First Draft

Page 18

He always enjoyed creating interior elevations. He liked laying out the cabinets, choosing what sizes looked nice together, and sketching them into one coherent vision that would then be presented to the client. He enjoyed the detail work, and he enjoyed seeing the intricate, completed space come together.

Ben could tell that Mara was still perched on the back of his chair by the momentum created when he rotated even slightly in his chair. He could feel her eyes staring at him. He even had the feeling that, judging by her silence, she was smiling her menacing, toothy grin, though of this he could not be certain. Regardless, he set about working, trying to ignore her subtle intrusion.

Something about it unnerved Benjamin whenever she remained as still as she was. He rolled his head, stretching his neck. Was she still even there? Or had she silently floated back to the window sill, or up to the air duct? He shifted subtly in his office chair, and noted that it didn’t feel quite as weighty as it did before. He hadn’t even finished drawing one wall of the kitchen before curiosity got the better of him. He minimized his software, revealing the black wallpaper behind it. And in the inky reflection on the dark glass, he could see the silhouette of his head and his shoulders, and the twisted form of Mara, draped across them like a luxurious mink coat, with a severe case of mange. Ben could vaguely make out the highlights of her narrow, sharpened teeth.

Ben pulled his software back into full screen, it’s white glow once again blotting out the reflection. He set back to work determinedly, click-click-clicking away. Emanating from but a few inches from his right ear, he heard a guttural, playful growl.

Mara clicked down the back of Benjamin’s chair, rocking him gently in his seat, and then she shot beneath his desk. A moment or two later, her talons crept slowly over the edge of his desk, followed shortly by her flaxen black hair, her pale forehead, and her intense eyes. She peered up at him. Ben heeded her for a moment, looking down, but then quickly returned his attention to the task which he had set out to do. He was determined to keep working. And Mara seemed to have a very different goal in mind.

Ben took a moment to shuffle through his notes and fumble through the papers on his desk, looking for the piece of paper upon which he had jotted down the wall cabinet heights that Maria had specified. And no sooner had he turned his attention from the screen and let go of the mouse did he hear Mara clicking away furiously on it. He didn’t even bother to look back up at his screen, until he had found the piece of paper that he’d been looking for. “4-0 wall cabs w/ traditional crown molding & under-cabinet lighting.” he muttered out loud. “Cool.” He had drawn them at the wrong heights, and would need to amend what he’d done thus far. He gave out a light sigh as he turned his attention up to his screen. Mara, who still awkwardly sat with everything below her nose hidden beneath the edge of the desk, now had the mouse in her right hand and was reaching with her long spindly arm – and a singularly outstretched pointer-talon – over to his keyboard, where she was typing one key at a time. She already had three different browser windows open. One was a video of a German pagan folk band performing live in concert, and the second was a video about a box truck that had been converted to a mobile, educational greenhouse. The third tab was open to an article about using geothermal energy to heat and cool a structure. At least that one seemed relevant.

Benjamin resumed control of his workstation. And Mara darted back beneath the desk, only to reemerge a moment later on the other side of the desk in the same manner as before, her wispy, disheveled hair twirling about wildly in the air, and all but the bridge of her nose and above hidden beneath the work surface.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.