The Appointment
by Henrick Glutonlumps
forum: The Appointment
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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The Appointment


        Trevor Steed stood, clasping a very large plain paper bag, at the front door of the tallest skyscraper in all of Seattle, Washington—Platinum-Notion towers—and stared up longingly to the forty-second floor.

        "That's where they all sit—pompous like—scoffing and ridiculing aspiring authors," he mumbled as he felt himself beginning to tremble in anticipation. "I best get this over with, I suppose… Before I lose my bloody nerve."

        Standing himself up erect to his full five feet of height and with bravado unbefitting of a man with such a limited stature and lacking a fancy college education, he pulled open the heavy door and cautiously entered the grand foyer. As he made his way through the door, two incredibly tall and muscular men, dressed in uniforms rather reminiscent of an early episode of "Doctor Who" featuring Tom Baker, studied him intently as he made his way up to the reception counter.

        "Excuse me, miss," he politely said to the platinum blonde, generously proportioned girl dressed in a very fashionable, albeit scant, black dress perched provocatively on a stool.

        The lady, whose nametag attached distractively close to her ample freckled cleavage announced her to be Jules, reluctantly put down the nail file she had been busying herself with and stared down at the little man.

        "May I help you?" she said with a distinct air of repugnance and with what Trevor keenly detected as a liberal measure of well rehearsed indifference thrown in for good measure.

        "I have brought my latest short story manuscript, neatly double-spaced in 12-point courier, and I would like to take it on up to the boardroom…"

        Jules raised her hand and was about to speak and unquestioningly send him on his way, and the two security officers began menacingly reaching for their weapons.

        "I do have an appointment." Trevor attempted to smile cheerfully as he spoke, but the growing fear burning in the pit of his stomach transformed his expression into a sort of a sinister, twisted, desperate grin.

        Julie frowned, and surprisingly no wrinkles appeared in her silky smooth, tanned forehead, and lowered her hand, and the two security goons reluctantly left their weapons where they were.

        "You have an appointment? What is your name?"

        "My name is Trevor Steed," Trevor said. "I have called every day for the last four years, three months, two weeks and six days and finally, this very morning, they have most graciously allowed me a few minutes of their precious time to present my latest manuscript… But only under the stipulation of me promising that I am never to call ever again."

        "So you are the bothersome, untalented Trevor Steed, are you?" Julie said. Her face was contorted in a not very agreeable fashion, and her voice now had an added distinct tone of disgust.

        "I am indeed…" Trevor replied, trying to maintain what was left of his dignity and composure, which admittedly wasn't much.

        Jules rolled her flawlessly made-up green eyes and sighed.

        "Well, I suppose that you had better go on up," she hissed.

        Trevor, satisfied at his apparent victory, was making his way to the platinum colored elevator along the platinum covered carpet on the opposite side of the foyer when Jules spoke again.

        "No, you are not allowed in the elevator… Those are reserved for real authors… You can take the stair," she said, pointing to a door, barely noticeable on the other side of the foyer.

        Listening to the security guards and Jules laughing at him, Trevor made his way to the door, pulled it open and vanished inside. He soon discovered that this stairwell was not a very nice place at all, full of thick cobwebs, dust and frightening large rat droppings. He pulled his tweed jacket tight about him and clasped his brown paper bag and slowly proceeded to climb the dimly lit staircase…

* * *

        Approximately fourteen minutes and twenty three seconds later a very tired and sweaty Trevor Steed arrived at the top of the stairs and saw a large 42 painted on a door in green fluorescent paint… 42, Trevor considered, I wonder if there is any significance to that? He had difficulty opening the door; it was almost as if the door itself was somehow mocking and hindering him… Finally, with one big almighty tug, the door reluctantly swung open and Trevor quickly made his way through it. The door promptly closed behind him with a squeak that sounded remarkably like a woman laughing after inhaling a generous amount of helium. Trevor peered about him in awe at the impressive sight that now met his surely unworthy eyes. Everything was platinum now—the floors, the walls, the carpets, the shutters on the windows, and at the end of an impressive hallway stood the biggest door Trevor had ever seen…

        He once more garnered all of the self confidence he could muster, straightened his bow tie and tweed jacket, tightened his grip on the brown paper bag and headed towards the door. The closer he got to it, the bigger still it appeared. By the time he was upon it, he realized that the door towered at least twenty feet high, making Trevor feel even less significant than usual. All at once a white light above the door began to flash and the door opened with an impressive whooshing sound. Nervously he peered inside to discover a platinum table, at least fifty feet long with five incredibly well dressed men and women sitting at the far end…

        "Enter, please," a man at the end of the table said in a bold, deep and commanding tone.

        That must be Phil House, the esteemed and brilliant founder of Platinum-Notion Publishing House, Trevor thought as he followed the command.

        "You have precisely five minutes beginning from now to tell us why we should read your manuscript," a rather distinguished and striking lady sitting at Phil's immediate right said in a silky, deep seductive voice. Instantly Trevor's entire body came out in goosebumps, and he was delighted at his decision to wear the extra-strength underarm deodorant that morning.

        Oh my goodness, that is Peggy Baddle. She's legendary.

        He stumbled closer to them, almost as if in some sort of a surreal dream state, and stood at the far end of the table.

        As Peggy spoke, she pulled out a platinum digital timer, set it at five minutes and placed it on the tabletop, and with a precise gesture, slammed the palm of her right hand onto a button located on the top of the timer, which responded by beginning to tick. The echo of the small timepiece in the large metallic room echoed ominously.

        Tick-tick tick-tick

        "So," the gentleman on Phil's right said, who Trevor recognized as Marv Grand, the chief reviewer of Platinum-Notion, "please do tell us about your manuscript… Does it have a space ship? I do love space ships."


        "How about a motley collection of weird looking aliens with peculiar peccadilloes?"


        "Or maybe you have written about crazed extraterrestrial zombies who discover just how sweet human flesh is on a prison planet several light years away from mother Earth? Those are always gleefully welcomed here."


        "Or possibly you have come up with a gripping storyline about a huge demonic death robot three hundred meters tall. Oh, I simply love death robots!"


        "How about a creative tale about the complexities of time travel?"


        "Alternate realities?"



        "Well, good grief, little man!" Phil said. "What in heavens do you write?"

        "Well. Erm…"


        All the privileged board members' eyes in the shiny, sterile, imposing room were now focused intently on the peculiar little man standing in front of them who was fumbling awkwardly with the brown paper bag he was still carrying.

        "I wrote a gruesome, blood curdling horror story… In fact, all I ever write are short horror stories!"

        It was at that very moment that all of the Platinum-Notion board members groaned and rolled their eyes back in unison.

        "Horror stories?" Peggy echoed.


        "You have two minutes and forty-three seconds left to impress us," another of the members said, grinning, showing a false platinum tooth in the middle of his perfect pearly white front teeth.

        Trevor pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and mopped his brow. He then looked at all of the faces staring back at him with contempt. Trevor once more pulled himself up to his full height and emptied the contents of his brown paper bag. Seconds later, five blood-filled plastic bags tumbled onto the desk, with a lump of flesh in the middle of each of them.

        The room fell silent, except, of course for the tick-tick-tick-tick.

        "And what is that?" Phil questioned, his face now quite pale and his words not as confident as they had been just moments before.

        "Oh, those? Those are the hearts of the last publishers that turned me down."

        Trevor then reached into his tweed jacket and pulled out a long knife, the shiny edge of which was covered in what appeared to be dried blood, and brandished it furiously in front of him.

        "Now are you going to give me a contract, or aren't you?" Trevor said, with each deliberate syllable making eye contact directly with each board member and then the next.

        It was Phil who spoke next. "Well, come to think of it, we have been discussing adding a few horror stories to our anthologies, haven't we?" He nodded at his team.

        They all nodded back.



        "Just the stuff we need."


        With that, Peggy got up and walked over to the platinum filing cabinet and pulled out a seventeen-page document. Trevor watched as she made her way unhurriedly over to him, and placed it directly in front of him. He then made eye contact with her.

        "Why, thank you!" he said. "Isn't that a lovely surprise indeed?"

        Next Peggy pulled a shiny platinum pen from behind her ear and handed it to Trevor.

        Trevor signed the contract. Next he pulled out a manuscript from the bag and placed it on the table.

        It was then the alarm went off.

        "Times up, I guess," Trevor said as he returned the bloody plastic bags to his brown paper bag, pulled out his copy of the contract, folded it and placed it along with the knife back into his tweed jacket inside pocket, and bowed.

        Then Trevor marched out of the boardroom and to the elevator…

* * *

        Approximately twenty-three minutes and seventeen seconds later, Trevor was to be discovered almost skipping along the busy Seattle downtown Street, to his first stop; the Sizemore butchers shops… As he walked in, the sprite, attractive mature woman behind the meat counter smiled at him knowingly.

        "Well, how did it go with the pigs' hearts?" she said, trying not to giggle… "And that damned realistic fake knife you acquired from George's magic shop?"

        Trevor beamed back his biggest smile and pulled himself up again to his full height with a smug expression now on his face.

        "They brought it hook, line and sinker… Little do they realize I wouldn't even hurt a fly!"




copyright 2006 Henrick Glutonlumps.

Henrick Glutonlumps is perhaps the nastiest little man you could ever be unfortunate to meet. He does, however, have one arguably redeeming feature... He, when the mood takes him, writes short stories.