Fiction

Oil Field Part 3

This is a continuation of the story called Oil Field.  Part 1 is here and part 2 is here!

“So what’s the meeting about?” I asked when I arrived in the conference room.
“We wanted to talk about the update schedule and why we’ve been missing the schedule,” Jeannie the managing editor said.
“So you don’t really need me.  Seems like that’s up to your editors?”
“Mostly but I want to see if you’ll be able to help out,” Jeannie said.
“Okay,” I said and sat down.
Jeannie was notorious for needing a meeting on anything and everything.  I wore me thin as I thought they were a waste of company money and in the end nothing was ever done.
I began the meeting with my head down, but quickly picked it up when the voices started to rise.   I was actually surprised that it took this long before voices picked up.  In the 5 years I’d been at the paper I’d determined after three years that Jeannie thought people worked better when she was a bitch and most people didn’t.  The new batch of editors who had been brought in, weren’t putting up with it, which made these meetings interesting.

“Where have you been?” Asked Tina, Ted’s secretary.
“I just got done with another one of Jeannie’s meetings.  I said three things the whole time.”
“Oh,” Tina said understanding.  “Well Ted wanted me to bring this down to you.”
“What’s this?” I said taking the manila envelope.
“I don’t know.  It’s something he put together by himself.”
“Okay.  I think I know what it is.”

When Tina had left I opened the envelope to confirm my suspicion.  It was the documents that he had shown me this morning.  A note was on the front that said: Just in case.
I threw the envelope into my drawer.

Advertisements

Oil Field Pt2

This is a continuation of Oil Field.  Please start there for a better idea of what’s going on.  

Despite the conversation with Ted being over I was still turning it over in my head when I made it back to my office.  The note on my keyboard told me that I needed to put that conversation behind me and get my head back to my normal job.

The note was something I had solved ten’s of times before, but the user never seemed to understand what it was I was showing them.  They went to the bottom of the pile and I checked on my servers.

It had been an odd turn of events to go from military police officer to systems administrator, but it was one that I enjoyed immensely.  It had taken me a good eighteen months after being hired to get the systems into a place where they just ran.  There was the occasional hiccup, but those were a rarity.  But the conversation with Ted had brought up some good memories and the itch had started.

Thirty minutes later with nothing more than the norm with the servers, I was out of my office to put out fires and to help the paginator of the paper, a little old man who was twenty years past retirement but stayed on.

“Good morning Dale,” I said loudly.
“Good morning to you Jack.  This damn computer has done it again.”
“Okay.  Let me jump in there and see what I can do.”
In less than thirty seconds I had solved the problem yet again and was on my way.

My next stop was the newsroom, where I had a meeting that I would have rather done without, but it wasn’t one I could get out of.

Oil Field

“I don’t think you’ve got anything here?” I told Ted.
“What do you mean?  There’s something here,” He said waving the papers at me.  “It’s been in the media for awhile.  You’ve seen that movie Gasland right?  Takes place in northern Colorado and the can light the water on fire.  There’s got to be something here.”
“That might be, but what is in the papers there,” I pointed at them, “it’s just circumstantial.  Something thinks there’s a cover up.  If you decide to pursue this with the paper, you’ll be starting with nothing.”
Ted sat back down in his high backed executive chair and took a sip on the coffee.
“Can you look into it Jack?” Ted asked.
I laughed.
“Why me?  You’ve got a bunch of reporters out there that would love to get their teeth into something like this?  I’m just the systems administrator. When something breaks or the shit hits the fan you call me.”
“Jack don’t bullshit me.  You worked as a police officer over on the base and from what I’ve been able to determine you did a pretty damn good job.”
“I was a MP for a total of 3 years maybe.  And most of the time I was behind a desk like I do here. I had a problem keeping my mouth shut.”
“So you won’t do it?” Ted pleaded.
“You hired me to make sure the paper gets out on a daily basis.  Not investigate what might be, or might not be, some cover up by the oil companies and the government.”
“Okay.  I can respect that,” Ted said.

This story has been rambling around in my head for quite awhile now.  I’m not sure what will come of it because I reach a certain point and I’m not sure where to turn with it.  Perhaps sharing it here will change that.  Perhaps it won’t. 

The Booth

“Do you mind if I sit you in a booth?  It’s all we have available right now,” The waitress said.
“Sure no problem.”
She led me to a booth that could have sat 6 people but I was just me.  The way I liked it.  More people made me nervous.  It came from my years of service.
I knew what I wanted to eat so I didn’t bother with the menu she had placed in front of me and instead I watched people.  Despite having been out of service for nearly a decade I still watched people for nervous ticks or something that just didn’t seem right.
“Sir, do you mind if I sit these three here with you since it’s such a big booth?”
I looked up to see the same waitress with three other people with her. Two guys and one girl.
“Sure,” I said without thinking.
One of the guys, dark hair and a business jacket, slid into the booth and the girl slid in next to him.
The other guy pulled a chair from another table and sat at the end of the booth.
“How you doing,” The dark hair guy asked.
“Fine,” I said.
They all had a funny smell to them, maybe alcohol, that raised my blood pressure a bit.  Were they also former operatives?
“Can you recommend something,” The gal asked.
She was a dirty blonde.  Pretty but not stunning.
“First time here,” I lied.
“You look familiar, do I know you?” The guy at the end of the booth said.
He had an angular face, obviously fit and a 5 o’clock shadow.
“I don’t think so.  Have you lived in Davenport that long?” I asked.
“Oh no. We’re just passing through,” He replied.
That made me a bit nervous.
“What brings you here?” I asked.
“We work over on the island,” The dark haired one said.
They were referring to the Rock Island arsenal a military base where weapons were created and tested.
That information made me even more nervous and I began to plan my exit from the booth and out of the restaurant should something go wrong.
“Are you guys ready to order?” The waitress asked.
“Sure,” I said and placed my order.
The other three placed their orders and the waitress left us alone again.
“What do you do?” The girl asked.
Normally this was an easy question for me to answer, but my I was still thinking of how to out of this fire hazard of a sports bar.
“I’m a consultant for a larger company out of the Twin Cities,” I lied once again.
“Oh.  How do you like that?” She asked.
“It pays the bills.  I see new cities all the time,” I said. “What do you guys do over on the island?”
“Contract stuff.  Can’t really say.  You know what the island is used for?” The guy at the end of the booth said.
“Well a little bit.  It’s military right?”
“Yeah.  It’s used for weapons stuff. Development, testing…stuff like that,” Dark hair guy said.
“Oh so you guys do top secret stuff like that TV show Alias?” I joked.
They all got a good laugh out of that.
“Not really, but we can’t talk about it that much,” The gal said.
And then our lunch came and all talk ceased.  Each of us ate at our own pace with an occasional peek at the others to see how they were enjoying their food.  In all fifteen minutes had passed by the time we were all done, our checks were paid and we all slid out of the booth.
“Thanks for letting us sit with you,” They all told me as they left ahead of me.
“No problem.  Was nice having company,” I lied once again.

48 Million

“So you won the lottery?” Jacob asked.
“Yeah.  Pretty cool huh,” I said.
“Sooo what are you going to do with it?”
“Not really sure.  It hasn’t all sunk in.”
“I know what I’d do,” Jacob offered.
I went back to looking at my computer screen trying to figure out why someone’s e-mail wasn’t working.  When I looked up he wasn’t there.  He’d gotten the hint.
Ever since my name had become public knowledge that I’d won the lottery there had been no shortage of people sending me e-mails, or calling me on the phone asking and pleading for money because of some circumstance beyond their control.  I felt sorry for them, I really did, but it was my money.  I’d won it fair and square.  And if they really wanted to know, I didn’t yet have the money yet.  It was supposed to be deposited to me sometime in the net 7 to 10 business days.
Once the money was mine, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.  My boss had asked if I was going to continue working and to be truthful I didn’t know.  For the time being I had planned on continuing to work.  I felt as if nothing hand changed, but wherever I turned people thought I had changed. All that had changed was my bank account and it had more zero’s in it.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw my boss rounding the corner.  Him visiting my corner of the building was unusual which usually mean his computer wasn’t working.
“Hey,” He said.
“Morning,” I said.
“How are things going?”
“So far so good.  No fires to put out.”
“That’s good,” He said.  “Say I wanted to ask you about something.”
I knew what was coming next.  Something about my 48 million. I knew what I was going to be doing now.
“Well I’m glad you stopped by. There’s something I wanted to tell you.”
“Oh?” He asked.
“Yeah.  I think it would be best if I moved onto other things.  I feel like I’ve become a distraction and I don’t need to be that.  Also I’m sure someone else could use the money.”
“Well money doesn’t go as far as it used to you know.  Your welcome to keep your job,” He said.
“Nah.  I think I’ll move on.  Figure out something else to do.”

This post, 48 Million, is day 8 (I missed day 7…grrr) in what I hope to be 30 straight days of blogging here. A wide variety of topics will be covered. 

Snow in May

November

“Ugh.  I can’t believe it’s snowing.  And cold.”
“You’ve lived in Wyoming how long?” I asked.
“I know, but I’m just so tired of snow,” She said.
“I’d rather have it now than say in April or May.”
“I suppose your right,” She said and went outside and got in her vehicle.

December

“Snow again.  I can’t believe it,” He said.
“Not you too.  You’ve lived in Wyoming a hell of a lot longer than me.  This is what happens in December.”
“Yeah. Doesn’t do the bones any good though.”

January

“I wonder if that ice will ever melt back there?  I almost slipped coming in and if we get anymore snow…oh look there’s a snowflake coming down.”
“I agree. That ice is horrible.  I did a loop de loop crossing the street last night and nearly bounced off my ass.  That snow is going to make it even worse.”

February

“Oh that sun is incredible out there.  You should get out if you can,” She said.
“Kind of stuck here working on this virus that someone brought in, so me getting outside won’t be happening anytime soon.”
“You don’t know what your missing. That sun just warms the bones.  Maybe you young one’s don’t need that.”
I was fuming.  I needed the sunlight just as much as the next person, I hadn’t quite turned into a vampire, but instead I was fighting with a nasty virus that was teaching me a lesson or two.

March

“I can’t believe that ice is still out there.  You can see the grass.  How does that ice stay around?” He said.
“Sun can’t get around this building.  Will be there until we can get temperatures hot enough to melt it,” I told him.
“Well I hope that it happens soon because someone’s going to get hurt and you know that Harry isn’t going to pay anyone for that. Workers comp?  Yeah right.”

April

“Finally no more snow,” She said.
I laughed as she had her back to the window.
“What are you laughing at?  I haven’t pressed any bad buttons lately.”
“It’s snowing outside.”
She turned and looked out the window.
“Figures,” She said and left.

May

“So glad it’s May.  No more snow,” He said.
“Me too.  I’m ready to get some golfing in,” I said.
“No more slipping on that ice,” She said.
“Looks like we’ll be getting some rain however.  Clouds are a bit dark. Wind’s picking up,” He said and sat back down in front of his desk.
“Oh hell no,” I said.
“What?” She asked.
“Saw a snowflake coming down,” I said.
“Are you joking with us?” He asked.
“He’s not. There’s another one.  Fuck,” She said.

I started reading Elmore Leonard’s, Fire In the Hole, and was inspired by one of his short stories in there. The dialog was so intriguing.  I’m no where near his ability, probably never will be, but none the less this is practice. 

This post, Snow in May, is day 3 in what I hope to be 30 straight days of blogging here. A wide variety of topics will be covered. 

Un-normal Wednesday

This post will be a little different than the other posts I’ve put up.  This is one of those get to know me, the author, posts a little better.

Ever since I was in my teens I’ve wanted to be an author.  Specifically I wanted to be a fiction author and I still do.  However if you were to look at the documents stored on my computer and in the notebooks you’ll see that I have a hard time finishing my stories.  Don’t ask me why that is, because I haven’t figured it out yet (if you have some magic method to get stuff like this finished please leave a comment!).  I did post on a writing forum once and they told me that I needed to come up with the ending of my story and work towards that.  So I tried it and it didn’t work for me.  And for various reasons I haven’t been writing much of anything lately.  I guess the biggest reason is laziness and life in general.

However I read this post by Michael Hyatt yesterday and I thought about it quite a bit yesterday.  And then I thought about this blog I’ve been working on for the past few days.  I started the blog to talk about the experiences of being a first time dad and to just write. To many times when I get in my writing mode I’m thinking of all of the bestselling authors out there and how nice it must be to wake up in the morning and have a cup of coffee and sit down for three or four hours and write.  My intention of this blog, like I said above, is to just write and to improve upon my writing and talk about the experiences I have as a first time dad.  Where this goes and takes me I’m not entirely sure, but we’ll see.

Now off to work where I need to install a new network driver on a server and install some updates on various other servers!

Have a great Wednesday.