Short Story Excerpt: Bloody Wednesday: Jack and Franky’s Office

Bloody Wednesday: Jack and Franky’s Office

Jack walks into the office. Nothing fancy; twenty-ish cubicles organized into a large square in the conference hall on the 28th floor of a New York-style high rise. Jack is late. Jack is always late. Jack lumbers slowly passed one row of cubicles and turns into the small closet-like break room located at the rear of the office. He notices to his discontent that there is only an ounce, or so left of coffee. Jack sighs, gulps it down straight from the pot, and grimaces from the bitter shock of slightly cold black coffee. Spinning on his heel, he turns quickly to exit the closet and knocks his forehead into something with a soft but sharp, smack. It is the C.O.O’s personal assistant, Elaine.

Elaine is small, with black bob-cut hair, buddy holly glasses and no particularly note-able features; but to Jack she is every bit as beautiful as the moon; every bit as elegant as its slow dance to bring the sky asunder.

Jack grunts loudly and turns a deep shade of crimson. Elaine shoves her face into her hands aggressively and lets out a small animal-like noise which melts Jack’s heart but does not ease his guilt.

Oh no, no, no…I am so, so, sorry, Elaine. I really should pay more attention, huh?

Elaine looks up with watery eyes that shoot rusty, jagged, steak knives in Jack’s direction. “You show up twenty minutes late every day, and half the time you cause physical harm to yourself or someone else before you leave. Do us all a favor and admit yourself into one of those triple-locked white padded institutions.”

Jack looks to his feet for a moment and chuckles before returning his gaze to Elaine wearing a large, crooked grin on his face. “Did you know I have been to a place just like that? Although it was to visit a close relative. Also, may I say you look absolutely awe-inspiring today? Truly and magnanimously mesmerizing!

Elaine is already exiting the breakroom at the sound of the first compliment, apparently abandoning whatever venture brought her there. She stops and glances back over her shoulder. “Get something done for once today. You’ll get fired before too long.”

Jack turns the opposite direction out of the miniscule doorway toward his cubicle. “I knew she cared,” Jack whispers under his breath as he hooks around the corner and plops into his black leather computer chair.