Flash Fiction by Brad Ashlock
Hi, Doug? How have you been? Oh, fine, yeah. Hey, uh, I was just wondering if we could have a word real quick about something? Thanks. Oh, same ol’ same ol’. Took the kid to the zoo. You do anything? Nice. Sounds great. Well, the reason I’m calling is… there’s this guy, but, uh, see… I don’t know his name. Oh, I am sure you know him. Well, he’s got a head that’s slightly misshaped. Slightly like a bowling pin. And he’s got noticeably short arms. No, not Tyrannosaurus Rex short. Maybe six inches too short. So, we’re not talking major deformities here. On the whole deformation birth defects scale, he’s like a three? Yes, that’s it! Richard Queensbridge! That’s the guy. Well, you’re still HR, right? Oh. OK… congrats on the promotion. Well, I appreciate that. So this Richard guy–you know we’ve got that intern program? Yep! Well, about seventy-five percent of these interns are young Asian girls. Which brings me to why I called you, Doug: Richard, he’s been–in my view–and this is all confidential, right? Thank you. Well, I’ll get right to it then: Richard has been harassing young Asian girls. I can’t quite describe it. It’s nothing overt but whatever it is is probably consistent with some kind of harassment. Um, well, no. No, none have complained per se, but they all seem less comfortable when he’s around. Hm. OK. Sure. Well… OK, I never thought of that. The deformities. I guess that could be a reason. Hm. Well… Maybe you’re right! I don’t know. So why is it only seeming to affect the Asian girls? Culture? I don’t know. OK. Sure. I appreciate that. I’ll keep observing them then. The interactions. Thanks, Doug. You too. Buh-bye.