December 3, 2021

by J. F. Gleeson


"So that door on the other side of the building has been fixed."

"So it will open properly now?"

"Oh no, it’ll close. It’s meant to stay closed."

"Oh. Oh right. Sorry."

"Thank you, Gregory. And was that everything for updates on that?"

"Yes, for now."

"Brilliant. Right so onto the system. Sammy, you had something you wanted to bring up."

"Yes that’s right." She rifled through a series of papers upon which were scribbled many contusions in pen, and which I did not stare too long at because it could lead to mental impairment. "Okay. Well it’s about the seven hundred fields. Seven ex ex. People had been having problems with the template overlaying." Gregory and I were nodding. I needed the toilet. "When you overlay templates onto downloaded records or ones that you’ve made, the subfields in the seven hundreds get erased or overwritten by those from the template."


"We've been looking at some different workarounds, though sadly none of them are ideal."

"So it’s adding them manually for the moment?"


"You’ll keep us posted."

"Yes yes of course."

"That’s brilliant. Thank you Sammy."

I scratched my leg.

"Anything else on the system?"

We shook our heads.

"Anything on conferences?"

We did the same.

"Well we’re coming up to the end of the year. There’ll be more in the new year."

We nodded.

"Okay, right, well, lastly. Any Other Business?"

"I like cats,” said Olivia. "Mine’s called Jiminee. I love cats but Jiminee’s really the best of them, and it’s like children you know, yours is always going to be the best, but Jiminee really is. But you know what I really like to do. I do like to sit out in the garden and watch him. And he doesn’t really leave our garden, he gets into fights with the neighbours’ cats and really he’s quite chubby as well, so getting up and over the fence or even through the bush is a bit difficult for him. And he sits and watches and paws a lot. But do you know what I really like to do. I like to fill up the bird feeder, I do love the birds, really, though we get a lot of pigeons where I am and they’re very clumsy things. There’s not much room for them to land or take off, you know, and they scare away the little ones. Sometimes the pigeons or the tits or the squirrels knock seeds out of the feeder, and there’s actually a big bunch of weed growing where it’s all fallen out! And that’s what I like. The feeder’s low to the ground. The birds come to get to the low feeder and to get the seeds on the ground. Jiminee’s always watching. Jiminee loves to get the birds. The pigeons are ungainly and he gets them. The little ones are too small and he gets them. In the spring the baby birds can’t fly. Sometimes they fall out of the bushes. Jiminee likes to swat and toss them. They don’t do much but twitching when he’s given them a good shake. I like to have my warm coffee and spread some seed out on the ground. The pigeons are very big. There’s a lot of shaking and feathers go everywhere."

I scratched my leg.

"Thank you, thank you everyone," said Patricia.

"Thanks," we said and picked up our pencils and went back to work.



J. F. Gleeson lives in England. His work has appeared, or is soon to appear, in Ligeia, Rejection Letters, The Daily Drunk, Maudlin House, Dream Journal, Goat's Milk, the Bear Creek Gazette, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Weird Horror and Mandrake. He has in the past used the pen name John Banning. He can be tired and dreams a lot. Find links to his work on his website: