Good afternoon. It is Thursday once again and I, Gigi the parti poodle am here to introduce the second chapter of my new story Power Gird Failure. The Maltese and I have once again been abandoned. We are staying with…him while my novelist attends to business elsewhere. I don’t know why we couldn’t go along. She told me I was highly demanding creature. I tell you truly am not a highly demanding creature.
Yes, you are. You are a highly demanding creature. Very, highly demanding.
I wouldn’t talk if I were you, you despicable Maltese. What with your constant need for lap time.
I would not need to ask for lap time so much if you weren’t always in our novelist’s lap.
I am not always in my novelist’s lap. That is absurd. How would I ever be able to go for walks or write or attend to my fans?
You have fans?
Of course, I have fans.
How do you turn them on?
How do you turn on the fans and make them run?
That is the most peculiar question I have ever heard! In fact, it’s downright disturbing!
What is wrong with turning on a fan?
I don’t even want to go into those details, you cheeky beast!
I know our novelist has fans because I sit in front of one of them in the summer and it keeps me cool and happy.
You…Oh. Oh, I see. I am utterly embarrassed. Most utterly embarrassed. I must leave now.
Okay, bye…. And now I introduce to you Chapter Two of Gigi’s story Power Grid Failure. By the way, I knew what she meant by fan. I just wanted to get to introduce the blog for once.
Power Grid Failure
Gigi the parti poodle
Adams finishes working on Tiffany’s computer. Sloan watches as Adams starts to head back to his desk. Then Sloan zeroes in on the object of his desire. Tiffany pulls out her backpack, reaches in and retrieves her makeup bag. She takes out that tube of shiny gloss she always wears and slathers it on her lips. He loves it when she slathers that shiny gloss on her lips. It is the highlight of his day.
“Hey, Sloan,” Adams says walking up to Sloan’s desk.
Sloan leans back sharply in his chair. Was Adams on to him?
“I was wondering if you’d like to go get a beer with me.”
“Why?” Sloan demands.
“Well, not tonight. I mean its Monday and all. But I was thinking maybe Friday…”
“I don’t drink.”
“They have like a kicking root beer there. They brew it on the premises. And the bartender, wow, she’s cute.”
“I’m not your wingman, bro.”
“Well, no. It’s just…I’ve been cramming for my Cisco exam, and I could really use a night out with the guys.”
“I’ve got other plans.”
Reynolds usually starts with the garbage cans. He puts on his gloves and grabs the large bin with the wheelbase. He pulls a black plastic bag out from an industrial cardboard box, shakes open the bag and puts it inside the big yellow receptacle. He grabs the side of the receptacle and wheels it along behind him.
As he comes out of the custodian’s room and heads around the corner, he sees Crystal sitting at her desk still working. She’s often the last one to leave the office. From what he knows about her, she is always polite and well mannered. She always says “hello” to him when he dumps her garbage. Sometimes she offers him a snack like a pack of cookies or a couple of chocolates or a small bag of chips. She’s never chatty, however. Just always polite.
When he pulls the yellow receptacle around the corner today, Reynolds notices Crystal isn’t the only one staying late. That accountant guy is still at his desk, laser focused on the big guy’s office. Reynolds scoffs. Tiffany. That’s what accounting boy is focused on. What a schmuck. If that guy thinks he has a chance with her, he’s bonkers. Reynolds knows accounting boy follows Tiffany out every night without fail. They are usually the first employees to leave. But not tonight. Reynolds starts grabbing deskside wastebaskets and dumping the contents into his big yellow bin. As he does, he sees the lights flicker. He knows if they go out, he’ll put on his headlamp. They’d given out once before late in the evening after everyone had gone home and he’d worn it to finish his shift. It was no big deal. Reynolds continues towards Crystal’s desk. As he does the lights flicker again. He sees Tiffany rise from her chair and look up as if doing so will explain why the lights are flickering. Sloan hops to his feet when he sees her leaving the office.
He straightens his tie and checks to make sure the buttons on his wool coat are fastened correctly. Then he follows several paces behind Tiffany as she puts on her knit gloves and heads for the elevators. Just as Tiffany reaches the elevator doors everything goes dark.
“Whoa!” Adams, who is behind Sloan, exclaims.
Tiffany pushes the elevator button to no avail. “The elevator shut down,” she says.
“Guess we’ll have to take the stairs,” Adams tells her. “You want to walk out with me?”
“I’ll walk you out,” Sloan offers.
Tiffany turns and gives him a quizzical look.
“Yeah, walk with us,” Adams says. “Safety in numbers you know.”
“Good luck with that,” Reynolds says picking up Sloan’s garbage can and dumping the contents into his big yellow one.
“What do you mean?” Sloan says.
Reynolds sets the garbage can down and puts a gloved fist on his hip. “It’s locked.”
“No, it isn’t. I’ve taken the stairs before.”
“Not during a blackout. In a blackout all the doors to this building lock.”
“Why? That’s stupid.”
“Looting and riots are why. The doors lock to protect you from going out and from them getting in.”
“You’re full of it.”
“Try it. See if I’m wrong.”
“I’m game,” Adams says. “Let’s go.”
Tiffany turns and looks at Reynolds. He smiles a cocky smile at her. Tiffany furrows her brow then follows Adams and Sloan.
Reynolds watches them walk over to the stairwell and out the door. He looks over and sees Crystal still sitting at her desk watching him. He smiles at her. She stares back blankly. Reynolds glances at his Seiko watch and said slowly, “Ten…nine…eight…seven…six…five…four…three…two…”
The stairwell doors burst open, and Adams, Sloan and Tiffany emerge.
“Who does that?!” Sloan gripes. “Who locks a building in case of an emergency.”
“Not any emergency,” Reynolds says. “A blackout.”
“So, we’re stuck here all night or what?”
“If the power comes back on the doors unlock and you guys can leave.”
“That’s a serious bummer,” Adams says. “I have a D&D game tonight.”
“Seriously?” Sloan says.
“Yeah. You play?”
Sloan grimaces. “No.”
“Do you?” Adams asks Tiffany.
“I’m a darts kind of girl.”
“Really? That’s cool. Ever play on a team?”
“Yeah,” she says perking up. “We went to state last year.”
“I’ve never played but some of my D&D buds and I hang at this Irish pub, and we see teams playing there sometimes.”
“You seriously play Dungeons and Dragons?” Sloan says.
“What do you do as a hobby?” Tiffany asks him.
“Really?” Adams says skeptically.
“Well, you don’t look…”
“I don’t look what?”
“You don’t look like you’re in all that great of shape.”
Tiffany’s eyes widened and she laughs despite herself.
Sloan turns red and takes a step into Adams. “For your information, I play racquetball at my apartment complex five times a week.”
“Do you have weights there too,” Adams says earnestly, “because you look like you could use strength building.”
“I wouldn’t talk if I were you, fake wizard boy. You aren’t exactly winning any Mr. Universe competitions anytime soon.”
“Do you hear that?” Reynolds says.
“Hear what?” Sloan asks.
“Thumping or pounding or something.” He turns to Crystal and says, “Do you hear it?”
Crystal, who has been quietly eavesdropping on their conversation looks at them uncomfortably. She rises from her chair and heads towards the elevators. Reynolds who’s been coyly leaning on his garbage bin pushes off it and follows her.
You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments of my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!, Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: LOOPER (2012)-Hulu
Rian Johnson is a highly imaginative writer director, and this science fiction gem of his is one the most intriguing and smartest time travel films in recent years. What makes it unique is the protagonist and antagonist are the same person at different points in their lives.
Young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt who also stared in Johnson’s film Brick) is a hotshot assassin called a looper. When the mob sends someone back from thirty years in the future where time travel is possible, Joe waits at the end of a desolate field and shoots the mark as soon as they arrive in front of him. Afterwards he disposes the body now stuck in the past which makes the murder virtually untraceable. Joe’s job is lucrative. He is paid in large silver bars he stashes under a trap door in his apartment. His direct boss, a man named Abe (Jeff Daniels who co-starred with Gordon-Levitt in the fantastic crime thriller The Lookout) groomed Joe from adolescence to be one of his top assassins. Joe’s best friend Seth (Paul Dano) is also one of Abe’s top assassins who happens to be able to elevate small things like coins, a genetic ability which has just started showing up in the human population. There is one major setback to Joe and Seth’s job: eventually the mob boss in the future sends back the looper’s older self to their younger self to be assassinated. Once that happens the younger looper gets to quit and live out the thirty remaining years of his life.
When Seth’s older self comes back, and his younger self decides to let him live it leads to dire consequences. And when Joe’s Old Joe (Bruce Willis) comes back, his older self decides to survive taking Joe on a cat and mouse odyssey with himself. Emily Blunt also co-stars.