One Brick at a Time, Day 1

Day 1

Another beautiful day in Capitolville. Clouds are glowing, pigeons are cooing, car engines are revving and the stock market’s signs are as dazzling as ever! This is Radio Tennis on 97.1 FM, bringing you only the best of the best!

Today was an exciting day for Brick; Corporation Incorporated was on the brink of signing one of its biggest contracts yet, and Brick felt that today was the day they could close it. Increased revenue for the firm, great service for the client, and everybody wins. It was also Dress-Down Day at work, where employees were instructed to come to work “wearing amusing and politically-correct costumes to emphasise individuality”. Dress-Down Day (also known as DDD) was Brick’s favourite day because it gave him a breather from the grey suits he had to wear every day. Not that he didn’t love his grey suits; they were professional and comfortable. But still.

This year, Brick was going to dress up as Fred Cosby, a character from one of his favourite shows, Two Mothers and a Friend; messy spikey hair, casual wool shirt and khakis was Fred’s staple style. Brick prepared the costume weeks in advance, and he was ready to show it off at work.

What a time to be alive!

Brick performed his daily morning routine, read the newspaper’s funny comics, hopped on his car and headed off to the office. On the way to work, he turned on Radio Tennis once more to listen to his favourite tracks from billboard’s top 100. He particularly enjoyed the radio as it only provided the most famous and successful tracks; no room for weird music that the audience might not like. Just the best of the best.

“Hey Brick, how are you.”

“Good you?”

“I’m doing fantastic.”

As he stepped of the elevator, Brick felt a bit funny. It wasn’t every day that anyone came out of the elevator at this floor without a proper dress code. But he quickly shook it off; it was company tradition after all. You’d think I’d get used to it after 8 years, he thought as he chuckled softly. It wasn’t long until his self-consciousness disappeared as soon as he laid eyes on Dave, though. Wow Dave’s costume sure is something. I’m amazed they let him in like that, Brick thought as he glanced at his coworker who was walking his way.

“Mornin’ Dave.”

“Hey Brick! How’s it going dude?”

“Super. You?”

“As awesome as ever! Cool costume. Fred Cosby, right?”

“Thanks, and yeah!”

“Can you guess mine?”

“Is it…an alien?”

“Well not any alien, it’s Anthrax from Death Zone 3, but it’s close enough!”

Dave was the new guy at his division. Fresh grad from university, Dave didn’t possess the distinctive Corporation Incorporated feel of professionalism and competence yet. Over time, his attitude would change to reflect better the feel of the company. But unlike the others, at least he noticed his costume, on which he’d put a lot of effort by the way. He passed by Mr.Johnson’s, his boss, on his way to his way to his office. Mr.Johnson was a favourite amongst corporate management; his adherence to the company’s strict rules, his inflexible nature and his lack of novelty made him an excellent minion to carry out their supreme orders. What’s more is that he also looked the part; small with a slightly hunched back, the middle of his face was disfigured with a unseemly crooked nose. His small vicious eyes were constantly scanning everything before him like a vulture, and Brick wondered sometimes if they could extend backwards since Mr.Johnson never seemed to miss anything. His only redeeming quality was that he was a fashionable man; his fabulous silk suits detracted much attention from his hideous face. They exchanged a quick hello, and Brick noticed a curious sideways look Mr. Johnson gave him as they parted ways. Maybe his costume was too outrageous?

Call. Meet. Write. Coffee. Compute. Call. Type. Email. And just like that: Lunchtime.

Brick was famished, and he decided to head to a nearby restaurant to get something to eat; it was two blocks down the street, so it took him about eight minutes from his seat to the restaurant’s doorstep, depending on his pace. He counted and memorised every detail of the same road he’s been taking for 8 years. Except that this time, there was something different about it. Rested on the side of the pavement was a small wooden box. Nicely sculpted and immaculately clean, it reminded Brick of a jewelry box. He stopped for a moment to inspect the item and then resumed walking. He had no time to waste on random trinkets he found on the street. Besides, it probably belonged to someone; he might have dropped it there and could be coming back any minute to pick it back up. Either way, he didn’t care. He was already thinking of the meatball sub he was going to order. “The usual sir?” Brick nodded. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and his sandwich was a safe and scrumptious option. As he walked out of the restaurant, Brick looked as satisfied as a cat cleaning his whiskers after a hearty meal. His batteries were fully recharged and he could finally get back to work. He started humming the tunes of ‘Look at me I’m famous’ by DJ Diddy Fat Goop Panther, one of his favourites. His cheery humming stopped though; the box was still there. And this time, he could see it slowly fluttering left and right, with a bizarre noise coming from within it. No time for garbage. Gotta get movin’, he thought. He walked two paces then looked back again. Its movement remained constant and unchanged, yet the noise grew louder, transcending the atmospheric sound of the bustling streets. Is that…meowing? Brick took a glance around him, but no one else seemed to notice the box. The strange, eerie box. Brick swung his head forward, clenched his hands and shut his eyes close. But he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t leave the poor creature stranded there. Who knows what could happen to it? He picked up the box, which stopped moving as soon as he touched it, slightly opened the top of the box and peeked through its creak. Inside was the most adorable creature he had ever seen; a cat dark as ebony was staring at him with wide, green eyes. “Look at you all alone in here. I’m taking you little cutie with me!” Brick didn’t notice this but, as he was admiring the kitten and playing with him, passerby were giving him curious looks. Aside from the strange box and the cat, Brick’s day went by without any notable events. He went back to the office and no one asked him about his box or what it contained. After finishing up work at around 7, he went back home and let his new kitten free. He fed it and gave it a place to sleep. It was surprisingly tame and obedient, and caused him no trouble at all. After playing with it for a couple of hours, Brick decided it was time to hit the sack, and at 10:30 sharp, he went to bed. The cat did the same. Oh, and no. Brick didn’t name his cat. He didn’t really register its namelessness, so he didn’t give it any name.

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