The Reluctant Polycorist

Have you ever thought who comes up with phrases like 'visually challenged' or differently abled'...well, you're bang on if you think its the work of a nebulous government organisation that wants to take the edge of off language and turn us into linguistic pansies...They're a part of Semantix and the phrases ...they're polycorisms. But you didn't hear it from us.

The man in the plaid shirt and jeans walked slowly past the dozens of cubicles. He could hear the typical office noises around him, beeping, typing, screams of pain from the Interrogation rooms, mumbling sounds coming from the speech testers. From somewhere across the large room, a man called out to him.

“Hey, T.D. how you doing?”

The man replied, his voice perfectly devoid of emotion, “Just swell, Ralph.”

But ‘Ralph’ wasn’t giving up that easy.

“So, how’s the Tech Department treating you? Heard you’ve landed the cushiest job. Nice going.”

“Yeah, thanks. Listen I have to run. I’ll catch ya later, okay?”

And he hurried off. Behind him, he could just hear ‘Ralph’ saying to someone else, “I don’t get him. Always in a hurry, T.D. is.”

T.D. That’s what they all called him. Frazier ‘Technical Difficulty’ Mascott. Or Just plain T.D. Sometimes, he wondered if he had any identity of his own at all, other than the one he had got from coming up with the phrase ‘technical difficulty’, which was just another way of saying, ‘our machines are screwed.”

He stopped at the water cooler, picking up a glass of cold water. He gulped it down and poured himself another glass. His throat still felt parched, dry.

He smiled weakly and thought to himself, “Twenty more minutes, that’s all. It’ll all be over soon.”

He wiped the sweat from his brow and started walking back to his office. He walked briskly, hoping that time would fly just as quickly as he was trying to make it go by, thinking about all the things that could go wrong. That might have been why he didn’t notice the girl until he crashed into her.

She was pretty in her own way. Blonde hair arranged in interesting curls about a rounded face. She was wearing a flowing yellow dress with what could best be described as a cross between ‘flowery print’ and ‘fairy folklore.’ Her features were too well-defined to be called cute, but she had a certain old-world charm about her. But before Frazier could notice anything else, she mumbled an apology and walked away quickly.

Frazier knew who she was. Catherine Streck, the driving force behind L.A.R.D. The Linguistics Advanced Research Department had progressed by leaps and bounds since she had taken over. But Frazier did not have time to dwell on her, and he continued to go the way he was headed.  Once in his office, he shut and locked the door. After making sure that there was no way to get into the room, he carefully undid the lock on his drawer and pulled out a thick manila file. He looked at the file, as if it were some sort of poisonous snake that could bite him if he took his eyes off it. Eventually, he kept it gingerly on the table, and walked over to the side of the table where he kept his black suitcase. He opened it and taking the file, he placed it inside a brown cover in the suitcase.

Everything he had managed to collect on Semantix. Every polycorism ever invented. He was going to get all the records out into the real world. Someone out there would have to believe him.

A loud rapping broke his train of thought. Then an authoritative voice.

“Mr. Mascott, open up. We need to speak with you.”

Frazier’s eyes widened in fear. They’d found out. They’d come to get him. There were a few more sounds of pounding, and then, absolute silence. Frazier looked around the room. Looking for an alternative exit. But he already knew there was none. He turned around just in time to see the guys in coats break down his door and barge in. Six guns were leveled at his head. Frazier blinked, as someone spoke gently, “We have you, Mr. Mascott. No need to try anything funny.” Frazier blinked again, and his eyes cleared, he saw a small gap, heading straight out the door. He bolted.

The End

9 comments about this story Feed