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Kieran Shea
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bluntstoryboard.jpg
Art by Gordon Purkis 2009

BLUNT

 

Kieran Shea

 

 

 

So I’m on deadline, on the phone to some intern at the agency, begging this Seven Sister summer twist to just have someone in studio put the goddamn files up on the goddamn server and I’ll pull them down and post a set of comps by tomorrow noon, and no I don’t mind because that’s what creative pros do even on vacation, right? So, there I be, man . . . staring at a bunch of bronzing French tits on this perfect little beach in Saint Barts, passing on the good rum drinks because I got to carry the spit bucket for a bunch of lazy-ass, twenty-something holier than thou art directors who (A) make the client angry and (B) make me even angrier, because, like, tell me, what does industrial carpeting have to do with a bunch of skinny kids with goofy haircuts, cooing over pumpkin-spiced lattes?  And, by the way, in this economy, fuck your book and fuck it’s all about the work and jockeying on my dime because you are so fucking fired when I get back, I’m telling you. Try paying your alimony and private school tuitions with your book.  Right. Preaching to the converted. I mean, please. So then the girl, the intern on the phone, she screams followed by a second or two of nothing and then BLAM!  Just like someone fired a shotgun, and I’m like hello? Hell-OH? And—CRUNK!  The receiver hits the desk. I flinch and stare at the phone. YO! Anybody there?  No answer. But she gets on, all blubbery after a second, “I have to call you back.”  And I am like, no way. NO. WAY. That shit did not just happen, I am on deadline here, sweetie, on vacation, on my last raw twitching nerve, on an island where getting ISP service is like throwing up a fucking baseball mitt to catch a 747, and the line is fucking cold. I punch in a billion numbers, ring back. Message. I punch in a billion numbers again and ring back once more. Message. I call reception. Yeah. I ask what the proverbial fuck is going on up there in New York and will you please send someone down from HR to tell the simpering, creative intern to collect her pretty little picture of her in-a-band boyfriend and whatever Jane Austen novel she’s reading on the train in from Greenwich ‘cause she’s fucking done. And the receptionist then tells me one of the lawyers from up on twenty just pitched himself out the window. Exactly! The BLAM, right? So I ring Max later and he said it was a total show. Apparently one of the lawyers went postal and threatened the other. Not sure of the details but the scuttle-b was someone was tapping someone else’s wife. Talk about high strung. NYPD showed up with that special scraping scoop they use to bag jumpers. I know!  Pieces, blood everywhere, even up the window of that Starbucks off the main lobby. Imagine that. Of course everyone started recounting 9/11 nightmares and nothing gets done the whole rest of the day, like it’s snow day from school, for Christ’s sake.   What? The intern? Nah. I still told HR to talk to her, like one more move like that, sweetie, and bye-bye, no matter how rough your knees get. We advertising SOBs are like that. The whole world can jump out of windows as far as we’re concerned. We got work to do. 

 

A refugee of ad agency cage matches, Kieran Shea likes strumming your pain with his fingers.  His short fiction has appeared previously in A Twist of Noir, Plots with Guns, Thug Lit and upcoming in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Beat to a Pulp.  He lives outside of Annapolis, MD and drinks a lot of coffee.

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