Chapter 4 of my novel, previously submitted to Big 5 publishers by my agent. Refer to previous posts for earlier chapters. Strong graphic content advisory.
“Hey, hey, you there?” Dave asks, waving his hand in front of my face.
“Still waking up,” I respond, snapping back to reality.
It is believed that 70% of all Americans have had at least one homicidal fantasy. Homicidal Ideation, or habitual contemplation of homicide, is estimated to be incredibly prevalent amongst the general population, with only a small percent of those who experience it actually committing the acts.
You’re not alone.
“You better wake up, because we have a long productive day ahead of us. Charlene said she’s giving a special bonus to whoever sets the most appointments.” Dave rubs his hands together.
Charlene is the office manager. She’s in her late forties, and her too skinny frame combined with her long, wild blonde hair gives her the appearance of a human mop.
Dave wants to fuck her.
There’s no way around it; Dave Ulster wants to get four inches deep into that woman. Maybe it’s so he can continue to win her favor in the office, securing more perks, bonuses, and accolades, but part of me always felt that Desperate Dave would fuck a garbage bag of mashed potatoes if someone poked a hole in it.
Charlene is a chain smoker with three delinquent teenage boys, fathered by two different men. She has reminded the entire office on numerous occasions that her third child, Andy, was so big that when he came out he “tore her from slit to asshole.”
- Sexually attractive or exciting.
Antonyms: Distasteful, Unattractive, Disgusting, Unsexy
Dave goes on talking about something, and as usual I cruise right by him, walking into the break room. My goal is the refrigerator; I need a Diet Coke, but standing between me and my elixir is someone I don’t wish to see.
I knew a kid in middle school; let’s call him Gary, who was terrified of attractive women. I don’t mean he got red in the face and started shaking, no, that would be a breeze for him.
He pissed himself around girls.
If a girl Gary found even remotely attractive walked by he’d start biting his lip, twitching, and then the release came. He knew the cause was lost and he was horrified at what was happening, but then there was a change. His face would soften as the urine flowed down his leg. It was over. Despite the fact he dreaded it, now it was done. He could move on with his life.
I remember Gary because of my own issues with pissing the bed. I remember the attention that came his way whenever the dark stain on his crotch became too big to notice.
I remember envying him.
Through extensive counseling Gary began to master his bladder. By high school the accidents were few and far between, and it looked like Gary was finally taking control of his life.
Then he got hit by a bus.
It was ironic; as soon as he learned how to control his urination he lost the need to. The last I heard Gary was paralyzed from the waist down with a nice little catheter and piss bag combo to manually handle all of his pissing needs.
I think of Gary and the odor of his piss-laden jeans as I stare at Christa.
There are vast differences between fucking, having sex, and making love. I’ll leave it up to you and your life experiences to determine which you prefer most.
Me, well I like to fuck.
Christa stares at me with a pathetic desperation, like a disregarded puppy eager for attention.
Or looking to get fucked raw.
Christa is boring, fat, and unattractive. I had never paid any mind to her and for whatever reason this made her infatuated with me. Maybe I was the mysterious guy around the office, the edgy rebel who did his own thing.
Or maybe she’s fucked in the head.
In any case, she asked me out for a cup of coffee once in the break room. She looked to me hopefully, as if I’d sweep her off her feet with a debonair response and a romantic kiss on the lips.
I told her if she plopped her fat ass up on the table I’d finger-fuck her right then and there.
Thus I found myself knuckle deep in a moaning cow. I slammed my three fingers into her, practically punching her cunt as I rammed her over and over again. I wanted to hurt her but the harder I tried the more she cried out in pleasure. Her loins gushed as I fucked her, the ooze trailing down my forearm and coagulating on the table below, leaving a thick glob of fluid behind which Barry, the unfortunate new guy, later ended up mistaking for creamy Alfredo sauce.
I said nothing after I pulled my hand out of her, wiping the gunk on my pants. We both regained our composure and got back to work, no one any the wiser to what had happened. Since then we had a few trysts in the bathroom, where I literally would try to make her vomit by thrusting my dick into the back of her throat as hard as I could. Whenever I finished I tried to spray her in the eyes.
She took every bit of abuse, and kept coming back for more. Freud would say she had daddy issues.
Or maybe not. I don’t fucking know. Google him.
We still had never had a conversation and I intended to keep it that way. I don’t acknowledge her existence and step around her to get to the refrigerator.
I open the door and retrieve my Coke. As soon as I close the door she presses against me from behind, wrapping both arms around me as she reaches down to grab at my crotch.
“Do you want to fuck me?” she asks huskily. “You can put it in my ass. It belongs to you.” She stresses the last words, as if ownership of her rancid black cherry was in the least bit appealing.
I push her away with a nudge of my elbow. I say nothing, avoiding eye contact as I stroll past her into the main room. Any woman who finds me attractive is the furthest thing from a keeper and needs serious psychological evaluation.
Don’t we all?
“Bet ya I’ll get at least five more than you today!” Dave says as he rushes to his station. I sigh and reach around to my back pocket, feeling for my Beretta.
Disappointment washes over me as I remember I never had one.
“I’m going to fuck your grandmother. I’m going to fuck her until she breaks in half.”
“My grandmother is dead, sir.”
“I’ll dig her up, shit in her skull, and fuck the eyehole then. You call me again faggot and you’ll see.”
Click, he hangs up.
Ring, ring, the other call begins to go through.
“Hello?” an unfamiliar voice says.
“Jonathan Marcus, please,” I say.
“Just a moment please,” the female voice says.
“Hello Mr. Marcus,” I begin. “I’m with Royal Payments. I’m calling in regard to the merchant account.”
“Yes, the merchant account. You accept credit and debit cards as a form of payment at your business, correct?”
“Yeah, are you with my bank?”
“No sir,” I say quickly. “I’m calling to inform you that as of April there are new federal policies in place qualifying your business for industry low processing fees. The unfortunate thing is your current processor is not required by law to inform you of what you qualify for.”
“I’m not interested,” Jonathan says.
“Of course you’re not, I haven’t told you anything to be interested in!” I say this approximately two hundred times a day. “We have representatives in your area ready to drop in and show you the benefits of switching to Royal Payments and break down just how much money you will save. And if you still aren’t interested, we’ll give you a five hundred dollar Visa gift card just for your time. Fair enough?”
“I said I’m not interested. Have a good day.”
“Sir, if you would just…”
“Take a fucking hint you cocksucker. Never call again.” He slams the phone down.
Ring, ring, the next call begins to go through.
Rinse and repeat.
An “appointment setter” at Royal Payments will handle anywhere from seven to nine hundred calls in their eight hour day. This depends on a multitude of factors, including but not limited to, how many people hang up the phone without saying a word, how quickly the automated system deals out numbers, and the success rate of the appointment setter. A strong day would see five of eight hundred calls ending in success, where a normal day can range from zero to three.
Appointment setters are paid a rate of eleven dollars per hour with various commission-based incentives thrown on top of their salary. While these commissions are generous, for the most part they are unobtainable due to the fact that people do not wish to speak to telemarketers.
If an appointment setter is successful, they ring a bell at their station, raise their hand, and wait for a “closer” to come and finalize the appointment. Then they revel in the joy of victory, putting a mark up on the board, before getting back to the grind. Every day begins with a cheer and chant to revitalize spirits, and every day ends with competitive jiving and promises to perform better the next day.
They call one man Paulie Payments because of his uncanny ability to set appointments. With commissions he nearly makes forty thousand dollars a year, making him a hero in the office. He uses his vast array of wealth to seduce recent high school dropouts; he’s gotten two pregnant. He’s marrying the latest one. He’s forty-three, she’s nineteen.
God Bless America.
I do not buy into the revelry. I speak like an automated machine. I recite the same lines time and time again. I navigate through the most wretched filth of human emotions, taking on the brunt of people’s strife and hatred for hours on end.
Rinse and repeat.
I do not think. I work.
Is there a difference?
We purchase the numbers from companies that compile lists. Sometimes the data is bad. On one occasion I called asking for a Mr. Frank Orden, only to hear from his distressed widow that he had passed seven years earlier. She began sobbing on the phone, attempting to give me his life story. Another time I called the number for a doctor’s office; I was connected to a sex shop.
Both times I read the script as usual.
During our lunch break, I hear a group of the guys talking politics, expressing their dismay with the president and asserting they know the direction the nation needs to take. They do this despite the fact that two barely graduated high school and the third was a community college dropout.
The Dunning- Kruger effect is a common phenomenon in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, causing them to mistakenly rate their ability/intelligence much higher than is accurate. This is attributed to the inability of these people to recognize their ineptitude. As a result of this, actual competence, as exhibited by professionals with a wealth of knowledge or experience, is often perceived as threatening and is met with hostility.
I walk into the break room to grab another diet Coke when I see her. She turns around from the refrigerator and my heart nearly stops.
It’s the new girl.
I can’t breathe. I want to run but my legs become a mix of cement and Jello; too heavy to move yet too weak to support me. My hands start shaking and my vision blurs.
She raises her eyebrow, giving me a curious look as she observes the sweat pouring down my face. My breathing is heavy and my motions spastic, but I am able to force my legs to move, stumbling as I turn and hurry out of the room.
I let loose a choking cough as I head towards the bathroom. I push my way past Michael and into the nearest stall, falling to my knees and spraying the contents of my stomach into the porcelain below. There’s barely any food in there but more vomit comes, a hot mix of digested meat and bile coating the seat of the toilet.
She wasn’t Kelly, but she was damn close enough. The silky chestnut colored hair, the deep, shimmering brown eyes, the soft skin and supple lips.
She could be her sister.
I have to strangle her.
I ignore the vomit, placing my hands on the toilet seat and pushing up to rise, my legs threatening to buckle the entire time. I finally get to my feet and wipe the drool from my lips, letting it seep into the sleeve of my shirt.
I walk out of the bathroom and head directly to the exit. Charlene stands between it and me. Her mascara is running, and the wrinkles of her face are more prominent than usual as she scowls my way.
“Where are you going?” she demands.
“I’m ill. I’m going home,” I say in a faraway voice.
“What’s the matter?” She changes her tone to appear concerned.
“Stomach…threw up…” I mumble some more words. Normally Charlene was a hard-ass in regards to letting people leave early, but my appearance seems to convince her and she steps out of the way.
“Shit, you’re a mess. Get home and rest up then.”
I say thanks and keep going, making sure not to look back.
If I saw that girl again I just might lose it.