Thursday's 3WW

A delayed 3WW, on Thursday. I am still missing my groove. And this is a mess.

Saint Nowhere

Behind his back, they called him Saint Nowhere.
Built like a turtle, he scuttled through the office, talking to no one. His cubicle was spartan, no posters or plants or family pictures.
He attended meetings, functions; he arrived late and was the first to leave.
He didn’t bother anyone, and for the most part, people ignored him.
Until the day a young executive took over the floor and began his efforts to shake things up. The brash suit chose Saint Nowhere to pin his aggression.
The kid was merciless, yet Saint Nowhere went about his tasks in his usual, deliberate manner.
This pushed the suit toward outward hostility.
There were dress-downs in full view of the staff, where Saint Nowhere would stand with a downward gaze and take all the abuse the suit hurled. He’d acknowledged the suit’s pointed questions with a nod in the affirmative, and move off to his cubicle.
The abuse escalated and it was the rest of the staff who squirmed in their seats, appalled, yet secretly thankful that Saint Nowhere was there to take the abuse.
Better him and not them, they’d say in small clusters, when the suit wasn’t around.
The quarterlies came out and the division’s productivity was a glaring exception in an otherwise glowing report. The suit took it out on Saint Nowhere, red-faced and screaming, flecks of spittle raining down on Nowhere’s down-turned face.
Yet he took it, absorbed all the abuse, with nods and shakes in the affirmative, tiring the young suit out of his tirade. He was a flame that ran out of oxygen.
Nowhere’s coworkers marveled at the tact at which me maneuvered, whether it was deliberate or not. For some, Saint Nowhere became a folk hero, a guy they talked about the friends at the bar or family around the dinner table.
The abuse of Saint Nowhere continued unabated, the young suit never changing his stale strategies. Yell, point, spit.
Until the day the suit, frustrated with Nowhere’s lack of reaction, drove a two fingers into Nowhere’s chest, and beat it like a drum while exaggerating slowly the syllables of his rant.
Red-faced, Saint Nowhere unfurled to his full stature, sunk a paw into his suit jacket, and fished out a black .45-caliber handgun, the barrel still slick with the protective lubricant from the factory.
He jacked a round into the chamber with a smooth motion and placed the cold steel to the suit’s forehead.
“Kneel,” he said.
The suit dropped to his knees, and an area of wetness spread like a blossom in the crotch of a very expensive pair of trousers.
“Consider this my letter of resignation,” Saint Nowhere said, and spun on a heel and walked toward the elevators.
It’s always the quiet ones, workers said, retelling the legend of Saint Nowhere, office hero.

12 comments:

Julie Jordan Scott said...

Wow. I don't think this is a mess at all. I think it is suspenseful, well told, and I appreciated Saint Nowhere and was appalled at the all-too-familiar co-workers who would rather stand by and watch the bullying than take on "The Suit"...

(This is why I work for myself now...)

anthonynorth said...

That's one edgy office. Great resolution.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

I've worked for bosses like "the suit," but that was in the restaurant biz, where it was easy to quit and have a similar job by the end of the day. No need for threats of violence, although we probably all wished for a moment of pure power like Saint Nowhere had.

Dee Martin said...

Whatever may be going on with you, you took it and shook it out like so much laundry and then hung it on the line fully pressed. I was holding my breath near the end, tension building and then instead of annihilation? Smooth, my friend.

Thomma Lyn said...

Thom, this is NOT a mess. :) I found it tremendously compelling. It is an allegory of breaking points, how Saint Nowhere finally passes his point of no return and removes himself from the sphere of the suit's scapegoating and verbal abuse.

one more believer said...

ahhh yes, the waters moved.... anything with a slick gun in it has a measure of tension... no matter the mess i thought it sparked like dy-nooooo-mite!!!

peggy said...

Not a mess, but the only surprise is that Saint doesn't shoot. The reader feels the inevitable result of a "postal" employee. He did premeditate a bit; after all, he has the gun ready.

Clean up the punctuation and sentences where you changed your thoughts and you'll have a winning story.

Jay Thurston said...

"You can get further with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word." - Al Capone

Wonderfully written yet again. Great suspense at the end, and glad the conclusion wasn't as disastrous as it could have been.

pia said...

Great ending. I agree with Thomma. Do think that surprisingly it wasn't tight as your fiction usually is--and that you felt the pain of the looseness

I would edit it as I think it's a very interesting story. Specifically love "consider this my letter...."and the parts about him becoming a folk hero--I might do more on that

Andy Sewina said...

Phew, I really thought the suit was going to get it!

Nicely told, saint!

Timothy P. Remp said...

Hi Thom,

I enjoyed reading your office fable. Saint Nowhere could fit into any office environment in today’s world and we do need our heroes. ;)

Well Done,
-Tim

Americanising Desi said...

i have never been on a roller coaster but i somehow felt it while i read through!

thank you for the conclusion :)