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Ed the Dead Janitor

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Author Topic: Ed the Dead Janitor  (Read 301 times)
Marcus Bell
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« on: December 16, 2007, 06:48:00 am »

Repetative motion. The same action, over and over and...over again. Routine. Habit. Day-to-day drudgery. What else is new?

*

Mr Hergue, the principal, was talking to him.

"Edward, I'm concerned about your attitude."

Edward tried not to care, he really did, but that really wasn't an option. Unlike the teachers, he didn't have a union, he couldn't count on his job being there next week. What he -could- count on were bills. Rent. Rising costs at the grocery store. Gas for the beat-up-truck that he couldn't afford to replace. Best just to say "Yes, sir," and wait.

"How long have you been here?"

"8 years."

"That long." Principal Hergue had been around for twenty years. Ed's predecessor had been at the school since the dawn of time. 8 years was an eye blink.

"Yes, sir," Ed shifted the mop to the other hand, knowing that he still had both the boys' and girls' locker rooms to clean up before he could go home. Kids. They were filthier than the pigeons who shit all over Ed's windowsill, year-round.

"Well, Edward, we've had some complaints. It's been said that you don't smile at people. And last week, Mrs Van Houten reported that you yelled at her child."

Of course he had. Ted Van Houten, the school's star athlete, had not only been spitting on the school's local retard, but he'd been encouraging other kids to do the same. It wasn't that Ed had a thing for the mentally challenged, but that he knew that these things got out of control. Sure, spit was easy to mop up, but blood and puke weren't so easy. Plus, a mob of teenagers was never pretty. So he'd grabbed that egotistical 15-year-old by the arm and dragged him out of the locker room and gave him some life advice, mostly having to do with not pissing off the local janitor who could break his neck if he really, really wanted to.

Ed wasn't surprised that the brat had told his mommy.

"I'll try to do better," he told the principal.

"See that you do."

*

It was already a crappy day. What with the pressure from above to stop being a dick-head (what did they expect for 2 dollars over minimum wage?) and the sudden teacher's strike (or whatever it was - everyone calling in sick on the same day was a standard pay-scale tactic), Ed was about ready to throw in his wash-cloth and call it a day. Even if there was nothing at home for him except for a stupid goldfish and thirty unheard messages from his mother, he'd rather be there then at work.

Principle Hergue, however, had other plans.

"Edward! One of the children has vomitted in the gym! Why aren't you there?"

Because Ed was cleaning up the science lab, of course.

"Edward! There's a mess in the library. Clean up that stain on the carpet!"

As if blood was that simple to get out of fabrics. Asshole.

"Edward! Come to my office, immediately!"

And so, being a dutiful menial labourer, Ed dragged his mop and bucket to the principals office.

At first he'd thought he was just supposed to clean up the receptionist's area. The desk and carpet were covered in blood and vomit. What kind of sicko freak would force a kid to stay here? Why didn't they send the little germ-factory home? He was about to start mopping when he heard a cry from behind the door that led to Principal Hergue's office. Where was the receptionist, anyway? Gone home with the teachers? Must be nice.

Resigned, Ed, dragging his mop and bucket along with him, opened the door.

"My God! Kill it! Kill it!!!" Shouted principal Hergue when he saw Ed come through the door.

The chubby pricipal was trapped behind his desk, fending off what looked like an ordinary student with his office's flag pole. The student's clothes were ripped and torn, his flesh a pale sort of green, his movements jerky and awkward. The student turned around when he heard Ed come in, and Ed saw that he had a huge wound on his face, as if something had tried to rip the flesh off with it's teeth.

He put up his mop, more by reflex than by any sort of training, and the student lunged at him, impaling itself through the eye socket on the mop handle. Almost instantly, the student's body went limp.

Ed dropped the mop as if it were burning hot. He looked at Principal Hergue. The principal looked back at him. Hergue's face was pale and his eyes were wide as saucers. He stepped out from behind the desk, setting down the flag pole like nothing had happened. He pulled down on his vest as if that made him look less panicked.

"Well, Edward," he said, his voice sounding queerly empty. "I suggest you get back to work."

*

It wasn't the first time Ed had been bit by a student. Of course, the last time had been at that elementary school, and the kid had been so young she still had her baby teeth. It was quite unusual for a high school student to dig his teeth into a grownup, even if he was just the janitor.

He'd read somewhere that a human bite was far more dangerous than a dog's bite, probably because of the bacteria, so he didn't feel at all guilty for staying home the next day. His hand was already swollen anyway. Hardly useful at all for opening beer bottles.

By noon, he had a high fever, though the beer was helping him to feel better. By suppertime, he couldn't be bothered to get out of bed. His whole arm was throbbing. The flesh up to his shoulder looked violently red and puffy. He tried to sleep, but his dreams were confused and strange.

When he woke up, sometime later, he felt a little better. Not normal, really, but better. Hungry. Really hungry.

He sat up and looked at his arm. It still loooked strange. The flesh had turned a strange, slightly green colour. But at least it wasn't red. The infection must have died down. He was so very hungry. That had to be a good sign.

He stood up, his muscles protesting, feeling stiff and lethargic. He moved so slowly, but that was okay, because he was finding it difficult to think. The only thought that came with any sort of speed was related to his hunger. He needed food.

Without a second thought, Ed walked right past the kitchen with its half-filled fridge and nearly-empty cupboards. What he needed to eat wasn't in there. He couldn't quite figure out how to open the door, but eventually he managed to batter it down. The same with the door to the outside, at the bottom of the stairs. There were other people around, but he didn't pay them any mind. Somehow he knew they wouldn't be any good to eat.

Outside, he was torn. He knew that the way to his school was left. He'd already missed one day, maybe they needed him. Plus, there might be hundreds of tender children there. Why that should matter, Ed didn't care to think about. He was just so hungry.

To the left was the school, but to the right was another address, one he'd memorized before he got sick. One that interested him much more. The idea of heading that way didn't seem to conflict with that gnawing, endless hunger...

*

Repetative motion. The same action, over and over and...over again. Routine. Habit. Day-to-day drudgery.

Before he'd gone to principal Hergue's house and dragged the screaming man's heavy but appetitizing body out into the street to chew and gnaw on his bones until that hunger was temporarily sated, that drudgery had been about cleaning. Move the mop up and down, clean up after the same messes made by the same kids, year after year.

Now, the drugdery was about eating, about filling that hungry void. Somehow, Ed knew that he should feel dirty, frightened, horrified by what he did. But he didn't. Instead of bills and rent and a beat up truck he'd never be able to replace, all he had to worry about was that endless hunger.

And in Malton, that hunger rarely went unsated...
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 06:50:17 am by Marcus Bell » Report Spam   Logged

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bullgod
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2007, 06:13:34 pm »

Hah! good read, it reminds me of when a few members of my group all wrote up their characters back stories, it can be quite fun. Grin
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Chaynsama
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2008, 05:15:44 am »

Loved this! Can't wait to hear more about Ed's exploits.
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