This week I’d like to give you, my loyal Skwib readers, a chance to preview some other parts of my second novel, Marvellous Hairy. You can find all of Chapter 1 here. Chapter 2 is not suitable for this PG-rated blog. (So know you know you want to get your own copy. Details here, or just look for online stores in the right sidebar.) This is the first of three parts.
Nick’s rendezvous with his simian destiny began early the next morning.
While everyone else was still abed, dreaming dreams of lizards in wedding dresses, my friend Nick approached the famous Phallus Building – the huge shaft of glass and black metal that was a paean to corporate greed and the towering ego of Ted S. Shute, CEO of Gargantuan Enterprises. Of course, it wasn’t actually called the Phallus Building, any more than Gargen was called Gargantuan or even “The Gag.” (Though GAG was its stock ticker name.)
Nick is probably my best friend, but that doesn’t mean that I really get him. He gave up traditional work a few years ago to pursue his dream of creating a “transformative surrealistic form of writing.” He actually talks like that. The working title of this baffling opus is “monkeyjoy!” I can’t tell you much about it, because he’s never let me read a word of it. Unfortunately, he still inflicts his poetry on me from time to time.
Since he dropped out of the nine-to-five, Nick has been making ends meet by working as a test subject for a variety of multinational companies. His body chemistry is probably a nightmare, but he seems happy enough. He’s free to follow his art, as much as anyone is. So, that’s why he was approaching the Gargantuan building – he’d signed on for a new study with them.
The lobby was empty except for a female security guard who looked exhausted – it was five in the morning and she’d been on shift since eleven. Nick was a fairly non-descript fellow, with curly brown hair and a medium build going slightly to paunch. So he didn’t look threatening and he didn’t do anything weird, so the security guard buzzed him in. Nick’s face was rounder than it was when we were at the Good University together, but his eyes were still the same deep blue they’ve always been, with a perpetually intelligent, yet distracted look to them. Some women have describe his eyes as “dreamy,” which I don’t get, but so what? He’s always grooved with women, and the security guard was no different.
“Hey hon,” she said warmly as Nick approached her desk, “what are you doing here so early?”
“They said to report to the security offices by 5 am,” Nick said. “The subject is late.”
“You are, huh? Well, I’ll give them a call and let them know you’re here. Just go up those stairs and take the hallway to the right. Past the elevators. End of the hallway is a door, and they’ll take it from there.”
Nick took in the sterile surroundings as he walked, feeling a little anxious. This was his first time working with Gargantuan, and he’d heard stories about its overweening evil. (From me.) But there was no denying the pay was excellent.
Unlike the rest of the offices and shops on the ground floor of the Gargantuan building, which were put together by the best interior decorators and featured lots of black marble, the security offices were utilitarian and far from classy.
And they were belligerently pink.