The Waiver by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

Emotional distress, injury, acts of God, acts of war, lightning…

—Bubonic plague, really?

—Madam, you’re not required to read it. The gray-suited functionary scratched his mustache. He would have to trim it soon or face regulation court. Mandy knew how unpleasant that could be; last time the computer had sent her to . . . she couldn’t remember.

. . . inappropriate desires, police actions, alien abductions, oil spills . . .

—And spontaneous teleportation?

—As I said, the Corporation does not require . . .

—I won’t sign what I haven’t read.

—Does reading it make a difference?

. . . cracked gears, sonic booms, brainwashing, rabies . . .

—If the Corporation hadn’t lost my . . . friend, I wouldn’t need to enter the Zone at all.

. . . green flashes, salmonella, death, undeath  . . .

—Gina signed the waiver you’re reading now. All employees do, and it clearly states that we are not responsible . . .

— . . . for unexplained disappearances.

—Then you’ve reached the end.

Mandy nodded and scrawled her name across the screen. She handed the pad to the gray-suited functionary, who glanced at it before pressing the red button on his desk that opened the door to the Zone.

—Call from any white phone when you’re ready to leave, but remember, if the circuits are down . . .

—I know: ‘we are not responsible.’

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Filed under Elizabeth Kate Switaj

8 responses to “The Waiver by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

  1. Al McDermid

    What a world you’ve created! Do you have any other pieces that take place in ‘the Zone’?

    PS Love the reference to ‘green flashes’.

    • Nope, this is the first.

      I’ve been trying for *years* to see the green flash.

      • Al McDermid

        I hope there is more to come. It reminds of the world that appears in Richard Morgan’s ‘Market Forces’.

        I’ve seen the flash a few times, when I was in the navy and when living in Hawaii. The green ‘blink’ might be a better name for it, but it’s still cool.

  2. A creepy, scary “take” on the (our?) future, told in an interesting experimental form which works so well for your subject matter. Good piece!

  3. Great world you’ve built in so few words — terrifying really. Lumping rabies and brainwashing together — new and old terrors mixed. Peace…

  4. Kelly Grotke

    dark, and funny

  5. Pingback: Week #18 – Lucky Number « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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