Prompt courtesy of Today’s Author.
It looked like an ordinary office building on the outside, but inside it was anything but ordinary. It was five stories tall, or, rather, it had five rows of windows. There were no separations between the floors, just one ceiling fifty feet up. And it was filled to the brim with tall, high shelves of sliding boards, used ones that had rusted over and needed desperately to be cleaned or recycled, the kind you saw at old elementary schools that were built in the 50s.
Sliding boards were regularly left outside the building in an empty lot, and every time one arrived, Bert had to haul it into the building. None were ever taken out once they were hauled in. But Bert had been told to bring them in, and only that. If he waited for the truck that brought the sliding boards, it didn’t come. It only came when he wasn’t watching. They had been piling up for nearly ten years now, but there was always room for another. Bert had tried to use one once, but his pants got a streak of rust on them, and his dinner was withheld for two. “Bring the sliding boards in,” said The Voice On The Loudspeaker, “but do not use them. We need to wait.”
So Bart spent his days waiting for another board to arrive. One did come, and he brought it in and stacked it up next to the others. Dinner came on time that night.