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Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Department of Adventure

Michaels Petersen awoke in a state of excitement.  This was the day he had been waiting for.  He had a 10:30am appointment at the Department of Adventure.  He had waited 5 years for the appointment, which was actually not such a long time to wait, the clerk had been sure to point out on the phone.

On the bus ride he thought of the adventure he was seeking approval for.  He would (if all went well) be granted leave of the city perimeter and he would bike through the hills to the great woods, where he would walk amongst the trees and swim within the rivers.  He would camp.  He would fend for himself.  Undoubtedly there would be many encounters with magical creatures.  No doubt he would he would need to save princesses, many of whom, no doubt, would fall in love with him.  There would be evil wizards to outwit and brutish swordsmen to slay.  In short, it would be a grand adventure.

The Department of Adventure is on State Street, and if you're thinking it's a grand building that looks like a castle and evokes images and feelings of the object of its preposition, you'd be quite right.  The building looks like something out of Lord of the Rings.  The inside, strangely, is a different matter.  Upon entering, Michaels Petersen was struck by the clinical nature of the surroundings.  The hallways were endless, the lighting horribly bright, the walls a strange turquoise.

After some time he found the room he was looking for, the offices of the Division of High Adventure.  He was 5 minutes early.  The clerk, possibly the same he had spoken to on the phone 10 years earlier, checked him in and asked him to have a seat.  At 10:30am exactly he was called and ushered down a hall and into the office of a Miss Charlotte Stukes.  Miss Stukes did not look up and simply asked for his application.  She looked through its pages.  He sat and tried to read her expressions -- were things going well, would she approve the application, please approve the application.

"Mr. Petersen, you did not answer question 54."  She showed him the missing answer.

"Oh, well, the answer is 'yes.'"

"Mr. Petersen, according to policy, all questions on the application must be answered at the time of the appointment in order to be approved.  You are going to need to make another appointment, and, in addition, in accordance with policy, you will be penalized and automatically refused an appointment for another 10 years."

"Oh, but please, I have waited 5 years for this and I, I need this.  Please.  Please.  I need this."

"Mr. Petersen, I need to ask you to leave.  If you do not leave immediately I will press the alarm button and you will be escorted out and penalized an additional 10 year wait, totaling a 20 year wait."

At that moment he died.  He didn't cease to exist, but he died.