“Madre de Dios; wake up will ya! Hey! HEY!”

Evan slowly opened his eyes to see a pair of perfect glass circles staring back at him. Through the circles he could see the green eyes of his friend Maria, with a few strands of her bubblegum pink hair hanging in front of them. She lifted her gas mask above her head and slapped him on his cheek.

“You ever tried sleeping at night, son?” she asked “You’re damn lucky I spotted you before the boss did.”

Evan had fallen asleep on the job for the third time this week. He could never sleep at night because of his neighbor’s Chihuahua, Mr. Giggles, who would yip at all hours of the day. This constant barking would penetrate right through the poor excuse for walls that surrounded Evan’s apartment. Ordinarily, this was not a problem; but for the first time in a long time, Evan was on clean-up detail this week. With the canary yellow jumpsuit wrapped around his body, like the loving blankets on his heavenly mattress back home, he couldn’t help but doze off. He had mastered sleeping in any position; today, Maria had found him leaning against an alley wall with one leg up on a garbage can.

“Get your mask back on and let’s go; we found another big one.” Maria helped Evan onto his feet and handed him a shovel.

“Jesus, how are we still finding these things?” Evan wiped a small strand of drool from the side of his mouth.

“Quit your bitchin’ ya wuss,” Maria said as she climbed into their dark green golf cart “this is probably the last one we’ll have to clear away.”

Evan looked at the bright orange M.W.R.S. letters that were spray painted onto the front of the golf cart.

“If you keep slacking off like this,” Evan’s mother used to scream at him “you’re going to end up on the Monster Waste Removal Squad! Don’t do your homework, and you’ll be shoveling giant turds until you’re an old man!”

She wound up being right. Evan’s initial hatred for the job eventually grew into a sense of civic pride.

"You’ll receive very little thanks or glory for doing this job,” Dr. Showa said in the training video “but it is a necessary service for the future of our fair city and the world.”

Something about this inspired Evan; and for the most part, his job was an easy one, once you got past the poop the size of a mall. Giant monster attacks had gotten less and less frequent as atomic bomb tests did the same. Evan rarely worked more than nine days out of the entire year but was paid like it was 365. And whenever he heard the squish of a giant lizard creature’s feces as he lowered it into an M.W.R.S. containment unit, he was the happiest he would feel all year.

Later that evening, Evan began his nightly routine of showering for at least two hours straight. He found this was the ideal amount of time to get the horrific smells off of his body that attached themselves to him like Velcro. Next, he would flop onto his bed and prepare to sleep the whole weekend away, with the occasional disruption from his neighbor’s dog. The yipping no longer mattered though; he was done, quite possibly, for the rest of the year and he planned to celebrate. The glowing digital red numbers of his alarm clock said 12:52 when he shut his eyes.

Evan awoke to the glowing numbers reading 10:30. He had slept through the entire night, completely uninterrupted. Getting out of bed, he could hear a clattering coming from his kitchen. Frantically, he grabbed the lamp off of the nightstand; ready to be used as a weapon if necessary. He peered around the corner into his kitchen; he could see a scaly red shape ripping the knobs off of his oven.

“Hey,” he said “knock it off!”

The creature turned to look at him. It had a tiny white horn on its forehead that was breaking in like a toddler’s first tooth. There was one fiery red eye just below its horn as well as thin skin flaps between his arms and legs allowed the creature to glide off of the oven and onto the kitchen floor. Evan threw the lamp at the monster; it looked like a miniature version of the creature he had spent all week cleaning up after. It wasn’t uncommon for small eggs to be inside of a monster’s excrement; Evan figured it must have snuck into his jumpsuit somehow while he was cleaning. With his fingers shaking he began to dial the number for the M.W.R.S. emergency hot line, but stopped when he noticed a few drops of blood going across his kitchen floor. He followed the trail until he saw a pile of small white bones, stripped bare. On top of the pile was a purple collar. Evan picked up the collar and read the name engraved on the thin piece of gold. “Mr. Giggles,” it read. Evan looked at the helpless red creature, as it stared at him with its giant eye. Maybe he wouldn’t call the M.W.R.S. and maybe he wouldn’t have to worry about getting a good night’s sleep ever again.

"Clean Up"
Copyright: © 2010 Brian Long

Brian Long is a member of the Broadset Writing Collective and the recently formed J Review. He has fingers with minds of their own, that occasionally create entertaining stories. These amusing yarns can be found at: http://blongblogblong.blogspot.com/

No comments:

Post a Comment