Max stared at the wall. He threw the chewed paperclip into the plastic cup and picked up a fresh one.

‘How many is that?’ Darcy asked from across the cubicle divide.

‘Ten.’ Max answered, putting the new paperclip between his teeth.

‘You’re not functioning well today.’

‘A-ha!’ Max shouted and spat out the paperclip. Leaning forward he wrote on the crossword. ‘D-y-s-f-u-n-c-t-i-o-n-a-l. ‘An inability to work with hollowed-out dry and stiff ointment.”

He threw the newspaper down in triumph.

Darcy looked over at him. ‘Can we get on with actual work now?’

‘I’m all yours. Remind me to order more paperclips later.’

Copyright Claire Sheldon

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

97 responses to “DYSFUNCTIONAL”

  1. Hahaha! Reminds me somewhat of a memo put out in the production offices of the original Star Trek. The associate producer mentioned in passing a guy (possibly a story editor) who he said will not be allowed into his office and not to “eat the leaves off of my philodendron. He will have to find emotional nourishment elsewhere.” Same with the paperclips guy, in a way. Good little yarn there. Very real and fun! Nice work, Iain. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hysterical laughter, oops sorry about the paperclip spray. I just had few tucked in as I’m marking out pages… hehehehe!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A little ADD behaviour… chew on the paperclip whilst the brain works on something else! Whatever works, I say… though metal on my teeth… blech!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh that’s kind of gross but I guess the things we do to avoid work. I wonder if it hurts his teeth, scrapes of enamel or something. Great write 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The question is, what will he chew on when he has demolished all his teeth, if he doesn’t choke to death first? I think he should give up crosswords before they kill him. I love the last two lines. It’s amazing how people can convince themselves that all sorts of things are work. Still, I’m sure that doing crosswords is better for the brain than keeping on checking Facebook during working hours!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. LOL. Love where you took this. I don’t get cryptic crosswords at all. But how do his teeth hold up with all that paperclip worrying?

    Liked by 1 person

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