This was the third short story I wrote using my Caption this method.
The neon light, far away at the end of the corridor had to flick sixty-three times before Kirk thought about eating the chair.
It wasn’t that the stool was made of anything else but aluminum or styrofoam ; but a part of him knew there were strawberries hidden inside it.
Kirk had waited, maybe six hours, with his bleeding hand carefully wrapped as more urgent matters passed before him. He didn’t know how he cut himself, and after four hours, it really didn’t matter.
There was this emptiness in his belly, like the great Milky Way spreading, devoid of matter, right in his stomach. If he’d closed his eyes for just one second, he could see it, expanding. In the beautiful infinite sky which hid behind the ceiling and deep inside of him.
If anyone had asked him, he would have known, I betcha, he would have known why he’d brought the wood-saw. He just would have known but, with those six-four hours having passed (who cares), the tool was now just resting on his belly. A sharpened blade riding an expanding universe.
God, was he hungry.
And thinking about it, there actually might be a chance, a slight one for sure but a chance nonetheless, for there to be strawberries inside the chair, wasn’t it?
The neon lamp blinked for the 74th times and Kirk honestly thought they should fix it. They should fix him too, by the way.
But how would have the strawberries ended up in there? That was the real question. Kirk thought about it, for a second as some great white form passed him, yelling. With the milky way growing in his bowels, Kirk came up with an answer.
The presence of the strawberry could be explained by the fact that some Mexican worker left them in here. For sure, the guy who glued the styrofoam underneath the red tissue must have been eating them while doing his work. Everybody knew those Mexicans couldn’t get a lunch break, so this guy, Tony, had to come up with something. And he might have been eating strawberry just as he was gluing the yellow thingy.
That made sense.
Somebody must have called, maybe a fire in his home or something, and the guy who put on the red tissue, he must have had something on his mind because he didn’t notice the tiny red fruits which laid on the yellow mat. For a brief instant, Kirk pitied him, it must have been some real problems he had, for him not to notice the strawberries.
Kirk licked his lips, directing his attention to the neon which still flickered.
Would anybody notice if he tried to extract the fruits? And how would he go about it? He wondered, his hands resting gently on the wood saw. Could his tool cut through aluminum? At least it could cut the tissue that wrapped his meal, right?
Germaine hadn’t paid any attention to the bald, fat guy who had been losing blood, all night long, just in of her, in the waiting hall. He was heavy, yes, hard not to notice but he was seated slightly to her right and hadn’t tried to speak to her since his arrival and, of course, she’d forgot about him. She didn’t even know the guy was bleeding. She hadn’t slept for a little over nineteen hours, don’t you get it? Yes, yes, she actually tried to take a thirty minutes nap in the restroom but was immediately cut short because nobody seemed able to find Natalie, her colleague.
She knew, Natalie might be smoking on the roof, but it wasn’t Germaine’s job to rat on her, right?
The world had just became blurry when she noticed the annoying sound. Somebody was sawing through something.
Germaine stood up. And right here, practically in front of her desk, just to her right, there was this tall figure sawing through the stool. Germaine gasped, called security.
The giant, this big bald guy who was currently destroying the hospital furniture, he didn’t seem to mind, he didn’t notice the silence he caused. He, he just took a part of his chair, a triangle part, as if the stool had always been some sort of cake.
Germaine… At this point, Germaine didn’t know what to do, but this bald guy (which seemed to be bleeding from his left hand she noticed) just sat back. As if nothing ever happened, laying the stool-cake right on his belly. Contemplating it. The nurse knew he was wondering how he could eat it, the seesaw, still clenched in his right hand, dangling parallel to his body.
Thank god, the security guard finally arrived, at least one of them. His hands on his handgun as if he was some sort of cop. He yelled:
— Sir? Sir?! Could you please drop the saw, please?
The bald guy, at first, didn’t seem to take any notice of what was happening, but then, he slowly turned his head to the right, staring at the security guard, no, looking right past him, right through him. The giant, he squinted his eyes as if he’d been asked some serious math problems, thinking so loud, everybody else could hear it.
— I’m hungry, he finally said, emotionless.
— I can understand that.
— I’ve been here too long, he added, trying to smile.
— I just want you to put the saw on the floor, sir, continued the guard, his hand still glued to his gun.
— You know I’ve been here for six, seven hours ? The giant asked. And some Mexican forgot strawberries in my chair. Me, I forgot to eat ‘fore I come and you should definitely fix this lamp.
— Which lamp? Hesitantly asked the security guard.
— The one at the end of this hall, it never. Stops. Flickering… Somebody might get mad.
— Okay, sir, sure will do. Could you please put the saw down, now?
The giant suddenly stood, and before he knew it, the guard had drawn his gun. He’d never shoot a human before, didn’t have time to think about it.
— How would I be able to get the strawberries which are in my chair if I let go off the saw ?
— We could get you something to eat, Germaine tried, from behind her desk.
After thinking for a quarter of a second, the giant answered :
— I been sitting here for a long, long time. I didn’t see no cake. There’s people here, and they’re hurt, the others? They just run.
— I can get you cake, the guard said, and while saying so he put his left hand on his heart.
— With strawberries? The giant asked.
— Strawberry topping, that’s all I can promise.
— That’s fair. The bald guy squinted, suspicious. You ain’t gonna stole my saw, right?
— No, I just want you to lay it on the ground, slowly, and that, we’re both gonna get some cake.
The wood saw, it left the giant’s hand in slow motion, hit the floor once, twice before finally resting on the almost clean tiles. In the silence of the waiting room, that noise seemed loud.
— Do you have any other weapon, sir?
— Can I have my cake, now? The light’s bothering me.
— Do you have any other tool?
— No, I don’t even know why I brought the saw. I think I hurt myself.
— I might have to handcuff you, sir.
— Like in the movies?
— Like in the movies. Could you please come with me, sir?
As he handcuffed the giant, the waiting room exhaled a deep sight. Germaine did too. After a moment which lasted too long, she witnessed the giant walking slowly in front of her desk, with the security guard alongside him; his hand not resting on his gun. The giant turned to her and smiled.
— I’m sorry for the chair, Ma’am.