by Finnegan Flawnt

Nicholas immediately knew what he was supposed to do and not to do, in his new office. 

He was supposed to work at the desk on his laptop. He was not supposed to look out the window. He was supposed to hold meetings with one or two executives or colleagues at the small table. He was supposed to put some books in the shelf, books that made him look informed, reading, smart. He was not supposed to shag a female staff member on either his desk or on the small table. He was supposed to keep his door closed during confidential meetings. He was not supposed to open the windows and scream his anger out or jump from them to a certain death. He was supposed to take his coffee from the hallway where the company provided machines with fourteen different types of caffeinated drink into his office. He was not supposed to leave the paper cups standing around anywhere. He was supposed to throw them in the wet waste basket next to the machine. He was not supposed to put art or posters he liked up on the wall, either instead or in addition to the choice made for him by the corporation. He was supposed to place photographs of his family, if he had them, on the desk. He was not supposed to leave a pair of handcuffs or a butt plug, if he had them, laying around on that desk. 

It was a small world with many rules, every thing signifying an action or the suppression of an action, and quite possibly also the thought leading to such an action. It was an environment that denied the existence or necessity of personal creativity and expression, because his day was meant to be mindlessly busy, and keep him busy, in the name of the company, not his muse. 

This office was more or less like any other he'd ever worked in, and it confirmed Nicholas' belief that he could predict the next few years, apart from the human relationships, which also filled this place and brought it to life, against the odds prescribed by the catalog of commandments.

Whoever had designed this place and drawn up the rules wasn't just kidding. 

Nicholas sat down at the desk. He put his hands on it and slowly slid forward, elbows at an odd angle, back curved like a panther ready to charge - not a comfortable, but a position engineered to be effectual. He lifted one bun by twisting his hip, grimaced, let out a long groan of delight and farted loudly.

This was going to be good.