Prompt: Write a story using the photo of the business card as your inspiration. What does it mean? Who is Boris? What do you do?
Word Limit: 1000
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense or any turn you make of this potential tale.
Deadline: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. ET
Family Man (984 Words)
Ivan always tried to be a good guy. He paid his taxes on time. He helped old ladies cross the street. He bought girl scout cookies and recycled.
So why he needed the help of Boris is anyone’s guess. But he took the simple business card that said, “Boris. Good Guy. Need Help? Call…” I don’t know why Ivan needed help but he picked it up after he finished his meal and tipped his waitress 20 percent. Then he headed out to the snowy city and called Boris.
They met in Boris’ ‘office’ later that week. It was an empty warehouse filled with used junk and debris that had been thrown away and scavenged to this location. It was hard for Ivan to retain his composure in this setting. He was used to office buildings and manicured hands. His three-piece suit was a stark contrast to Boris’ coveralls.
“So tell me about problem.” Boris said.
“Well, it’s an odd problem to have I guess. What I really want is some peace and quiet. Some time to myself.”
“You don’t get this all ready? Why is this problem?”
“Well… my wife is just a little clingy. And then there are the kids. It’s just so hard to get away. It seems like there’s always a recital to go to or someone needs help or the wife is nagging…”
“Stop. Stop. You break my heart. Why you don’t tell them you need peace? Set aside time for yourself. Go to garage for few hours. Go to weekend cabin on lake.”
“It’s not that easy. They just don’t stop. I’m not sure if I should even be talking about this with you. Maybe I should go see a shrink.”
“No, no. Shrink very expensive. Boris cheap. Work for donations. You pay what you think I deserve.”
“You manage to make a living that way.”
“Sure. Most people pay too much. They happy problem solved.”
Ivan was beginning to feel a little more comfortable in Boris’ warehouse. His three-day beard and stained clothes showed him to be a person without any pretensions. And he seemed like he really wanted to help.
“So,” Boris said. “Wife nags. Kids drive you crazy. But you’re too nice to tell them all to fuck off for a day or two. You good guy. I think I can help. Let’s look around.”
They began to wander away from the desk and bikini girl calendar and meander among the filth. Bicycles, car parts, office equipment and books were scattered about. How Boris kept track of anything was a mystery to Ivan. Maybe he didn’t know what he was looking for. Maybe he was just wandering about looking for inspiration.
“Here we go.” Boris reached down and picked up a cage. The type used to hold a large dog during a long plane ride. “Put wife and kids in here. Leave them in garage. They no bother you.”
“No. I don’t think I could do that.”
“Why not? Too small? I can modify. We make big enough for whole family. I get you water and food dishes.”
“No. I really don’t think that’s appropriate…”
“Aaah. You right. They still make noise. Kids can be very loud. I know what we need.”
He rushed to a toolbox, grabbed a few items then returned to where Ivan was standing near an old couch and a pile of lamps.
“I use pliers to hold tongues. Then use this knife to cut it off. No sounds. Then you don’t even need cage. No tongue; no talk. Right?”
“No sir. I still don’t think that’s what I need.”
“Hmm. You tough customer. But I know what you’re saying. Even without tongue family can be very annoying. Maybe voice box removal? I see if I have any books on subject.”
“No Boris. I’m not sure you’re the right person for the job. Maybe I should check some other options out.”
“No. I can figure this out. I’m good guy. Just like you. Just give me some time. I get back to you in a few days, huh? Let me think it over.”
“OK. Thank you very much for your time.”
Ivan felt very lucky to have made it out of there without being maimed or mutilated. It wasn’t every day that someone advertised themselves as a ‘good guy’ then calmly spoke of cutting up a potential customers family. Ivan was thankful he’d met him at Boris’ shop and didn’t give any indication as to where he lived or worked. The thought of what Boris may have come up with in his absence horrified him. Torture? Rape? Murder?
Then one day Ivan saw him walking up the street toward his house.
“Ohmygod.” he said. “Honey! Hide the kids. Go!”
“Mr. Rolbek!” Boris shouted. “How are you? I found solution to problem!”
“Oh god,” Ivan said under his breath as he pasted on his plastic smile.
“I have answer to problem. Here you are.” He offered Ivan a duffel bag.
Ivan was terrified to open it. He had no idea what would be in there. Severed heads? Mustard gas? A time bomb? But when he pulled back the zipper he saw an Xbox 360 and several games.
“That keep the kids busy more than you want. Next time you see me to get their attention.” Boris smiled with pride at being able to solve the puzzle. Ivan’s plastic smile became real as he realized it was a good plan.
“What about my wife?”
“Oh,” Boris looked around to make sure no one was being nosy then reached into his pocket and pulled out a plastic cylinder that tapered at one end. “Take C cell battery.”
Ivan reached for his wallet.