Creative contributions

A collection of poems and stories from David Cohen.

David was diagnosed with Aspergers in 2011. He currently works at Camden Council as an Internal Communications Officer, a job well suited to his task oriented approach. Previously, he had long careers in the computer industry and then quality management. David’s  interests include film, music, sport, cycling, origami and writing. He discovered his writing skills when he joined a writing group about 2015. He loves to write short stories, or ‘flash-fiction’ as it’s sometimes known.

Not disability

Autism, not disability, but different ability

We go where angels fear to tread

We speak when others are unspoken

We ask big questions when others go small

Autism, not disability, more like agility

Innovation is the foundation

Attention to detail our watchword

High quality, not low fidelity

Autism, not disability, plenty of stability

We have the systems

The methods that work

Take time to listen to our voices

Autism, not disability, bags of tactility

We don’t need the gossip

We don’t need the small talk

We don’t need the (office) politics

Autism, not disability, real versatility

We have the open mind

We can see the other view

We have the insight to fair play

Autism, not disability, genuine amiability

Eat, sleep, autistic, repeat

Eat, sleep, autistic, upbeat

Eat, sleep, autistic, complete

Autism, not disability, wondrous incredibility

© David Cohen 2022

Do you have anything to report?

“Better get a call in to Emma, so we can then take a lunch break without being interrupted, Jim”.

“Yes, I guess so, Jane, I’m sure it’ll just be the usual – ‘everything is ok’ stuff”.

“This is Alpha Xenon 3 Galactic Central Energy Control calling Space Solar 5… This is Alpha Xenon 3 Galactic Central Energy Control calling Space Solar 5… Come in Space Solar 5… Do you read me?”.

A short pause, some white noise, a bit of crackle.

“This is Space Solar 5 reading you loud and clear, Officer Emma Doon reporting”.

“Hello Emma. Commander Jim Cloud here, alongside Colonel Jane Blond at Galactic Central Energy Control. Please report your status, as per usual”.

“Status report for 4 June 2203 – All space mirrors aligned, sunlight collector levels normal, onward energy transmission to Alpha Xenon 3 surface holding”.

“Thank you, Emma. Do you have anything additional to report?”

A longer pause than usual, some white noise, a bit of crackle.

“Yes, Commander, I do have an additional report”.

“Please repeat your response, Officer Doon. Say again”.

“To repeat, I do have an additional report”.

“That’s very odd, Jane, as in the 5 years that Doon has been reporting – and she’s been up there since the launch of this world saving technology – there’s never been an additional report – ever!”

“Better find out what’s going on, Jim”.

“Commander Doon, please file your additional report”.

“Sir, I didn’t want to bring this to your attention, but something strange is happening up here. I was conducting my normal rounds when I came across an unusual message on one of the sunlight collectors.”

“Which collector was this, Emma?”.

“It was Platform 12, Level 3, Section 5, Subsection 3, Corridor 7A, Collector 103, Message Reader 6”.

Jim and Jane give each other a very quizzical look.

“What did the message say, Emma?”.

Another silence fills the air, a pause, crackle, waiting. Jim and Jane stare at each other as if they are waiting for something big to happen.

“Sir, the message read as follows… ‘Space mirror energy collector levels will need increasing due to increase in energy usage on Alpha Xenon 3, source unknown’. Message ends”.

“Are you sure, Doon, are you absolutely sure?”.

“Yes sir, 100%”.

“Jane, do you realise what this means? Someone, or something is using more power on the planet than they should be, and that goes against the galactic climate personnel energy usage rules, and everything humanity has worked for, and if someone doesn’t find out quickly what’s going on, it could be the end of us”.

Next day – Jim and Jane see the front-page headline in the on-line newspaper, The Alpha Xenon Bugle:

‘Hermit living in backwoods of Eurasia discovered to be making something called… ‘toast’ with new-fangled contraption they called… a ‘toaster’, causing critical drop in world energy availability levels.’

“What the hell is toast, Jim?”.

“I’ve no idea, Jane, but we’ll soon find out…”

© David Cohen 2022

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