He walked through the morning city rain under a small rainbow coloured umbrella that was clearly not the sort of umbrella he would normally have used. His mostly dull blue and black clothes contrasted with the bright rainbow of the umbrella. His shoes and the lower half of his jeans were soaked.
Five minutes earlier he at the train-station with all the other ill-prepared commuters as the rain had started. He had looked at his watch and then back to the sky, trying to determine if he could wait out the downpour. But he was already running a few minutes late. The only thing for it was to buy an overpriced umbrella from the nearby convenience store and continue on.
So he arrived at the old factory, mostly wet anyway and with an umbrella he would probably never use again. He stood under a small awning and pushed the intercom button. The small speaker hummed softly and then spluttered static.
A distorted voice crackled through the static. “Maxwell’s Christmas Factory.”
“Jenny, it’s Nate.”
More static: “Jenny’s’not in today. Who is it?”
He leaned in closer to the speaker grill. “Nate, Nathaniel.”
The static blasted again. “Nate’s not in yet.”
He actually groaned. “No. I’m Nate. Come on, I’ve worked here for 4 months, its pouring down out here, just let me in.”
Nothing, not even static. He leaned against the door as he reached into his pocket to retrieve his phone. The door buzzed as it unlocked and swung open behind him, he fell through and landed on his butt in a puddle of water on the cold concrete floor.
He cursed loudly, got back to his feet and slammed the door closed behind. The sound echoed through the empty factory floor and forgotten machines, it had been over a decade since this factory had actually made anything. He tried to brush himself off and headed up the stairs to the offices.
At the front desk sat the overly perky Scarlet. She smiled sweetly.
“Oh, Nate, it’s you.”
He nodded. “Yeah, me, wet, but still me.” He smiled back, happy to at least be in out of the weather. Even after 4 months he didn’t know what to make of Scarlet, she was always happy and sincere, but totally inefficient and unable to do the simplest of office tasks. He had no idea why she still had a job.
He headed into his office, setting down the very wet rainbow umbrella and taking off his mostly wet jacket. He pushes the ‘power’ button on the computer and picks up his empty coffee mug and leaving the computer to startup as he makes his way to the small kitchenette at the end of the long narrow hall.
First coffee of the day. Only instant, but still very important, as was the ritual of making it. He turns quickly, fresh hot coffee in his mug, to return to his office and runs into Scarlet as she walks into the kitchenette. Hot coffee goes all over his shirt.
“Oh, opps, that was clumsy.” Scarlet smiles and pushes past him.
He could just tell. It was going to be one of those days.
Story continues in part 2.
Part of my creative writing class. Weekly Assignment 2.
As published on my writing blog.