Here we go again – only this time – it’s a great short story from our new contributor – Benjamin Hewitt.
Please show him your support and spread his words.
The Angry Beaver
by Benjamin Hewitt
It seems insane that there should be so much light for so long. At nine thirty PM the streetlight outside and the cool air would come through the vent function on the window, and it would wake her up so much more than this horrible new sensation of tepid sun beams and breeze-less daylight.
Her chair is about half the size of the one in the security office, and her fifteen stone body barely fits. She tries unsuccessfully to adjust her underwear. The tall, obnoxiously thin thirty-something woman on the desk immediately opposite watches her and grimaces.
The morning is a blur of copying numbers from pieces of paper into spreadsheets. At lunch the bathroom on her floor is packed full of other employees, and just outside the door are two peoples’ desks. There is no hope that she can masturbate in peace without having to be quiet, without having to hold her breath.
She leaves the building and buys a box of twelve Krispy Creme doughnuts from Tesco, then eats them much too fast in a quiet park surrounded by thick trees. In the disabled toilet at McDonalds she cries for thirty minutes while people knock incessantly on the door. On the way out she buys a large fries. Back at her desk her foot shakes and she resents everyone and everything for denying her relief.
Putting a nocturnal animal in a cage seems to her twice as cruel when it has to work and eat and function in the daytime. In the security office she would look through her semi-opaque reflection in the window, out at the hundreds of blinking houses like pieces of a difficult jigsaw resembling the cityscape. Her face would twist into expressions of her emotive and insane thoughts, the thousands of Mancunians too far away to see. The CBT meal plan her psychologist had put her on had been going well, and she had still been allowed to eat sugar and it had felt really good at those times, to be awake and thinking when everyone else was asleep and dreaming.
No-one had ever broken into the building, or into the water facility that she watched on the monitors. The idea of her being chosen as a security guard based on her size had seemed like a joke.
In the afternoon she sees a couple of people staring at her, and realises that her face has been morphing like the face of someone who has been talking to themself in their head. She panics and takes a jam doughnut into the bathroom, where she sits in a cubicle and tears bits off with her fingers, trying to savour it over the three minutes allowed for a toilet break. In the security bathroom, she had never felt the need to eat. The whole room, the cubicle and the line of sinks, the mirrors and the hand drier, had all seemed so relaxing to her. Her break activities at two AM had been a natural expression of this wet, watery hole in the building. On the back of the door there used to be an advert for an old Bon Jovi concert, and sometimes it had sped up her orgasm.
She forgets to lock the door to the cubicle and someone opens it, banging her knee. The tall woman from the desk opposite appears in the doorway. The woman looks startled and says
blushing.The woman stays in the doorway for a second too long, unable to move, disgusted at the doughnut and the person devouring it with the toilet cover down and trousers still up. As the woman turns away she explodes, lifting herself from the toilet and throwing the doughnut at the back of woman’s head. Jam and sugar splatter across the woman’s strawberry blonde hair. She spins her around and grabs the woman by the throat. She rams her back onto the white sinks and spits in her face. The woman’s eyes stare terrified at the sugar smeared around the mouth of her attacker, then at the huge hands around her throat.
The woman squirms out of the grip and runs to the bathroom door, bursting through it back onto the office floor. The sound of computers and keyboards is sucked into the silence of the bathroom for a moment, then the door shuts and there is only the sound of something dripping.
She looks at the jam on the mirror, and at the saliva on her hands. She returns to the toilet cubicle and sits down. She locks the door and a minute goes by before the bathroom door opens. She hears footsteps, and the echoey voice of her Supervisor asks
‘Hello? Is anybody in here?’
stern, and knowing. She tries not to breathe. Her Supervisor says
‘Could you come out please?’
On the back of the toilet door is an advertisement for the Severn Trent Pension Scheme. Under the words ‘Building your future, bit by bit,’ is a large picture of a beaver placing a piece of wood into a river with its mouth. The nocturnal animal seems to her some strange and convenient metaphor. The metaphor makes her feel a bit less alone, like all good metaphors do. Suddenly all she wants is to be naked and swimming in some dammed off pool. All she wants is to be submerged in a wet dream, touching herself in the security office bathroom. Her Supervisor says