This week’s #writephoto prompt is
Alderman Teflon Brassnibble checked the agenda. As usual it lacked… items. He peered at the Hon Sec Madeleine Underbake who was knitting, oblivious to his telepathic hatred as it winged across the baize of the Council table. He sighed. ‘I call the meeting of the Newton Architrave’s planning and highways committee to order. We appear to have no minutes to approve…’
The pause would have been pregnant with his unspoken fury if he could only be bothered. After all, why moan when they’d discussed nothing. Nada. Bugger all. As it had been for months, years.
‘… so moving on to item one…’
Once again he scanned the room. Presley Unstable sniffed and broke his pencil. Grumula Pinchtopple clicked her fingers, one by one. The three Green Party members supped noisily on recyclable cups.
‘Has anyone anything that might be item one?’ It was like looking down a long tunnel hoping that there might be a light at the end, even if it was only an on rushing express. At least that would bring an end to this farce. As he thought the word ‘tunnel’ an idea occurred to him. Teflon wasn’t used to having ideas, realising long before that they tended to lead to the need to take action and he’d spent a career in local administration studiously and steadfastly avoiding anything that required effort.
But he was a broken man. Even he could tolerate only so much inertia, so much indolence. Apathy, when you came down to its fundamentals was exhausting. He rummaged in his bag, an action so unusual and unexpected that the other members of the committee stopped doing nothing and watched him. He extracted a folder. He opened it. He unclipped a sheet of paper. An old fashioned letter which he scanned. One of several he had been sent about the lack of action by the committee on the subject of Jeremiah Thimbletupp’s hazel arbour. Nothing specific, just a generalised moan that it needed a bit of a prune and could the committee sort of maybe find a way…
Teflon looked up at the expectant faces. Madeleine had dropped a stitch; Presley his pencil and Grumula began rolling her shoulders, clicking her neck in a way that, for a moment, Teflon feared he was about to witness a rare example of self paralysis by stretching. Even the Green Party members had sat up straight and stopped supping. The anticipation was tangible, you could almost taste it. Teflon briefly imagined an animated debate, a lively disagreement with a minuted action and…
He sighed. Yes, there was the rub. There would be consequences. It wouldn’t begin and end with the debate and discussion. Dealing with the complaint would evolve into an inquiry, there would be outcomes.
Slowly and not without a hint of sadness, Teflon clipped the letter back in place and shut the folder. Yes, they were in a Tunnel, but the light wasn’t the end or the beginning or even a dramatic intervention. No, it was the members of Newton Architrave’s planning and highways committee scrabbling around with a torch looking for a reason why they’d gone into the tunnel in the first place.
‘Shall we adjourn to the pub?’ As usual there was no debate, no minute. They just did.