the trouble with stories

“It’s a good story isn’t it?” The man said smiling shallowly across the desk at Charlie.

Charlie tapped keys on his terminal, ostensibly to make it look like he was doing something, but in truth had just typed crap in capital letters and I mean he had literally typed out CRAP.

A single hard knock on the mirrored glass behind him caused him to jump slightly, then delete the word. He had forgotten momentarily that the document he was typing in, was updated in real time on a terminal on the other side of the glass, watched by his superiors.

Charlie hated these interviews, although he would never dare say that out loud. Criticising company policy had dire consequences and if you knew what was good for you, you towed the line.

“Begin next round.” A voice prompted him.

“Mr Edwards, please begin again from the beginning. What happened at the protest?” he said as benignly as possible.

“What do you mean again?” he replied.

“Mr Edwards you just told me!” Charlie sighed.

“Oh that, that was a lie, just a story. Did you like it?”

A faint groan emanated from behind him.

“That’s the trouble with stories.” he said.

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