Buttoned Up Man

If it’s Tuesday, it must be time for a prompt inspired post. Well . . it should have been posted last night but that’s neither here nor there, soooo . . . Tuesday morning it is homies!

The prompt for today’s post is “Buttoned Up”.  That trouble making lovely from Montreal way, Dale of A Dalectable Life and the Irish Mafia wild child from Chi town, Karen Craven, of Table For One were culprits in this here mayhem, so go blame them. But I warn you, stepping foot in their digs is habit forming. 

And now, as Ed Sullivan used to say . . let’s get on with this mofo! 

When you do a job, it’s quite straightforward.

You are presented with a biography, and you are asked to still its advent. There is no emotional presentation to be culled from the transaction of personal information, only the rubric of habits and patterns . . as well as any current fascinations which might prove either problematic or expeditious to the task at hand.

It’s like closing a real estate deal; you are transferring the deed from one realm to the next. It’s not your business to think about the next realm since it’s just a job; you simply refer to the calculations . . mathematical . . cold and straightforward with no mystery or intrigue attached to the equation.

So here I am, studying a person’s life out of a manila folder. Fifty eight years, seven months and thirteen days . . . presented in quadrants, which makes me think of that Godfather song about birth, school, work and death. Every parcel of information is important so I read it thoroughly. And then I peruse it again as I sit in my apartment and crank up some Verdi and open a bottle of Merlot in order to catch a buzz. I like to prosper the information from various states of mental acuity. Dulling the senses is simply a matter of slowing down the thought processes. The byproduct of such a strategy is to introduce another vantage point. I call it recon sourcing.

The wine is doing its unpretentious best to dismiss all serious thought, which is why I chose Verdi for my musical carpet ride. Depressing compositions allow me to remain linear when my brain is ready to salsa dance.

I call them numbers. He will be Number 28. A semi-retired contractor who is busy living the American dream. He owns three homes, a couple of successful businesses, a trophy wife almost half his age and a creamy side dish he keeps hidden in a posh condo in town.

The sonofabitch has no idea it’s all coming to an end.

It’s ten minutes to midnight, and in a little more than nine hours I’ll be waiting for him in the parking lot of the Silver Leaf Construction Company. He’ll make the scene a couple minutes before nine because he is never, ever late . . even when he should be. On Thursday mornings, he usually sleeps at the office- which happens to be located downtown, in that posh condo with the creamy side dish. So he’ll bring his candy crush- a cardinal red metallic Mercedes-Benz SL roadster. It percolates on a twin-turbo V12 whose drip is 621 horses. He opened this bad ass up on the Autobahn before having it shipped to the states. On this side of the pond, it opens up everything else so to his way of thinking it’s worth the price of admission.

So he’ll swing into the parking space two spots to the left of the double doors. There’s no nameplate on the parking space, but it’s understood who parks there, simple as that. And that’s when I’ll remove myself from a nondescript late model and make my way to the double doors, meeting him somewhere in between.

I practice my preach in front of the mirror, bringing my best Clint Eastwood out to play. The words I know by heart, it’s the tone I want to cleave into something sinister sounding. Because we’ll only share the space of a moment together before I end things, so I want to fetch the best possible reaction. It’s the little things.

Isn’t it amazing how three little words can change your life for the best and the worst? I chuckle at the thought as the clock strikes midnight before delivering the words that will end the life he knew.

“You’ve been served . . .” 


33 thoughts on “Buttoned Up Man”

  1. B!
    I was POSITIVE he would be the grim reaper! Yanno… after out talks ’bout that show “Dead Like Me” I told you about… You been served… câlisse… words no one wants to hear.

    This was, as per usual, brilliantly written. I love how you pull us into the whole scenario (by the way, Verdi is so NOT always depressing – listening to some now because of you…La Traviata is far from depressing… ‘course I am listening to the drinking song 😉 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDo8Iz8LzW4 ) and we are following along with your protagonist.

    Salute! Sangiovese, per favore….


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Q,

      This story was stumping me. It was the antithesis of linear, lol. I went in several different directions before deciding on an ending to it. Thanks to a headache from Hades, I lurched through the beginning and middle looking for that thing. Yanno? It’s nice to know it actually worked.
      Verdi can go dark, But so can lots of those big haired genius peeps, lol.
      Dead Like Me looks creepy.


      Liked by 2 people

      1. B.
        Stumped or no… you pulled through and nailed yet another fabulous story. Would you please rub off on me? I needs must work on creating true fiction. So. Bloody. Hard. Yet you make it look effortless – with or sans headache.
        Yes, Verdi can go dark. True dat.
        It was funny. I swear.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It’s true though. I was totally lost for words, going in circles, and then it just came. Sometimes that’s how it works.
        Buttoned up man was originally just button man, but I wanted to slip the prompt in there.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think it’s perfectly normal. The reason I asked the question is because you’ve been producing such excellence pieces lately so I couldn’t see the flat…😋

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s just pushing on, regardless. I think sometimes the work is better (sometimes) because there is a ton of work to it. Whereas the flow allows me to just sit down and crank, the ebb ain’t so accommodating.
        Thank you for the lovely props, as per. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Kudos to you for pushing on then. And lucky for us, when you do…
        I guess like my latest FF, I didn’t even have to think or rewrite. It just went directly to “paper” and off to publish!
        Always 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I am probably struggling because I was half ass thinking of a book I haven’t thought about in a while. I gave up thinking it was possible.
        Yes, those are delightful aren’t they? When you just sit down and find that place. Yes indeed!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Half-ass, eh? Well, maybe a nudge and a noodge will help to get you going… Know anyone who would be willing to do so? That’s right. Moi. I’m here.
        Yes indeed, they are more than delightful. They take over the “pen”, so to speak, and then we marvel at how those words got to the “page”.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. It’s like when I have a really horrible run. To push through it, I have to bring more to the run. I guess maybe it’s the same dynamic with writing.
        Thank you for being there Q!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Late to the party again.
    Favorite line: “Depressing compositions allow me to remain linear when my brain is ready to salsa dance”.
    This didn’t read like some fabrication. I envisioned you drinking Merlot and studying the contents of the envelope. Perfect follow up to the Godfather blog. Bravo!

    Liked by 2 people

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