Flashes of Sanity #122: Announcement

Welcome to Flashes of Sanity! Your daily dose of flash fiction on 500 words or less.

Today’s entry: Announcement


Shoulders rubbed against each other in the break room. Somehow, Mort felt four on each shoulder and two on his back. Such was the way in the corporate world.
The bench had been way better.
“Announcement to all employees at earth’s afterlife foundation, hell 32B has declared independence from heaven and all things once living. 31A, 49C, 10C and 89B are expected to be next in line. Within a week all of hell is expected to have declared itself independent.”
This is Tarrynk all over again, Mort thought. Voices in the masses whispered it too. Every one had seen it coming in the increased grumbles down below. Most choose to ignore it. Some precautions had been taken, but the priests would probably prove pointless.
“In the ecosystem of souls,” the speaker continued, “well functioning hells are necessary. The board has decided to take action and new initiatives will be rolling out immediately.”
The speaker went silent and only the masses breathing filled the vacuum. A man climbed a table. Nyah, Mort recalled. Head of Communications.
“Hi all.” Nyah had that ability to make his smile natural in all circumstances. Today was no exception. “I have been asked to continue from here.”
That meant ordered.
“To avoid the Tarrynk circumstances, we will refocus our branches towards returning the independent hells to our balanced ecosystem.”
Nyah read a long list of sections now ‘refocusing’. In the middle, Mort heard his own section. Automation, Sales. Basically, every section except the ones necessary to maintain the saints had been refocused.
“What are we refocused to?”
Nyah turned towards the one asking. “Your managers will tell you more.”
“What happens if we don’t want to refocus?”
“If you choose that refocusing is not for you,” Nyah hesitated, Mort wondered how many others who caught it before his smile returned. “It is decided that we use the same protocol as during the previous restructuring.”
The few annoyed groans suddenly turned silent.
Everyone knew someone who disappeared that day. No one wanted to disappear.
“Any more questions? Great! Your managers will take it from here.”
Mort followed the steady flow out of the break room. Just as the downfall of Tarrynk was well known, the measures necessary to bring Tarrynk back were a common subject.
It had not been pretty.

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Copyright © David B. Johansson 2021

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