Writing 101, Day Sixteen: Serial Killer III

Today, imagine you work in a place where you manage lost or forgotten items. What might you find in the pile? For those participating in our serial challenge, reflect on the theme of “lost and found,” too.writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2

On day four, you wrote about losing something. On day thirteen, you then wrote about finding something. So, today’s twist: If you’d like to continue our serial challenge, also reflect on the theme of “lost and found” more generally in this post.

Since my last two serial killer challenges resolved around food, I better stick with that theme. Abstractly, as the narrator (and Mr Jones) of this story, I will manage the Lost and Found office, but physically that will be someone else. What can I say, I like to be difficult.

Mr Norman Aloysius Pennyweather the Third.

In a small room, at the end of a long white and clean corridor, behind a closed brown door is a small, sad little man. Before we speak of this miserly, oafish and unintelligent man let us take a moment to consider this door. It’s not a new door, or even a nearly new door, but a very old door, which doesn’t fit into the well-kept lines of the corridor. Paint peals from its corners and faded letters only just visible read, Lost and Found. Directly under the letters is a sign stating, Finder’s Keeper’s.

As we enter the room with old nicotine yellowed paint peeling from the walls, we see a Mr Norman Aloysius Pennyweather the Third, Norm to his friends, if he had any and Mr Pennyweather to everyone else. Pennyweather has his back to the door, between him and us is a long wooden bench, dark oak and fleshly polished the one cared for piece furniture in the office, sunlight for a single small window at roof level reflects on it’s top. Pennyweather, rake thin and wearing a well-faded black suit discoloured at the elbows lifts his hand and smoothes the last visage of hair across his scalp. Lord of all he sees, none command or demand within his domain and today is his last day.

Hands resting lightly on the edge of a pink box, Pennyweather with a cruel and greedy smile upon his face mutters to the room, “it’s my last day, why shouldn’t I have them. It’s only right, I’ve worked here 40 years,” and with that his hands lift the lid of the box and dive to its contents. A storm of dough, sugar, chocolate and icing fills the area around Pennyweather. Cakery limbs rain down over the tabletop and ruby red jam spills over its surface, like the lifeblood of a jam filled warrior.

Silent and unable to take one more bite, Pennyweather’s hand rests over the last donut, a single survivor of the Pennyweather massacre. He turns and sinks to the floor. Sugar and cream filling drip from his fingers, mouth, powder sugar, cover his suit jacket and shirt. Eyes closed, knees drawn up to his chest, Pennyweather twitches and shutters at the sweet sugar release, made even more joyous by there procurement. Swarms of fairies dance over candy rainbows, beneath chocolate rivers as Pennyweather glories in his delirium.

Suddenly, a large cough breaks Pennyweather from his revelry. Mr Jones looks down at him in disgust, a crime scene of icing, dough and chocolate, legs twitching for his sugar lust. Barely able to contain his distaste Mr Jones asks, “Mr Pennyweather, I was coming to see if a box of donuts for Jennifer’s baby shower has been found, but I can see or at least ascertain they were found and then lost again. Would you like to explain?”

Much as you can expect, Mr Pennyweather’s voice is quite nasal and dry, every other word preceded with a hacking from the back of his throat, “It’s my last day, and I wasn’t invited to any baby shower.” Pulling himself up from the floor, Pennyweather stands to his hunched height of 5’5″ and puffs his waif like chest out to his fullest, “I found them, so finder’s keeper’s, just as the sign says. Anyway, there’s one left if you want that, ” Pennyweather reaches into the box with his sticky sweet fingers, lifts the last donut from the box and pass it to Mr Jones. Jones looks at Pennyweather, a chronic complainer, nuisance and all-round buzz kill, weighs up the cost of a dozen donuts and having Pennyweather complain about paying for another box and deemed it a cost worth knowing today is his last day.

My Jones, smiles at Pennyweather turns without speaking and walks out of the Lost and Found office and with great satisfaction knowing he will never see Pennyweather again, closes the not even nearly new brown door. Whistling a merry tune Mr Jones walks down his clean white corridor secure in the knowledge, you can always repaint a brown door white.


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