P, for Potential

“I think you show a lot of potential,” Chief Earhart said. He was struggling. Good. Let him.

“I see a lot of potential in you,” Chief continued. He flicked the mustache he’d grown for Movember. They couldn’t wear beards, so they participated by growing mustaches. Voting for the best mustache would take place on the watchfloor next week, and the winner would get 24-hours special liberty. It was strange seeing Chief Earhart in a mustache. It looked he was hiding something, like he had another mouth under all that hair, and it spoke his real thoughts.

We think you suck, Denson. You’re not one of us. We like other people better, so they get EP’s and MP’s, and you . . . you get what’s left. P.

It meant Promotable, the lowest “good” mark possible on your quarterly evaluation, but the letter P stood for so much more. While Chief kept talking, William thought of what else it meant.

Pushy? Pussy? Party? Partial? Pure?

“So keep at it, and I look for great things from you,” Chief’s visible mouth said.

“So fuck off with your P, and thank your lucky stars advancement has been 100% the past few cycles, otherwise you’d still be an Airman,” Chief’s hidden mouth said.

Pity? William thanked Chief and left the Chief’s Mess. Pity . . . that sounded better. Close, not quite, but getting there.

It showed a lot of potential too.


 

If you liked this sample from Keepers of Time, follow me on Twitter or Facebook. The samples, in order:

  1. A Step Ahead
  2. Thirty-Four with a Shrug
  3. An Encounter at the Thirsty Camel
  4. Take Pills
  5. P, for Potential

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