Friday, September 2, 2016

Fiction Challenge - The Idiomatic

The Idiomatic basically mashes up a few idioms into something new and very possibly inane, and very possibly wise. This was the backbone for this fiction challenge.
Length: ~1000 words

I clicked the Idiomatic and I got the following phrase for my story:
“Give a man enough rope and he is a friend who cares.”

Enough Rope
by Martin Perlin

My grandfather always said to me "Give a man enough rope and he is a friend who cares." I hoped to be that friend.

Sam was either going to be the next mega success or destroy himself. We finally saw each other at Walter's wedding. It was the first time since high school. Sam was always the class clown, making pranks and drawing attention to himself. Once he glued a lesson plan to the teacher's desk and she spent five minutes trying to pull it up. The class was on the floor and Sam was smiling like a Hollywood director watching his big scene projected in front of an audience.

At Walter's wedding, I had arrived alone, fresh out of college and just starting my first job at Deloitte. It was a foot in a door. Not glamorous, and really just a starting position but I had student loans to pay. Sam stood against a wall. I was about to call out to him, but he put his finger to his lips and shook his head to be quiet. I turned around and looked in the direction that Sam was looking. I guy stood next to the hors d'oeuvre table talking to a blond woman. The guy shook his head as she spoke, while leaning on the table. Sam smiled and covered his mouth.

Suddenly there was a loud blast of flatulence from behind the guy. He froze and the blond woman turned, calling out to a friend across the room.

"Wasn't that great," Sam said, holding up the small remote he held in his hand. "I hid the speaker behind that cucumber salad. Nobody ever eats that."

"Good to see ya Sam," I said, "what's up?"

His face went to stiff and serious. He asked me what I'd been up to since high school and where I was working. He told me how he'd been working for his uncle selling industrial washing machines to hotels. "But I'm about to go out on my own and I could use someone like you."

He told me about he was tired of selling the washing machines and had an idea for a new venture. "Bicycles," he said. The way he presented it, I couldn't argue with him. Gas prices were shooting through the roof and everyone was looking for alternatives for getting to work. The bike trade had come a long way since I was riding a BMX in high school. Now people had 18 speed mountain bikes and cruisers, with heavy-duty lightweight frames. Not only were these cool looking but they were damn expensive. If remembered paying $300 for a bike in high school, now commuters would pay as much as $2500 for a medium of the line bike and could even go as high as $9500.

Sam said that he had a supplier that could get the trendiest bikes at a deal. The business couldn't be better, a bonafide sure thing. So by dessert at Walter's wedding, I was hooked and we were talking about merchandising and promotions. The next day, I gave notice at work. Within a month, I was sitting in a 300 square foot office with Sam.

He had set up an office for a king, with a big oak desk in front of a big leather office chair. I was put up in a more modest office next door, with standard furniture from Office Depot. The rest of the operation consisted of storage units where Sam kept our merchandise.

In our first month we were pulling in a 300% profit, selling bikes for top dollar to shops all over town.  We were the best bike source around, edging out larger established players. Within a few months I forgot about my student debts (even though they were still hanging around) and took at financing on a BMW convertible. Sam had a big Lexus SUV, always bigger than my wheels. We hit the clubs and picked up women every week.

One morning I came into the office early, and I found Sam hunched over his desk. There were lines of white powder across his desk. He rolled his eyes up at me. "Get out!" he said. I stood there in surprise. "You heard me? Get out!"

Later he came into my office and asked about the upcoming orders. He was totally casual, playing with the pens on my desk. He didn't mention or even hint at what went on earlier. "We got to put aside all the orders," said Sam.

"Why?" I asked, "this will be a great month."

"I've got a big order to fill. This will cover the year."

"How will we fill it?"

"Don't worry, I've been branching us out. I've got more than enough channels."

I've always said that I should listen to my hunches, and I guess I shouldn't have ignored my own advice but that's what happens.

I spent the rest of the day talking to all of clients, backing out of all the orders and trying to save some face for possible future deals.

"You got a suitcase," Sam asked. Sure, I said, and then Sam told me to sit down in his office. "I've cornered a big shipment of bikes out of California, but we'll need to fly down and drive the shipment up. We need to go tonight."

"If it's more bikes, then why cancel all our orders?"

"Don't you get it? Don't you get it college boy. How do we have the cheapest bikes in the market?" Sam said.

"You said you had connections."

Sam stood up and slammed his hand on the wall. "Connections! Connections! It's gangs, petty thieves, and drug addicts. They're stealing bikes across town and I'm paying them off to get this stuff cheap."

I guess I just wanted to go along and pretend this wasn't possible, that my old friend Sam wouldn't pull me into an illegal operation. It was obvious all along that this was too good to be true. How else could we be the cheapest source of bikes in town. It was too good to be true.

"Come on, get packed we're going," he said, "we're hitten the big leagues. I got a connection to make us the biggest cocaine dealers in the Northwest."

"Got all that," I said. A radio crackled.

"What the ..." Sam looked at me. The front door of the offices crashed open. Officers and agents poured in, pinning Sam against the wall, and pulling his hands behind his back. I unbuttoned my shirt to pull off the recording equipment. I just needed to give Sam enough rope because I was a friend...who cares.

No comments:

Post a Comment