Good afternoon. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce chapter four of my story Power Grid Failure. It has been a snowy couple of days here. Snow always confuses me when I have to go out in it. I cannot smell things in the manner I am used to and the ground is cold and wet. Today it was frozen snow so it was slippery too. I am rather fond of running in it when it is powdery but this was an all around miserable experience. I will say I had a rather pleasant Black Friday weekend. I am not allowed to have a credit card or a debit card for that matter being a poodle and all though this lucky one did. Someday I will find a loophole and go on a grand shopping spree. My novelist may balk at the idea. But I think I would be excellent with credit. I would pay off my bill every month. I would only shop for what I needed at All the Best, Sellwood, Chewy, PetCo, PetSmart, and Tiffany’s. I am rather frugal you see. And now here is chapter four of Power Grid Failure. Happy Holidays!
Power Grid Failure
Gigi the parti poodle
“Okay,” Reynolds says returning to the elevators. “I’m going to stick this drop elevator key into that hole in the upper right hand part of the door there. You know, the one that looks like the circumference of a small dowl.”
“Oh, I see it,” Tiffany says.
“I never knew that was what it was for,” Adams says.
“Yeah, that’s what it’s for,” Reynolds says. “Okay then, I’m going to turn it and this knuckle thing is going to drop at a forty-five degree angle and disengage the door on the other side. Then we can spread these doors apart.”
“We?” Sloan says.
“The elevator drop key will stop the mechanism inside and cause the doors to open. Best part is it sounds like the car didn’t go anywhere so they should be able to just walk out. You okay in there, Windy?”
“Oh, yes,” Windy replies. “Marty and I are okay.”
“Don’t call me Marty,” Martin growls.
“It’s just dark,” Windy tells Reynolds. “Very dark.”
“Well, it’s pretty dark out here too,” Reynolds says. “I mean we’ve got windows all around so that helps. And I am wearing a headlamp so I can see. So, we have some light…how you doing, Mr. Peak?”
“I’d be a heck of a lot better if you would just get us out of here,” Martin growls.
Reynolds turns to Crystal and mouths, “Grouch.” Crystal furrows her brow and attempts to smile.
“Okay, well, lets give this a go.”
Reynolds reaches up and sticks the elevator drop key into the hole on the top front of the right-hand door. He turns the key clockwise and everyone hears a click. The doors come apart and Mr. Peak and Windy hurry out.
“Oh, my goodness,” Windy says with a sheepish smile. “I thought Martin and I were going to be stuck in there for days.” Then she looks at Reynolds and says, “Thank you very much. It’s good to know we have custodial workers on staff who are also trained in maintanance.
“Well, I’m the only custodian here who’s trained in maintanance so…”
“I will start encouraging the hiring of more workers with your skill set.”
Reynolds smiles, turns to Crystal and winks. Crystal gets a perplexed look on her face.
“Alright,” Martin says straightening his jacket and assuming the role of comander. “Let’s make sure this is everyone: Windy, Tiffany, Sloan, Adams, Crystal and…Reynolds.” He says Reynolds name with distane.
“The situation is,” Reynolds says, “that the doors in the building are locked and no one can get in or out. It’s mostly so no one can get in and loot the place.”
“Great,” Sloan says. “I have a desperate poodle waiting for me at home you know. She’s utterly neurotic.”
“She’ll be fine,” Windy says. “Poodles are bright dogs. She’ll find a way to get through the night without you.”
“Lucky poodle,” Crystal mutters.
“So, it looks like we’re all in this together until they get the power back on,” Martin says.
“I’m getting hungry,” Tiffany says.
“It’s only six-fifteen.”
“I only had yogurt for lunch.”
“The cafeteria is closed so we’ll have to come up with a different idea.”
“The wheel of death,” Reynolds says.
“The what?” Sloan says.
“That cylindrical carousel thing in the breakroom with all the sandwiches and mini pizzas and Hot Pockets.”
“You call that thing the “wheel of death”?”
“Everything in it is garbage.”
“Well I can’t argue that.”
“But it runs on electricity,” Crystal says.
“True. But if we break the sliding windows we could get the food out.”
“I am not eating some half-thawed pizza from a vending machine,” Sloan says.
“Well, it’s either we eat something lousy or eat nothing and starve,” Reynolds says. “There’s not a lot of options here and I for one would like sustanance.”
“I think the gigantic elephand in the room,” Martin says, “is we’re not taking into consideration how much this vending machine costs if we break it.”
“But almost no one buys anything from it,” Sloan says.
“That’s not the point,” Reynolds says. “The point is we need to eat and that machine has food. If we don’t find a way to get it open we’re all going to be miserable.”
“I am feeling a bit peckish myself,” Windy says.
“How exactly are we going to get into that machine,” Tiffany asks. “How to you intend to break the windows?”
“I am willing to bet our janitor/maintanance friend here has a marvelous idea.”
“Since we’re all going to be spending the night together,” Reynolds says, “before we break the machine open and break bread we should get to know each other’s names. I’m Reynolds, by the way.”
Reynolds looks at Tiffany who looks back at him with wide eyes not really wanting to share that information.
“And,” Reynolds says continuing, “I know the big executive’s name here is Mr. Martin Peak. He seems to know all your names but I don’t.”
“Watch it, Reynolds,” Martin says. “You’re treading on thin ice.”
“You two know each other,” Sloan says surprised. “Like on a first name basis?”
“We’ve met,” Martin says stiffly.
“That’s none of your business.”
Reynolds turns to Tiffany. “So, who do you know here?”
“I know Mr. Peak,” Tiffany replies.
“What’s this guy’s name?” he asks pointing at Sloan.
“How do you know that?”
“He’s our accountant.”
“What else do you know about him?”
“That’s interesting because I’ll bet he knows a few things about you.”
Tiffany looks at Stone then back at Reynolds. “What do you mean exactly?”
“Get to the point,” Sloan says, red rising in his face.
“The point is,” Reynolds says to Tiffany, “Sloan here waits for you to leave every night and follows you out.”
“You follow me out?” Tiffany says to Sloan.
“Like clockwork,” Reynolds says.
“Everyone leaves around the same time,” Sloan snaps.
“He could have left earlier this evening,” Reynolds says. “But he saw tech guy here fixing your computer so he sat back down and waited until you got up to go. Then he followed you out.”
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: DAHMER-MONSTER: THE JEFFERY DAHMER STORY-NETFLIX
This week’s pick is one of the best pieces of filmmaking of 2022. Harrowing, tense and unflinching, this ten-episode Netflix miniseries is an absolute must see. It tells the story of infamous serial killer Jeffery Dahmer (Even Peters in a brilliant career best performance) from his troubled childhood and teenage years to his chilling metamorphosis into one of the most horrific serial killers in American history. Dahmer had a 145 IQ, was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and psychosis. There is a likelihood he was a psychopath but because FMRI technology was not used on him, nor was he given a genetic test for alleles and his brain was cremated after a civil trial between his parents where his father won the case so that any postmortem testing that might be available in the future cannot be done, we will never know for sure. It is one of the only times in the entire series where Jefferey’s mother is shown to be correct.
Jefferey’s mother Joyce Dahmer (Penelope Ann Miller) suffered from severe mental illness. His father Lionel Dahmer (fantastically played by Richard Jenkins) was an analytical chemist. A genetic recipe for disaster although their second son turned out normal. His father taught Jeffery at an early age to dissect roadkill which he did in the hopes that his son would share the same love of science he did. But unfortunately, it became a morbid fascination for Jefferey. Jefferey also became an alcoholic (which is common with people with HSS, one of the six alleles associated with psychopathy) and would drink alcohol openly in his high school classes. After flunking out of college because of his excessive drinking his father forced him to join the military and Jeffery’s drinking got him dishonorably discharged from there as well. Jeffery killed his first victim Steven Mark Hicks (Cameron Cowperthwaite), a young man looking for a ride to a Sweetwater concert, three weeks after his high school graduation. At the time, Dahmer’s father had left the family for his new wife Shari Dahmer (Molly Ringwald) and his mother took Jeffery’s younger brother and went off to chase UFOs leaving Jeffery in the house alone.
After his son’s dishonorable discharge, Lionel, frustrated and at a loss as to what to do sent Jeffery to move in with his grandmother Catherine Dahmer (Michael Learned), the only member of the family Jeffery seemed to show affection for. She was a Christian woman who tried to help her grandson find faith. Unfortunately, Dahmer ended up picking up men in bars and murdering them in her basement instead.
After moving out of his grandmother’s house Dahmer took up residence at Oxford Apartments where a brave and tenacious tenant named Glenda Cleveland (wonderfully played by Niecy Nash) starts hearing disturbing noises and smelling vile odors at the apartment building. Glenda begins a long and exhaustive journey repeatedly calling and reporting to the police trying to get them to investigate the odd happenings she keeps witnessing involving Jefferey, including trying to save fourteen-year-old Somsack Sinthasomphone (Braydon Maniago) from his impending doom.
One of the most fascinating facts of Dahmer’s life that is shown in the series was that when he was in prison, he chose to get baptized. Oddly the day of his baptism occurred on the same day as John Wayne Gacy was euthanized and a solar eclipse occurred.