Jack Bigalow

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 31, 2018

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Submitted: October 31, 2018

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This is a short story about one Jack Bigalow. 

 

Jack is the kind of guy every mother would love for their daughters to bring home for dinner.  Tall dark and handsome.  He has a good job, is a good worker, likes to make people happy and is by all accounts a “straight shooter”.  Jack is a good guy.  But all this is about to change.

 

Jack starts his day the same way every morning.  He likes things just so and rarely deviates from his routine.  But on this particular day fate plans to throw him quite a curveball that will send his finely tuned, ever so efficient existence reeling.

 

At 7:02 am, precisely 32 minutes after Jack woke up promptly at 6:30 he is met with an unexpected visitor.

 

Ding dong, Jacks doorbell rings.

Hmm, odd Jack thinks to himself as he walks over to look through the peephole of his front door.  A curiously dark figure is standing quite close to the other side and Jack can’t get a good look at this mysterious visitor.

 

“Hello” Jack calls from inside, “who is it?”

No reply.

“I say, what can I do for you?” he asks again.

No reply.

“I’m sorry but I’m not interested, thank you.”  Jack steps back to see what the visitor will do.

 

Nothing

No noise

No reply

Nothing

 

Jack begins to think if he forgot an appointment or something.  Did he order something and the delivery person is just quite early?  No, not that he can recall.  And what delivery person would act in such a strange fashion.

Jack didn’t have time for this, he is already two minutes past schedule.

Jack walks back up and peeks through again.  Still there! What to do what to do?

“I’m sorry I need to be going now, please come back another time” he calls again then goes back to preparing his briefcase and lunch for the workday.

 

“How am I to get to my car without being noticed” Jack thinks to himself.  “This person will surely see me even if I sneak out the back door.”  Jacks light blue, pristinely detailed 2010 Honda Accord, very practical, is parked right outside in plain view of the visitor.

Jack was due for an important sales meeting where he was sure to win the award for “Most Outstanding Performer” three quarters running and did not want to seem ungrateful by being tardy.

Frustrated Jack returns to the door.

“Listen, I don’t know who you are or what you want so please leave, I have nothing to do with you and need to be getting on so please be on your way or I will be forced to call the police.” 

Of course Jack certainly did not want to call the police, this person surely didn’t deserve to get in trouble with the authorities but Jack hoped his empty threat might persuade the figure to be on his way.

 

No luck. “Gosh Darnit” Jack says out loud as he searches the room for ideas of what to do next. 

Chimney?  No of course not, no sense ruining his outfit over the matter.

Back door?  Again, probability of being sighted was high.

Basement Window?  Perhaps but still, how to get to the car.

 

Jack had not taken public transportation for years and had no idea if a bus stopped near his house that would deliver him at work anywhere close to his usual arrival time.  No, taking a bus was out of the question, he needed to get to his car, but how.

 

After a minute of frantic thinking he slowed himself down.  He was not one for irrational thinking and the fact that he had just wasted a minute thinking about public transportation frustrated him.  Then a simple thought occurred to him.

 

“What if I just open the door and see what this is all about.  Perhaps it’s nothing, a little misunderstanding.  People mix up addresses all the time.  Right?  Ok, that’s what needs to be done here, there’s no other answer.”

 

Having come to a reasonable plan of action Jack gathered his things, walked up to the door, took a breath and, wait, one last look to see if he is still there.

Yep, hasn’t moved.

Jack waits a second before quickly unlocking the door and opens it up.

“I say,”  Jack begins but before he could get another word out he is thrust back into his house tumbling headlong over the couch.

As he is sprawling across the floor in an attempt to get back to his feet he hears the door slam shut and lock again quickly.

What is all this?  Jack is beside himself with thought.  “This doesn’t happen to me” Jack’s mind is racing, “I’m late, this is not supposed to happen”.  Jack gathers himself and stands up to face the visitor.

 

“I say there is no need for that” Jack shouts quickly and louder than he has spoken in a very long time.

The figure is standing motionless just inside the door.  He is dressed in black from head to toe with a curiously large hood covering most of his head and face.  The figure did not move and did not appear to pose much of a threat, if you base threat solely on the factor of sheer size.

 

Jack suddenly realizes he did not feel any impact when he was thrown back into his house.  It was more of an unseen force that threw him backwards.  He also realizes that he has no injury nor feels any pain from the assault.  That is curious indeed since he was thrown a significant distance.

As they stand there looking at each other, or at least what appears to be looking at each other Jack regains his composure and begins speaking.

 

“Look, I believe we’ve gotten off on quite the wrong foot here.  Is there something specific I can help you with?  Do you need help?  Are you lost?  Anything I can do for you?”  Jack is doing his best to be cordial.  He thinks “No need to be rude, I mean, at this point nothing has been established that deserves negativity. Right?”

That was Jacks way; think of the positive even if he did just get thrown threw his own living room like a ragdoll.  After all, perhaps this fellow really did need help.  Although, Jack couldn’t help but think of how late it really is getting.  At this point he will never make it to work at his usual 25 minutes early punctuality, you know, just to make sure everything was in order to begin a productive day.  At the very latest he will have to settle on arriving right on time, something he had not done in quite some time.

 

The figure offers no reply to Jacks line of questioning.  Again Jack offers help in any way he could but the figure does not appear to be interesting in joining him in dialogue.

Just as Jack is about to come to the decision to move around to get to a phone the figure begins coughing.  Very strange coughing though it is.  The figure does not even attempt to cover his mouth which Jack finds obscenely offensive.  Jack instantly imagines the millions of germs that are being spewn across his furniture. 

 

“Oh, oh” says Jack without thinking, his face distorted in disgust.  “Do you really need to do that?  I mean, really, this is my home, please cover your mouth at least.  Do you realize the unnecessary spread of common cold germs is the number one cause for people to call in sick to work.”As if this unwelcomed guest is at all concerned with personal hygiene at that given moment.

 

The dark figure does not seem to heed Jacks appeal and continues to make a curiously grotesque gurgling sound without making any other bodily movement.

 

“I say, are you quite well?” Jack begins to ask.  “Do you need a drink to help wash that down?”

 

No response.

 

“Look, what is this?  I can’t help you if you refuse to communicate.  Now either tell me what you need or please just leave.”  Jack is getting visibly agitated now.

 

The figure suddenly flashes up his right arm which startles Jack quite a bit and he takes a quick step back, his eyes wide open now.

 

The figure produces a small card from within the large sleeve of his garment.  The card looks a little charred on the edges as Jack tilts his head to get a better look at it.

 

“What’s this, for me?” Jack asks as if there was someone else in the room it could possibly be for.

At this question the figure makes its first response to a direct query, with a slow and deliberate head nod.

 

“Oh, right, ok, now we’re getting somewhere” says Jack as he steps forward to take the card.  He quickly snatches it from the sleeve not wanting to come in contact with it, really who knows where that sleeve has been.

 

The card has a dark tinge to it and is blank on one side.  On the other side is printed a short inscription.  Before Jack reads what is written he can’t help but admire the ornate script in which the letters are written.  It was unusual indeed but has quite an appealing look to it.  Jack catches himself smiling as he admires the card and quickly clears his throat and reads the words.

 

Jack Bigalow

Today is your day.  Are you ready?

 

After reading the card Jack is utterly surprised.  He looks up to the figure with quite a puzzled look on his face.

“Ok, so what exactly is this supposed to mean, my day? My day for what and how am I supposed to be ready for it when I don’t even know what to be ready for.  I mean, I’m ready for work of course, if that’s what you mean”

 

Of course that is not what the card meant, no one receives this sort of message simply for a typical work day, come now Jack be serious.

 

Jack shakes his head as if trying to remember something.  “I’m going to need a little more information than this if you please.  I couldn’t begin to answer such a vague question as this without further information.  Am I supposed to be going somewhere?  I certainly did not have a trip on my calendar.  Please, a little help here would be appreciated.”  Jack is left standing there looking at the figure who does not seem to be in any hurry to offer further explanation.

 

“Ok, let’s try this again” began Jack.  “I don’t know who you are or what you might want, I’ll let the fact that you somehow threw me across the room slide for now, but you’re going to have to be a little more forthcoming with details if we’re going to get anywhere here.”

 

Nothing

 

“Geez, you are quite stubborn you know that. “  Jack began pacing around ever so slightly not wanting to cause too much distraction, after all, this was an intruder that didn’t seem overly concerned with his welfare and Jack certainly didn’t want to give him a reason to do anything rash.

Suddenly the figure flicked up his arm again and was holding another card.  Jack was taken aback at the sudden movement and hit the floor in an attempt to dodge anything that may have been thrust his way.

“oh, ha, sorry.  I’m just a little jumpy you know” Jack stated as he cautiously moved close enough to snatch the card from the big black sleeve.

 

Jack Bigalow

Be Ready

 

Jack read the card. 


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