Since my Creative Writing class ended last week and I still wished to continue writing, I decided to ask for people’s help.
I posted the following on Facebook:
“I still wish to keep writing and I would like YOUR help to do so.
Please post two words here for me to use in a short story: an item and a word. For example: Item – sausage; Word – bludgeon.
I will choose from those pairs of words posted and write a short story each week and give credit to the person who gave me the inspiration once the story is posted on my website.”
This week I have chosen Laurie Mellom’s words: Item – test tube; Word: smitten
Thanks Laurie! Enjoy!
It was a fairly non-descript building, the kind you’d never give a second glance to. And that was just the way it was designed to be. The company that owned it wanted it that way. If the general public ever got wind of what kind of things went on inside that building, well, there’d be hell to pay.
Walking up to the front door as he did every morning for the last five years, Eugene looked every bit as non-descript as the building he worked in. He was tall and lanky with a mop of dirty brown hair on his too big head. His arms seemed to be almost too long for his body and if it wasn’t for the fact that his legs also gave that same impression he’d look more than a little weird. He had a plain face adorned with black horn-rimmed glasses which were fixed in the center with white tape. He wore his lab coat to work this morning with his I.D. / Pass Card proudly displayed hanging from the front pocket which held a pocket protector full of pens he’d need for the coming day’s work.
Eugene was a nerd. He knew it. Everyone that looked at him knew it. He had been a nerd ever since he could remember. When he was little, the other kids would go outside and play but Eugene would rather stay inside and read about how ant colonies worked or watch a documentary about whales on TV. All through school he received the highest marks in the class, got beat up fairly often, picked on a lot, and had never been out on a date. He went to the prom alone. In University he got the top marks in his field, which was genetics, but he still was striking out with the ladies and had no real friends to speak of. He graduated at the top of his class and was head-hunted right into his current job working in the genetics department for this huge company. For the last five years he had been working eight hour days, five days a week in his department on the third floor. He still had no friends and had still never had a date. Nothing exciting had ever happened to him.
Walking into the building he passed through the security gate having scanned his Pass Card and walked up to the bank of elevators. There was a small crowd gathered there waiting for cars to arrive. Eugene was lost in thoughts of what experiments he had going in the lab and when the group surged forward into a car he blindly followed along. The elevator took off but he failed to declare a destination. A few stops later he looked up as the doors slid open onto a floor he’d never seen before. He glanced up at the indicator and saw that it showed SUB-FLOOR 4. He never even knew there was a basement let alone floors below that. As people flowed out of the elevator car he scanned the room beyond and that’s when he saw her. She was beautiful! She was not as tall as he was of course but when she turned and looked at him with those huge brown eyes he was smitten. The doors slid closed.
In a daze he made his way to his floor. Eugene sat in his lab and thought about her all day. He moved like a man in a dream. He got some work done, but not much. At the end of the day he nearly forgot to turn off a Bunsen burner! He could have burnt his lab down! The walk home took him nearly twice as long. He didn’t notice.
The next day he came to work with a purpose in mind – he had to find out her name. After some careful checking, because technically she wasn’t in his division so he shouldn’t be snooping around in those files, he found out her name. It was Louise. Oh what a lovely name! It went perfectly with her features he thought. Again that day all he could think about was his dear Louise. Sitting there among his vials and beakers, holding a smoking test tube, he’d stare off into space thinking of being with her.
And therein laid the problem. He wasn’t cleared for her floor or division. And he desperately wanted to see her again. It wasn’t like they’d bump into each other in the lunch room; each division ate on their own floor. The company didn’t want employees talking to each other about their projects. Eugene desperately wanted to see Louise again, to look into those oh so brown eyes! But how? He sat and thought, and thought. And then he had a plan.
The next day, Eugene came to work about twenty minutes earlier than usual. He stayed outside the building, hanging around where the smokers stood. He had checked the day before and he was pretty sure that the sheltered corner where they did their dirty deed didn’t show up on the security cameras inside. In a few minutes he’d know for sure. Finally a woman from the right division came over to have a smoke. He explained that he had forgotten his at home and asked to borrow one. As she looked down to get one from her purse, he gave her a good thump in the back of the head with a sock he had filled with pennies at home the night before. She fell like a marionette with cut strings. Eugene grabbed her before she hit the ground and dragged her over to his car which he had parked close by. Using duct tape he bound her hands and feet and stuffed her in the trunk, grabbing her I.D. / Pass Card. Since no one had come running around the corner from the security office, he figured he had guessed right and they hadn’t seen anything.
Phase Two of Eugene’s plan was a lot easier. Well for someone of his intelligence it was. He rushed up to his lab and sat at his computer, bringing up the inter division communication program. A few minutes later he had hacked his boss’s account and sent off an inter office memo which appeared to be from his boss to the head of the division Louise was in asking that Louise stay in the lab after hours today for some “inter division data collection”. Eugene thought it looked official enough and hoped no one phoned anyone to confirm things. If they did, he was going to be in big trouble.
The day went by agonizingly slowly for Eugene. Knowing he had to wait until most of the workers had gone home before Phase Three of his plan was driving him crazy! What if the lady in his trunk was found before then? What if someone called to confirm the memo? What if after all his hard work Louise wasn’t in the lab when he got there? Would she even remember seeing him that day he was on the elevator? What if she didn’t like him? He didn’t think he could stand that, after putting his job on the line just to see her again.
Finally it was time to go and he headed for the bank of elevators on his floor. Getting into a car, he took the lady’s Pass Card, swiped it, and pushed the button for SUB-FLOOR 4. A few minutes later the doors opened and he was there. He was finally, actually there!
Trembling a little as he stepped out onto the floor, Eugene looked around for Louise. At first he didn’t see her and began to panic, but then noticed she was sitting at the far end of the lab on the other side of what looked like an observation wall. He ran over to it and again swiped the stolen Pass Card over the panel in the door and he was in! This was it! She heard the door open and turned to look at him with those amazing brown eyes.
“Hello my love!” said Eugene, as Louise walked over to him and put out her arms.
The next morning they found Eugene’s body. He had been beaten badly and torn limb from limb. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
“God what a mess,” said one security guard to his buddy.
“Yeah, what a way to go,” replied the other guard. “Did they figure out what the hell he was doing in the gorilla pen yet?”