Special assignment

last fall leaf

Standing in the hallway outside of his new office, Minkin Bercu supervised the gilding of his name and a new title on the door. Turning his attention to the kneeling maintenance man to his right putting away his paints, Bercu stifled an appalled snort. He took out a notebook and pen, and wrote himself a quick memo.

Re: Supervisors’ meeting.
Agenda Item: form ad hoc committee to consider the addition of Exposed Derrière Cleavage as Eighth Deadly Sin.

Bercu turned the page in his notebook and scribbled a new memo.

Re: Dress Code / Workmen’s Uniforms
Property Manager: Requisition belts/suspenders for support staff
Union Rep: Require non-robed employees to wear proper waistband securing accoutrements

Once the offending bottom had left, Bercu entered his Corner Room With a View, and closed the door, but only after brushing his hand across the raised letters of his name and position. A rare grin played across Bercu’s face as he took a seat in the plush leather chair behind his massive mahogany desk.

Lifting his feet off the floor, Bercu spun around in the chair until he felt slightly nauseated. He slowed his tilt-a-whirl by dropping both feet on the floor. The sudden stop tossed Bercu out of his faux throne. He put out his hands to steady himself and fell against the picture window with a resounding thud.

The reverberations were enough to shake the last autumn leaves from the trees. If anyone on the campus lawn below had witnessed Bercu’s graceless fall, they would have seen his profile smashed against the window panes like a cartoon caricature.

A staccato knock on his door prompted Bercu to gather himself into a more dignified posture. Without invitation, a Visitor entered the office. Bercu tripped over the legs of his chair trying to greet his Guest, landing face-first at Her feet.

“Madam!” Bercu stayed genuflected on the floor, eyes averted. “You never need knock.”

His visitor leaned down and laid Her hand on his shoulder. Bercu hazarded a peek. She smiled. A vision so sweet it almost made him weep.

“What do you think of your new office, Minkin?” She reached out Her hand to help him up.

Minkin tried to speak, but could only nod silently.

“I’m glad you like it,” She said. “I’ve been watching you, Minkin. You’ve been doing magnificent work.”

The usually verbose Bercu, was at a loss for words. Or, at least, coherent speech. He only managed to open and close his mouth to make small squeaks and gasps.

She smiled once more and Bercu felt like he could now die happy, again.

Standing at the window, She traced a finger over the glass.

“I have a special job for you, Minkin,” She said. “A job only you can do.”

She handed Bercu a golden envelope.

“This is your task,” She said.

Bercu accepted the package with humble reverence.

“You honor me,” he said.

That radiant smile l as She touched Bercu’s sleeve.

“You really need to lighten up Minkin,” She said as She left Bercu’s office. “Have a little fun with this one.”

The Darkroom badge
Inspiration: Fall leaf
Inspiration: Gilded prose

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