Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Entry #112

Midnight at the Office of Stevens and Albright
by Hoodie


Locking it behind him, Ed caught his gaunt reflection in the glass door of the now darkened office. The loose-fleshed neck hunching out of the baggy collar of his khaki jumpsuit conjured childhood images of cartoon vultures with British accents. What was that movie?

He continued to ponder this while watching his feet shuffle over the tiled hallway to the next office. For the thousandth time his eyes were drawn to the thin splash of tar on the toe of his left boot, marring his frame of vision while he mopped.

The familiar jangle of keys accompanied his entrance into Mr. Albright’s office. Flipping the light switch revealed a fine bottle of Bordeaux perched precariously on the mahogany desk. A wine glass kissed with crimson stood next to it, the shattered remains of another littering the pool of its contents on the floor. A puffy man with thinning hair lay supine behind the desk, the trousers of his wool suit bunched at his ankles.

Ed dumped the trash bin and wiped down the desk. Tsk tsk, Mr. Albright. Should have used a coaster. Broken glass disposed of and wine mopped up, Ed turned off the light and locked the door behind him, admiring the shiny black loafers peeking out from his pant legs. Size 10 wide. Perfect.

“Jungle Book!” he exclaimed and danced his mop across the tile. Summoning his best British accent, his gravelly baritone echoed softly down the hallway, “That’s what friends are foooor!”

25 comments:

Laurel said...

This is fantastic! Great description of the janitor and nice detail with the "Jungle Book."

The details going through Sam's head make everything feel so authentic.

Hoodie said...

fyi - there is only one janitor - Ed, not Sam. Little oversight on my part which hopefully Jason will be able to rectify before I confuse every reader. I changed the name but didn't quite get each one.

Apologies.

Laurel said...

Drat that! I hate when that happens.

No worries, though. It's clear in the story that there is only one janitor and if one has the sense God gave a billy goat it's equally clear what happened.

strugglingwriter said...

Vivid descriptions and an interesting take on the prompt. Nice work!

"What was that movie?" that had me thinking too.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Love the inner thoughts and the way he takes it all in stride. Love the description of the shoes, both times.

Terri said...

Um... am I the only one who saw the dead guy behind the desk here? Nicely done.

laughingwolf said...

so, is he dead or just dead drunk?

Laurel said...

Terri and laughingwolf:

I wondered the same thing! Did Ed/Sam poison the wine? Did the tramp he was boinging finally get fed up and do it herself? Or is he just lit up like a Christmas tree?

I conclude two things from my reaction:

1) Great ending that makes you wonder and

2) I have clearly read too many stories about death by alcohol here.

Catvibe said...

I got that he was dead, but I don't know if it was intended that way. Probably the wine was poisoned, oh wait, I'm probably projecting that after reading 110 entries! Just jivin with you, I loved it. I loved the details, the tar on the toe, the jangle of keys, the trousers bunched at his ankles (I'm seeing him half naked and was probably knocked off sometime during sex). Great.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I really really really really like this line: "Should have used a coaster." Why, you may ask? Isn't it fairly obvious: "Shoud have used a condom?" You stopped me dead in my tracks with that line! Thanks for shocking this dear reader.

The Preacherman said...

The ending cracked me up for some reason. Enjoyed this a lot. Cheers mate.



Four Dinners

Karen said...

This gets my vote for most delightful read! (...and, no, I don't think he's dead, just dead drunk). The pants? well...

Christina said...

Wow, if you can't trust the janitor to not rob you when your pants are down who can you trust?

Liked it!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Oh, so very clever! Great stuff, Hoodie.
PS I love those vultures - "Whatcha wanna do?" "I dunno, whatcha wanna do?" :-)

Aniket said...

Hmm. I see Cat has her imagination running wild now. :D :D

And as Laurel says, I guess, I wont be able to drink wine ever without eying the person who offers me a glass suspiciously; thinking now why would he wanna poison me? :D

I loved the piece. And I so hate it when that happens that we are thinking about it but never could remember the name of the movie. :P

Great work.

Ranee Kaur Banerjee said...

Thanks for reminding me of those vultures! I really like this story, Hoodie. You've built a powerful and lively character with great technique and craftsmanship. Bravo!

BernardL said...

Yes, very descriptive.

Deb S said...

This was fun! Very entertaining and well written.

Ello said...

Nice! I love that he stole the shoes from the drunk or dead man. I dont think it matters what he is - although I'm leaning towards drunk. But I love that he stole his shoes!!

pjd said...

Ello once again says what I was thinking. Great piece. I do love those vultures, though it's been years and years since my boys used to watch it. I prefer the Bear Necessities song...

Aerin said...

Excuse me, excuse me - Disney Expert coming through!

I knew right away what movie it was, and to further elucidate (ie, take the focus off of Hoodie's awesome awesome story so that you'll like mine better), the four vultures were based on The Beatles. The Beatles themselves were asked to do the voices but their schedule didn't allow it.

A fun side note - the voice of Junior, the little elephant, was done by Clint Howard, Ron Howard's brother.

And Pete - it's "Bare Necessities." You are so not the person I would have though would mix that up.

What are we talking about?

RIGHT! Hoodie's story!!

So, I thought dead, heart attack after a call girl, but then, I watch too much Criminal Minds. The thing I love, obviously, is that Mr. Albright's state of being matters little either way; Ed is such a fantastic character, so well written. Great details, nice flow - such a really solid piece.

Chris Eldin said...

LOVED the quirkiness and humor in this piece!! Ditto what everyone else has said about the shoes.
The details you chose to show us were perfect!! They gave us very good grounding in the setting and the character.
Very well written!

JaneyV said...

I'm giggling like a little girl at Aerin's comment because I was going to reel all that stuff about the Beatles off. Aerin - we are two sad women. ;0)

As to this Hoodie - I thought it was fantastic. I love the character of Ed. I love that he doesn't even blink at the pants-down exec but nicks his shoes (niiiice touch - really nice). Excellent, excellent writing.

September said...

I'm thinking he's just dead drunk, otherwise the janitor may have reacted differently. Afterall, he wouldn't want to be accused. Instead, he just cleans up around him. Hehe. And, steals his shoes?
Clever little story. Very nicely done.

jason evans said...

Mr. Albright did not have a good night. Ed's matter-of-fact clean-up was cool.

High marks for pacing.