Wednesday, January 23, 2008

rest of story

Okay, just to speed things up, here's the rest of the story.
once again, feel free to comment, and give any writing tips you want.
if I can get enough readers, i would like to post other's peoples short (SHORT) stories, and invite readers to have helpful (HELPFUL) comments, because writing is harder than it looks. if we can get enough comments, and advice, this might be a whole nother blog. free critique. neat.

"Yes, death my old friend, they keep you too, too busy. I tell you what. Take my advice. Hire an assistant."
"But where would I get one?"
"Oh, but you meet so many humans, all so needful. Take one."
"An assistant." I repeated, pouring another cup of tea.

So Jackie arrived. Poor, poor Jackie. She knew her boyfriend was a liar. And yet, she believed him when he claimed that he wasn't drunk, just too sleepy to stay upright for long. And she let him drive? Instead of taking the keys from the loser and beating him senseless for risking her life? Proof of human stupidity. And I hired her. Proof of my stupidity.
"Like, oh so totally gross," she wailed. Jackie, I noted, was a great wailer.
"Yes Jackie," I said patiently removing my fingers from my ears. Jackie also was high pitched. And loud. "A friend recommended the lighting. And hiring an assistant."
"And I'll like get another chance, right?"
"That was the deal."
"If it's the only way," she whined in a screech. I shuddered and winced.
"Second chances are not handed to just anyone. Work hard. I'm sure you'll do fine."
"Then I can see kevy again."
"If I were you I'd ask for more brain cells next time around."
And with that, I went back to work.

Don't ask me why, but I was soon, again, complaining to stokes. "It's the new office assistant. She's lost several files, and phone numbers, and screams incoherently at the computer. She can't figure out a simple fifty button phone, and the fax is beyond her. Needless to say, I will not even let her near the shredder. Or my office." I took a sip of tea, and added some booze.
Stokes eyed the liquor addition thoughtfully. "Is it really so bad?" he asked companionably.
"Stokes old buddy, you have no idea. You work in the muse department, for god's sake. Oh sorry god." I apologized quickly to the heavens. I must stop taking his name in vain. God did not like it. "The calls are piling up. Thank God for comas. I can grab a breather and hit some severe cases. " I took s sip of my tea. A big sip.
"Maybe you need more help." He suggested, looking a little bit worried.

So I hired Kevin. Nice young lad, though not overtly bright. How was he to know cleaning a toaster with a spoon was stupid?
"I took safety precautions," he said again, eyes still round. Jackie's head peeked up over a pile of files then back down again, safe as a burrowing mole. "It was round," he said.
"A spoon is still metal, even though not pointed. And toasters are designed to be clean by opening the little tray at the bottom. And you should have unplugged it first."
"The toast always looked safe enough in there," he said contemplatively.
I stared and shook my head. Were they called rednecks because all the blood stopped in their necks and never reached their brains? "It's toast," I said firmly. "Toast. Browned bread. If it's safe, why does the bread turn brown?"
"Oh yeah," he said in that enlightened tone of voice. "I guess it's a good thing I didn't stick my hand down in there." He held it up for me to admire his intelligence. You can imagine if I did that.
"Just get to work. Jackie can show you, uh, I'll show you the phones later. Just start filing. "

"I can not believe, I compounded my mistake by doing it again," I told stokes, pouring a healthy dose of brandy into the tea. I offered him the bottle as a token of friendship. I planned on the finishing the rest before I hit the office. "Twelve hours. Twelve hours, to explain the
phone system. Twice. Did you notice Kevin has the same name as Jackie's old boy? No?"
"I uh,"
"All day long, I hear 'Kevy. The phone doesn't work.' and then, 'oh, like plug it in babe. In needs it cord. Wow, just like us, we need a cord to the outside world to work.'" I drooled in my slow, Kevin like voice. Thinking, apparently, came slow and shallow to some. "and then I hear, 'oh kevy your so smart!"
"Introduce her to the amazons. Or Susan b Anthony. Or someone like that."
"I'm sure she has met people like that, on earth. That's the whole point of it. It's a place to think, live, breath," I gestured my hand up and down, palm up, "and yet these humans. Sometimes," I slapped my hand to my face and slid it down. It's not bone, by the way. That's a uniform. I am really an average looking guy. Kind of spooky, huh?
Stokes sighed heavily. "well, maybe another one." Would he never stop giving advice?
"I don't know, I don't know," I repeated firmer, gulping from the bottle.

So I hired sha-sha. Why? Don't ask me why, I'll give you a response that will give you nightmares for the rest of your life. No one likes being asked about their mistakes. Sha-sha, as she liked to be called, thought she had artsy talent. Not artistic, as in deep, meaningful, or talent. But atrtsy, as in don't bother with reason, but just because.
"I think you need more red in here." She said first thing. There were now two stacks of papers with two heads poking up. They looked at her bright tight outfit that screamed no color coordination and unaware of it, and ducked down again.
"Why would I need more red?" I asked. Stupidly. Don't encourage some people.
"Because it’s a color," she stated as though obvious. "Maybe a few red streaks around the office, like at eye level, for breaking up the space. And these papers, they should be here, for feng shi." She dumped the papers on the floor. All three office workers looked at each other.
"Don't you mean feng shu?" Jackie snapped.
"Why didn't you wear something pretty?" Sha-sha asked.
"wow. Where do you buy thread strong enough to hold on a dress that tight?" Jackie asked, jealousy dripping from her tones.
"I'm a man. I'll wear what I want, woman." Kevin said. "It's my male right," he stared into space, thinking thoughts as deep as an illiterate's pile of diplomas.
"Red. Maybe some blue." Sha-sha said.
"I don't know. Ask Kevin."
"Blue, the color of the sky, man's search for freedom." He profoundly stated.
I ran from the office.

Stokes sat there quietly, watching me wring the neck of the largest liquor bottle I could get. Now empty. "I don't know about this, Stokes. The other day I caught myself staring at some colors, on a billboard, and wondering about orange. Like totally. Oh my god!" I screamed, burying my face in my hands. "Now I sound like them."
"John, john, john," he used my old name. "Get a grip. Take a deep breath, and tell yourself it can't be that bad. You know what you should do." And off he rattled. You know what I hate about people giving advice? They never have to do what they say. I thought of this as I stared at stokes from between my hands.

So I hired an office assistant, to be in charge. Yes, stokes. He showed up on my front door step with a sad, hurt look in his eyes, as though he was a puppy being housebroken for the first time. Still, he tried to be brave about it.
"Wow." He said. "A new assignment." Each word was slow and flat, carefully stripped of revealing emotion, like the smile on his face.
"Yep, old buddy, old pal. A new assignment." I opened the door and shoved him in.
Three heads sprouted upwards to stare at him.
"Oh, kevy. A visitor."
"We're all visitors, babe. We're all visitors to planet earth."
"You need more yellow in your outfit."
"Like, you know, your kinda cute."
"Something a little more quiet maybe. Orange. That would look great on you."
"Don't be complimenting the new guy. I might want him."
"You have kevy, the tasteless wonder. He's mine. "
"He would look like a pizza in orange."
"I miss pizza. It was like life. It had everything on it, or just plain, however you wanted it."
I missed nothing. I worked outside the office. I grabbed my papers and left for a quiet day at work.

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