Thursday, October 15, 2015

Still a Rose

Still a Rose

Rose seldom made eye contact, talked to no one. She sat alone in a cubicle meant for four secretaries. She sat alone because no one wanted to share a space with her.

Rose’s name did not befit the aroma that hovered around her. It shrouded her like Pigpen’s dust cloud; omnipresent and foul. Everyone talked about her, but avoided engaging in any actual conversation with her. After all, it’s difficult to talk and hold your breath at the same time.

The complaints to Human Resources could no longer be ignored and Rose was walked out the door under the premise that her job was obsolete.

The thing is, the smell lingered.

A cleaning crew was called in to disinfect the area, scrub it down. They sprayed the carpet tiles around her desk, replaced her chair.

It still stank.

A second crew came in and ripped out her desk, even emptied her filing cabinets.

“Jesus, fuck!”

Eric took two steps back, dropped the garbage bag he had pulled from the last drawer.

“What?” Frank walked over, peered inside. The stench was overpowering and he gagged. “What the hell?”

Eric pulled his t-shirt over his nose, opened the bag to get a better view, though he immediately regretted that.

“What is that?”

“Not what." Frank swiped his hand over his mouth. "Who.”