“Work In Sanity”
short story series
“Work In Sanity” is a series of short stories Chad wrote ambidextrously while he was trying to survive a soul sucking telemarketing job. The front side of the paper he wrote with his right hand and the back side of the paper with his left hand. The artwork was also done with both hands. Many of these stories have been adapted into screenplays for short films. Please refer to the film page HERE
Below are some excepts.
“All the boy needs…”
“All the boy needs is a man around!” Richard’s Dad says stepping to Don menacingly.
“A man,” Don says, practically growing, “wouldn’t have left in the first place.”
“Oh, for the love of God,” Gramma Mac whispers, shaking her head as the two men face each other, chests puffed. Richard had loaded his bike into his Dad’s truck and was waiting in the passenger seat. Eyes stared straight ahead, silent as the calm before the storm.
“O.K., now…” he said, putting his finger up as he sipped his scotch. The finger in the air, that familiar gesture that meant “nobody speak while I sip my scotch and think about what I am going to say next.”
“You’re step-mother is at her parent’s house,” he said. He never called her Camilla or anything close to her name. He referred to her as “your step-mother or “the old lady” and to her face it was “Toots”.
“What the hell kind of nonsense is this about Spencer passing out? Has he seen anybody about that?”
“It’s not a problem, Daddy, it’s just something he likes to do.”
“Sounds like a goddamn problem to me. I mean one minute I’m talking to him about his job and the next minute he’s…” He did an exaggerated re-enactment of Spencer’s controlled faint.
I carried a twelve pack of Oly Stubbies to the counter and laid it down with a sigh of relief. Drinking has always been my last ditch effort to salvage a lonely Saturday night.
“Sorry, I can’t sell that to you,” the girl said. Her stiff hair gave her an extra four inches.
“Why not?” I asked reaching for my wallet. “I’ve got my I.D.”
“I know,” she said apologetically. “But it’s three in the morning.”
As I stand paralyzed by indecision for a moment, in walks the strangest person I’ve ever seen at three o’clock in the morning in a convenience store. And believe me that covers a lot of ground…
What They are trying to Do
“Are you ready to sign some papers?” my boss asks extending his hand. Mr. Longmore stares at my boss’s hand in distrust, then looks at Mrs. Longmore for help.
“Don’t be rude,” she tells him. “We just have to sign some papers.”
He looks at me as though he still doesn’t understand. His eyes plead with me to explain it to him so he’ll understand, the same way he understood the beauty of the day. I don’t know what to say, so I just point to the stack of papers my boss is pulling out of his briefcase.
Mr. Longmore gives a long sigh.
“A toast,” Chad says that night, raising his wineglass. My wife gives me a look as she raises her glass. I know she wishes she didn’t have spend another moment around this arrogant man. She is here for me. I shouldn’t have brought her here, in the presence of this soul-hungry Demon. Chad is the Demon, but the Demon is all around us, as well, it’s claws sunk into each of us, except my wife. I can see the Demon staring at her through Chad’s eyes. It hungers for what it doesn’t have.
“To your husband,” Chad says to Cecilia. “The account executive with the most seniority in my district.” Cecilia knows there is some hidden trap to what he is saying; she doesn’t even smile.
St. Bernadette and St. Cecilia
…How did you die?”
“Does it matter?” asked St. Cecilia.
“Of course it matters. You can’t be a saint unless…, well, unless you suffered. I mean whatever happened to you that’s WHY you are a SAINT.”
St. Cecilia watched some children ride by, all helmets and hand signals. The music grew in St. Cecilia’s heart.
“I think we are called saints so that we don’t have to remember how we died,” St. Cecilia said.
“You’re right,” St. Bernadette said brightening. “The details of our lives ARE much more important than the details of our deaths.”
“What?” I was getting annoyed. I think it bothered me that she was a real person. I wish there were some kind of drive-thru window for this kind of thing.
“Exactly how did you lose your soul?”
“It’s hard to explain. It’s not like I just woke up one morning and it was gone.”
“It never is.”
“And it’s not like I sold my soul for Rock-n-Roll or anything that romantic.”
“Did you sell it, or did you lose it?”
“Is there a difference?”
“Big difference,” she said with a smile. “Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference after the fact, but it is something we need to know if we are going to find you another one.”
Crawling Blanket Thing
“Come on in,” he says with a smile. He’s wrapped in a blanket as usual. He’s six foot-three and he can’t stand straight up in his R.V. so he doesn’t even try. He crawls around like a giant lizard, his blanket clamped in his teeth or tightly tucked under his chin. I climb into his tiny home and turn briefly to fumble with the door. He crawls, smooth as a snake, to the top bunk and flips his blanket around him in such a way that in the darkness of the R.V. it looks as though he slithers up the side of the wall, along the roof, and into the top bunk.
The roots of the fallen tree clawed up at the gray sky, clumps of dirt clinging to it’s gnarled fingers. The wind had died down and they had just finished sweeping up the broken glass.
“I can’t believe the wind blew that tree over last night,” she said to her father. “The trunk looked so strong.”
“The wind was strong enough to put that metal trashcan lid through our bedroom window,” her husband said. She could see that it bothered him that they would have the plywood in the window until they could afford to replace the glass. $100 dollars had to last them till his next paycheck at the first of the month. It was going to be tight, beans and rice, unless his father-in-law could sell another fixed up Datsun.
Mind for a R.Y.D.E.
“Trade your mind for a R.Y.D.E.?” he asked like a street corner salesman stepping out of a darkened alley with an overcoat full of watches.
I heard what he said, but I was too distracted to take it in. I was too high already. The techno music was shaking the warehouse walls and my ribcage. it’s repetitious beat speeding my heartbeat, making me horny and agitated all at once. Instead of thinking about what he said I thought about what I could have heard.
“Take your kind for a ride?”
“Try our mind for a night?”
“Trail your slime for a while?”
“Mind if I ride?”
When I take that little brunette with the big tits home, living in the garage seems like a great idea. When the brunette has to go out in the snow to use the bathroom, it doesn’t seem so great anymore.
“Why is there a lock on the door that leads into the house?” she asks.
This is when you realize how twisted your life is, when someone wants an explanation. How had I built a life for myself where lies were easier than truth?
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