Friday, June 24, 2016

Angel of Death at Work

I think I am the "Angel of Death" of my workplace. That sounds like a bad thing, and to those that are fired, it probably is. Very much is. But it would be worse if it was intentional. Right now it's not intentional so I just look like a jamoke.

Several years ago I went into my buddies office to talk about the layoffs that were going on. "Man," I said, "I'm glad we survived."

Two days later he was gone. Just Boom! Gone.

Then a year or so later I saw a guy on the elevator leaving early on a Friday. I said, "Leaving early? Hoping to get out of here before they decide to fire you?" It was a horrible joke, made more horrible because he'd just been let go.

It happened again a few months later. This time it was a young lady from work. I'm notoriously bad about talking to the ladies at work. So I was just trying to make a light-hearted joke about the box of things in her hands and cleaning out ones desk. I should have paid more attention to the context clues and less attention to my jokes to cute girls. She was in the process of cleaning out her desk.

Then just Monday, my buddy Christian, he was gone from his office. I thought he had been fired. I found him a few offices down and told him how happy I was that he hadn't been fired. He was fired the next morning.

It's becoming an issue. No one wants to talk to me at work anymore. They're afraid for their jobs I guess.

I wrote a short story similar to this. It comes from my brother's crazy mind. My brother has helped come up with several great story ideas (a sample here). The idea was actually a mixture of two different ideas . . . a short story cocktail if you will.

Bill wanted me to write a story about a man who sees his ex-wife outside an office building one day and in the spur of the moment decision kills her and gets away with it (as an aside, his wife was not happy to hear that this was his story idea). My brother wanted a Twilight Zone-y story about a man who once he has committed a murder begins to realize that he must keep murdering people or huge catastrophic events occur.

I started writing it and had the main character kill the ex-wife. He goes out, tries to forget what he's done, get's incredibly drunk, passes out, he wakes up the next day, lives out his day, no murder this time and the following day there's a school bus of children who have all died in a horrible explosion. He thinks nothing of it that, but the next day someone who witnessed him kill his wife comes to blackmail the main character. He kills the blackmailer, another night, this time its a restless one, and then it's back to normal. The following day a plane falls out of the sky and everyone dies. The plan was that he continue to live this life where he is forced to continue to commit murder to keep horrible things from occurring and the reader is left to wonder if it's really happening or if it's all in his mind, produced by the guilt of that first murder of his wife.

It's not finished. Work in progress. I hit pause after the murder of the witness. The main character still hasn't figured out the pattern. I didn't think there was anywhere to go with it. I also thought that the deaths needed to be more personally affecting to the main character. Maybe it's his parents that die, or it's his sister or brother.

Still, I think this Angle of Death at Work as legs if I just mull it over a bit. I'm thinking of bringing it up to Bill and my brother to see if another cocktail emerges.