Another Day, Another Blog

March 21, 2007

Woden’s woes

Filed under: ficlet, humour, the joy of life — iamza @ 9:45 am

Being the man in charge, Woden decided, as he blew hot air on his frozen fingers, was great in theory, but not as good in practice. The promotion had seemed like a great opportunity; better pay, more perks, and the chance to make the rules instead of following them — what more could he want? What the higher-ups didn’t tell you, when you were offered the promotion to Prison Overlord, was that when things went wrong, it would be all your fault.

And during the first months of his tenure, things had very definitely gone wrong.

Woden leaned against the window, looking out over the empty prison yard, and sighed. Yes, the therm prison break had happened while he was in office —

(an explosion of light and black foul-smelling smoke)

— but the signs had been there for all to see. From the widening cracks in the wall (where industrious prisoners had chiselled away at the aging plaster), to the rackety old machinery that clanged and chortled and occasionally farted, the prison had never been in the best of condition. Years of neglect on the part of many of his predecessors had led to a prison that leaked more than it held. And yet, despite this, it was Woden the world held accountable.

He shivered, wrapped his arms around himself. If only he’d said no, walked away when he had the chance. Held out for something bigger and better, with less stress involv–

Bring-bring. Behind him, the phone cut into his thoughts.

“Woden.” Clipped, sharp, and short.

“It’s Officer Down *, Sir. I’m in the pump room, where the therms got out.”

“And? Do we know where they went?”

A pause, hesitation. “They blew up the vent, and clambered outside. Looks like most took to running, and trying to hide. Unsuccessfully, I think, we’ll pick them up soon. But there was a van parked at the corner of Holland and Mulhoon.”

“And crime scene? What do they say?”

“That we should know more at the end of the day.”

Woden grimaced. Down’s word games were making him frown. How could an officer of the law spend all his time coming up with reports that tended to rhyme. And now that madness had infected Woden too. Why, oh why, could it not have been just the fl–

“Keep me posted, ” Woden growled, and hung up.


* Semi-unrelated aside: The first time I saw the title of the Batman: Officer Down trade, I thought it was going to be a story about a character called Officer Down. It was only once I’d finished the book, utterly disgusted at the lack of an Officer Down, that I realized that the title was supposed to be read in the sense of, “Send help! We have an officer down!” D’oh!


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