Friday, March 12, 2010

Goldbug Baques Demons

A response to P. C. Vey's comic in the March 15th issue of the New Yorker.

Two businessmen in suits are waiting for the elevator. A frog-like demon with a pointy tail perches on the shoulder of one of the businessmen who says: "It came with the job."

My scene, "Goldbug Baques Demons":

William Poindexter IV walked past the banker's heart, a black sculpture as hideous as you would expect, and into the lobby of the former Bank of America building. The first week that William had worked at Goldbug, the CEO had remarked he wanted to buy the building's name so he could rechristen it the Goldbug Baques building. That was before the backlash over bonuses.

William ducked as he entered the express elevator so he wouldn't bump its head and pushed the button for the 45th floor. Another man in an Armani suit raced for the elevator and slid in just before the doors shut. He stared at William and backed towards the door.

"Don't worry, he's harmless," said William. He hated the trips out to the San Francisco office. Everyone had these demons back in New York, but they didn't understand out here. "It came with the job." The demon kneaded William's shoulders and he felt one of the claws draw blood. Just what he needed, another suit ruined.

The man's eyes didn't blink once as the elevator shot upwards and when the door chimed he backed out onto the 45th floor. William ducked to leave the elevator and the man shrank back flattening himself against the wall by the elevators. William shook his head. The banker had nothing to worry about unless he was sitting on the other side of William at the negotiation table.

He approached Elizabeth, the receptionist, at the front desk. She typed a command at her keyboard and one of the doors opened. "Good morning William, you have the Mount Everest conference room. Mr. Chang is waiting for you." Elizabeth nodded her head towards two gentlemen who sat in the waiting room. She whispered, "The other party is here early. A negotiator from Lemmon is representing him."

"Thanks." He looked at the Lemmon negotiator, his suit was built to look timeless so it wouldn't go out of style but it just looked bland and cheap to William. This was going to be easy. "I'll just need fifteen minutes with Mr. Chang and then I'll ring you to show them in."

When William entered to the Mount Everest room, Mr. Chang stood up from his seat and bowed. William returned the bow and opened his briefcase to spread out the information they knew about the deal and confirm the limits that Mr. Chang had over the negotiation. It didn't take long to ensure that everything was set for the negotiation.

"Elizabeth, it's William. We're ready now you can show them in."

The two men entered and sat at their seats across from William. He let the demon climb off his neck and it scurried forward to peer at the two gentlemen.

"We are prepared to make a deal. However, there are a few terms that we'd like to change," said William. The demons horned head peered at the two of them who watched the demon rather than making eye contact with William. At least this was going to be quick, thought William.

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