Wordsprint…Wordsprint… okay, I get it, I’ve done this before. Although it wasn’t for twenty minutes, it was five. yes five. What did I write about then? No, it doesen’t matter. I need to write about something now.
Wow. I’m empty. I’m drained. My head is a kettle today that the prick at the office forgot to refill. Aight, okay, let’s run with that.
“You didn’t do what they asked you to though, and you know what that means.”
Mr Francis sat across from Ben with his arms open. He didn’t want to embrace him, he was still seated behind a desk after all. He wanted to show him that he was trying to be honest with him, he was imploring him to understand why he was losing his job. It wasn’t his fault. The people had spoken and enough was enough.
“They asked me to fill the kettle after I had used it, they didn’t say that it would need to come before my work. Is that what you’re telling me now, Sir?” Ben was staying calm. He knew that this wasn’t just about the kettle, it was probably more to do with Mr Francis’ wife bringing him in a cupcake on his birthday. He didn’t even get to eat it. The Chief of the “who left the kettle empty?” brigade had found it on the side and eaten it. That’s okay though, because he’s assisstant to the boss.
Mr Francis stood from his chair, his long slim arms still held out towards Ben. He titled his head to one side and let out an exasperated sigh. “Ben, Ben, Ben,” he said, staring back at the calm brown eyes of his soon to be ex-employee. “We could have made a great man out of you.”
“If it wasn’t for the kettle,” Ben replied. He stood from the leather chair, ignoring its groans as he pushed himself free. “I guess greatness is measured in the units of coffee we consume.”
Mr Francis nodded in reply. A sad nod full of empathy, as though he really was thinking, “Yes, Ben, how much one drinks and speaks about coffee is truly the mark of their success.”
One arm dropped and another stretched out towards him.
Ben took Mr Francis’ hand and almost recoiled in surprise at how cold it was on such a warm day. He shook it confidently. He wasn’t going to be defeated. No. Not by Mr Francis, not by Cupcake the First, and certainly not by a kettle.
Along with the noise of the office, all eyes fell on him as he entered the spacious room with a picture of a palm tree on the wall beside each desk. No one had the nerve to say anything. Not even Jake. Damnit Jake, I didn’t think you were one of them.
His desk drawer clunked open and from inside he pulled out a few papers and pens, a ruler that had come with the stationery set, and a mouldy sandwich. On second thought, and after turning the sandwhich over in his hand, he pushed it back inside the drawer. It could be his own skull and cross bones, a warning to whoever took his place.
The exit to the office was obvious enough, big flashing letters informed any who had forgotten how they got in that it was okay, there was a way out. Ben had started walking towards it with the honest intention of leaving, not saying goodbye, just vanishing. He knew that they were waiting with anticipation for him to leave. They wanted to talk about him, they needed to. It would be their driving force through the day, it would rebuild the bridges of broken friendships and be the kindle to the fire of a new romance. Really, Ben thought, his being fired was doing all of them a favour. The people in the office hadn’t been able to talk comfortably to each other ever since the final episode of Last One Standing Dies Anyway.
He slipped inside the kitchen, smirking with an arrogant pleasure as from behind him someone gasped.
It wasn’t even plugged in. They had made this too easy for him.
His reflection wavered on the clean surface of the kettle and he imagined himself as Aladdin about to take the diamond. No, he was Abu. The minute he removed the kettle the entire office would crumble, they’d slither to the ground and only he would escape on his magic carpet of… This is ridiculous. It’s a kettle and I’m taking it.
The protests that followed him to the exit only pushed him further. He could hear people rushing around the office, talking loudly, and the door of Mr Francis’ room squealing as someone raced inside to do just the same thing.
By the time Mr Francis reached him, it was too late. He was already in the elevator, the doors were already closing, and no, Mr Francis, no. I will not hold them open for you, not this time.
Ben left the building pleased. He may have lost his job but he had not been defeated. He had won and was even taking home a trophy.
He was almost at his car when he heard a familiar voice.
“You can’t take the kettle, mate.”
Ben turned to find Thick Barry looking down at him, a small plastic stick held between his eerily large fingers. He pushed it to his mouth, inhaled, and then became a train. He was a large man, named for his size and not his mentality. Okay, that was a lie. He was childlike, and right now he looked at Ben with large, confused and hurt eyes.
“We need it,” he mumbled, blinking slowly as though he were holding back a stray tear.
The wind had been moderate but in that moment it turned and swept the hair up on Ben’s neck, wrapped around his face bringing the smoke from the vaper with it to momentarily conceal.
As the bubblegum scented smoke began to disappear Ben stepped out from its shroud and placed his hand on one of Thick Barry’s shoulders.
“No, Barry,” he said softly. “No, Barry, you do not.”
Barry watched in awe as Ben placed the kettle in the passenger’s seat of his car, and then with one last smile, took his own place as the driver.
“Goodbye, Barry,” he said as he crawled his car past him.
The sun was still high in the sky and with his new kettle beside him Ben waved goodbye to the grey walls of the office block.
And I’m going to stop writing this here before I start making the kettle speak and say thank you to Ben in a gruff voice because all the over-filling was causing him to develop some kettle type disorder or another.
I guess this was fun. It’s nice to just write and not really think about where you’re going at all. Kind of like that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory scene. Let’s post that, too.