I am off to France for a few days and wifi will be tricky (given my past experiences) so writing posts difficult. I may be able to comment occasionally. Hence this post is earlier than it would customarily be.
Charli Mills has set us a late night, well early morning, challenge this week…
January 21, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a 2 a.m. story. Crazy things can happen after the bars close down, even if you never go to the bar! You might, drown in a pile of snow or wake up to find a black bear in your kitchen. Well, those are northern Idaho 2 a.m. stories. What’s yours?
I’m a bit of a night owl these days. And a morning person. There’s a problem here, as you can see. Sleep. Or lack of it. Nowadays, with my legal career in the past, if I need a nap, I take a nap. But back in the hazy days of work, nipping off for a crafty kip was frowned upon. And, of course, when I became part of the problem, i.e. management, I was meant to uphold all that was good and pure and true about the grand institution of a law firm that I worked for.
I failed rather. But in doing so I think I succeeded. It was the late 1990s and my group of real estate boffins had been shunted into the long grass of what was called the North Building, the geographical description adding to the sense of isolation – North Building, North Pole, North Face (of the Eiger) – all bleak lonely spots only visited by crazies and ne’er do wells. After all we were the Gardening Department and you need to be wary going back into the garden.
To make the boys and girls feel like they belonged we fostered a community spirit – sing songs round the camp fire, all night Knitting Bees, that sort of thing. And as the team commander and general factotum I made myself as available as I could. My door was always open (if no one moved the waste bin) and I had a large glass window installed down the side wall so people could see I was there and come in for a chat. It looked like a cab office.
The upside of seeming like an approachable guy carried a down side: any chance of a cheeky little snooze, postprandial, was no longer an option. Sadly visibility combined with the extra stress of achieving budgets and HR appraisals and all sorts and some days, around 2pm, a quick forty winks was a necessity rather than a luxury. And if my eyelids drooped someone would tap on the window and run away – the office equivalent of ringing the doorbell.
I learnt a lesson. Angle the computer screen so you can rest on an elbow and you can look like you’re reading an email even if a close inspection might show you’ve been reading that same mail for twenty minutes.
By the time I stepped down I had introduced At Your Desk Pilates and a weekly group snooze. We weren’t making money but our mindfulness went through the roof.
These next pictures perhaps sum up my time in the law. At least I left them with their sense of humour intact. As you can see they spared no expense on my retirement present.
If you’re wondering the tie is blue hippos. Pink elephants are so last century.
For 2pm back then read 2am now. It’s unusual for me to be in bed before midnight and more likely 1am. It’s a matter of time before we hit 2am. And then, maybe, I’ll know what to write.
In the meantime here is Mary. What’s she doing, up so late? And if you want to know how she reached here, click this link.
Deeper than the witching hour
What woke her, she couldn’t say. Sitting on the toilet, peeing away her dreams, Mary sensed movement in the shadows from the street light. ‘Hallo?’ Who said that?
Some part of her fugged brain told her to be scared, but she wasn’t. Whoever spoke was friendly. How did she know the speaker was a she?
‘Hallo Mary. It’s Sharon.’
But you’re dead.
‘Not to you’
No. Where are you?
‘I’m here. I’ve always been here. That’s what twins do. Stay close.’
How did you die? How…?
‘Mary, Mary. Wake up. Why are you shouting? Who’s died?’