Fiction Friday – Printing Errors

15 Jul

So, in attempt to get myself to do more creative writing (and because LiveJournal and its comment ficathons has rendered me unable to write without prompts) I have started doing Fiction Friday. The idea behind this is that you get a weekly prompt, for which you write as much or as little as you want. Then, when Friday rolls around you post your piece to your blog and post the link back at Fiction Friday’s webpage. So this was this week’s prompt, and my response to it:

Your character is at work and prints something personal or sensitive. Unfortunately, they realise they sent it to the wrong printer and,unable to cancel it, by the time they get to the printer, it has disappeared. Now keep writing.

There’s a reason that I don’t usually print off personal files at work. It’s not like I’m afraid of getting fired or anything, because who ever got fired over a few sheets of paper and some printer ink, but you never know who’s going to get to the printer first and read what you’ve printed. And when you’re the kind of person who gets embarrassed about checking your e-mails if there’s someone standing in a fifty metre radius, that’s really not a good thing.

But this time I really thought I was safe. There was no-one else around, not a single person on the entire floor, and I really needed to print off that holiday confirmation today. Of course, my home printer would have chosen this particular week to give up the ghost, the one time when I actually needed to use it (I’m pretty sure it did it on purpose, technology doesn’t just hate me, it seems to have a genuine desire to ruin my life). But, as I say, no-one else was around, so I should have been fine.

Should being the operative word. You remember what I said about technology hating me? Well not only did my computer send the document to the wrong printer (and it was definitely the computer’s fault, because I did click on the right symbol, I swear it), but it then decided to freeze before I could correct the mistake.

So, by the time I’d trekked up to the fourth floor (because of course the lift was broken) hot and sweaty and generally disheveled-looking, it was no surprise that someone had already found and read my print-out. But did it really have to be Jeff? Jeff, of the perfect hair and stomach-meltingly blue eyes (which is not just a dreadful adjective that I dreamt up to make this story more interesting, it actually describes the way I feel every time I look at him) and the habit of making sarcastic comments about everything and everyone. It would be just like the universe (which also hates me; it’s starting a ‘we hate Rachel’ club with technology. They’re getting badges printed as we speak) to place my print-out in the hands of the one person I would least like to know that I’m going on a singles’ holiday. And to make him look so infuriatingly smug about it.

“Rachel, I presume?” He enquired, smugly (how else?), holding out the offending sheet of paper for me to take. (And while we’re on the subject of the universe ruining my life, would it have been too much to ask for him to have remembered my name from the office Christmas party last year? You know, the one where we were sat next to each other? For two whole hours?)

Of course, this was my moment to be poised, and collected, and to show the world that going on a singles’ holiday is nothing to be ashamed off (and definitely not an indicator that you are a desperate thirty-something with a relationship history that could fit on a Post-it). But, did I do that? No, I flushed a shade of red never previously seen on the human face, muttered something incomprehensible (owing to the fact that my tongue appeared to have been replaced by a lump of rather un-cooperative meat), and tripped over my own heels on the way back to the stairs. I may be beyond help.

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