Frank knew he was sick. His wife warned him, his daughters told him, and his boss asked why he even came into work today. Knowing he was nearly finished with his project, Frank brushed all of the reprimands away, went to work, and continued designing the new logo for his company’s grand reopening. A little hue here, some repositioning there, and “almooooost done,” Frank whispered to himself.
Pictures of family, friends, and hunting trips were strewn all over his dwarfed cubicle. His favorites were hung on three walls about him: the birth of each of his daughters at his home, picturing the girls wrapped tightly in flowered blankets; his favorite engagement photo taken in the mountains of Colorado; and many more of himself holding different trophies from hunting. An elk, a king salmon, a boar, antelope, and three pheasants were a few of what he pictured there.
Frank’s one all-consuming desire was to hunt. The freedom in nature, the pure adrenaline when face-to-face with your game, and the amount of meat you could gain for the rest of the year. In simple comparison, hunting provided meat at a fraction of the price he could purchase at the local grocery store. He knew what he was doing.
But today, Frank was ill and needed to free himself of this task that has taken him much longer than he first thought. “I can’t believe this has taken me almost three months to complete,” he thought to himself. Frank was getting frustrated and down, which, he felt, was not helping his health.
“WHAT! THREE MONTHS?” bellowed Calvin from the cubicle directly to the right of him. Standing on his chair, Calvin leaned over the carpeted wall with his elbows on the ledge and his chin resting on his hands, and looked at Frank with a stare of excitement and anticipation.
“Yes Cal….three months,” in a low, sad tone. “Please. I’m not feeling well at all today. When do you want the gun?”
“Oh, don’t worry about it man. I was just joking. I didn’t really think we were serious.”
“No, no, no,” replied Frank with earnestness. “We made a bet, and I swore I’d give you my thirty-thirty if I lost. A bet’s a bet, and I’m a man of my word.”
“Well, you were pretty sure of yourself. But three months is pretty average for a design like that bud.” Calvin knew Frank wouldn’t be able to produce such a beautiful logo as he did in less than two months. Impossible! Some of the best graphic designers, which Frank happened to be, constructed masterpieces on average every three to four months. What took the most time was the staring at a blank screen, hoping designs would come to mind. If writers have a block, designers have it much worse. Designers not only assemble words, but colors, patterns, fonts, depth, and so much more, to make the aesthetics of the designs attract and create desire in the consumer.
Calvin continued, “Don’t hold it over your head Frank, we’ll bet again. And maybe this time you’ll get that gun of yours back! Haha!”
Just as Calvin began to laugh, the wheels of his chair straightened out, letting Calvin’s weight push the seat away from the wall. As Frank looked up at his friend hanging on the wall, Calvin’s head slipped out of sight while his hands tried to grip the cubicle wall in time. Too late.
Frank could picture it all happening in his head as it materialized on the other side of the wall.
THUD! That was Calvin watching his hands miss the side of the cubicle wall and hitting his elbows on the top of the desk.
THUD! Calvin’s head following his elbows and contacting the desk with force.
SCREEECH! BOOM! CRASH! His neighbor’s hands trying to grip the top of the desk for support, but skimming across, while his chair slid along the floor, hit the wall opposite, tipped over, and crashed on the ground.
SLUMP! THUD! That was Calvin’s body slithering off his desk and collapsing on the ground like a dead body. And finally a groaningly loud swear word.
As Frank turned back to his computer, he could hear Calvin grumbling to himself, “I deserved that! I know. I know!” And although Frank lost his bet, he felt a little gratification stirring inside of him from the spectacle next door.
Calvin was a good guy. He joked a lot, but was always supportive and caring when the occasion was right. He had always relied on Frank to help him and get him out of trouble, which seemed more often than not to Frank. He even helped Calvin get contracted at the company when he lost his job as an electrician. And for many months, Frank taught and trained Calvin to become a well-respected graphic designer. But through the years of work, the hunting trips, and Calvin losing his wife to cancer, leaving no children behind, the two grew closer and closer. And often they would spend hours on the weekends sitting on Frank’s porch, drinking a couple Coronas and talking of life. Frank always thought of Calvin as a younger brother.
I hope you enjoyed this short story about a funny situation. I meant this story to turn into a great book where Frank’s daughter was murdered by a town’s serial killer. Then Frank goes through so much turmoil to find the person who killed his girl. At the end of the book I wanted to end it by Frank visiting a cottage to get away and do some hunting for his favorite game, the elusive whitetail deer. But Frank takes a wrong turn, thinks he’s found his neighbor’s home, and begins to go hunting. While Frank sees a beautiful buck, he shoots, but slips and the gun shoots a little higher into the air and misses the deer, but the bullet continues on for about a half-mile where the actual serial killer of his daughter was driving down the road. The bullet hits the murderer in the shoulder, which makes him drive into a tree, and he eventually dies. Justice has been served and we can only guess as to how much of this is God’s sovereignty.
Thanks for reading this piece and let me know what you think. Should I have finished it? I just don’t have time and if you’d like to write a similar story, it’d be great to hear about. Leave a comment and have a great day!