on decisions he had made. He was using words like actionable. Also impactful.

Paul was concerned with the actionable impact potential of his hovering hump. The water was a good 12 inches below his ass. He hated dirty toilet seats. “But this is ridiculous,” he thought.

Water splashing his bare ass would have a regrettable impact on his day, which includes a—potentially impactful—conversation with his boss.

He was thinking about telling his boss that he’d fucked up. “But really, I don’t think of it as a fuck-up,” he thought.

“This guy deserves that full package. His special circumstances are special. In this one case, I get a chance to help a guy who needs help.”

“Financial Aid is business, Paul,” his boss might say. “We help people, but we want to help ourselves too,” she said.

“So many times, she said it.” Paul thought.

“We can’t help these people if we don’t follow the rules, cross the i’s and dot the t’s.”

“Yes, she speaks like this,” he would say to himself. “These people, and mixed-up idioms.”

Paul didn’t hope to help all of the people he saw through his office. Well, he did, actually, but he’d given up on that a while back.

“But this guy’s story is crazy. He fled persecution. Immigrated here. Worked in restaurants. Got put in the hospital when the people he fled found him. Spilled all this to INS. Got covered. Now he needs money for school. For a career.” This is the staccato story that Paul will be forced to tell.

“No,” she’ll say. “We can’t do it and take the chance that it hurts our standing.”

Paul dropped his load. No splash.

“Fuck,” he said. “I clipped the seat.”