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About Literature / Professional Zombiepaper (Anthony)Male/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 3 Weeks
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[Sammohini Arc] Service Is Down
A new ticket appeared at the top of the ticket system’s list. High priority! “obscura4 down!” The second-level computer repair technician tasked with managing the queue, Sammohini, read through the ticket details. In the private notes, the first-level technician noted “customer says venkat always fixes this. hes out sick. does we need 2 call him?” She assigned the ticket to herself. ‘No one’s here,’ she thought, ‘and Venkat’s out sick, poor guy… let’s find his notes!’
She walked over to Venkat’s alcove.
Unlike the other generic cubicles in their area, Venkat’s area was located in a former server room that had been retrofitted to be a mini-office with a large oak desk, three large white walls with a handsome painting of a landscape in India, and a stylish rug. ‘OK, let’s not get distracted!’ Sammohini thought as she sat down and looked at the windowed cabinet of obscure technical
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[Sammohini Arc] Nothing To Do
Sammohini Lanchester: anything i can help you out with?
Hank Ospfrey: I'm good. Let's check on Venkat.
Both computer repairers met Venkat is his area near their cube farm.
"Namaste, Venkat."
"Rokastaar, Suparastaar. How is it going?"
Their team's veteran swiveled around in his chair.
"Anything we can help you out with, Venkat?"
"Not now. I have no work right now."
"Doesn't happen too often, huh, 'Bhaee'?"
"Does not happen often. Nils is also sick."
"Hmm... well, hey," Hank said quietly, "let's... grab coffee."
The three quietly left their area, a fashionable arrangement of stern walls standing around six feet in height that divided sterile desks and comfortable chairs except in the former server room that eventually became Venkat's desk area, via a side exit, and walked out into the fresh air and sunshine.
"Ah, I'm burning..." "Really?!" "Hank is a comedian."
They chatted along their walk, Hank and Sammohini leading the way with Venkat wandering along behind, to the cafeteria. Hank bro
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[Sammohini Arc] Working Through Sickness
"You look sicker than normal."
The younger furniture mover reclined in her seat, cradling her dark-orange water bottle.
"Yeah. I feel it, too."
The older mover readjusted his faded red cap and looked over.
"Maybe you should go home?"
She looked pale.
"My nausea is tolerable, headache manageable... and I need the hours."
The older mover started up the truck for their morning route.
"At least it's a short run. We should be back by 11."
"If I knew I'd weigh you down, Jim, I'd ask Deadlift to send me home."
"To have that young, rebellious spirit again..." They hit the road, passing through trees trimmed by the sides of semi-trucks, toward the main stretch of road leading them toward their first stop. "Before we go, let's get you some chicken soup." Jane could feel some growing pressure behind her ears and a delay in registering thoughts.
"Yes, that sounds good, thank you."
They arrived at an unassuming Wiles Gas truck stop, often used by Sneaker Transport movers to innocently pad thei
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[Sammohini Arc] Password Reset Laughs
"IT, this is Sam!"
"Hello, my name is Dr. Hardman. I would like to re-configure a password for my account."
"Sure thing, doctor! Just let me just get some information from you so I can verify your identity before I reset that password for you!"
The recently-hired, entry-level computer support person typed away at her keyboard while talking on a wired headset.
"Why do I need to do this? Cannot you edit my password promptly?"
"Well, umm... it's... uhhh... corporate policy."
She took a deep breath. ‘These were the worst phone calls.’ She thought to herself. ‘People having bad days are just grumpy about something or another, and after venting for a minute, they're usually fine! If they're grumpy about how they’re trying to do something, and the computer acts weird, it feels great when I can fix it. And we might have a really nice conversation! But the ones challenging policy? They're the tough ones! Because “You should be accurate in what you are saying to
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[Sammohini Arc] Don't Disrespect Yourself
Next stop on a troubleshooting tour: an occasional printer issue with the Oncology backup printer. Even after one of the nurses replaced the toner cartridges, it still would not print. "Hi, I'm Sammohini from IT, here to look at the printer!" She flashed her employee badge and smiled. "Sure... it's back over here. Follow me." Sammohini tried to make polite small-talk with the nurse, but it looked like she was too tired to really care.
"Have fun."
"Thanks! I, uhh... will?" The nurse walked off leaving her in a small alcove next to a computer. She brought out her notepad and began looking over her notes from the ticket. The problem began about two hours ago. They thought it was out of toner, even though the levels weren't under 10% yet, and it acted the same way after replacing the toner.
"Thanks for taking that one."
She had a quick memory of being back in the team area, at Nils's desk. "Yeah, I really didn't feel like walking around today, so thanks for dealing with the jerks t
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[Sammohini Arc] Dumping Jade Table
"Welcome to the weekend shift!" "Thanks."
Jim continued. "They run a different ship on the weekends. Not the busy work you've seen during the week. More ah the high dollar work, or sensitive jobs. When folks haven't paid their rent on these units, we dump everything we don't want."
The crew hauled out an old storage unit from the back of the warehouse.
"Anyone want this jade table?!" Ruckus shouted out. Jane spoke up. "Sure."
She and two others loaded the small table and chairs into Jane's truck.
The past-due storage unit was otherwise full of inconsequential junk, including a few press-board items that disintegrated before they even arrived at the dumpster, and some boxes of old clothes that, after being picked through for valuables and quality, were thrown unceremoniously into the clothing donation bin on the edge of the Sneaker-Wiles-Scribe Transportation warehouse property. No other storage units were past due that overly warm weekend.
"Alright, gang, we have some big one
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[Sammohini/Chaos Arc] Good at Moving
Two furniture movers arrived early to their final stop: an upscale, downtown high-rise office building in upper Eville. Their customer, a pink-haired fashionista in bicycling gear, met them at the loading dock. "Alright! My new desk! Cool! Let's sign you two in before heading up." She guided them inside, talking while occasionally walking backward. "You're Jim, right?" They shook hands. "Yes, ma'am!" "And a young lady mover?" She tried hugging the quiet mover. "How cool!"
"Thanks." She stepped back and motioned a slight, closed smile.
"Everyone calls me Chaos, but you can call me Carrie! Oh! Looks like no one's here, so, just, like, sign in here with your license plate number. You'll get towed otherwise! Oh dear, I should've let you know first! Can we grab that real quick?" "Not to worry, Carrie. Everything's here." Jim held up his clipboard and filled out the paperwork before the younger mover stepped forward.
The awkward mover scribbled her name.
"Jane Lan...yard. Cool name
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[Sammohini Arc] Doctor of Troubleshootology
“Hey, uhh, thanks for stopping by.”
“Yeah, sure! Is now a good time for me to work on your device, doctor?”
The young computer technician arrived with notes in hand on how to fix the issue.
“Sure. I’ll just be reading over here. Let me know if you need me.”
“Sure thing! Thanks!”
She started clicking around on the computer, trying to figure out what was wrong. It wasn’t straightforward and wasn’t in the notes.
She felt an uneasy anxiety seeping in.
The documentation she had, and her general knowledge of the software based on some past troubleshooting adventures, said that at a particular point, the application should behave like this, rather than like the way it was acting. It was weird. There wasn’t a clear reason why it should be looking the way it was, yet here it was, just acting on its own.
“I’m going to get some coffee. Want some?”
She shifted gears back from her deep troubleshooting thought
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[Sammohini Arc] Boss Is Away
“Hey, Sammohini.” The voice suddenly appeared after a typing lull, along with her mentoring coworker, Hank. “How urgent is that 1 o’clock?” “Oh, umm… yeah, uhh… that’s a move assessment for Nephrology for next week.” “Can you reschedule it? We’d,” and he looked around the cube farm area before dropping his voice, “like to have a team meeting since Linda and Lisa are both away. We were thinking… Wiles’s…” Before exclaiming, she calmly said, “no worries.”
The four hid in an obscured booth at the back of the restaurant.
“Now, here’s my big worry,” Hank had a view of the entire restaurant, “budget’s been terrible for the past few years.” An interruption from, Venkat, their senior teammate. “Over ten.” “Yeah, and our team keeps shrinking. Sammohini’s been a great help over these last few months, but we just need m
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[Sammohini Arc] Stress Versus Stress
"You're strong for a girl!"
"You're pretty for an old curmudgeon."
Just like that, everyone around the final pallet of freight to be brought into the warehouse that sweltering Evillian afternoon burst into laughter, concluding with the now embarrassed curmudgeon and then Jane, who, soaking in the sensation, uncharacteristically smiled.
"Alright, that's enough. Good work, everyone. Your end time is 6:15. Check the calendar to see your hours for tomorrow. Jane, hang tight for a minute."
"What's up, Detlef... rather... 'Deadlift'?"
The warehouse was empty. They both caught a smoke as they walked toward the trucks on the far end of the yard before 'Deadlift' said, "how're they treating you? Nothing too bad?" "Nothing I can't handle." "I know they pick on everyone but I just wanna make sure, not just to cover my ass, but because, well, I know you're trying to get back into computer-type work."
They slowly arrived at one of their older trucks.
"Nothing to concern yourself with, boss. I need
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[Fiction Practice] Deep Dive Troubleshooting
"I'm sorry I keep bugging you when you have a bunch on your plate, too."
The two computer repair technicians were just about to arrive at the doctor's office for advanced diagnostics.
"Don't worry, Sammohini. This is important, it needs to get done right away, you tried more than what your old team would have bothered to do, and I'm honored you asked me."
They put on their technician smiles.
"Hi, Rockstar! Come on back!"
Ten minutes in and she was completely lost.
The rockstar that helped keep the computer lights running at Eville Medical was buzzing away. He was clicking all over the computer screen with his right hand while slowly filling a page of a small red notebook with a fine blue pen in his left hand. She tried keeping up with her small yellow notebook, but they were just contextless words.
Her mind drifted around the office.
Dr. Oona's messy office had papers everywhere, except on the green-leather couch. The walls were lined with bookshelves, leaving only scant space for doct
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[Fiction Practice] Tia's Business Meeting
Downtown, midday, overcast.
Tia mulled over the presentation while working on her last cigarette. The numbers were bad and the stakeholders already accepted one delay. A third shot of espresso was helping to calm her nerves and headache, until the phone rang violently.
It was Simmons.
"Scumbag Simmons..."
First ring. For his display photo, she fittingly picked a clamoring chimpanzee in a suit. Second ring. She stamped out her half-finished cigarette with her three-inch heel and paused to breathe. Third ring. Her navy blue thumbnail hovered over the Reject button. Reason and mirages of her commission set in.
"Simmons, Tia."
"Bad news, babe! Newest client dropped their skirts- shares. We're down 37%!"
"They already agreed on 40% this quarter."
"I know, babe. I'm changing the slides now and'll send you everything when I'm done with the job. This really blows. I won't get a nice coffee break outside before the presentation. If you have any curves or saving graces, now'd
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All of these fiction practice short stories follow a period of about two years in a period of time in "The Story" from the perspective of two characters, Sammohini and Jane. It is called the "Sammohini Arc" because Sammohini is the sister of one of the two main characters of "The Story."

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just as slime streaks down a prison wall —
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on the inside, hot and sweaty —
but you can’t take it off,
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Quick update, since I let time slip away today, and tomorrow will be busy.

Now I'm trying to figure out how I can fit in editing throughout the week. I have time set aside in the morning to edit, it's just that too much brainpower that early in the morning can nuke the rest of the day. On Friday, I completed "Nothing To Do" - requiring a partial re-write for dialogue, cleaning up to fit 500 words, and publishing here, along with my main site, and my Wordpress backup, all in about two hours in the morning, but that nuked part of the rest of my day.

"Working Through Sickness" didn't need as much editing.

It also got some likes, so that was nice. Many of these short stories are inconsequential, but if I notice a particular trend that could be popular, or is, then I'll write more in that vein. Part of it is uncovering character traits. The first 80% of the story was written in one sitting, feeling sick but able enough to focus, with the next part written after getting through all that junk. I like the direction I took it in, and that's where I can leverage some of the split writing sessions.

1. Fielding critiques -- None yet
2. Writer's groups -- No effort put in yet
3. Commissioning artists -- No effort applied yet
  • Listening to: Amon Amarth
  • Reading: My essays/short stories to publish
  • Watching: Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku
  • Playing: 2048
  • Eating: In moderation
  • Drinking: Water


betterzombie's Profile Picture
Zombiepaper (Anthony)
Artist | Professional | Literature
United States
I am writing "The Story," an ambitious journey through a fictionalized version of our reality, told through two main characters and dozens of side characters, commenting on the grime and glitter they experience.



Add a Comment:
udnaan Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2018  Professional Writer
Hi there,

Welcome to DA and tyvm for the :eyes:

Have a good day!