So I’ve been pretty preoccupied lately with what’s going on at my job. Total creativity killer but at least I’ve been spending my uninspired off time learning new songs on the guitar.
Here’s what I’ve been dealing with…with the names and events tweaked to protect the insane.
One of our supervisors has a history (and certainly a reputation) for telling corny jokes. I’ve even talked to him about his corny jokes and how it offends some people. It’s all in the delivery, I tell him.
All last year he’s been doing so well but then a new guy transfers into the office. Bart. He’s a union guy and he wants to make a name for himself. He’s got Ben pegged as a problem supervisor because of his history of telling corny jokes. Never been written up for telling these jokes but again…the REPUTATION. It’s there. There are a couple of employees that still hold it against him and they’ve told this union guy about him. The union guy, Bart, tells a guy at the other store (before he even transferred to my store) that he was going to bring Ben to his knees and straighten his ass out!
Little does Bart know that Ben is friends with a guy at Bart’s old store…the same guy Bart was talking to about bringing Ben to his knees. Ben’s buddy calls him up and gives him a heads up about the kind of guy heading to our store.
Fast forward 6 months and Ben is facing charges of telling corny jokes. But here’s the thing. Who are we supposed to believe? Ben, who has a history of telling corny jokes but had been improving since 2014, or are we supposed to believe two other employees who filed charges…both employees having integrity issues in the past. One of them was even written up in 2013 for filing a false report.
Didn’t do any fiction writing whatsoever but I wrote enough memos and emails at work that some could be used to cobble together an interesting…no, ridiculous story. We got a new union steward at work who forgets what his real job is. He’s targeting a supervisor so he’s hyper sensitive to anything the guy says or does. He’ll come to me with allegations with absolutely no proof and propose remedies that are so outlandish that I either deny them or they’re above my pay grade so I can’t agree to them anyway.
24 years without union issues. I guess it was inevitable. Ha ha!!
I still track story ideas though. I use Evernote to capture them. Even if it’s a line of dialogue I’ll insert it into my Story Ideas box. One of these days (God-willing) I’ll be able to dig into the box and make stories out of some of those ideas. Of course there are some first and second drafts of works that I need to go in and repair. I love those first drafts of stories–collections of thoughts strung together chronologically into some kind of wild horse that has potential. But you have to break those wild horses…and a lot of times you fall hard during the process.
Maybe when the dust settles with all this union crap I can have some brainpower remaining at the end of the workday so I can do some good horse breaking!
Not really a long week but several LOOOOONG weeks all strung together. My writing has been limited. Hit my handwritten journal a couple of times. Very little updates to the life story e-version. Work has taken so much of my time.
I’ve come to realize that I want to get to a point in my life, even if it’s just for a little while, where I don’t have to think about security, unions, selections, operational strategies, meetings, VIP visits, community meetings.
I just want to be.
This past week was all about journaling–tons of journaling.
For one project I’m writing a life story of sorts…my own that is. Doing the life story on my laptop.
I’m also keeping a journal for my kids to have later on. These handwritten journal entries are just for them. Tonight I wrote 7 pages detailing the birth of my son, from my call at work to let me know “it’s about that time” to me carrying him down the hospital corridors to the ICU.
My other journal is a day-to-day chronicle of my life at this moment.
In the world of fiction….not much happened. I did capture a couple of story ideas. There’s actually one premise that I’m actually kind of excited about.
You can say this week I just wrote because I like to write. Guess that’s what it’s really all about, isn’t it?
Went out to catch the Harvest Moon. I read it’ll be around for about 3 days and won’t be back for 8 years.
Wonder how the world will be in 8 years. I want to be optimistic but…damn.
Ed sat in front of a 3-man New York police detective interview panel. The lead detective in the middle sat back in his chair with his arms crossed. The other two scribbled notes on their clipboards.
Wearing his dress blues police uniform, Ed unconsciously let his right leg start bouncing slightly, his heel pumping up and down. His leather pistol holster squeaked against his duty belt with each leg bounce.
“You nervous, son?” asked the lead detective.
Dammit! “A little,” Ed replied, placing his hand on his right knee, calming his leg.
“I feel there’s a lot at stake.”
The lead kept looking at him. The other two detectives seemed to be writing even faster. The lead said, “One last question…what made you want to be a detective?”
“It’s been a lifelong dream, sir. I’ve always wanted to help—”
The lead cut him off with a wave of the hand. “Stop with that crap. That’s what everybody says. I swear you wannabes will say anything you think we want to hear.”
Ed felt his future in law enforcement slipping through his fingers. He’d wanted to be a detective for a long time. “No, sir. I really—”
Again with the hand wave. “Just give me a straight answer.”
Ed’s mind was blank. He was afraid to ask for guidance. He wanted so bad to say what do you mean? but didn’t want to come across as a dumbass.
After what seemed like minutes the lead said, “What was the one thing that made you want to be a cop? What in your life made you pick this line of work? Was it from watching movies? TV? An event? What was it?”
“It was an event, sir.”
“Well then tell us about it.”
Ed cleared his throat. “All I ever wanted to do was be a cop.” He smiled and said, “But my parents wouldn’t allow it. It was too dangerous they said. They were pretty over-protective with me. Wouldn’t let me play football or participate in any sport where I could get hurt. They let me be in track though. I did the hundred meter dash and the four hundred meter relay.”
“How’d you run?”
“Got second place in the hundred in the state finals.”
The lead shrugged his shoulders, just like Ed’s father had. Well there’s only one person in the state faster than you, his father had said. His mother assured Ed that it was a compliment.
“So anyway Dad convinces me try following in his footsteps. He was a hotel manager for The Truman on West 59th.”
“Nice place,” said the lead.
“When I graduated from high school he started me as a desk clerk for four bucks an hour. I’d been there a couple of years and had moved up to assistant manager. I was working the evening shift one night when we get this call just before midnight complaining about noise from one of the rooms on the sixteenth floor. Room 1616. It was one of those massive presidential suites. Huge place with marble floors and big picture windows that give you a great view of Central Park. Didn’t really surprise me that people would get rowdy in there. Wasn’t the first time someone complained about that room either. Ha, one time the cleaning folks found a couple of chickens and a goat in there. Anyway, I tell the lady we’ll send someone up.
“So Dad being the workaholic was working the evening shift too on account of it being Labor Day weekend. Wanted to give me a hand. Was a bit of a micromanager too so he goes up with one of the security guys to see what the commotion is about. I say Dad, what are you doing? He just smiles and heads on up in the elevator with the rent-a-cop.”
Ed visualized his father’s lingering smile as the elevator doors closed.
“So your dad didn’t want you to be a cop but he goes up on a disturbance call.”
“Yes, sir. Funny, huh.”
The other two detectives continued writing, focused on their clipboards.
“So Dad goes up and I start looking at my chicken scratch on my note pad. Room sixteen sixteen on the sixteenth floor. Shoulda known something would be different. It wasn’t until later that night, after I talked to the police, that the numbers made even more sense—in a jacked up kind of way.”
Ed paused for a moment, seeing the scene replay in his mind even though he wasn’t standing next to his father. “So Dad and the guard get to the room. Music’s blaring. Dad bangs on the door. No one answers. Dad uses the master key card and unlocks the door. Room’s empty. They search the place but all they find are sixteen gift-wrapped boxes on the bed in the master bedroom.”
The detective on the left said, “I know about that case.”
Ed said, “Yes, sir. The Mambano family massacre. Sixteen gift-wrapped heads. A message from the Santoras for them to leave town.”
The lead said, “Sorry about your father.”
He had had a heart attack when he opened that first box. Died before the paramedics could get to him. “Damn rent-a-cop couldn’t save him. Not sure he even tried,” Ed said.
Ed was quiet for a moment. All Ed could hear were the detectives scribbling.
Finally, Ed said, “Mom died two years later. Doc said cancer but I say broken heart. Anyway, I couldn’t help holding the killers responsible for Dad’s death. I’d say they were an accessory in Mom’s death too.”
The lead said, “You know those sixteen bodies still haven’t been found. Whoever the cleaners were did a heckuva job in that suite. And the killers, those friggin’ psychos, we still have no real suspects even though there was a card left at the scene that said With Love, The Santoras.”
“I know, sir. That’s why I want to be a detective.”
991 words / 1000 word limit
Writer’s Cramp submission.
Prompt: On the 16th floor of a hotel in midtown Manhattan (NY), a loud party has been going on all evening in room 1616. At midnight, the hotel manager knocks on the door of room 1616 after several complaints from rooms nearby. When no one answers, he/she opens the door and finds the room empty except for 16 wrapped birthday presents … Write the STORY or POEM.
Notes: After I finished it I don’t think I hit the “mystery” mark. There are people/things/events in this thing that are usually included in mysteries but there wasn’t anything about solving the crime. Hard to do that in 1000 words though…HA!