Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Balls, By Erica Orloff

“He used to feel my ass.”
“Your ass.”
“Yes, my ass.”
“Did you ever tell him to stop?”
“Look, Detective Garcia or whatever the hell your name is, if you were a single mother with three kids at home and your deadbeat ex hadn’t paid his child support in 14 months even though he bought his new girlfriend a set of 42D boobs, you’d let the jerk feel your ass, too. I needed that job.”
“I’m sorry.”
“You have no idea.”
“You’re right. I probably don’t. Okay, so he used to sexually harass you. Did anyone else in the company know about it?”
“Everyone knew about it. But he’s the president of the company’s son, and his damn sister is head of human resources. And for the record, it wasn’t just my ass. He pinched my boobs, too.”
“Did this happen often?”
“Every day. But only after lunch.”
“Why only after lunch?”
“Because he had a liquid lunch every day. And when he’s drunk? He’s a pervert. And worse than that, mean as a snake, though maybe being mean isn’t worse than being a pervert. They’re both pretty awful.”
“All right, so take me through tonight. The company Christmas party.”
“Well, Darlene from the sixth floor, she comes up to me and says Irv is completely out of control. He trapped her in the conference room, pulled up her skirt, pulled down her panties and whipped it out. I mean WHIPPED-IT-OUT. Disgusting, right?”
“Yes. And Darlene is in with Detective Jones in one of the other offices right now.”
“She’ll tell him. And another thing, I’ve seen it, too. It ain’t much to look at, but it has a distinguishing characteristic, if you understand what I’m saying, so that’ll be proof he really did whip it out. I can identify that sucker.”
“All right. Back to Darlene. Did he rape her?”
“No. She kneed him in the balls. And then he gets all in her face and says he’s going to fire her, even though he knows her husband got laid off. Her Patrick used to work in manufacturing in the other building. Anyway, she says to me that she’s going to fix Irv once and for all.”
“And how was she going to do that?”
“With the little blue pill. Viagra. She was going to slip a couple in his drink, all mashed up, and give him one of those 4-hour erections like they tell you about on the commercial.”
“I see.”
“You’re laughing.”
“I’m not laughing.”
“You’re smiling then. It is kind of funny, when you think about it.”
“So did she do it?”
“I guess it all depends.”
“Depends?”
“Look, Detective Garcia, there’s a long line of people who wanted Irv dead. A long, long line. So I guess it all depends on whether that stiff in the hallway has . . . you know, a four-hour hard-on.”
“He’s been stabbed.”
“Then I guess it wasn’t Darlene.”
“Was it you?”
“Me? Nah, if I was going to do it, I planned on feeding him a little arsenic in his morning coffee each day.”
“And did you?”
“Nope. I just dreamed about it real hard.”
“All right then, Carla. Thank you for your time. We’ll contact you if we have any further questions.”
“By the way . . . what kind of knife was it?”
“By the looks of it, a kitchen knife.”
“Hmm. Like from the company cafeteria?”
“It was actually from the display of cheddar balls on the Christmas party buffet table.”
“Really?”
“Why are you laughing?”
“I’m not laughing.”
“You’re smiling then. Do you know who did it?”
“No, Detective Garcia. But let me put it to you this way. Those cheese balls were real popular tonight. I kind of wished I thought of it. Nice pearl handle on the knife, too.”
“Yes.”
“And I bet about a hundred fingerprints. They were really tasty balls. Well . . . good night. I sure am gonna sleep well myself.”

14 comments:

Jude Hardin said...

It's difficult to write an entire story using nothing but dialogue, and I think you pulled it off well.

I know it's comedy, and not like a real investigation would go, but I would have liked to see just a hint of nervousness or distress or something in the female character's voice. I mean, there's a freshly-slain man in the hallway, and she's nonchalantly answering questions as if it were a hamster or something. I know she's happy to see this dickhead gone, but it would still be quite a shock.

Erica Orloff said...

Jude:
It's meant to be humorous. And frankly, THIS character is so angry, I do think she is going to sleep very well tonight. :-)

E

LurkerMonkey said...

Erica,

I laughed at a few places with this one, but especially at the tasty balls line. Nice ...

This is a particularly hard thing to do, to produce a coherent piece of writing that's totally dialogue, without even so much as a dialogue tag. You have to lever a lot of information into the dialogue without making it look obvious, and you did a great job at it. A few months ago, I went through a period of doing exactly this: writing out dialogue scenes with no descriptors, as practice, so I can appreciate just how hard this is and how well you did it.

Erica Orloff said...

Lurker:
I love the flash fiction, but the voice for this came to me, and I thought, "Why not do it without tags as a pure challenge." So from that aspect alone, I had fun.

And I couldn't help but think of Alec Baldwin's "Schweaty Balls"/NPR spoof when I was done.

E

Merry Monteleone said...

Loved this!! I especially love that whoever did it will almost definitely get away with it.

Erica Orloff said...

Merry:
LOL! Yes, I believe they will. The list of suspects is just too long.

E. Flanigan said...

I laughed out loud so many times reading this, the voice was just so funny to me.

I know a lot of women who are like this, and I don't agree with the earlier comment that she wasn't nervous enough about being interviewed. Women like this never break a sweat .... I knew a nurse in NICU who used to meander over to babies who were coding and say nonchalantly, "Hey, this one just stopped breathing!" She'd resuscitate the baby and never even miss a beat in her gum-chewing. So as long as your character knows SHE didn't do it, I believe she's not going to lose any sleep.

My FAVORITE favorite part was the idea that if Irv didn't have a hard-on, "then I guess it wasn't Darlene." LOL

Natasha Fondren said...

I loved this in a lot of places, too, and the "tasty balls" line was my favorite!

Very entertaining. I was a little disappointed he didn't have to go through a really excruciating four-hour hard-on. Woulda loved to've seen that!

Erica Orloff said...

Erika:
I have met women like this too. I thought about it . . . and I really thought she would be that blunt/flippant/unrepentent--especially since she had nothing to worry about since she didn't kill him. I like her, LOL. And on a serious note . . . far too many women are trapped like her . . . so I wanted it to be a modern version of "9 to 5." ;-)
E

Erica Orloff said...

Natasha:
I thought if I left in the hard-on, it would be overkill.

:-)
E

Erica Orloff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natasha Fondren said...

Oh yes, worked fiction-wise, best that way. Just I worked with a guy like that. I meant *personally* I would have enjoyed all thousand words dedicated to his torture. :-)

Erica Orloff said...

Natasha:
I've worked with more than one guy like this . . .

E

Melanie Avila said...

I would love to read more in her voice -- so relatable in a "I've never really been through this but can understand where she's coming from" sort of way. Erika's favorite line was mine too. :)

Well done with your challenge.