Writing story fiction drama fantasy comedy man life office tense baldemar creative novel
Much of the late morning was spent with his head on the desk. Baldemar had forgotten what work he was supposed to do today. Every time he looked up at the inbox the pile of propaganda had grown higher. People from other offices had caught word of what floor he worked on and swarmed around his desk, saying close to nothing. They assumed he was asleep and waking him would leave him less inclined to listen to any of their messages. But rather than try to pencil themselves in to Baldemar’s appointment calendar, they leered. For hours.
“I don’t think he’s going to wake up any time soon.” Someone whispered.
“He’s got to. We’ve been standing here all morning.”
“This is getting ridiculous.”
“If you wake him up he’s going to say no. You’re too weak to even give him a poke.”
“Quiet. I don’t see you trying to wake him either.”
“You will if you don’t shut the fuck up.”
Baldemar sat up and smacked the desk. “Is there something I can help you all with?”
“Baldemar! You’re awake!”
“So good to meet you Mr. Baldemar!”
“You’re so much more handsome in person!”
“Oh for God’s-”
“Are you having a good day today?”
“That’s such a great shirt!”
“We were hoping you could take a look at some of our literature.”
“There’s a lot there, have you ever considered sorting your stack into two piles so you’d know which issue you were looking into?”
A blue stick hand grabbed the top paper. “It’s hard to tell which issue you’re even looking at until you’re done reading it.”
“You touched his papers?”
“Who do you think you are?”
“Hey, shut up. You’re being extremely unpro-”
“Can you please get out of my face while I’m trying to talk to Mr. Baldemar.”
“Everyone else here has just as much a right to talk to him as you do.”
“Stop interrupting me please. I was here first.”
Baldemar watched as if he was not there. Gradually people stopped paying attention to him and focused on yelling at each other. He snuck past all of them, went to the bathroom (not having gone the whole morning), and when he returned they were still there, pushing now, trying to strangle. Baldemar clapped his hands and hollered. The yell gained volume until it sounded like an animal and hushed everything around it. They all looked stunned at finding him there in the corner, yelling like a savage, angry like the rest of them.
When his lungs ran out of air he regained his composure, and went into the break room for a much needed cup of coffee. Ever one for pleasantries, he decided to make it himself. When he walked back out they were still there.
“..You feeling alright Mr. Baldemar?”
“Fine and dandy.” He took a sip from the mug. “Fine and dandy indeed. Good coffee. I haven’t made any in a while. You guys come to this floor often?”
“…No, Mr. Baldemar.”
“No, many of us are on the higher top floors.”
“Well that sure is funny. You guys want any coffee?”
They looked around at each other with uneasy smiles. “No thank you, Mr. Baldemar.”
“And where did we get this whole Mr. Baldemar formality? I’m sure many of you are higher up than I am. It’s nonsense.”
“It’s… it’s because you’ve reached a new stature as of late.”
“So would you like us to just call you Baldemar instead?”
Another, longer sip. “No.”
A yellow stick figure of a man approached Baldemar, carrying a packet and smiling. “It’s a great honor to meet you, Mr. Baldemar.” He gave a laugh but nothing was funny. “I was wondering if you-”
“No.” Baldemar pointed to his desk. “Put it there or I will not read it.”
He gave the same laugh. “But Mr. Baldemar, if you, if I put it there, the likelihood is not very good that you will read it, and since you have met me now and you know that I am not some sick angry individual,” there were dissenting shouts in the background, “then you—then- then wouldn’t you like to just read this for yourself now?”
Baldemar held up a hand and the shouting stopped. “Put it on the desk. Or I will not read it.”
The man waved the packet in despair. “You won’t regret it, sir, I promise. It’s too good an information brochure to let be passed on in a wad of paper.”
“Shut up man, he told you what to do, you just know he doesn’t want to side with you.”
“How the fuck do you know?”
“Oh that is very professional.”
“Well then, I will put it right on top of the stack, that way you will know right where it is when the time comes.” The yellow man walked back to the desk, knocked the entire stack out of the inbox, and placed his on top of what was left.
“What the hell is the matter with you!”
“Who do you think you are!”
“This asshole is going to screw it up for all the rest of us.”
“The only sick individual is the one trying to weasel his way past us.”
“He’ll probably be out back waiting to run you over when you’re done with work.”
No one heard him. The shouts worsened. Pleasantness was failing horribly today. Baldemar walked to his desk. Only when he threw his coffee mug at the desk, and ceramic and coffee sprayed, only then was there quiet.
Baldemar clasped his hands together. “I want all of you to leave. Right now. No one is welcome at my desk unless they have thoroughly been screened. This is particularly unpleasant, I know, but frankly so are all of you. At this rate I am not going to agree to do anything you want me to, no matter what side you are on, so you should best see yourself out the way you came. That coffee mug is worth nine dollars seventy cents. I expect to be repaid for it.”
“Mister.. Mister Baldemar?”
“Oh for God’s sakes, what else could you possibly need to say to me? I just told all of you to go away. I will read every piece of literature that will fit on that god-forsaken inbox in due time. And then I will come to a decision. And when I do, I will let you know, but until then, please kindly get the ever loving hell away from my desk. Much appreciated. Sincerely, Mr. Baldemar.”
They shuffled off. He could not remember a time where he felt more exhausted. When he was sure he was either about to die or fall asleep in paper, Pud appeared.
“Good gravy what happened here?”
“Oh Baldie. I picked a hell of a time to be productive.”
“Yes you did.” He blinked. “You were actually productive?”
“Ch-yeah! It surprised me too! Baldie you look kind of terrible.”
“What’s this brown stuff on the floor?”
“You forget where the sink was?”
“You broke something too?”
“It is all ridiculous.”
“Did you not hear what was happening? How did no one hear that?”
“I did hear a lot of noise, but you know that that’s gotten to be sort of commonplace around here by now.”
“I told them all to leave. I threw my drink at them. It broke and now I don’t have a mug. This has been a horribly unpleasant day and it’s not even lunch yet.”
“And we haven’t even had that daily town hall thing yet.”
A suck of air behind him, of another balloon inflating. He hoped the eventual spear would go right through him.
“Definitely not a day for pleasantness.” He said with a sigh. “I’m taking a walk.”
“Where? Can I come?”
“No Pud. I don’t really want to be around people for a while. No offense. But right now, I can’t believe I’m saying it, but you would be the most likely person I’d want to go for a walk with.”
“Oh wow. Gosh. That means a whole hell of a lot Baldie.”
Baldemar still never knew when Pud was being serious. He left the desk and the coffee cup stains and walked down the hallway and could have bumped into Admus himself and not noticed. Walked outside and watched the birds and forgot his safety reports and put his head and his hands and slept in the sweet elusive quiet.