DesDownunder Posted December 16, 2006 Report Share Posted December 16, 2006 No explicit adult content. Might be slow for some. Please note while marked as Chapter one it may never get completed as I am working on my larger novel which is very different. However I expect some criticism so do not think that will put me off, it won't. This is very much an exercise to gauge my own and others reaction to the writing, ideas and devices used in this example. I have a box of tissues ready in case I burst into tears. (not likely.) Enjoy. Thanks all. Working Title (will most likely change): Office Games By DesDownunder. Length: 1500 words approximately. Chapter One. The elevator doors opened. The office sprawled before me like a giant board game. Each desk in a cubicle of waist high partitions, each reserved for a pawn, to be used as needed for the whim of anyone who was in the game, and they were all in it playing by the rules. The whole game board, the office, was surrounded by booths containing the main players, the managers and executives, except the managing director. He was in a room on his own floor. An office game all to himself. I walked passed the empty cubicles. In ten minutes the room would be filled with the pawns of work. I always arrived early. It gave me time to rest before the day started. I have been the mail boy since I was nineteen, only I was no longer a boy at 27. I was also the male boy but no one new that. There was no need for any of them to know I sorted the mail by day and the males at night. Not that there was much to sort at night. I was between deliveries, I guess those would be the male deliveries. I chuckled at my bad pun as I pushed open the plastic doors that led to the mail room. It was really an alcove in a corridor that ran along the back wall of the building. I looked at my bench, my scratched, splintered and beaten old wood-grained bench. Everyone else had a nice glass top desk with silver trim. Not me. I get an old bench with little slots for the mail sorting. I slipped off my coat and hung it on the back of the high-stool that lets me reach the shelves above the bench without having to stand. At least I had a job that couldn?t yet be done by a computer. I had to sort the various samples by their prospects as well as handle any snail mail. I deliver the letters and then the samples to the various sections where they would be tested, assessed, approved or rejected. Except for old Eddie the janitor, I must have been the longest serving employee in the building and the least recognised, but I was needed. After eight years, I was good at my job, most of the time I knew which sample was the best before the testers did. It was Monday and I had to wait for the delivery man. He was a forty something yobo and had breath that told you what he had eaten two nights ago. I sat down, slipped my hands down the front of my slacks and made sure that the essentials would not be crushed by the hard seat of the stool while I worked. Nothing was in yet so I folded my arms across the bench. Gently I lowered my head on top of them. I could feel the soft fur of hair on my forearm caressing the side of my face. I closed my eyes, pretending it was someone else?s arm, someone else's breath blowing gently on my skin rustling the hair on my other arm. A thump hit the plasterboard wall and vibrated throughout the bench. I sat up. It must be old Eddie the Janitor. He would clean from dawn until lunchtime and then sleep til five. I slipped off my stool as the head of the broom came swiftly around the concrete pillar that hid my presence from the world. On the other end of the broom was a wide-eyed youth all of eighteen and just bustling with energy and sweeping good looks. His broom went over my shoes, tangled in the foot of my stool knocking it over with the loudest noise. ?Aww Sorry.? He said. We both leaned down to pick up the stool, brushing the heat from the sides of our cheeks together. Any closer and we would have kissed. At least we avoided the possibilty of a concussion. ?I didn?t see you there.? He said. It?s OK, no one takes any notice of me.? I replied as I repositioned the stool. ?I?m the new janitor.? He proclaimed with eager innocence. ?Where is Eddie?? I asked. ?He was laid off by the new manager. I got hired Saturday when I answered the ad in the paper.? ?Which paper?? I asked. ?The employment section of the Evening Blah.? ?That?s the college paper.? ?Yeah, I only got the job until the new year. They are going to contract the cleaning out in January.? So Eddie was fired. This is not good. No one had seen the new manager yet and if this was a taste of the way things were going to be done I felt concerned. Eddie would be alright, he was entitled to retire at his age. That did not worry me. What worried me was the way junior here was hired, on a Saturday, when the office was closed. That might be considered sneaky. But to let out a cleaning contract was down right stupid in a building this small. They would never do it right. I bet they would charge hell for it too. What were they thinking? I looked at the boy and held out my hand ?Hi I?m Fred.? I proffered. He burst out laughing. I felt stupid. What was he laughing at? ?Sorry, ?he said, ?I?m Barney.? Relieved and catching on I raised an eyebrow and asked. ? Rubble?? ?Flintstone?? he replied. ?No!? we said together. Our laughter was joyous and good natured as our eyes met and our hands shook with a warmth that surprised me. I looked at his pale blue eyes and sandy coloured hair. Yes, definitely a Barney. I however, was anything but a Fred with my brown hair and slim build, but then again he was even slimmer. He had one of those waistlines where you wonder how he packs in all the necessary organs of survival into such a small space. Is he checking me out too? I followed his gaze, he was looking at my once carefully arranged package for my duties in the mail room, my crutch. ?I have to go.? He said with a tinge of embarrassment. ?I only get paid till lunchtime.? He disappeared into the main office. I quickly followed but he was nowhere to be seen. ?Fred!? Yelled someone, ?Mail?s up.? ?Yes.? I thought to myself, ?The male is certainly up and I wouldn?t at all mind doing the sorting. Sure enough the room filled with the odour of rancid liver as I signed for the mail cartons being dropped off by the delivery man. The contents of his stomach tried to escape through his lungs as he wheezed all over me. As soon as he left I switched on the desk fan to disperse the smell. I had best get the work started. ********* Eleven o?clock. Morning tea. I slid off my stool and wandered down the corridor behind the pillar to the staff room for morning tea. Why do they call it morning tea? Everyone drinks coffee. The door was open as usual and the dozen or so staff all stood around as we poured ourselves a coffee. Mrs Hennessey, the tea lady, offered everyone a biscuits or buttered buns. Speaking of which I spied Barney bending over the coffee machine. I was just about to say hi to him when the Chairman of the board and a woman marched into the room. We rarely saw the Chairman. He worked from an administration building in the city centre. ?Good Morning everyone.? He said. ?I want you all to meet Vanessa Murch, our newly appointed managing director.? He was positively beaming with pride in his selection. A woman. They?ve appointed a woman. There goes the glass ceiling. ?Hello everyone. Please call me Vanessa or sir.? she said with a giggly laugh. Everyone laughed, nodded and said hello or hi in return. The staff did not seem too surprised. I guess no one thought to tell me. Why am I always the last to know what is going on around here? She must have been the one who replaced Eddie with Barney. She seemed nice enough, a big smile lit her face as she surveyed the room. She moved around the room stopping for a brief chat with everyone. I leant against the door frame watching as she approached Barney. She shook his hand, probably asking how he was enjoying his new job, when suddenly his face turned scarlet and he sneezed into his coffee cup. Mrs Hennessey quickly provided him with a napkin which he took and excused himself from the room. His eyes were wide as he brushed passed me. I looked to see how Vanessa was reacting to all this, but she went on chatting to other staff as if nothing unusual had happened. I turned and followed Barney out of the room, down the corridor. ?Barney.? I yelled after him ?Wait up dude.? He stopped just as he reached my work bench. ?Barney, what?s wrong? What did she say to you?? He leaned on my bench and slowly turned his head, his blue eyes glared up at me trying to betray the ripples of horror that distorted his face. ?She hit on me.?? He said. ***End example.*** Quote Link to comment
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