Good afternoon. It is Thursday once again and I Gigi the parti poodle am here to introduce chapter nine of my story Power Grid Failure. This was post-Christmas clean up week and it has been most distressing. My novelist has been spending hours cleaning up after the holidays whilst I have been staying out of the way. But it is utterly exhausting watching her. She moves this, she moves that, she puts this away, she puts that away. I think human beings are devoted to organizing things far more than they should be. A poodle’s world is always in order. And if it isn’t I put it into order with far less energy than my human counterparts. If I want to organize my squeaky toys, I tell the Maltese to pick one up and put it there and pick another up and put it over there. And if I need my blanket moved, I bark at my novelist until she moves it where I want it. The point is to delegate. Use your resources. Avoid doing anything yourself except what you most desire. Otherwise, life is no fun. And life should be sparkling with fun except for those you allot to do your work for you. And with that thought here is chapter nine of Power Grid Failure. Bonne année!
Power Grid Failure
Gigi the parti poodle
Tiffany and Adams enter the stairwell. Tiffany retrieves a small flashlight from her coat pocket and turns it on before they head down the stairs.
“Smart,” Adams says.
“I use it when I get off my bus,” Tiffany explains. “Otherwise, I’m walking home in the dark and I don’t want to get hit by a car.”
“Makes sense. Is that also why your coat is white?”
“Yes, it is.”
“What are we going to do if this guy has a weapon?”
“Who says it’s a guy?”
“It’s always a guy. Guys do these things.”
“We don’t even know what we heard. It might just be something that fell.”
“Maybe,” Adams says skeptically.”
They open the door to the lower floor and step inside. Tiffany shines the flashlight around. “Hello,” she calls out. “Is anyone here?”
Adams leans over and whispers, “Are you sure that was a good idea?”
“Announcing our presence.”
“Don’t be ridiculous…”
Suddenly, they hear the sound again.
“Hello?” Tiffany says this time with less confidence.
“Let’s head back.”
“We can’t till we find out who or what is down here.”
“We have to…”
Footsteps. Adams grabs Tiffany’s arm and motions towards the stairwell. Tiffany signals for him to wait. She turns off the flashlight. “Now we head back.”
They pivot and skulk towards the stairwell. The footsteps draw closer. They stop. Adam’s heart is pounding but he doesn’t want Tiffany to know. He does, however, want to move faster. The darkness is a deterrent, but he has the floor plan memorized having fixed plenty of computers deskside throughout the building.
“Let me lead,” he whispers. “I know the floorplan like the back of my hand.”
Adams leads them towards the exit. Four desks to the left, break, turn left, four more to the right, break, turn right…
“Adams and Tiffany have been gone awhile,” Windy says wringing her hands. “When did they leave?”
“Six-thirty,” Sloan says who’s been counting every minute of Tiffany’s absence.
“It’s seven now,” Martin says looking at his Cartier Ronde watch.
“Six fifty-eight,” Crystal says glancing at her watch.
Martin scowls. “Does that thing on your wrist light up?”
“Yes. It’s a Timex Indiglo.”
“She’s right,” Reynolds says turning his phone around for the others to see. “Set by the atomic clock.”
“I set mine two minutes fast,” Martin lies.
“The point is they’re still down there,” Windy says. “Anything could have happened by now.”
“Maybe they hooked up,” Reynolds says grinning at Sloan.
“Tiffany has more class than that,” Sloan says glaring back.
“True. She didn’t hook up with you.”
“That’s it, janitor boy!” Sloan says and marches up to him.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
“Yeah, and why’s that?”
“I’ll kick your ass.”
“I was all state, wiseass.”
“You’re an insurance company?”
“I was all state too.”
“Both of you cool your heels,” Martin growls. “My administrative assistant and my deskside tech are missing, and we need to find them.”
“Someone should go check on them,” Windy says.
Suddenly, the stairwell doors burst open, and Adams and Tiffany enter followed by three men dressed in Mountain Man uniforms. The man in the middle who appears to be the leader says, “Well, well. If it isn’t our old buddy Reynolds.”
“Dragontail!” Reynolds says surprised.
You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in 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: DRIVEWAYS (2019)-SHOWTIME & Freevee
This week’s film is a quiet yet engrossing story about a woman and her young son who are tasked with the job of cleaning out her late older sister’s house. Kathy (Hong Chau) is struggling to make ends meet when she finds out her sister April has passed away and must go clean the residence out and get it ready to put up for sale. Her eight-year-old son Cody (Lucas Jaye), a quiet intellectual boy takes the road trip with her and when they finally arrive, they find out to their horror that April was a hoarder. A retired Korean War veteran Del (Brian Dennehy in one of his last roles) lives next door and when Cody first sees him sitting on his porch, they strike up a short conversation where Del helps Cody turn the water hose on so Cody can get a drink. But Kathy, upon seeing Cody’s wet shirt is quick to let Del know not to bother her son. However, as Kathy and Cody continue to clean the house Cody and Del strike up a friendship that transcends their age difference and brings a newfound joy to both their lives. This is a sleeper of a film and worth the watch especially for the fine performances as well as Andrew Ahn’s lovely direction and Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen’s well penned script.