Saturday, January 10, 2009

Entry #44

Cleanup in the Food Court
by Josh Vogt


Assassins don’t like quitters. So it came as no surprise when I detected three of them stalking my morning rounds. This career change from death-for-hire to mall janitor meant a significant pay cut, but gave me a peace of mind my former associates could never understand.

A few mall walkers and store managers clicked their heels over the tiled floors, but otherwise I was alone with the jackals.

I pushed my mop and squeaky-wheeled cart to the food court, then grabbed a spray bottle and rag and stepped onto the escalator to the second floor.

One shadow detached from his hiding place and followed me up. I looked back to see him raise a silenced pistol. He didn’t notice the razorwire I had stretched across the handrails until too late.

The legs somehow remained standing for a few seconds after the upper body was sheared away.

A second figure waited at the top, blade in hand. I hit him with a squirt from the bottle. He fell to his knees, clawing at his bubbling, melting face.

The last hunter emerged from behind a column and struck a martial pose. I dropped the bottle and threw the rag into the air. His gaze flicked between them, long enough for me snatch up some cutlery left on a nearby table.

Who knew a spork could be fatal? My third assailant toppled, nerve-dead before he hit the floor.

I retrieved my cart to clean up the mess.

After all, I’m just a janitor.

33 comments:

JaneyV said...

HA! Josh you never disappoint. Wonderful, enjoyable read!

harshad said...

love all the action in the story...cool stuff!

JR's Thumbprints said...

You can't take the hitman out of the janitor, or is it the other way around--afterall, he did clean-up didn't he?

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Woah!That was a nerve biting piece.Loved the action in it :)

Lena said...

So much action in just 250 words!! awesome! :)

sandra seamans said...

Wow! Don't mess with the janitor. Great story!

wrath999 said...

Great tale. Highly entertaining

laughingwolf said...

janitor josh to the cleanup, love it! :D

Victor Bravo Monchego, Jr said...

the premise is very funny.

BernardL said...

Well done. My kind of story. :)

Leatherdykeuk said...

Ha! Lovely!

Nothingman said...

brilliant execution!

N

Sarah Hina said...

Fantastic as usual, Josh!

I love the black humor, the premise, and all the small, smart details that always make your writing pop. I was waiting to read your entry, and now I know why. :)

I've never trusted sporks...

Senorita said...

great story...very entertaining!

SzélsőFa said...

A great composition, indeed.

sawan said...

if u r still not a script writer, you could think of one! amazing!!

September said...

Cool! Way to go Janitor!
I want him at my workplace.
Entertaining and nicely written.

anna j said...

What a great character--gifted depiction of him!

iLL Man said...

Like bloodthirsty Hong Kong Phooey ;)

Enjoyed that one a lot.

The Preacherman said...

Having tottered through loads of stories and loved plenty of them I can honestly say this is my personal favourite.

Dunno why. Just is. Ta for that.

McKoala said...

Hm, he takes his job too seriously for my liking. Very neat story. So to speak.

Anonymous said...

Excellent!
John McAuley

one more believer said...

next time i see a janitor i will smile but never turn my back...

Meghan said...

Wow, I'll NEVER look at a spork the same way again! Great job!

jjdebenedictis said...

Hee! Very cool!

Tiffany said...

Action packed. Great job!

bluesugarpoet said...

I thought I was safe when I spent a half-hour chatting with a janitor today. He said he used to be a coach, but now I wonder...

Great story! Love the action...and the sporky humor.

jana

Catvibe said...

Excellent, quirky and entirely fun in a horrible sort of way.

ceedy said...

Our brains are not RAMS that can be cleaned up from past adventures unless offcourse you are hit on the head and get amnesia

Loved the play of words and the humor...

Terry said...

Josh, I don't normally read this genre, but once I started, I couldn't make myself stop--Read it several times, in fact. I think the fact that you wrote the gory scenes as matter-of-factly as someone might talk about the weather contributed to the readabilty. I can see a series here...Well done!

Carrie said...

Original and very readable, not much into works of this nature unless they strike me as different. A class act.

pjd said...

This is my first read of this, and I can see why it's a readers' choice winner. I am laughing out loud here in my hotel room, probably scaring the guests in the adjacent rooms.

Jason, if you're reading this, I think you should make "best use of a spork" one of the judging categories in your next contest.

jason evans said...

Great job with pacing, technical skill, and voice!

Thanks for being a wonderful part of the contest!