Orthodoxy

The blindfold came off, but he instantly squeezed his eyes shut: there was a bright light in front of him, shining directly at his face.

"Better to keep them open, let them adjust," said a terrifyingly friendly voice.

He opened them into a squint. The edges of his vision resolved into shapes, the shapes resolved into people. One of them, a man standing against the wall, checked his watch. "Let's get on with it."

"Right." The first voice belonged to a balding man sitting across the table; he was a touch heavy, but otherwise thoroughly nondescript. "Mr. Ordry, do you know why you're here?"

"Not really, no."

"I think you do. The computer thinks you do too. Heart rate, blush response, eye movement. it's all right here." He pointed to a datapad on the table in front of him. "There are more sensors taped to your skin right now than I have in my car. And it's a nice car, Mr. Ordry."

"Congratulations."

"I think he's got a smart mouth," the watch-checker opined.

"Mr. Ordry, let me ask you again. Do you know why you're here?"

"I honestly can't think of a good reason."

"Listen, pal." The standing man had stepped forward, grabbed the lamp and pushed it closer, angled it to maximize its dazzling effect. "You'd best be advised to cooperate. This interview can get very uncomfortable, very quick. Am I making myself clear?"

"I think so."

"Good." He stepped back, leaving the lamp in place.

"Now then." The seated man smiled. "Why don't you tell me why you think you're here."

"I refused to take the CSFT during my review. Then they made me take it or I'd be fired. I guess I didn't do so well."

"You didn't. You didn't do at all well, Mr. Ordry." The seated man shook his head. "The Comprehensive Spiritual Fitness Test is an important tool for weeding out problematic employees. And citizens, for that matter, Mr. Ordry."

"Whatever."

"You're a dangerous man, Mr. Ordry."

24 comments:

  1. Brilliant.
    favorite part..
    stepped forward, grabbed the lamp and pushed it closer, angled it to maximize its dazzling effect.

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  2. I liked the detail about the watch guy stepping back but leaving the lamp at that angle.

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  3. That doesn't sound much like a test I would want to take either. I think Mr. Ordry is in a lot of trouble.

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    1. Yeah, me either. Methinks he's going to 're-education camp'.

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  4. Dang, I'm glad I don't live in this world. I have always been a little out of step.

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  5. Gah, you can't leave it there! (: I want to know more!

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    1. It doesn't go well, let's put it that way. :-)

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  6. The dialog is crisp and sounds natural. This is an intriguing start (middle?) of a story. It begs to be continued.

    Thank you for linking up! Please don't forget to return for the voting!

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  7. I wondered if CSFT was real. I'm still trying to get used to the idea of homeland security! creepy scenario.

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  8. Very interesting, intrigued as to what the CSFT really is - I'm pretty sure I'd "flunk" it. That's just fine with me!

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    1. Well, it was inspired by the spiritual fitness questionnaire that members of the US military are being asked to take, as well as Robert Heinlein's 'If This Goes On'.

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  9. Oh dear. Poor Mr. Ordry. Love how the bald guy uses the computer to back himself up – and the bit about his car. Nice touches. Creepy piece of writing. Well done!

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  10. The "Comprehensive Spiritual Fitness Test..." that sounds frighteningly plausible. Glad to read it, sir!

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    1. Thank you very much for reading and commenting! :-)

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  11. "terrifyingly friendly" is a great description

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  12. Wow, I'd love for you to write more - this is really good!

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