The story which is displayed on this site is the second of two stories I turned in to my English teacher. The first story I created was about a dying taxidermist who had undergone multiple plastic surgeries, and did not lend itself to music production. Because I was unable to cerate corresponding productions to accompany my story in Digital Media and Design, I wrote a second story about a little boy living alone in an office. He experiences two distinct conflicts within the short story, and the resolution of the story is clear but leaves questions to be asked.
A loud scraping noise was emitted as Albert dragged his wooden stool across the linoleum floor of the break room. The sound seemed to emphasize the faint but constant buzzing of the cold fluorescent lights, meant to dissipate the sounds of clicking keyboards and grinding teeth. Albert propped the stool against the counter and climbed its three steps. He stretched his small frame to its capacity and managed to reach the knobs of the upper level cupboard, wresting it open to expose boxes and boxes of tea. Albert liked the Peppermint tea because its box had a colorful illustration of a snowman, but he reached instead for the beige box containing English Breakfast, as requested by Mr. Astley. Albert couldn’t read yet, but the office workers helped him out by describing the tea boxes to him, and after a few weeks he got to know which teas were favorites of the workers.
As Albert continued scraping around the tiny room, he heard the echoing taps of two high heeled shoes approaching. Albert’s heartbeat sped up and his cheeks flushed a bright pink. Before waiting to find out if the unfamiliar shoes were attached to a state worker, Albert scurried through the door in the opposite direction of the click-click sound and sprinted quietly through the cubicles to reach the familiar storage closet near the elevator. He struggled slightly to pull open the heavy door and then ducked behind it, turning on the light hurriedly. He breathed a sigh of relief and settled into his makeshift bed of mopheads and towelettes, clutching to his chest the whimsical man-shaped plastic tape dispenser that he had snuck out of an abandoned office in the third floor. It was cold at first, but after a few minutes it warmed up to match Albert’s body temperature.
Albert squeezed his eyes closed, his mind flashing to the cup of English Breakfast that was rapidly growing colder in the break room. How could he expect Mr. Astley and the others to keep turning a blind eye to his inhabitancy of the office if he was not fulfilling his duties? But soon his fear of those piercing shoes overshadowed his workplace anxiety, and he remained snuggled up in his closet, clutching the tape dispenser to his chest. As Albert began to drift off into his midday nap, he was suddenly startled awake when he felt the floor tremble beneath him, and seconds later a large box of paper fell on his foot, bending the ankle painfully. The shelves surrounding Albert remained in place, secured firmly to the wall with various brackets, but precarious items rained down over Albert’s small body, cutting and bruising him as he struggled to curl into a ball. Albert’s mind went completely blank, and he imagined only the color of those fluorescent lights, bright and safe and constant…
Albert felt a strong hand on his shoulder, and slowly opened his eyes to see the worn face of Dolton, the janitor, staring down at him with concern. He shook his head to clear the overpowering dizziness and forced a faint smile to let Dolton know he was okay, despite the sharp pain in his ribs and ankle. Dolton’s nervous frown softened, and he quickly got to work removing the scattered office supplies covering Albert. Albert sat up slowly, noticing that the pain in his ankle had greatly diminished, and as he regained clarity he glanced out of the open closet door to see – sharp black stiletto heels! Albert’s heart sped up and with flustered awkwardness he stood up too quickly, his vision spinning as a result. After regaining his balance he managed to move his eyes up from the shoes, over the black jeans, over the blazer, finally resting on the motherly face of Mrs. Hewitt, the building manager. Albert sighed and his shoulders fell in relief. Mrs. Hewitt handed him an apple, and Dolton drew him into a warm embrace. As Albert opened his arms to accept the hug, he dropped the tape dispenser that he hadn’t noticed he’d been holding. He quickly picked it up and wrapped himself as far around Dolton as he could, clutching the tape man tightly in his right hand.