Everyone turned and stared

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

Fanfare erupted from the speakers at my station. Speakers I’d thought purely ornamentation until that moment. For weeks we’d labored in stoic silence, not even daring to speak to each other as we unraveled the code the travelers had gifted us with. Code we either solved or another of their machines awoke to transform a chunk more of the world into a lifeless wasteland.

The worst part? Not knowing which would awake next. Not knowing if your friends, your family, or you would be caught. Evacuations were useless. There was only the work.

And now this.

I looked up, glancing each way to assess of those about me. Everyone had turned and stared. The director rose from her desk, the sole desk facing the group. Her boots gave a quiet clunk with each step as she walked deliberately toward me.

Even at the best of times, I was loath to try interpreting her expression. Now, I really didn’t want to, nor could I stop myself. She neither smiled nor frowned, scowled or… or what? What would se feel for someone disrupting the work.

I opened my mouth letting the words tumble out. “I didn’t mean to. I have no idea what I…” I snapped my mouth closed as she smiled.

“You solved one!” A brilliant smile broke out over her face. “How?” She twisted turning to look at my monitor.

I realized my screen had gone blank with the noise and swallowed. How had I done that?

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