“Borgedy, borgedy, borgedy,” whispered the chef. He was feeling unusually nostalgic that day.

He wouldn’t let up about the coffee maker, and they could do nothing to shut him up about it. Even if they wanted to (he was the only coffee drinker in the office), they had no budget to replace the unit, and there were no guidelines in the HR policy to sack him (Disruption? Annoyance?). On the Monday after President’s Day, they held a secret meeting in Mike’s office in which they agreed to send him to LA to taste-test buns at every franchise location across the city.

He tried to press in the numbers as he was running but kept hitting the wrong ones. Eventually he had to stop and dial them in, hunched over and panting.

He levered the rock to the side with the two by four. She toddled up, and was immediately transfixed by the weevils and beetles scattering this way and that.

She had installed a thimble-like metal fitting on each toe, and when she tapped barefoot, it was like 10 mice tapping at once.

“There’s no way he coulda signed the contract that smooth while driving the forest service road at 80 clicks”, observed the clever detective, wishing he had a pipe to drag for effect.

He had received his eyeglasses from an NGO long ago, but the screws had fallen out eight and ten years in. When the situation had become untenable, his sister-in-law had sewn them into a fabric mask of sorts, complete with a few beads. He wore the mask tied around his head like a bandit. Incidentally, his wife had had an eye removed during that same eye-care mission to the village back in the day, and wore a blue patch over the empty socket. They were a couple to behold.

He stepped inside the cabin. The room was tiny, with only a bit of space to move around the table and cot. Thick dust covered everything. A fishing lure hung in the window.

While sleeping on the ferry, head to shoulder, shoulder to head, their hair had become intertwined and somewhat braided together.

His eyes were dry and itchy, moving in and out of a half-squint to read the fine print.

The only instrument he carried in his satchel was a penny whistle. It was ideal for cheering up his toddlers when unfortunate acts fell upon them, such as ice cream falling off cones and balloons flying away.

He sat there in his itty bitty car. Watching the river. Eating fries.

He was working in the mine. She was working in the ‘ours.

His cousin had been a front desk clerk at the Air Force base. At family functions he often complained about the vending machine down the hall from his work area that only had healthy snacks.

The janitor was sick and his brother, Matt was filling in.

He stood there wide-eyed, at a wall of instruments he had never seen. He wanted the greyed-old man sitting on the stool in the corner to demonstrate each one. He looked down at his bus ticket. It would leave in 20 minutes, and his bags were full.

He was the only indoor cat in the facility, and now he was being put in the awkward position of having to teach the outdoor cats how to eat out of a dish without offending them.

She always left one bite on her plate after a meal. She’d been doing this since she could remember, well before the magazines had popularized it.

She had taken her skis off and was clonking up the stairs in her giant boots yelling about bland coffee.

The carpet was thick with Cheetos. There was a glass of separated milk balanced on the edge of the coffee table.