Thursday August 13th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the donor.

Today ended up being another day off from the garden for me. We're more or less on top of things out there, so I don't feel overly guilty about it. Just a little.

Back to harvesting once again tomorrow, this time for Saturday's Penticton market. Hopefully the weather cooperates with me and the potential thunderstorms decide to visit elsewhere.


"The donor wishes to remain anonymous."

I should have called the whole thing off then and there. The lawyer making the offer was bad enough, with his Italian suit that cost more than my house and reeking of cologne that was probably made from the blood of enslaved unicorns. But the amount being so generously offered was so far beyond anything I could have expected that it should have been obvious something sinister was going on.

But, of course, I did not muster a word of protest.

Maybe I was blinded by dollar signs. Maybe I was too focused on what could be accomplished with that sort of financial backing. Maybe I was so disoriented by the lawyer's stench that I just couldn't think straight.

Whatever the reason, I accepted the offer. My little business was officially a go. Childhood dreams were dancing to life and I was caught up in the moment. And the many moments that followed over the course of the next two years.

And then, inevitably, late one night the anonymous donor came calling. He was there to make me another offer I couldn't refuse, but he didn't bring his lawyer this time. There was no need.

The photographs of my daughter, bound and gagged in the trunk of a car, were more than enough incentive to do as he wished.


Greg said...

I like thunderstorms ;)
Another darker piece from you today; clearly having time off from the garden makes your thoughts turn in a murderous direction. Kat ought to have you out there every day, thunderstorms or no, just to make sure you're thinking happy thoughts all round ;-) The description of the lawyer is very, very nice, though the enslaved unicorns was definitely a little foreshadowing of what was to come. I am intrigued now as to what the business is, what the donor's new ask is!

The donor
The shop sign said "Donor kebab" and Mike suppressed a snigger as he went in. Everyone knew it was Doner Kebab. He'd had a girlfriend once called Donna (for about eighteen minutes before she snogged his best mate in front of half of Year Seven; then she'd dumped him saying he was a bad kisser. He still wet the bed when he had nightmares about that) and had spent the next half-year making bad jokes about Donna-Kebab and pretending he'd slept with her.
"Sir. Yes, sir?" said the man behind the counter. He was wearing an apron with shoulder straps that didn't conceal that he was topless and hairy beneath it. Mike wondered for a moment if food hygiene was an issue, but a glance at the meat rotating in front of the red-glowing heating elements reassured him that the germs would all die a fiery death.
"Doner kebab, mate," said Mike.
"Donor, sir," said the hairy man.
"Yeah, like, whatevs."
"You want kidney? Liver, spleen, pancreas? I think we have some eyeballs, very juicy!"
"You what?" Mike stared at the man, finding an odd taste in his throat like his stomach was trying to throw up without consulting the rest of him.
"This is Donor Kebab," said the man. "Donors today have provided kidney, spleen, liver, lights and eyeballs."
"You wait twenty minutes, we can probably get something else," said the man. "Bad accident blackspot out there you know."
"Eyeballs?" said Mike, his brain trying desperately to catch up. What was the man on about?
"Very good, sir! Very juicy!"
Something was pressed into Mike's hands and he wandered out of the job wondering what had just happened.

Greg said...

Drat. "job" == "shop" in the last line!

morganna said...

Don't worry, dear
Only a short
Nip on the arm
Oh no, you won't feel a thing
Rest easy about that.

David said...

Louise mailed her annual donation to Stanislaus Prep, her alma mater. Eleven years and counting, she had written a simple $20 check. And every year, they would call her. It was always some bubbly senior, thanking her for the support and telling her how the $20 dollars had changed her life. How it paid for two Spanish textbooks (Louise was dubious that it could cover two books, unless they were heavily subsidized by the government). The soon to be graduate would then list all of the ways that an increased donation would enrich the school:

“$25 dollars would make you a silver circle donor, which would also buy a French book”

“50 dollars would help send us to Washington for mock Senate. Of course, only the top two students participate in that.”

“100 dollars would make you a gold circle donor and would be kinda cool” (Louise assumed there were very few in the gold circle, as the kid could not even pretend to have examples here).

“1000 dollars….like oh my God”

At this point, Louise would graciously thank the girl for her thank you and she would hang up. She would then access her calendar and mark the due date for next year’s donation, noting:

“Send donation to Stan Prep, $20 only, they graduate a bunch of f-ng morons.”

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

The venture from the hospital to the security office seemed farther than it should have been, and a lot farther than Laz might be able to go in the time he needed. Time he desperately needed. Time he shouldn't have needed, if only that damn shrink---

His sudden awareness of something quite large in front of him startled him out of his haze and nearly out of his skin. Large thing, car, numbers on it... Oh! Cab! The thought was so clear in his mind that he might as well have spoken it aloud. Had he? He didn't know, but he climbed in the back and gave the destination to the driver.

Laz lurched with the car as it pulled out of the driveway and onto the street proper. He hadn't put on his seatbelt. He started to reach for it when a wave of revulsion lurched through him, pinching the ringing still needling his ears. Traffic wasn't crazy, it was a short drive, he could do without the seatbelt.

It shouldn't have happened. None of this should have happened. It was all laid out: the deeds of transfer, the donor's papers, the proxy stipulation, every possible precaution and closed door and every bit of red tape to restrict this old project's papers he could think to suggest but ultimately had no power over. That's what had let him rest easy about this whole thing, that had been his lifeline---he couldn't grant access, it had to be through the proxy, there was plenty of documentation to prove it.

Damn lot of good that did. And damn lot of good it did him to prove it, if anything proving it had gotten him into worse trouble. Never mind the stack of paperwork proving saying, ad nauseum, "No, you can't access those project papers," papers hadn't done jack to stop that shrink and the light and the noise and that creeping, crushing panic creeping in from all sides and sloshing under his skin and pressing in on his mind---

He lurched again. The cab had stopped. Laz glanced out the window. Right. Security office.

His hands had started shaking again as he fished for some cash and didn't bother waiting for change and practically tumbled out of the cab. It was tough not to break into anything faster than a run, tougher still to try and imagine how on earth he could stand to face Palermo.

Hell, how could he not stand to face her?

How was he supposed to get this in on time?

It'd be fine, he just had to get the request in by the end of today, it was easy to fill out, it---

"Needs printing!" he blurted with greater dismay than he'd hoped to show in the middle of the Security lobby, and he dashed off to find the nearest set of work stations.

This had to get in today. Like hell he could stand that whack job's disappointment again.
Well then. It's been a while, hasn't it.

The prompt reminded me of another project I've been working on with some folks, so here's some of my poor unfortunate records rat. ^^

Marc said...

Greg - yes, well... you may have a point there. Better to have me out killing weeds than... anyway!

That is one rather disturbing food joint. Not enough money in the world to get me to try any of that. Yuck!

Morganna - yeah, that's what they always say. And they pretty much always lie...

David - haha, love that final line. Though I have to admit to also enjoying the sell job, such as it was, by the previously referenced moron :)

g2 - ! Good to see/read/hear from you again :) I hope you've been well.

Intriguing, intense piece. You've left me curious for more. I seem to recall that being rather typical of your writing here :P