(Originally appeared on Medium on 16/06/2016)
There are sometimes particular days, in which you make a series of decisions, try your hardest, and all around you does not go as planned.
I am assured this is quite normal. Apparently.
Quite like the time I woke up late one Wednesday morning, grabbed a swipe of coffee, two bananas with peanut butter and a yoghurt, before racing in for a meeting.
I had a series of logistical correspondences at work, before it came to my attend, when in a meeting about graduate retention, that the company I was about to sign with for a property for next year had gone into administration. But this was not a simple process.
It began with my work colleague Sam pointing out she had a dodgy experience with them. Then I decided, against better judgements, to take a trip into town, to visit their office, despite being told they never answer their door. Suspicious I thought.
So I took a Citybike down into town, only to slip on the wet road, and really hurt my precious side. I got back on hobbling, but my sheer determination to get to [redacted] Properties Ltd kept me going. I arrived at a [redacted] Street, on the hunt for [redacted] court, and after getting conflicting views from various local business owners I quizzed in the vicinity, I located the actual office. The kind woman opposite, from an accountancy firm exclaimed; “Oh, are you here to get your money too?” indicating there had been previous disgruntled visitors. Thus starts my time as an investigative journalist. I went to knock at the door, no answer. I was persistent, and hung around for a bit. The kind woman had told me she had seen people go in and out of the property, and if a white car was outside, they were in. A white car was outside.
After a while, I bumped into a guy, who happened to be looking for the same company. We exchanged numbers and promised to give each other a heads up if necessary. We’re going on a date next week now.
I speedily took an Uber up back to my place of work, the Guild, whilst doing so I did some extensive googling, updating my fellow colleagues, and checked on companies house, whilst my contact in architecture checked the planning permission for the nefarious [redacted]’s builds around the city.
I had been noticing a car following me for some time, white in colour, and tinted windows. It was the same car from [redacted] court! Quickly, I asked the Uber driver to take a sharp left turn, and head towards the Albert docks. He obliged, being a mere service person to the dreaded Millennials, of which I am one.
As I suspected, Tim Thompson, a pig like man, drew a gun from the car and cascaded a series of bullets from the back seat. I instructed to the Uber driver to turn into a submarine, and go into the Mersey. He advised this would mean a x3 surge rate, so I decided to swerve that financial decision, and bail from the car.
I was left outside the Tate Liverpool building, with a cheap white car speeding towards me. There was only one opinion. I was going to have to brace myself and go into the Tate. I had found my escape. It was art. I ran straight into the central exhibit, dropping my bag off in the luggage section. I hurtled up the stairs, to the Young British Artists section, and held my breath as to not breathe in to much bullshit. Rob pursued me on all fours, and I turned around to confront him, an explicit portrait of a vagina on one side, and nothing but Duchamp’s fountain separating us.
“What has happened!” I screamed “who are you? what’s going on???”
“That’s a lot of questions kid” he grunted back. “I’m Tim Thompson, and you don’t know what sort of shit you’re getting yourself in for.”
“This shit runs much deeper than you kid. I’mma turn you into modern art right now!”
“Can I have my admin fee back please” I asked politely. “And all my friends’ who were going to live with me?”
He let out a cackle and laughed and spat on the Duchamp. Without warning, he picked out a small hammer from his pig flap.
“There’s one thing you didn’t realise” he said, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. “There’s one thing you didn’t account for”
“What? Get on with it!” I shouted, annoyed as I had to get back to a meeting at 3:00pm.
“My previous an equally dodgy company did the fittings for this gallery.” he said, “They are all weak, and the screws are….cheap. MWahahaha!”
“Oh please god no.” I have never prayed to the lord before, but this day I did.
As he hit the side of the exhibit with his tiny hammer, the whole gallery rumbled. I quickly looked around the room. I noticed a spare tub of formaldehyde suspended from the ceiling. I knew what I had to do.
“Look Tim, over there! An unregulated section of the Market! Quick, before the local gentrified population gain an understanding of housing regulation and introduce local laws which really should be universal! Capitalise on the naivety!” I exclaimed, with a red face.
He moved quicker than lightning itself, and I used my critical thinking skills to cut the wires and drop the tub on his head. The formaldehyde was exposed to the air briefly, and, like all good formaldehyde, set without deterioration. I quickly put the exhibit up on BankerBay, the ebay for the silly rich, and got a quick 20 million, which I sunk into setting up a service to re-compensate tenants and pursue dodgy landlords.
I returned back for a 3pm meeting in the Guild.
Now, I reflect, after all this, on how all good things must be balanced by bad, and when you hear some news that just panics you, get imaginative with the truth.
All short stories written by Alex Ferguson.