Surprisingly, I wrote yet another very short story based on the StoryADay prompt for today,
“Whatever happens, don’t die. See you Monday.” The note is not signed and you’re not certain who wrote it.
My story is a bit simple, and maybe a bit obvious, but it is short. 🙂
Message on a Whiteboard
Who would write such a thing on a whiteboard? What were we supposed to make of it?
“Whatever happens, don’t die. See you Monday.”
Tilly was upset. Moe laughed it off and Brandon got busy trying to figure out who had written it.
“I’ll bet Tyson did it as some kind of joke. I’ll bet she’s not showing up today. Gave herself a long weekend.” Brandon frowned, feeling cheated by upper management. To Brandon, they gave themselves everything. Middle guys like us, we get nothing. That was Brandon’s feeling.
Ms. Tyson was upper management. We were waiting for her to arrive and get things underway. It was her meeting.
Not surprisingly, Brandon was wrong. Ms. Tyson came in, on time, sharply dressed, and looking very much the executive in charge. She glanced at the whiteboard. “Who wrote that?” she asked.
We all pleaded ignorance, truthfully. We had no idea.
“Who isn’t here?” she asked.
We scanned the table. There should be eight of us. We were seven. Who was missing?
The message had us rattled. We were all there. We had forgotten to include Ms. Tyson in our count. When we realized our mistake, we were more rattled. Someone was lying! But who?
Annoyed, Ms. Tyson wiped the message from the whiteboard. “Let’s get started,” she said as her assistant came in the room with the usual box of donuts. With a smile, he set them on the table then left the room.
All of us stared at the box of donuts. Even Ms. Tyson. Normally, we would have been at them like disaster victims reaching for relief packages. Not today. Everyone was waiting for someone else to try them first, our thoughts filled with the unsettling message, “Whatever happens, don’t die.”
Ms. Tyson shook her head and repeated, “Let’s start.” And so we did.
The meeting went on in an unusually quiet way and was more brief than normal. Ms. Tyson’s meetings were known for their brevity. But it was even more brief today with nobody going off on a tangent she had to rein in.
When the meeting was over we all went to our cubicles. As we left I glanced back at the unopened box of donuts. Like the others, I still felt uneasy because of the whiteboard’s cryptic message.
Later, however, I saw Ms. Tyson’s assistant with the box. He had in his hand a jelly-filled donut. White sugary dust had fallen on to his lap. He was with the other assistants. They all had a donut in hand.
His mouth filled with jelly and dough, I heard Ms. Tyson’s assistant mumble, “It was a longshot, but it worked like a charm.”
He then claimed a chocolate glazed donut. “I think it was that last part, the see you Monday, that did it,” he said.
— THE END —
May 5, 2017