Another in my 5 Random words series. This is where I am given five totally non-related words and challenged to come up with a story incorporating them all.
This time the words were;
Broccoli, Agenda, Pylon, Monkey and trampoline.
‘The next item on the agenda is of course our annual Charity fete.’
Paula barely registered her boss’s booming voice as her brain was already cluttered with all the things she had to sort out before the weekend. Mentally she ran through the list; chauffeuring the family to their various destinations, planting the broccoli and carrots, changing all the bedding ready for Mother’s visit, washing, ironing, shopping and a myriad of other tasks. The list was endless.
‘What do you think Paula?’
With a start she realised she had not heard a word of the question directed at her. Gazing around the conference table she saw no support in the eyes of her colleagues, in fact they were revelling in her embarrassment.
‘I’m so sorry Sir, I didn’t quite catch that. This cold has affected my hearing. Would you mind repeating the question?’
Trying to look innocent and poorly at the same time she couldn’t help noticing the smirk on Derek’s face. It was well known he was still peeved that he had been passed over for promotion in her favour, and that the governor had a voice like a fog-horn.
‘Health and Safety? Kiddies area, bouncy Castle, trampoline, legal requirements, ambulance chasers when little Johnny trips, grazes his knee and devoted mother sues the company for megabucks?’
It was difficult to ignore the sarcasm in his voice but taking a deep breath Paula consulted her notes before replying. ‘I’ve investigated the companies proving the equipment, Sir,’ she responded. ‘All are well established with a good safety record and fully insured. The only matter of concern is where they should be situated.
‘The obvious choice is the south field, but with its proximity to the lane there was some concern about the closeness of the electricity pylon. Although it’s actually outside the grounds, it is within 50 metres of where the apparatus would need to be set up.’
‘Well researched Paula,’ her boss acknowledged, ‘we can’t risk anything jeopardising the success of the day.’
Knowing that the suggestion for the trampoline originally came from Derek she couldn’t resist sending a sweet smile in his direction.
‘Anyway, everyone has bouncy castles these days. Over to the floor for alternative suggestions,’ his nibs demanded, glaring at each member of the committee in turn. One or two of the braver ones offered ideas, and immediately regretted it as the look on his face told them he was not impressed.
It looked as if the meeting would drag on forever as no one could come up with a new concept. Taking her courage in both hands Paula addressed the M.D. ‘There is one thing that might work. The schools are currently involved in teaching the children biology and the environment, with particular reference to evolution.
‘There is a local professor who has primates, tortoises, snakes and other rare animals which he uses for his lectures. If we could persuade him to come we could set up an information site with placards and conservation information.
‘It might make an interesting alternative and even earn us some brownie points with the local press. Just a thought.’
‘That’s brilliant Paula. Our PR department can do wonders with an idea like that. Show the world we’re not just another tax evading conglomeration but a sharing, caring green company. Whatever it costs, get him there. Next meeting Friday 24th for an update.’
As she collected up her papers and glanced at the clock wondering if she could still make the 5.45, Paula could feel the daggers emanating from Derek and his cronies. Nevertheless a few people appreciated her efforts and thanked her for providing an escape before their weekend was totally ruined.
The big day arrived. The professor was a great hit with parents and children alike. The sun shone, the press turned up in droves and Paula’s bonus looked in the bag.
How was she to know the damn monkey would escape and grab the MD’s hair piece before running up the pylon to show off his custom made wig?
Never mind the locals, the photos were sold to the national papers and became a viral sensation.
Next time she would just stick to the tried and tested.
If you enjoy my short stories please check out my books; available on Amazon or to order at any UK bookshop. Any problems please feel free to contact me on Voinks@hotmail.co.uk.
ABC Destiny by Voinks
Changes by Voinks
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