Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Work blurb

The life of a television news executive isn’t all that cracked up to be. All he does all day is put up with the requests of his subordinates, which range from asking for new work space that he doesn't have to practically blowing him for sick leave hours.

Don Dressler found that out the hard way. Sure; he had an office on the 20th floor of the corporate building, a beautiful secretary with an English accent and a modified Porsche Cayenne, yet he always wondered whether they ever had any inherent value.

The clock had just struck midnight on a frigid December evening when Don took out a glass from his desk along with a bottle of 20-year-old scotch. He had arrived at the office 17 hours prior to opening that Johnnie Walker Blue and hasn’t left since.

Iran and Israel declared war on each other and everyone in the world was glued to their television, computer, tablet and cell phone screens as well. Twitter virtually exploded with traffic from people eager to keep up with any updates.

“If the world is about to end, then I might as well get a taste of this,” Don thought to himself while pouring the distilled, thousand-dollar beverage as one of his TV screen showed a news anchor interviewing a British war general, asking him if this event was worse than a zombie apocalypse.

After downing a second glass of liquid gold, he went on the hourly pilgrimage to the one place where he could truly be alone; his exclusive hermitage; his very own hobbit hole.

The executive bathroom was as large as the newsroom on the fifth floor, and the solitude it provided warranted more than a few visits per day.
Don took positioned his bare bottom onto the ceramic throne and fished out his phone to check on his texts.

The first was from his provider asking if he would like to subscribe to a package that enables him to call and text Canadian numbers for a “low, low price.” He promptly deleted the text. Don didn't know anyone in Canada. Not enough to pay 30 extra dollars per month.

Five spam messages later, he noticed a text from Regina.

Regina was the “dame” who abruptly “walked into his life” thus disrupting its flow forever. To say that she was his film-noir femme fatale would be a detriment to what she truly meant to him.

After war broke out, she immediately flew to Tehran to cover the ensuing protests. Don had a lump in his throat ever since she left and it more than likely explained his need to drink. It was heavier than an Israeli nuclear missile.

“Things are a little more stable now,” the beginning of her text message said. “The riot cops took out 20 people in the past hour alone and a lot of the others fled, and none of the foreign media outlets are able to get a satellite uplink. And I miss you like crazy.”

This meant that correspondents won’t be able to give live updates on television; it also made Don’s heart sink like the Titanic.

He went back to his office and pondered about everything. There was no specific thought, and he was crushed under the weight of his emotions.

Looking out the window, he witnessed the snow slowly falling to the ground with the street lights shimmering in between the flakes, creating a beautiful portrait.

He took out his phone and wrote: “I wish you were here. It’s snowing outside and everything is black and white on the street.”

Don then went back to his chair, poured himself another glass of scotch and continued to watch the world unravel on live television.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Murder Mystery

She was naked when she died.

The cold water flowed through the gutter where her remains lay, washing away her sins and those of the parties responsible for her current state of lifelessness. Only a flickering street light could make her visible under the shroud of darkness with trails of white bouncing off the plastic sheet was wrapped in, as if she were posing for a morbid photoshoot.

Not that she’d ever done anything to merit such a gruesome fate. Destiny has its own sacrificial lambs and the blue-eyed brunette just happened to be one of them.

An old hobo made the harrowing discovery.

“I walk around here every day at the same time. From far I saw this weird reflection.”

The officer taking his statement could barely make out what the toothless man was saying.

“Could you repeat that slowly please? There aren’t any interpreters at my disposal right this second.”

A few feet away, the crime scene investigators were laden in what appeared to be full body gloves in their effort to gather evidence and snap photos of who they’re currently dubbing as Jane Doe.

“Too bad it’s the last time anyone’s going to take her picture,” said lead detective Christina Romero. “She was a looker all right.”

“She might be a model then,” her partner Justin Chamberlain responded. “We can try to match her photo to a modeling database or ask around agencies.”

“Model. Prostitute. Same difference,” she threw back at him whilst lighting up a Davidoff cigarette.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Steel Edifice

Note: This story is a translation of an original Arabic imagining. Read it here if you know any Arabic and you can read his entire excellent blog, بلوق د. ساعساعينو, which has both Arabic and English writing.

With heavy eyelids he opened his eyes slightly after slumbering for an unknown amount of time. The man lay on his stomach on top of a thin, spongy pillow.

The expression on his face was indicative of how exhausted he still felt, and that his awakening was not of his own volition.
He still hadn't fully opened his eyes; it was an involuntary reaction to the brutality of sunlight that filled his surroundings. The rays woke him up and made his pupils dilate.

The air was frigid.