Friday, November 13, 2009

World Turning up Tulips

A response to Nathaniel Lee's "Bloom" in Mirror Shards.

Evan hung up the phone and jumped when he looked up to see Connor looming over his desk with his not-a-hair-out-of-place coiffed wig designed to appeal to the largest audience possible. Behind Connor, Sarah ran like lightning past Evan's cubicle.

"Anything more on the flower story?" asked Connor. Connor's face caked with makeup looked like a clown face -- the ones that scare little kids -- when looked at this closely and not filtered by a camera lens.

"Not yet," said Evan. "We've got a reporter on the scene. The visuals will be good."

"Visuals, Schmiduals. Today's audience has seen too much computer-generated special effects to trust our visuals. We need something to make the story pop."

"A half-mile tall flower. Isn't that a pop?" asked Evan.

"No, don't you listen to a word I say. This story will be huge. All the networks will cover it. We need something they don't have."

"I'm trying. No one knows what created this thing. Can't we do a human interest story on the houses teetering on the flowers roots?"

"Not big enough," said Connor. "Make up some radical science experiment gone wrong. That'll score us the ratings."

And make us the laughing stock when the truth comes out. But Evan didn't say anything, he'd learned that you couldn't argue with Connor.

Across the newsroom Sanchez yelled, "Bee!"

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