Sunday November 4th, 2012

The exercise:

Today we write about something (or someone?) that is: restricted.

Here's another picture from yesterday's outing, before I forget to include it:

They're calling for an honest to goodness sunny day tomorrow, so I'm hoping to take advantage of it with a little photo expedition. I'll let you know how that turns out.


Floyd's first day on the job had been an uneventful one. Brief, awkward introductions to his new coworkers, a coma-inducing orientation session that held most of his morning hostage.

Lunch in the cafeteria was a clear highlight, as he managed to convince himself that the cute girl at the soup station gave him a much more genuine smile than those she bestowed on anyone else in the line. No need to mention that to his nervous wife when he returned home, though.

His afternoon was filled by a rather lengthy tour of the building. Floyd didn't pay much attention to any of it - up until he was shown the double doors on the fifth floor that were marked Restricted Access.

"What's in there?"

"You don't need to know that," his guide replied, her previous warm demeanor vanishing like the sun behind unexpected rain clouds. "You just need to know that you're never to enter that area."

"Oh, okay," Floyd said, immediately deciding to find out what went on behind those doors as soon as possible.

Three weeks passed by before he found an opportunity to slip inside, taking advantage of a senior employee who had not noticed Floyd lurking in the shadows.

Unfortunately for Floyd the security cameras were not so lax. Uniformed guards began their search soon afterward and performed their duties in their usual, brutal fashion.

Poor Floyd has not been the same since.


Greg said...

Wow, how long did it take you to arrange all those leaves just so? :-P
It's a great picture, it's really easy to look at and get lost in it, and it has the advantage that its leaves never turn brown and mushy. Autumn does produce some amazingly summery colours on its way out!
Poor Floyd, though in fairness he was adequately warned :) And I thought it was very generous of you not to have him killed by security!

The sign said Restricted Access, and despite the fact that they'd all heard about Floyd – in fact, many of them saw Floyd on a daily basis, with his thousand-yard stare and odd mottling around his throat – Julia wanted to try out her new senior-level access card. After all, she reasoned, if the card worked then she was allowed to be there.
She swiped the card, just a little nervously, and actually jumped when the reader beeped and the green light showed. Then she quickly pushed the door open, still reeling from the surprise that it had worked.
Beyond was a corridor that was only dimly lit, but there was a brighter light at the end. Odd, she thought, but headed off down in to see were it led. As she walked, hurrying just a little from nerves, she started feeling a little claustrophobic, but put it down to being in the Restricted Access area.
When, a little further down the corridor she realised that her elbows were grazing the walls, she looked around her, but decided that the end was closer than the start, and just shuffled sideways a little.
When the rescue team extracted her from the corridor where she was tightly trapped nearly a day later, the leader of it had tears of laughter running down his face.
"It does say Restricted Access," he said between chuckles, "but I guess we could explain how restricted it gets."

Anonymous said...


She wriggled and squirmed in the front seat of the Chevvy sedan, fighting against feeling restricted by the seat belt she had to wear. They never sat comfortably; they cut across her ample bosom and left her feeling bruised and irritated. She hated these new laws they’d put in place. It seemed that governments somewhere were always restricting the habits of common citizens. 
It seemed unfair.
She turned the radio up, thus annoying the driver who happened to be her new boyfriend. She’d met him recently, against the will of her parents. She’d had to sneak out to meet him but it was worth it for the feeling of freedom he gave her when they toured the back roads through the desert. She loved it when he sped. She’d wind down the windows to get as much breeze through her wild, red hair as she could.

She lit a cigarette and drew in deep. She offered it to her beau but he waved it away, concentrating on the bitumen road that shimmered in the heat of the noon day sun. She got restless. She tried changing the radio station several times but wasn’t happy with the choices. She unclipped her belt just so she could reach into the back seat and rummage amongst the stuff there in search of a music cassette. She was sure there was a Beach Boys tape there somewhere under the candy wrappers and shoes. 
He turned and looked at her, annoyed that she was so fidgety. He told her to straighten up and buckle up again but she was taking her time.
As he looked in front again he saw a big Mac truck heading straight for them. They were in the wrong lane, having drifted over while he looked away from the road for a second. He swore under his breath as he tried to swerve away from the truck.
His front wheel caught a stray rock and that, combined with the swerve at high speed, was enough to send them cascading off the road into the slippery stones on the shoulder. 
They rolled over three times into the scrub before the car finally stopped, landing amazingly upright.
He looked around but couldn’t see her beside him in the car.
He looked behind him.
She’d been thrown clear through the windshield and lay plastered over the road. The Mac truck had stopped ahead in a flurry of dust. The driver got out and ran back to the car to see if the kids were okay.
When he saw the young woman dead on the road, he shook his head. The boyfriend emerged from the wreckage in one piece, although bruised and shaken. He, too, shook his head.
“She’d only taken her seat belt off for a moment! I told her ... I told her to put it back on...” he cried, his eyes watering in silent pleas to an unhearing cosmos.

morganna said...

She paced the floor, irritated. The clicking of her high-heeled boots failed to soothe her with the sound of success. Instead of comfort, today she found only irritation.

If she weren't so restricted by her need to stay hidden, to stay in the shadows at the top of the Organization, she'd have gotten the girl by now. And the boy. She wouldn't have botched it and lost him, too.

But if she wanted people to believe Mr. Big was still in charge (and it was better that way, she had her own demons to hide from) then she had to rely on these piddling thugs. Oooh, she could scream, she was so frustrated. She needed that girl. Together, she and Emily could take over the world.

Cathryn Leigh said...

Shhhh I'm not really here... *grins*

Everyone's work is very intriguing and though I wish these words could be counted for NaNo, I'm not sure I can, even if they are about my budding story:

Uneathing Magic - restricted

On the plateau of Tabithia magic is forbidden
Use it without a permit and your life if forfeit
Few are the magi ever allowed inside
Those that do would rather have died

How can those without magic
Suppress those that have?
Captured families on visits?
Or pain of tortured abs?

But will now happen with two princes inside
One a mage of awkward skill
The other good at a fight.
And what of the women they think will find?

Give me till the end of November
And the plot shall be mine!

Marc said...

Greg - it was indeed a feat of much will and avoidance of temptation, allowing Floyd to live on.

And I'm glad I did, seeing as how you were able to incorporate his... uh, legacy?... into your take.

Great description of the literally restricted access area :)

Writebite - oof, heartbreaking. I could see where you were headed, but I kept reading in the hopes that I was wrong.

Morganna - love how you're managing to reveal this world bit by little bit. The intrigue continues to increase with nearly every entry!

Cathryn - nope, nothing to see here. Move along, move along.

(Love your concluding stanza, by the way. The one that doesn't exist. Because you were never hear. Obviously.)