Good Narrative Principles

Dreaming of Perfume


IMG_2869Muriel is drowning in paperwork. Given the number of forms she has to track, in quadruplicate no less, you’d think that databases were right up there with sorting hats and magic wands, a fictitious something that a clever writer dreamed up. Her job is to ensure that each Reservist is up to date with his shots, his travel orders and that the palette of supplies to support him while on deployment follows him at least to the first battle field. Muriel is responsible for designing a plan for decontamination should it be needed. All this is accounted for in endless reams of wispy paper that catch the wind and fly off when she hands a copy to the soldiers on the windy tarmac. Muriel was hoping to see action, that’s why she enlisted. She was ready to tie up her loose ends, clamp down on all those non-desirable traits like a tendency to talk things through that her officers at the Academy kept harping on and serve her country proud. Instead, she sits behind a desk banging on the keys of a typewriter and gently blowing on the white out that erases her mistakes on the top form — the one that goes into the permanent file. At night she scans the want ads on Craig’s List dreaming about a future where she can wear dresses, heels and too much perfume.

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