CuiousPages - fiction and nonfiction
CuriousPages - fiction and nonfiction
He walked away from her but she shouted after him, “You plunge it in too quick.”
He dodged down an alleyway and broke into a run. In the distance, he could hear her shouting, “Stop, stop; the fire will come after you’ve gone!”
As he was running, it occurred to him he could not recall the last time he ran. With each step, it felt as though his joints were being tested to near destruction but still he had to go on.He turned another corner and was then only one minute from the tube.
Back on the train, he spotted the woman pushing her way along the carriage towards him, and the man beside him started whispering something else. Samuel got to his feet. He knew his stop was approaching and he started pushing through the bodies, trying to reach the door. He looked back and saw the woman making progress through the maze, then the “Westminster” signs appeared on the tube wall. The door was now only two bodies ahead of him and the train slowed. The maze came to attention and someone standing behind him whispered: “It’s so easy to add inches where it matters…”
Samuel did not even look round. The doors opened and he was launched onto the platform amid the shuffling maze.
Up on the street he wove his way through the crowds, not looking over his shoulder but imagining the Spanish-looking woman slipping further and further behind him. At a pedestrian crossing, he was waiting for the lights to change when a man looked at him as though about to say something but Samuel stepped sideways, then the lights changed.
In his office on the fifth floor of the Ministry of Education, he sat down behind his desk. Samuel oversaw all policy evaluation workgroups within the Ministry. Twenty five years ago, a report found that much of the population felt other people did not value them, both in the workplace and at home. Samuel’s career began when he chaired a workgroup investigating this report, which concluded the cause was inadequate communication.
The workgroup introduced an intensive training programme into all schools which taught pupils to use the most effective communication tools of the day, which were the methods employed by advertising agencies. This would eventually enable every person to get their message across in all situations. The original workgroup’s report was entitled:
How to empower the population to get their message across: a report of the “Level 2” workgroup’s findings, by S.Pam.
Hence, the techniques being taught quickly assumed the nickname of “Spam” and the activity of using these techniques became known as “Spamming”.
Peter Softly, the Member of Parliament for Perception, was speeding along Misconception Boulevard, possessed by anger. He swerved onto the driveway of Number 17 and stamped on the brake pedal as if it were the face of the man he met earlier. He swivelled his foot while pressing it down, as if forcing the man’s nose into his face.
Earlier, he was walking to his car when he saw this man standing on the pavement, holding a clipboard. Peter crossed to the other side of the pavement but the man blocked his way and said, “I work for Opinion‑for‑hire Polls. We’re conducting a survey into people’s personality disorders. I wonder if you’d mind answering a few questions?”
Peter shook his head and tried to pass.
The man said, “Can you spare a minute?”
Peter shook his head, looked down to the pavement and tried to pass again.
The man stood in front of him, blocking his way, said, “I’m sure you can spare half a minute—” and watched him accusingly.
Peter stepped across the pavement again, trying to pass, but the man blocked his way, looked at his form and said, “Now. Are you self‑centred?”
Peter looked up and said, “What?”
The man said, “—Uncooperative?”
“Answer the question!”
Peter said nothing, so the man explained, “Do you often refuse to cooperate with perfectly polite people who are just trying to help you?”
Peter shouted, “What is this?”
“Just answer—I’ve got to put something on my form.”
Peter’s face trembled with rage.
The man looked at his form, smirked and said, “—Frequently angry at trivial things?”
He ticked a box, looked down his form, nodded and said, “—Incapable of understanding simple questions?”
He ticked another box, sighed contentedly and said, “Now. Do any of the above sound like yourself? Most, some,” and the man looked at him and slowly shook his head while saying the next option, “none, or,” and now he vigorously nodded his head, “—all of them?”


Fiction and nonfiction by Fletcher Kovich and also classic writers.


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