Page55 3 S Short Stories

                          THREE SHORT, SHORT STORIES.                           10-25-10
          Roy Garde
                                               Number One – POWER PLAY.
     Paul P. Loomis had to test the Emergency Power Change-Over Switchgear in a big hotel in the city and to lessen the inconvenience to its guests he had made arrangements to do the work with the hotel’s electrical staff at 2 o’clock one Wednesday morning.
     There was a 30 minute hold up while a balky relay was being replaced by one of the hotel’s mechanics and so Paul strolled up to the Lobby to take a break.
     When he got there he found that there was a heated argument going on at the Assistant Manager’s desk between the Night Manager and a Security Guard on one side and a tall, thin, blond man on the other.
     It turned out that the blond man was a guest and he’d tried to take another man up to his room.
     From his vantage point Paul could see that the guy in question was very young – he had a ridiculous haircut and was wearing a colorful Hawaii-type shirt – and was sitting in a chair in an alcove that was close to the main entrance where he was evidently awaiting the outcome of the negotiations.
     The Hotel people were refusing to let them go on through to the elevators.
     “But how dare you imply that we’re going to do something wrong,” the guest said angrily, “we’re going to work on a business project together that’s all.”
     “Sir, you were seen kissing in the bar,” the Night Manager replied, “and there’s no way we can let you go up there together because we have our reputation to protect and, besides that, you have a single room and the rules of this hotel clearly state that guests with single rooms cannot have anyone in there with them after 10 o’clock.”
     After some more back and fore-ing in the same vein it got to be obvious, even to the blond man, that he’d lost the argument and so he turned away in defeat.
      He went over to where his friend was sitting and his face had gone white through embarrassment and rage.
     His friend must have heard the outcome because he was close to crying with frustration.
     Paul was amused by what had gone on and so, having nothing better to do, he walked over in their direction to see what would happen next.
     When the guest’s friend heard the sad news confirmed at first hand he started crying in earnest and it became louder still when he was told that he would have to leave the hotel alone.
    The blond man tried to get him to stand up and to quiet down but he failed at both tasks and so, exasperated and wanting to put some distance between himself and the distressing spectacle, he came over to where Paul was standing.
     He tried to disguise his anguish but, evidently, it flooded back in because he started in on complaining about the archaic rules and about the disgusting innuendoes that the Manager had made.
    When he’d gone on for a while he saw that Paul wasn’t buying any of it and then his in-built interest in all single males led him to turn on some charm and he asked him what he was doing there at that time in the morning.
     Paul told him about the Emergency Power Change-Over Switch and the man quickly lost interest in him as being, obviously, merely a straight technician, or worker, of some kind.
     However, in spite of that, Paul decided to help him and so he explained that all the power in the building was going to be switched off in 15 minutes time, or so, and he could then take his friend up to his room using the stairs because no one would be able to see them in the dark.
     “What! Walk up 17 floors,” exclaimed the guest. “I don’t think so. Even if we could make it I doubt if we’d have enough strength left for anything more than holding hands. Thank you for the info but, no.”
      The cruelty of being so close and so far from being able to engage in his all-time favorite practice re-turned to him and he started in on cursing the hotel people again.
     When Paul could get a word in he said, “I overheard them arguing with you. Surely your mistake was being seen kissing him in front of everyone in the bar. True?”
     “I know, I know,” answered the man, having dropped all pretence. “I’m usually very discrete, God knows we learn that one soon enough, but you see, the silly boy said he wouldn’t stay the night with me if I didn’t kiss him right there and then. He said it would show everyone that I really loved him! Can you believe it? Arrrrch! So stupid! But, given the circumstances, can you tell me what else I could have done?”
     “Well, I tell you what,” said Paul when he had overcome the desire to laugh. “If you go down to the basement using the stairs behind that door over there you’ll come to the passenger elevators but you can’t use those because their position indicators can be seen from the Assistant Manager’s desk and, besides that, they stop at the Lobby and open their doors every time they pass it in the up or the down direction. So, what you can do is this – if you walk on by the four passenger elevators and then turn left you’ll come to the two service elevators. If you call one of those down you can go straight up to your floor in it, unseen, and without having to stop at the Lobby.”
     The man understood his instructions at once and he brightened up immediately and said, “Oh! Thank you. Thank you. That’s a really good idea and it’s very kind of you to help us. We’ll go at once.”
     He went over to where his friend was waiting and he stopped his lamentations cold by saying, “Come, John. All is not lost, dear boy. I’ve found a way.”
    He began to shepherd the youth towards the door that led to the basement stairs but then he remembered something and he turned and walked back over to Paul to ask, “Uh, that change-over, uh, thing of yours. You’re not going to test it over and over all night are you? You see, I have to know because I’ve got one of those massage beds – you know the ones I mean? The kind that works when you put a quarter in the slot? – Well, it works on electricity, I guess, and if it were to stop at the wrong time, even for a few seconds, it could prove to be dangerous for the poor darling. Even I manage to get him to breathe again I doubt if he’ll ever be able to straighten up properly, much less walk!”
      Number Two – PASS THE MANUAL PLEASE.
      Joyce T. Franks had a brilliant mind and because of it she was a shoe-in
to win just about any prize that was going in both her Middle and
High Schools. In college she breezed through her B.A. and then got
herself an M.A. – Magna Cum Laude. Both were in Art History.
     She was advised to go and work ‘in the real world’ before
seeking a Doctorate and she took her professor’s advice concerning
the many job offers that she’d been given.
    She was ‘out there’ for two years before she
met a Consultant Engineer in the company that she
worked for who had been awed by her intellect from first meeting her.
They got married and, becoming pregnant almost at once, she quit her
job six months later because she’d opted to stay home and raise a family.
    They eventually had three children and she cared for
them well and kept them nicely dressed and well mannered and
she also became a good cook and an expert housewife and gardener.
     When the youngest child started Kindergarten, which gave her some private time, her husband, still in awe of her abilities because of the way that everything that she put her hand to turned out well, tried to extend that private time by taking the children to school and by buying his breakfast on his way to work and by never coming home for lunch.
     Daily, all through their marriage, he had been kept aware of
her brilliant mind and he wondered what she was using it
for now that had she plenty of free time. He knew that it wasn’t sculpting or painting, of course, so that left writing and he wondered whether she’d decided on poetry or a novel or what?
     The years went by and the children left home one by one
and, consequently, Joyce had even more free time to do whatever she wished.
      Her husband realized that one of the extra side benefits that would come to him by taking early retirement was that by being around all day he would get to see just what it was that his wife was doing.
      In the first few months of his retirement they took a long vacation and then did some visiting around the country and did lots of lunching and dining out but when they’d settled in he kept his eyes open to find out what her secret calling was.
     The secret was – there was no secret!
    Every day, when the breakfast dishes had been cleared away and all the household chores were taken care of, Joyce either called up her daughters, or one of her friends, on the telephone and then did some knitting or reading or, whatever. There was no project. No poetry, no novel, no essays, no writing at all!
     When he could bring himself to question her he asked why she’d never applied her mind to anything creative in all of the years that she’d had all the time in the world to herself.
     She replied, “Well now, in School and College I did whatever the Teachers and the Professors told me to do.
    “At work I did what my Supervisor told me to do.
    “As a mother I did what Dr. Spock told me to do.
    “In the kitchen I did what Julia Child told me to do.
    “In the garden I did what the brochures told me to do.
    “My dear, if you wanted me to do something creative you should have told me what to do.”
     Edmond R. Munsen was a maintenance electrician who
voluntarily worked the night shift on a permanent basis in a
large mid-town hotel.
     He had been a peeping tom ever since he’d found out that
girls were made differently and that being able to see that difference – in the flesh, as it were, but always at a distance so as to not get involved personally – had a hugely pleasing affect on him.
    Most men will go out of their way to get a lucky illicit eyeful of female flesh but Edmond spent a large amount of his time thinking up ways, and making plans, to
increase his exposure to exposure.
     He was always happy with getting a fortuitous flash of
breasts or a snaggle of pubic hair but fully expected to
get much more than that in the course of his nightly prowls. If he didn’t get to gaze on intimate female flesh, and, better yet, see it being caressed and utilized by a guy at least once every night he became depressed and
after two consecutive nights he began to think that there was a
conspiracy against him. “How could it possibly harm them to show a little skin?” – was what he thought.
     Over the years he had been an uninvited and unseen
observer of just about everything that there is to see,
outside of a Mid-East exhibition that included camels perhaps, but, of course, he
hoped for something extra special every night.
     He knew all of the many good viewing positions in the hotel.
    The windows in several service rooms often yielded good results as did the ones on several back-stairways. If the weather was good he used two roof corners that had high potential and he’d also found a spot, occasionally very productive, inside a large air-shaft that had a vent, approximately four feet inside, that let him look down into a Ladies Room and he’d lined it with a strip of carpeting to deaden noise and to make himself comfortable. However, his favorite observation point was at a window in the elevator motor room from which he could see right into the bedroom of the penthouse suite 34-C.
     He’d been rewarded with seeing much memorable action from there and that was because the guests figured that because they were in the penthouse no one could look in on them and so they rarely bothered to pull the curtains.
    He was so devoted to his hobby, and so grateful for having found that particular view-point, that if the maids let the propitious window panes of suite 34-C get dirty he’d find some reason to go in there, when it was unoccupied, and clean them himself.
    Indeed, it was such a productive site that whenever Edmond saw the
lights go on in there, from any of his other positions, he’d leave immediately, unless something very promising was going on, and make his way, hurriedly, to the elevator motor room.
     If he was given a job to do in the most productive
viewing hours that would take longer than the time needed to
change a fuse or a light bulb he’d write on his report
ticket, “Unable to do this job due to a more urgent one in
the kitchen.” or some such and he’d leave it and go back on
his rounds. The men on the day and evening shifts weren’t happy with
having to do his work as well as their own but none of them wanted
a roster to be made up for the night shift duty so they didn’t complain over much.
     One night, just after midnight, Edmond had seen that the lights were
on in 34-C and two or three minutes later he was in his prime viewing
position. When he’d brought up a chair and had sat down he looked over and was just in time to catch a flash of round pink buttocks and thighs going ‘off stage, right’ and because he could plainly see a naked, semi-aroused-in-anticipation, man lying on the
bed he settled down to wait for the woman to return – not quite as impatiently as the
guy himself was, he was sure, but close to it.
     As he waited he reminisced about some of the more
spectacular sights that he’d gotten at that spot but at the first
sign of movement in the room he marshaled all his forces so
that he was 100% alive and receptive and thus ready to get
maximum profit from the ensuing action.
     It was a male who came into view!
    A well hung, also half erect, male and Edmond recoiled and came off full alert and shut down his systems only just in time to save his sanity. He sat there and kept his eyes tightly shut and his head turned away and he breathed deeply until he’d calmed.
    When he got himself together enough to leave the motor room he felt sad and betrayed and bitter and terribly disappointed.
     It was dark outside, of course, and he was so disturbed that he
forgot to make the turn at the bottom of the steps and he fell off the roof.
     He landed on the narrow terrace of 34-G which was
occupied by 3 couples who were enjoying group sex. They had only just gotten everyone and every thing into place for maximum enjoyment and they were so into the moment that although they all heard Edmond land with a thump none of them could have extracted him or herself even if he or she had wanted to. Which same, they decidedly did not.
     Edmond knew that he was seriously hurt and that he needed medical attention quickly. He was sure positive that he’d broken his right thigh bone and his right forearm and, maybe, his hip and was, consequently, almost helpless but he could move his head and he decided that his best hope was to concentrate all of his fast waning strength to try to smash the window glass by hitting it as hard as he could with his forehead.
     Unfortunately for him the window curtains of room 34-G ended nearly four inches
 short of the carpet and as he gathered himself for his attention-getting effort – and, he
 hoped, his life-saving effort – he made the mistake of opening the eye that was nearest to
 the ground.