Métro, boulot, dodo by Richard Wink

(a fictional account of the day I got sacked)

Hurricane Tony leans back on his tacky neon pink office chair. On his tongue sits a piece of gum that he has been chewing for the last quarter of an hour.

I’m holding a butter knife in my left hand, between my bare feet is a broken plate, halved on the sterile black vinyl floor.

I had been here before.

Tony listened to the sirens outside, twitching his head to the side like a dog would. On his pad he jotted down the word ‘ambulance’.

I looked out of the window and saw only the reflection of blue lights.

Wriggling my toes, I tried to keep warm.

The room we were in, a study in the attic of a renovated brewery that stands defiantly next to the river, it was now quiet.

After dropping the plate, losing the meal, I expected to be chastised, fired, and maybe even slapped.

I wondered if somebody downstairs would realize I had been gone for a while, since the moment Tony removed the spearmint slither of chewing gum from its foil wrapper and popped it into his fat mouth.

There is a whisper, only I can hear it. It tells me to run. Back down through the brewery and out into the street, run round the corner hop over the fence and dive into the river.

I won’t do this, not yet, not until Hurricane Tony stops chewing his gum.

Hurricane Tony sat forward, he slapped his palm down on the rounded solid oak dining table which doubled as a workbench where he crafted airfix models long into the night. His eyes met mine, his lips parted but he said nothing. Chewing the gum again ferociously, eyes fixated on mine.

I still hadn’t moved, he must see I’m starting to shake.

A raven flaps an angry wing across my eyes in a harrowing eclipse, after blinking briefly, if my eyes were not mistaken Hurricane Tony was standing, he pointed his stubby index finger towards the doorway.

It was time for me to leave.

Down the stairs I walked, each semi rotten wooden step creaked as my blood pressure levels descended.

An Italian butler in a turquoise latex full body suit handed me my brown leather shoes in exchange for the butter knife.

“Goodbye Sir” he lisped

The muscle opened the fire door and I walked out under the amber lights, my breath was calm like cigar smoke.

“Got a light” said a voice in the shadows, a woman with one eye and plenty of thigh on display.

No

“Best you be getting home then” she said.

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