CW: Save it for a rainy day. (2/2)

When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, as a kid, Roger answered the same every time: “A doctor.” All he wanted to do was help people live their best lives. He knew all too well the physical and mental toll sickness took on him. Roger did not want people to have to live in isolation, removed from their peers, behind glass.

But, as Roger grew up, he realized that he could never be a doctor. It was not because of a lack of knowledge due to all the classes he skipped because he had all the time in the world to study on his own, often devouring biology books late at night. It was because he found himself unable to be face to face with so many different people all day, every day. ‘Oh, the irony,’ he thought when after all these years of wanting to be among his peers but not being able to, he learned that once he was among them – he did not want to anymore. They required too much mental energy, which he much rather preferred to expend in more productive ways (like learning new things).

Now, between bites of oatmeal and sips of coffee, Roger scans through his emails. Most of them are junk – company-wide emails talking about how amazing the firm is and showcasing ‘success stories’ written by satisfied customers. Supposedly.

Since it was not in the cards for Roger to become a doctor and heal people, he decided that healing computers at a hospital was the next best thing. Healthy computers meant that employees could stop pulling their hair out and help heal their patients. So, in essence, Roger was doing what he had always dreamed of and more.

After sifting through the emails, Roger carries the now empty oatmeal bowl into the sink, opens the faucet, and lets some water into the bowl so it does not crust over. He does not have time for scrubbing and the dishwasher seems to be selective with that at times. Upon his return to the work station, he logs into his ticketing system and reviews any new issues that have come in since the day before.

Laura cannot log into the patient database, Frank needs to download some software, and Rosa is getting an error message when she tries to print. Roger quickly identifies a couple of the presumably easy tickets he can get out of the way quickly, before moving on to ‘real’ work.

What Roger likes most about his job – other than helping preserve computers and people’s sanity – is that he can create his own schedule. If he wants, he can work a couple of hours in the morning, take a break, work a couple of hours in the afternoon, take a break, and come back in the evening for a bit.

He messages Laura and finds out that all she needs is to reset her password. ‘When were you able to log in last time?‘ he asks out of curiosity. ‘Yesterday!‘ is the answer and Roger wonders what happened between then and now that made Laura forget the password. ‘It just does not work today. I know I have the right one,‘ she writes as if Roger actually asked her what he was wondering. ‘Is it possible that your CapsLock is on?’ he ventures a guess. The three dots indicating that the other person is responding pop up on Roger’s screen. ‘Is she going to tell me off?‘ The three dots disappear for a moment only to be replaced right after with ‘OMG! That was it! My password works now! Thank you!‘ Roger chuckles and shakes his head. He is torn between being annoyed at Laura for bugging him about something she should be able to figure out on her own and being grateful to her for an easy start to his morning.

The reason why Frank cannot download a video viewing software is that he does not have admin rights. His company is worried that if any Joe Shmoe is able to download outside software, their computers will be filled with porn and malware. Since Roger is feeling good today, he downloads the software for Frank AND gives him admin rights so that he can download things on his own next time around. ‘Who is going to know how he got admin rights anyway?‘ Roger shrugs.

Rosa is unable to print because her printer has been replaced during the time when she was on vacation. Roger has to map out the connection to the new printer. Thankfully, he is able to obtain the printer’s IP and other necessary information from his colleague who installed the new printer onsite. There are days when Roger has to go in to work to perform physical inspections and repairs but Tuesdays are always his ‘work from home’ days.

Once Rosa is able to print again, Roger logs off work and goes to sit by the window. It is still raining and there are only a few people out and about. A perfect day for an outside break. Roger smiles to himself and proceeds to put on his shoes and raincoat. ‘I’m singing in the rain,’ he hums as he almost skips down the sidewalk. No one is paying any attention to him as people are trying to shield themselves from the rain. One of them – a woman – walks right into Roger. ‘Uh, sorry,’ she blurts out before walking away. ‘Watch where you are walking, Stupid,’ he wants to say but cannot. Instead, he thinks of her big, black eyes and high cheekbones. ‘Love me tender, love me sweet,’ Roger hums. She is so pretty now, but once the gray hair starts showing and wrinkles begin to form… Roger shudders just thinking of that possibility. He makes up his mind – he will help her. He turns around, his right hand tightens its grip around the Acepromazine injection in his pocket, and he picks up his pace to catch up with Dark Eyes.

‘Uh, sorry,’ he says sheepishly as he bumps into her and sticks the needle into her neck. Dark Eyes pauses and looks at him, unsure of what is happening. ‘Just keep walking,’ he says and leads her towards his apartment, cuddling up to her as if they were a couple – just in case anyone lifted their head to look. Once inside his apartment, he walks her to his study. She is still walking on her own, but quite slowly and needs some support. Dark Eyes has never been in an operating room, but she knows that one looks just like it. There is a bed, and a bath (?), as well as some pumps and various surgical instruments like scalpels.

‘Do not be afraid now,’ Roger says, noticing the terror in her eyes. ‘All I want to do is to stop you from aging and… to have tea with you,’ he adds as they make their way to another room. Dark Eyes wants to scream but she cannot. All that leaves her throat is a tremble. There, in the smaller room connected to the study sit five… people. All lacking skin, they are gathered around a table set with seven teacups. ‘We have all been waiting for you,’ Roger says and smiles just before Dark Eyes collapses.

‘Time for Dark Eyes’ fixation. She will be able to sit with us in about three months,’ Roger announces to his companions. ‘I know, I know that is a long time but just be patient. Plastination is a lengthy process but the results are fantastic and well worth the wait. Look at yourselves! You have not aged a day since we met!

Before Roger gets back to work, he hooks Dark Eyes to a formaldehyde pump and kisses her softly on the forehead. ‘Is this not the best day?’ he asks no one in particular.

***

“Write a story inspired by the word ‘tender.'”
– prompt used for this CW piece.
[Source: BlogBattle]

***

P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!

Stay golden,

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***

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59 thoughts on “CW: Save it for a rainy day. (2/2)

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      1. I’m not sure. I got hints of it in part one, but the beginning of part two fooled me. You write about his inside life well. The oatmeal and dishwasher bit again made me think he was off, but then he laughed at Laura, so I thought I was wrong, thought he was different but not in a psychotic way.

        As soon as he had “watch where you’re going, stupid” thoughts, however, I was braced. Probably also in part because you’re Stephen King. I don’t usually expect a Nora Roberts ending from your stories. I love them just the same.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hmm… not what I was expecting at all! Although I should know by now from previous stories that there might be a dark twist. This was somewhat darker and more unexpected than usual though, as nothing in Roger’s character in part one and up to the point where he is walking in the street gave any indication of a dark side to him. And because of that I found it quite jarring and disconcerting… it was so out of the blue.
    I enjoyed part one a lot but part two… I think I would have preferred a bit more insight into Roger’s mental state instead of the computer problem solving stuff, which didn’t really advance the story much for me. You did plant a clue with the Biology reading but I only picked up on that afterwards.
    But then again, maybe that sudden shock was the effect you were after and any prior indication would have made it too obvious? If so, you succeeded brilliantly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What WERE you expecting?

      Dark twists are definitely a theme in my writing, but as you know – there are exceptions that only support the theme. Heheheh

      I understand your perspective about it coming out of nowhere. It indeed was my point to portray someone who leads a normal life. While I enjoy writing about those disturbed 24/7, it inrigues me more to explore those that somewhat blend into the world but have a darker side to them.

      However, as I was writing part 2, I realized that, ideally, there would at least be part 3 because I did want to build Roger better. Another great idea for when I decide to do something more with it.

      As always, I appreciate your feedback. Stay golden!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, I should have learnt by now to always expect the unexpected! A part 3 would have worked for me as this one appeared to be a slow burner and the end was so sudden. But I always enjoy your stuff, especially the stories where you force the reader to use their own imagination to work out what’s happening or what might have happened in the past. I guess with this one there’s a whole backstory to think about, how did Roger get this way?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, that was a dark twist. It made for a good horror story that you could very well start off cheering for Roger, and then things go wrong very quickly. This felt like a movie in the making. Brilliantly done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. More of a Halloween story Sam. Love the way you take Roger through from almost “normal” to the current state of his mind. Very innocent start to WTH just happened. All quite psycho horror. I think someone else mentioned above that Roger becomes almost your friend as his MH prevents him doing his boy hood dream of being a Dr. I actually thought he might be some sort of stalker with access to the computer system… at least that’s where I thought it was heading.

    Must go read part 1 now…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I knew it! 🙂 You nailed the serial killer persona, the kind of person who, when he is captured, the media interview his neighbors who say ‘He was a nice, quiet guy.’ Very sinister and creepy, but I do wonder if all his victims are women (seems likely) or if he ever attacks men (although, despite his chemical advantage, I doubt he’d go for the strong and athletic types – even though it’s obvious from part one he’d harbor a grudge against them). Very well set up, which makes this part two quite satisfying!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, there are a couple of women but also some men as well. Roger just longs to have friends, no matter the gender.
      Good point regarding the fact that males might be harder to ‘process’ for Roger. I’m sure he’d find a way….

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, that went dark fast. It’s almost a shame really… He has such wonderful taste in music. Then again, so do most horror movie characters…

    I’ll admit though, I did notice some technical hiccups — primarily with “s”s, oddly enough. Like, “After sifting through the emails, Rogers carries…”; “Is he going to tell me off?” when referring to Laura; and Roger addresses his “companion” when he is, in fact, talking to his tea buddies — all of them, if I’m not mistaken. Shortly after, he also tells them to “looks at” themselves. Which is kind of funny, actually… I pictured Smeagol.
    Another thing is Roger wondering “what happened before then and now” — which, despite being an interesting phrase, doesn’t really work the same as “between then and now.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, right? I found the same – that those people usually have great taste in music. I guess we must watch ourselves!

      As always – I am most grateful for the edits. It IS weird that those were mostly ‘s’s.’

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Lol! –Er, uh, whoops. My bad!

            Ahem. *Picks up megaphone* Let it be known that Goldie and I have absolutely horrible taste in music. Terrible. Far as we’re concerned, Beatles sound like a bug, Elvis was the monarch of a particular wrestler, and nursery rhymes are strictly grounded.

            *Whispers* Better?

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow. That was a swift and sudden turn.
    The thing was, aside from us sharing the same name, there was a lot in the first half of the story I could relate to,(everyone knows crusted cereal is a pain. Right?) and there was I thinking this might go down an AI road, when suddenly the fearful truth comes crashing in.
    Poor Dark Eyes. Poor anyone Roger thinks would make ‘a good friend’.
    The way the opening tied up with the ending was a real gem. So the guy had trouble relating to live folk and their complex demands. And at the end we find he has solved that problem.

    Applause for packing so much value into a short space.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Crusted dishes are possessed of a fiendish toughness.

        Gary and Rachael convinced me I should get to visit this blog regularly, and it is now my go-to-place for short stories- some many buzzes experienced. That link up with end and beginning was a classic buzz for me.

        Thanks for starting on the story. Don’t worry about when you finish. There is something mysterious that afflicts all writers…..someone keeps stealing hours from our days.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. That they are!
            I’ve been following Rachael’s blog for a while now, and her enthusiasm for writing and folk writing is matchless.

            If I hunt down those temporal pixies (they are out there), I will let every writer know the rune to hold them at bay!

            Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow–you’ve gone dark with this one. Why do you think that is? I know I had to reach back into the past to write anything that wasn’t depressing. Pestilence, war, and now maybe famine don’t seem to be conducive to writing for me. And that’s a shame because tough times mean people need an escape.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hear ya. I think feel good stories are definitely what many people want and need these days. However, darker pieces seem to come to me more naturally than happy ones. As a reader, I like the twisted tales more, too. I think there’s just a certain depth and difficulty to explore in there.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Personal experiences and observations definitely play an integral part of my stories. However, most of the time it’s just snippets from here and there swirling together in my head and whatever I catch at any given time is what serves as a seed for the story. In this one, it really was raining and I felt somewhat alienated. Everything else was completely random and not sure where it came from exactly.

      Liked by 2 people

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Ellie Thompson

Musings and Memoirs - True Tales of My Life ...

Roars and Echoes

Where the power of my thoughts comes from the craft of writing.

Becoming The Muse

words on paper

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