Sunday Scribblings: "I knew instantly..."

The prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is “I knew instantly…” which was prompted by writers who told Meg and Laini, “Seeing the prompt, I knew instantly what to write.”
That never happens to me. Huh. This is the stuff that comes to me, when I get a chance to think about it:

Mad Men
When Ryerson’s heart stopped, I figured this fucked-up exercise in “team building” was going to get us all shit-canned, like pronto.
Tenth-floor shenanigans, yeah. Damn creatives with their idea to mix the Kool-Aid and have us all take a sip.
And we sipped.
Like dipshits.
The conference table was one of those neo-modernist things, sweeping and hulking, made of extruded aluminum, chairs too. Chairs where your ass went to sleep five minutes into any meeting, even as you tried to shift your weight cheek-to-cheek.
On the table where 21 identical white boxes, mystery cubes no one was allowed to touch until we were all gathered.
And the conference doors were locked from the outside.
Inside each box was a tab of blotter acid, a dozen buttons of mescaline, three tablets of X, a small vile of cocaine, six airline bottles of booze, a notepad and a pencil.
The lights were turned down low, a laptop fired up, shifting scenes of some National Geographic special on the screen behind us. Some low, ambient techno-beat pumped low from the overhead speakers.
“The exercise is to free your mind,” Andreeson said. “We’ve got two hours to come up with a concept that sells the living shit out of this.”
He tossed the cellophane-wrapped package, which spun corkscrews across the polished aluminum.
Stupid is as stupid does. I chewed the buttons down, all of them, chased the bitter taste with a mini bottle of vodka, waited for the mescaline to course through my veins, the visions to explode across my eyelids.
Ryerson was the recording secretary. He kept tapping on the laptop, the ideas that were now being shouted over the music, the sway of us all in various stages of undress, intoxication.
What we created was real. It came alive at some point. And it consumed Ryerson, ate him up, spit him out.
In the end, his head rolling listless on my thigh, all he could do was blow weak spit bubbles through bluish lips as the rest raced to stash the boxes in cabinets, trash cans.
In his fist, death-gripped, was the product.
And in that instant I knew it, knew the whole concept as it flashed across my addled consciousness.

The campaign begins next week, and everyone’s buzzing that it’s our freshest, edgiest to date.
Ryerson’s recuperating nicely in a villa in Costa Rica. I sent flowers, a box of chocolates.
Five creatives let go, their silence bought with sealed subpoenas locked away in a safe deposit box.
Me?
Corner office territory now, in charge of the complete campaign.
One of the white boxes, still filled, on the glass case behind my head.
My insurance policy, should anyone start asking questions again.

4 comments:

Quin Browne said...

heh. liking it.



now, i guess i should do mine.

Tumblewords: said...

Aw, jeez. A white box is good insurance. Nice tale...

alister said...

This is particularly impressive. I was so engrossed I didn’t know the entire piece was alive and swallowing me whole until I read the bit about Ryerson. Nothing from this peanut’s “today’s big hit” gallery, ‘cause it’s all a big hit. And on hits, I think you’ll have no trouble hitting your 2009 goal dead-on, early on, if you keep on ;-)

missalister

gel said...

(If I'm nasty, that's only for my husband, but I LOVE your "leave a coment" note, instead of being anon.)

First time here, but definitely not my last. Been gone from SS (Sun. Scribs) too long. Fast-paced piece and good ending. Sure glad it was fiction except I can (sadly) see it happening in real life, especially from your writing style.