Factory Story – Part 4

After lunch Nate found it difficult to concentrate. Nervousness about the evenings date kept him for focusing on his work. He needed something to take his mind of it.


He reached for the half full mug on his desk, lifted it to his lips and sipped. Cold coffee filled his mouth and he spat it back into the mug, realising he had made the coffee hours ago. Time for a refill.

The rain continued to pour down on the factories tin roof, filling the building with loud soothing sounds. Much better than the continuos christmas music that was piped though the factories PA system.

He returned to his office, fresh coffee in hand and was surprised to find his boss waiting for him. More worrying was that his boss was idling turning the package on Nate’s desk over and examining it.

“Can I help you Jock?”

The old man jumped slightly, having been caught doing something he shouldn’t. He turned and frowned noticing Nate’s shirtlessness.

“Um, yeah, Scarlet said you got a package.”

Nate nodded. “Yes. For me. Just something I brought online.”

Nate reached over and picked up the package and put it in his shoulder bag under the desk as he finally figure out what Jock was looking for.

“Is the new prototype supposed to get here today?”

Jock nodded.

“Well, I’m sure it will turn up. I’m keen to see this thing myself.”

Jock nodded again. “Okay, well you will let me know if you get it.”

Nate shrugs. “Won’t it be addressed to you?”

Jock shrugged back. “The elves don’t always get this stuff right.” And he turned and left the room.

The rain started to ease outside and the sounds of ‘Jingle Bells’ Caribbean style could be heard through the loudspeakers. Nate reached over and turned on his radio to listen to something else, anything else.

He sipped at his coffee.

Scarlet knocked on his door and he frowns.

“Yes Miss Scarlet?”

She smiled and tosses a bright yellow t-shirt at Nate.

“Found this in the store room.”

Nate lifted the shirt up and looked at it. On the shirt in garish green and red letters is read: “Maxwell’s Where it’s Christmas everyday!”

“Um, thanks.”

Scarlet just shrugged. “Incase your shirt isn’t dry in time.”

Nate raised an eyebrow. “Well, i guess I could turn it inside out or something. Thank Scarlet.”

Scarlet smiled brightly. “No problems sugar.” And she turned and bounced off down the hallway.

Nate eyed his trash bin, but decided that wouldn’t look good if Jock came back in, he shrugged and pulled the t-shirt on, finding it was a size too small and hugs tight to his body. He wasn’t sure if this was better or worse than going shirtless.

He was about to pull the shirt back over his head when he heard shouting from the other end of the hallway.

“Its hear, its hear!” bellowed Jock’s voice.

An appearance at these sort of events was mandatory. He had learnt that on his first week on the job.

Everyone gathered in the meeting room, a little over 20 people, squeezed into a room meant to hold 12. Nate looked around, some were like him and only turned up at these unveilings out of obligation. Others, like Jock himself, were actually genuinely eager to see what the next major development in christmas decoration technology was.

Jock was too eager to wait, he opened the large box and dove his arms into the polystyrene packaging peanuts and pulled out a truly grotesque 2ft tall santa statue.

Jock set it down on the table. The santa look old and stooped over, his cloak and clothes dark brown, his hair and beard unkept, a large hock nose and a grin that said “I’m going to steal your children” on his face.

Nate had never seen such an un-christmas christmas decoration. He loved it.

Jock was examining it in great detail. To Nate’s total surprise Jocks first comment was:

“I expected it to be uglier than that.”

Nobody else said anything, it seemed everyone was a little surprised at the idea of an ugly decoration.

In this awkward silence blasted a flash of lightning, followed less than a second later by a loud boom of thunder.

Then the lights went out.

Nate turned and ran out of the room and down the hallways and into the small utility closet that now housed the web server. The machine was beeping loudly, its backup battery only good for 5 minutes at most.

Nate pushed the big red ‘emergency shut down’ button. The button didn’t do anything, it wasn’t hocked up. But it felt good to press it anyway. He the pushed the small silver button on the front of each machine causing them to save and shutdown safely.

Another rumble of thunder echoed through the building.

Then the hail started.

Story continues in part 5.

Part of my creative writing class. Weekly Assignment 5.