Saturday, December 13, 2008

Toilet Papering

Two bright eyed young friends crouched behind a darkly lit shrub. A nervous waft tickled their thin legs and chilled their exposed arms. The night air was fresh and cooling. From behind the bush they could see their shadowed target. It would be a quick but aggressive hit. Their arms were filled with ammo and the car was near with more reserves. They looked at each other and smiled.

To this day, these two friends are not sure which one of them first suggested that they wear dresses to this toilet papering revelry but both admit that it was a very impulsive move. They had gone over to Pauline Coleman’s dilapidated poolroom and stolen the dresses to wear as disguises while they toilet papered the McRae’s house. Possible the disguises were suggested because the house was located on two main streets, Highway 191 and 20th street. Or maybe it was because of the severity of the toilet papering they planned. What ever the case, the two sat hidden in the night in 1950’s flower dresses.

Suddenly they sprung from their secluded sepulture and began their juvenile art. In the back yard, they flung toilet paper roles high into the trees allowing them to catch on branches and fall again, making a beautifully draped display. Like a gigantic wedding cake flowing in a gorgeous random pattern. Soon all the trees and ground were covered like a wonderful white Christmas.

Both friends ran back to the car and started dragging garbage bags of shredded confetti, there were 11 in total. The true touch of the master’s hand. The confetti was thinly spread across the entire back yard, completing the snowy scene. As they looked at their beautiful art, they realized there was one thing missing. They both ran back to the car and grabbed two boxes of tissues. This was the final touch on what would become the greatest toilet papering job ever to occur in Safford.

The two glided across the lawn like ballerinas in their master performance, lightly throwing tissue from side to side. The tissues floated reverently down to the ground. They landed gently on the confetti covered ground and like thieves in the night the two friends sought the breast of silence and were suckled by the night.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Chapter Four: Win

Chapter Four: Win

Edwin’s room was musty and worn. The tile floor was smooth and discolored in areas that had seen heavy traffic over the years. His bed was immaculately made and his dresser was covered with varies computer parts, a digital frame, digital business cards and receipt calculators. The business cards and receipt calculators were off, but the digital frame flashed between 3 pictures.

One was of Edwin and his sister, Michelle, on Santa Monica pier. Their backs were facing the camera and a beautiful sunset was casing the horizon. The sunset’s profound yellow, red and gold are flashed across the picture in an amazing blend. The side of Edwin’s face was just caught in the glow of the sunset. His tough face was contemplative and his eyes were closed. His long brown hair was pulled back behind his ears. Michelle’s slender figure was a silhouette in front of the peaceful sunset. Her long hair fell down the middle of her back, curling and twisting now and then.

The next picture was of the Bradshaw family. Edwin, Michelle and young James sat on the ground in front of their parents; Doug and Stacy Bradshaw. The family looked young. It was obvious that the picture was years old because the digital quality was worn. Edwin was about 14, Michelle 12 and James 8. Mr. and Mrs. Bradshaw wore the conservative styles of the time; a white long sleeve shirt and a long sleeve plain patterned dress. The three kids were also very conservative; blue jeans and tee-shirts with short parted hair for the boys and a long dress with hair pulled back for Michelle. All 5 of them had forced smiles.

The last picture was of a lake with a mountain and the sky in the back ground. The mountain was very dark and masked half of the lake with its reflection. The sky had a thin layer of clouds covering the bright blue. Along the edge of the mountain was the sun just fading out of view. The small part of the sun that was left was flashing boldly into the sky making the blue that shone through the clouds even more brilliant. And on the water the mystic scene was mirrored.

In a dark corner was a conglomerate of desks, computer hardware and wires. The wires were strung like Christmas lights; rudely taped to the ceiling, walls and floor. The desk top was clear except for two thin mechanical rods that stuck 3 feet in the air and were 5 feet apart. Hovering in the center between the rods was a white apple with one bit taken out of it. A dull humming filled the air and little green and red lights flashed on and off randomly in the dark corner.

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of Edwin Bradshaw’s room was the number of books he had. Hundreds of books filled dozens of small book cases. Titles like; How to Win in the Modern Industry, Success and How to Name it, Successful Titles. There was an entire series of books by J. J. Truman all titled similarly; Ethics; The Anchor of Success, Customer Service; The Anchor of Success, Work Ethic; The Anchor of Success and so on, naming every aspect of success as its anchor. There was only one visible book on anything but business, The Holy Bible; Free Market Reform Version 2023. It sat next to the bed on a night stand.

The room was dimly lit by a window that faced the east. A dry light came in through the window signifying that the sun would soon be coming up. The Seattle skyline was a great tumult of varying skyscrapers. The Space Needle that had once been a pillar towering above the miniature buildings of down town Seattle was now buried like a sapling among giant red woods. The view from Bradshaw Towers, on Bainbridge Island was always beautiful. Mount Rainer rose to the south of the city and the Cascades in the north. Edwin’s parents had always wondered why he wanted to live in the tower but when the sun came up over Seattle, there was no question to Edwin. However, it had been a long time since he had sat and watched the sunrise.

The door suddenly flew open and Edwin walked him. His brown hair was long and surprisingly curly. It made him look older then 28. He wore a thick black coat over a thin plain green shirt and a pair of brown khakis. A gray scarf hung loosely around his neck. He was not tall, but you couldn’t consider him short either. A dignified 5’ 10”, he would respond when asked about his height. His face was calm and his eyes stared straight forward. The room was silent and Edwin seemed to be waiting for something.

“Just get Jacob what he needs.” Then the room was silent again.

“No” Edwin’s eyes stared straight head of him as if he was looking at something.

“No! I told you. I appreciate your feedback, but I don’t have time to calculate the cost and it wouldn’t matter in the end anyway. So just get the damn computers.” His eyes never flinched.

“Okay” and the call was over.

Edwin pulled a small lobe phone out of his ear and through it on the dresser. He closed his eyes hard while putting his thumb and index figure deep into his eye sockets then squeezing towards the bridge of his nose. When he was done, two small bowl shaped contact lens sat on his fingers. They were transparent but you could see little flares of activity on their inner bowl. Edwin tossed both of the lens in the trash and through himself on the bed. He was only there for a second when he jumped up like he had forgotten to do something and went to his computer.

As soon as he sat in his chair the area between the rods lit up and a number of varying sub screens were in front of him. He put his thumb, index and middle fingers on little sticky pads and began to navigate the screen. His three fingers moved wildly along the desk top. He would spend seconds looking over articles and then dismiss them. His eyes torn tirelessly over, financial statements, marketing proposals, production memorandums and customer service matrix. It was said around Bradshaw Corp. that once Edwin read something, he never forgot it. Edwin would always smile and disagree. He never told people that most of the jargon Bradshaw’s executives sent him was meaningless and figured as long as Bradshaw’s stock continued to rise, no one would care.

In the middle of another useless memo from Brandon Welsh on Executive Holidays, a small devise in Edwin’s pocket vibrated. He pulled out his PDA and saw that he had a text.

“Michelle: I’ll be in town tomorrow. You up for lunch?” Edwin smiled softly and placed the PDA on the desk top syncing it with his computer.

His fingers worked quickly to type, “Edwin: Don’t you ever call?”

Within seconds he had a response, “Michelle: Win! I’d call, but you never have your lens on. And we both know you don’t ever have time to talk.” Michelle was about the only person who called Edwin “Win” anymore. It had been a nickname when he was younger. Edwin secretly liked the name, but no one dared call him anything but Mr. Bradshaw or Sir these days.

“Edwin: Okay, okay, lunch then? You call it.”

“Michelle: Roccos, 1:30… And don’t tell me you don’t have time… You make time for the things you want!”

“Edwin: I’ll be there.” Edwin left his PDA synced to his computer, but the conversation didn’t continue.

Quickly Edwin finished his reports. He walked to one of his book shelves and pulled a couple of books out dropping them on the bed. Reached his hand up to his elbow back into the shelf, he pulled out a single white book. He felt it in his hand and considered it with his finger. He flipped through a couple pages and walked to the window. He saw the sun peeking over Seattle in the distance. The white caps on Mount Rainer were bright in the morning sun. The sun lit Edwin’s face, he didn’t look tired. He was calm. “I haven’t seen the sun rise in a long time, I miss it” he thought. A half smile crept onto his lips and he looked down at the aged book in his hands. In bright red letters across the top it read, 1984.