I’d been procrastinating about filling out the I.A. Forms. Earlene’s warning intimidated me, but still I did nothing. Two weeks had passed before I could sum up the courage to tackle them. How could they possibly be any different than any other? However, having dealt with the last two individuals, I’m sure to be in for a surprise.
So, I drew in a breath and typed *AR/Forms. To my surprise the application appeared immediately on the blank screen. The first page looked normal, ID stuff. However, there was a note in big letters on top of the page.
Before you begin, please click on the small yellow light bulb situated on the upper right corner of this application form.
A strange request I thought, but I’ve now learned to expect the unexpected. So, I did what I was instructed to do. No sooner had I pointed and clicked, the the light bulb disappeared and a tiny fairy emerged. She was dressed all in lavender, from the big bow on her tiny ponytail, to her tiny ballet-slippered toes. Even her little gossamer wings were tinted in the same hue. She carried a tiny wand and every time she moved it, amethyst colored fairy dust fell on my keyboard. Her only jewelry was a purple letter ‘D’, affixed to a tiny gold chain around her neck. She perched on the far right corner of the page, legs crossed, waiting for me to begin.
I stared wide-eyed, unable to speak. She stared back, swinging one leg back and forth beginning to showing her impatience. Finally realizing the stunned expression on my face wasn’t going to go away anytime soon, she spoke. “Well, by the looks of things, I guess I’d better introduce myself.”
“Th…that would be nice.” I managed to squeak out.
“I’m an IA Data Document’s clerk,” she said with a little more pride than modesty.
Catching my breath, I asked, “what does a data document ah, clerk, do?”
“I take all the completed forms and scan the data for the IAs. Then at the time of the appointment, all the IA has to do is summon me. I display the information plus any information that I may’ve picked up from the applicant.”
“Is that why you wear the letter D around your neck?”
“No, silly, that’s me, Daphne.”
“Oh, of course, Daphne in Data Documents.” I should’ve known.
“Enough of this dallying,” chirped Daphne. “Let’s get started. We’ve got at least ten pages to complete.”
That number seemed quite high, and I started to question, but she raised her tiny eyebrows and pointed her wand at me to start. It’s pretty scary being intimidated by a fairy the size of gnat, but she was the one holding the wand, so I better do as told. The first page was pretty ordinary. I started to type in my first name when I heard a muffled laugh. “What’s the matter?”
“You’re first name,” she tittered.
“What’s wrong with it?” I huffed.
“The Museum of Modern Art is your first name?” she asked coyly.
“No, my name happens to be the same as the acronym for the Museum’s, little miss smarty pants.” That’ll teach her.
“Goodness me, I didn’t mean to offend.” Daphne waved her wand and more fairy dust settled on my keyboard.
“Are you going to help me or just sit there sprinkling crap all over the place?” I sneezed.
“Bless you! Sorry about that. Please go ahead, and if you have a question, I’ll be happy to help, otherwise I’ll just sit her and be quiet.” She zipped her finger over lips.
Daphne seemed apologetic enough, so I continued on filling out the rest of the page. A questionnaire popped up on page two. The first question: Why do you want to write? That looked easy enough. As I began to type I heard a tiny, “Ahem,” coming from the corner of the page.
“May I offer a suggestion?” Daphne asked, a little sheepishly.
I nodded. It couldn’t hurt.
“If you put down the I-know-I-have-a-book-in-me, trite answer, an IA would dump your application in a minute.”
I was surprised that she knew what I was going to write. It unnerved me, so I asked, how do you know what’ I’m thinking?”
She gave me a cute little smile. “It’s the dust. I’ve been sprinkling it all around you. It seeps into your body. Each particle has a tiny transmitter that picks up information about you and sends it back to me.”
I frantically started wiping the little specks off me and brushed them off the keyboard.
Daphne threw her head back and laughed. “It’s too late. I’ve already got all the information I need. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll just fill out the rest of the questionnaire. It’ll only take me a second or two.” With a tip of her wand, she sailed through all ten pages.
I quickly read over what she had written, and had to admit that what she wrote was what I would’ve done, but only much better. I had no changes to make, but I had a question. “Daphne, wouldn’t this be illegal, you doing all the work?”
“No, no, of course not. Remember, they’re your thoughts, and I’ve just had years of experience with these forms. She tapped her wand on the pages and they quickly rolled up and slid under her arm. She checked her tiny lavender watch. “Oh my, it’s getting late. I must leave and get these filed before the day ends.” Her wings started to flutter.
“Wait. I’ve one last question. Will this be the last thing for me to do before my appointment?”
Daphne tapped her wand on my nose and said, “Time will tell.”
“What does that mean?” The dust made my nose tickle.
“I don’t know,” she shrugged her tiny shoulders. “I just like to say that.” Off she flew and the screen turned back to blue.
The way things were going, I wouldn’t be surprised if I had other visitors lightening up my screen before my meeting with Ralph. It’s got me wondering. Does he really want to advise me or is he simply evading the issue? Time will tell.