Monday, 12 January 2009

Flash Fiction: ...And I Feel Fine

...And I Feel Fine
Nathan Ryder

From: Carolyn Webster, Senior Tour Supervisor
FAO: All Museum Tour Staff

Tour Guide Assistance Notes for “The End of the World! (as we know it!)” 28.05.19
  1. Emphasise, when talking with visitors, that this is the latest in a long series of state of the art multimedia experiences for visitors at the Museum.
  2. Emphasise especially that the exhibition is free; make special mention of the well stocked Museum Gift Shop.
  3. Use of recording devices of any kind is strictly prohibited in all exhibition spaces. Storage capsules are available for a small refundable deposit in the cloakroom adjacent to the Gift Shop.
  4. The Museum's legal division is certain that we are perfectly within our rights – through public domain, fair use and parody laws – to use the media that we have in our exhibitions. That said, all Museum staff will use the assigned exhibit names when leading tour groups and when dealing with questions from members of the public. Regardless of how a member of the public refers to an exhibit, you will use the name given in the official tour programme.
  5. If you believe that there are any questions that have not been raised in this outline, or if a member of the public asks you a question that you do not feel qualified to answer, please refer to a more senior member of the Museum Tour Staff.


From: Carolyn Webster, Senior Tour Supervisor
FAO: All Museum Tour Staff

Addendum #1 30.05.19
Having mentioned similar in point 4 of the original Tour Guide Assistance Notes, it pains me to reiterate the point for certain members of staff. Despite members of the public referring to it by another name, you are to refer to the exhibit “Post-Civilisation Simian Earth” by that name and by that name only.


From: Carolyn Webster, Senior Tour Supervisor
FAO: All Museum Tour Staff

Addendum #2 03.06.19
Any resemblance between the appearance of the lead character solidgram in “Post-Civilisation Simian Earth” and “Viral Neo-Luddite Earth (circa 1971)” is purely coincidental. DO NOT get drawn into conversations on the subject. DO NOT acknowledge or mention the name Charlton Heston. Refer all queries to myself or another senior member of the Museum Tour Staff.


From: Carolyn Webster, Senior Tour Supervisor
FAO: All Museum Tour Staff

Addendum #3 11.06.19
Following an incident during the first school tour of the day, access to the “Reanimation Station Military Base!” exhibit is limited to members of Museum Technical Personnel. Any queries by members of the public or by “journalists” should be met with a request to contact me.


From: Carolyn Webster, Senior Tour Supervisor
FAO: All Museum Tour Staff

Addendum #4 15.06.19
The “Reanimation Station Military Base!” exhibit has reopened. No school tours or individuals under the age of 18 are to be allowed access to the exhibit. All staff and members of the public should respect the yellow lines on the floor and endeavour to stay clear of them. No one should cross the red lines painted on the floor, and in the event that a member of the public does cross a line, Museum Tour Staff should:
  1. Order them to return;
  2. Not follow them;
  3. Alert members of Museum Security and Technical Personnel.
Museum Technical Personnel have assured me that while they cannot find the fault which lead to the injuries during the school tour four days ago, the solidgrams are restricted by the angle of the beam emitters from passing the red lines. Probably. They definitely cannot pass the yellow lines. All inquiries regarding the school tour incident of 11.06.19 should be forwarded to myself or another member of senior Museum Tour Staff.


From: Carolyn Webster, Senior Tour Supervisor
FAO: All Museum Tour Staff

16.06.19
VIRAL INTRUSION OF SOLIDGRAM SOFTWARE!!! LEAVE VIA EMERGENCY EXITS OR MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE MAIN SECURITY DESK!!! MUSEUM WILL BE SEALED IN FIVE MINUTES, ALL DATA AND POWER LINES WILL BE SEVERED WHILE INFORMATION SYSTEMS ARE PURGED, SAFETY WITHIN THE MUSEUM COMPLEX CANNOT BE GUARANTEED!!!


From: Carolyn Webster, Senior Tour Supervisor
FAO: Museum Board of Trustees

Autotyped from dictation, 18.06.19
I was left a project to supervise that I didn't want, that, that no one wanted. And yet your response at the start of this was, “No worries, Carolyn is always up for a challenge, Carolyn always comes through!”

You didn't listen on the 11th, you just wanted the story to go away.

You didn't listen on the 14th, you just looked at the margins. What do they look like now?

You can find yourself someone else to ignore. Consider this my resignation.


From: Carolyn Webster, Senior Tour Supervisor (former)
FAO: All Museum Tour Staff (those remaining)

Autotyped from dictation, 18.06.19
This should be Addendum #5 I think, my last message to you doesn't count. I always liked things to be regimented. Sorry if any of you thought I was a stuck up bitch for being such a stickler for the rules. I've resigned. The tours are all cancelled, the whole exhibition is to be closed. I was accused of cutting corners, but I didn't design this exhibition I just took over the project.

You only have to look at half of the things that the exhibits were based on to know that it was never going to end well. I am sorry that I couldn't persuade the Trustees to close the exhibition sooner; they'll say that we – that I – should have stepped in sooner on the day. I know it wasn't enough, please believe me that I did everything I could.
CW

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Creative Commons License
This short story is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works License. Feel free to repost and share it with others, so long as you credit me (Nathan Ryder, 2009) as the original author and link back to this page. It would also be nice if you dropped me a comment!

2 comments:

mattiecore said...

I really love the form of this: it allows the reader to interact and construct their own ideas of what exactly happened

zero_zero_one said...

In a few days I might write something about the evolution of this... I had the central idea of an exhibition or collection of things to do with the apocalypse... But the actual "story" went through so many iterations and ideas before finally arriving at what it did.