A Portrait of A Killer in Red: part 2

by jamesmerolla

The Boss’ office was perfectly clean, and symmetrical.

Two sleek, untouched glass doors swing open automatically as you step into a square room, even on all sides. Every corner of the room is as sharp as a razor blade. It is the most beautiful waiting room you’ll ever see.

The doorway to the Boss’ office is located in the center of the adjacent wall, flanked by two framed stills from the films Ordet and The Passion of Joan of Arc. Joan’s tears are white. Johannes’ eyes are dark.

A square, black leather sofa wraps tightly around the right side of the room. Above it is a large window taking up the rest of the wall. Long, black, narrow blinds hang from the ceiling down over the window and end exactly one inch from the back of the sofa. The blinds are always closed, but enough space is left between them for square bars of light to stretch out like splayed fingers over the room.

The room rotates from east to west to achieve this look throughout the day, except between the hours of 11 am, and 1 pm, when no one is there.

A black coffee table sits like an abyss in a perfectly even space in the middle of the wrap around sofa. It shines enough to see muted reflections. Eyes look like black holes when they peer into it.

The carpeting is pure white, untouched. Whenever The Killer waits to be let in he gets down on his hands and knees to admire it. You’ll notice, not a single thread is out of place.

The egg shell walls are identical to the floor and ceiling. They are the purest white you’ve ever seen. They are the white of prayers.

Everything is black and white except for the secretary’s desk, precisely centered to the left of the room. It is barren, but for a black rotary telephone that never rings, and a small black lamp. The leather chair behind it is always empty.

The desk is out of place. It has rounded edges and curves, and its color is a bottomless red. One feels like they’re being watched in its presence. It is the tempting cherry in the bowl of ice cream.

The Boss’ office is a much larger room, but is also perfectly square, with a large window on the left wall.

Three black desks sit symmetrically in front of three walls of the square. Behind the desks are three middle aged white men blowing smoke into the bars of sunlight cutting through the room.

Square black picture frames line the room, displaying only the white of the walls they hang on. They are perfectly centered and level. Not a single grain of wood is out of place, except for one single, random frame that rests at a just barely noticeable measure higher than the rest. Rumors have been heard The Boss does this on purpose to make visitors feel uneasy.

There are no chairs to sit on. One has to stand between the three desks and feel The Boss lean over you.

     So it’s done?

     It’s about time!

     Do you know how much money you’re costing us? You’re right on the edge…..right on the edge.

     Sometimes the job takes a little time.

     A little time? It’s been six weeks.

     When we give you a job we expect you to get it done quickly. You wait so long we’ve forgotten why we wanted the guy dead in the first place.

They could see his eyes drawn to the out of place frame.

I have to wait for the right moment.

     The right moment is immediately after we give you the job.

     But, if I rush it, it will be ugly.

     Don’t be ugly, but do it in less time.

His eyes are fixed to the frame now. It angered him.

     Do you think we need you? We can find someone to replace you right now if we wanted.

All three men reach for intercoms on the edge of their desks. Simultaneously they call their secretaries.

     Mandy/Jennifer/Deandra can you give me some names of men waiting for work?

     Of course/ Yes sir/ Right away.

     Everyone is replaceable.

     It would be a shame to replace you, because we very much enjoy the work you do.

     Follow our rules, do your job, and you won’t be replaced.

     Your next job will be on the desk outside. Time is money.

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