Friday, March 14, 2008

Born Loser X, Part One

Brutus Thornapple sat at a workbench in his basement. The radio softly played a Mozart composition. Brutus liked Mozart because it was simultaneously cheerful and depressing depending on the piece. He softly hummed along. His wife, Gladys, was in the kitchen either eating, making her something to eat or getting ready to make her something to eat. He wasn’t sure but figured it was one of those. Brutus was currently working on a scale model city. It was a hobby he had picked up a few years ago and had so far created three. He was working on a town he named Mason City, after his father, Mason Thornapple. Brutus had even created a history for Mason City and these little towns of his were more of a pride and joy than his own family.

Brutus was born in 1957 and has barely been out of the town he was born in. He blended into the back all through elementary school, junior high and high school. In college, Brutus started coming out of his shell. He dated and actually had fun in college. He lived off campus in a huge house co-rented by six other guys and there was a party just about every night. Brutus had several girlfriends throughout his four years at Borchmore but none he ever considered as a long term thing. He graduated in 1980 and immediately was able to obtain a job at Dickens, Jarndyce and Veeblefester, a company that was considered up-and-coming in the business world and Brutus had a chance to make his mark in the world.

It was five years into his career at DJ&V when he met Gladys. At the time, Gladys was an attractive yet stocky woman with long blond hair down to her butt. They dated for nearly five years until Brutus finally worked up the nerve to propose to her. By then, DJ&V had been restructured and Rancid Veeblefester became the new CEO of DJ&V which he renamed The Vebblefester Corporation. Brutus had been able to raise through the ranks at work but his promotions had stalled and had moved up as far as he figured he was going to go.

Brutus Thornapple and Gladys Gargle married in 1992 and the honeymoon was in St. Louis, not terribly romantic but both had agreed to go there. For the first three years, all was good…Gladys wanted a child and she and Brutus tried but it wasn’t until 2000 when Wilberforce was born.

Wilberforce was Gladys’ pride and joy but Brutus didn’t feel right being a father. It wasn’t until Wilberforce was around four when Brutus stopped being a father and became a dad. They were finally a family but Brutus wasn’t happy. Money. Brutus made decent money with Veeblefester. Brutus was always reminded that money does not buy happiness. But he figured it could put a decent down payment on it.

“Brutus?” Gladys’ shrill voice pierced the quiet coolness of the basement as she yelled down from the kitchen. “Would spaghetti be okay for dinner tonight?”

Brutus sighed. “Yes,” he reached over and turned off the radio.

“Why don’t you go ahead and tell Wilberforce dinner will be ready soon? You two can go get cleaned up.”

“Mm-hmm,” Brutus mumbled and scooted his stool away from the table. He took one last look at Mason City and slowly made his way up the stairs into the kitchen.

Rancid Veeblefester has lived in the Baymont Hotel for six months since his wife, Lucille, had evicted him from their house of 25 years. At the time, a pre-nup never even entered his mind but now he wished he’d consulted a lawyer before following through with the wedding. But he was young and impetuous at the time and was willing to take a chance and until the last year, it had been a decent mistake. Currently, Veeblefester had the best lawyers working around the clock to either make divorcing him impossible and costly or not make it worth her while.

Veeblefester took a swig of the Jack Daniels that was on the nightstand next to the bed. He got up and looked out of the window and into the city. He had worked too long and hard and had grown too accustomed to his lifestyle to hand it over to some second-rate whore. Thoughts were racing through his mind and then his lips curled into a slight smile. “Dead women can’t file divorce papers…” he whispered.

Then he went to work on figuring out how to do it.