This story is by Jeanne Lemire and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
I ran out the door grabbing my bowler hat and umbrella. Was it raining you may ask? Of course not, but I couldn’t be seen arriving at the office without either one. The old biddies would have a heart attack and my boss Mr. Codslop would give me a stern look and a dressing down. Oh yes, he would, and you’re right his real name isn’t Codslop, but it should be. A cod fish had more intelligence and, despite his tailored pinstripe suits, he slurps his tea. Yes, among other things. Clearly, I hold the high standard of the place, elegant and youthful, despite my thinning hair. They are all jealous, that’s the only reason they complain about me.
I turned onto Church Street, making jolly good time in my brand new 1967 Ford Anglia Torino. Spiffy car indeed, just what a middle management, go getter like me needed. Of course, the sales fellow was honest. One look at me and he knew I was not to be trifled with; I had been in sales myself before the war you see. Still, he was right when he said that blue was definitely my colour. Even the crossing guard looked at me differently as I waited at the stop sign.
Finally, I could hit the accelerator, when I heard a loud thump, then the car lurched and sputtered to a stop. Had I run over a child? Or more likely, had a child injured my car? I looked out the rear-view mirror and saw a lump lying there in the road. What on earth was it? I was about to get out to investigate when a round blue head popped up with the most menacing grin, full of pointy little teeth. It started to pull itself up, and I panicked.
Please start, please start, I prayed as I have never prayed before. When my little blue angel car flew back to life, and I sped off, arriving at work minutes before Codslop. I confess I was shaking and sweating as I entered the tea room.
“Dear Mr. Cesnik, you look like you could use a nice cup.” Isabel, smelled of cats and had bushy grey hair that she always wore in a tight bun that I suspected kept the oxygen from flowing to her little brain. She was thin, short and always proper compared to the other one. Daphne; late thirties, too much makeup and her hair piled in a beehive that added six inches to her rotund frame. She could play a refrigerator if she could find a light bulb. They were hopeless without me.
“Yes, thank you.” I tried to smile, after all, I was a man and needed to set a solid example. Surely, my mind was playing tricks on me. Yes, that’s it, I hadn’t slept well and imagined things. It was probably a blue coat being swept up by the wind. “Awfully windy today, isn’t it?”
Daphne eyed me suspiciously, “No, no wind at all and if you’re going to make some awful remark about my hair or my person you can just stop now. I have filed so many complaints, one more and you’re out.”
“Your incompetence Madame has nothing to do with me! I say, where do you think you’re going?” I grabbed her by her chubby arm pulling her firmly to get her attention. When I looked down the hall, there it was. The little blue creature marched forward glaring at me. High pitched screaming ensued as I maneuvered myself behind Daphne, no one would ever find me there.
“Mr. Cesnik, whatever are you screaming for, let go of Daphne at once!” Isabelle clawed at me to release her friend.
“What’s wrong with you, can’t you see that blue thing there!” I pointed down the hall. “Hide behind her with me; there’s plenty of room.” I peeked from behind the wall of bee-hived hair and saw the creature leaning up against the wall, taunting me to get past it.
I was so much smarter than any of them. I heaved Daphne forward full steam; she would crush it like a little bug on the wall. I rammed her into it, over and over, just to be sure it was dead. Then I scrambled away from Isabelle and her cat claws, mopping my face with my handkerchief. I finally locked myself in my office. Clearly, they couldn’t see that thing only because I had distracted them. Surely, they would realize that I was the hero of the day. I had killed it. I congratulated myself as I crawled under the desk, just to catch my breath you see.
“Open this door right now Cesnik! I swear if you don’t I will call the police!” It was Codslop, surely, he would have seen the blue goop on the wall by now. Unless.
I opened my eyes. Surely not! There were two blue feet; each had four webbed toes. This creature had somehow outsmarted me, but how? There was only one recourse now. I crawled out waving my bloodied handkerchief, “You sir are mistaken, please understand…” The flash of blue light was blinding, and in an instant, I sat staring at my blue hands and webbed fingers. The blue creature smiled and gave me a ‘thumbs up’ sign, just like the car salesman had done when I had bought my car.
I heard the door open and in came crashing Codslop. “Cesnik, you’re fired, that’s right! Now come out and take it like a man!” He searched the room and walked past me twice without seeing me.
The little blue fellow pointed to the wall and walked through it, motioning for me to follow him. I couldn’t move, what on earth had I become? Then I pictured how horrified Daphne would be to see me like this and smiled. If anyone could figure out how to be a highly developed intelligent being, it was me. Clearly, this was no mistake, blue definitely was my colour.