Short Story: Tuft the Janitor – Cleanliness is Next to Godliness (Conclusion)

…To say Tuft is amazed when he is confronted by his plastic doppelganger would be an understatement. To say he is perturbed when the mouth becomes fully formed and functional would also be an understatement. And, finally, to say that he isn’t totally freaked out when that mouth croaks out “Father” would also be an understatement. The fact that his hair didn’t turn totally white and he did not run away in fear is a testament to the fact that his hair was already white and it is hard to run away when he your frozen.

Tuft gulps. “Uh, yes?” The rest of the glass pieces form a glittery display of teeth inside the Tuft Balloon. It seems to smile. “Father, can I go outside and play?” Tuft sighs again. “It is too late for you to be going out.” The Balloon seems to ponder this. It then grows larger. Tuft rolls his eyes. “It’s not a matter of size it is a matter of lateness. I don’t think I threw a time machine into that basket, so I am sorry, it is too late for you to be going out.” The Balloon deflates a bit at that piece of news, clearly disappointed.

“But Father…”

“No ‘buts’! I created you, apparently, and I can dictate whether or not the monstrosity that is you is allowed to see the outside world!”

At this harsh language, the Tuft Balloon inflates to its largest size and pushes Tuft up against a wall. It then launches into a long soliloquy. “You may have created me, but that does not give you lordship over me. I may not be a Dirigible as you define it, but I am certainly a creature with intellect and feelings. I yearn to feel the wind on my polyethylene face. The sun’s rays beat down upon my surface, causing me to experience thermal expansion. I want to live! I’ve been in a Petri dish for too long! I do not like this feeling of being cooped up. Yes, I have rights and desires. I deserve recognition in this world. If your prick me, do I not bleed?”

Tufts responds, “Let’s see!” Tuft grabs his many janitorial keys and stabs Balloon Tuft, puncturing him. From the gash comes gallon after gallon of disinfectant. The Balloon deflates, a look of anguish on what was once its face. “What a world, what a world…that would allow that horrible fluorescent lighting in this hallway.” Finally, the bag resumes its normal position within the wastebasket and Tuft is able to move away from the wall. Tuft peers into the bag. Seeing some movement, he grabs his broom and pushes down the trash with the broomhead. A little cry is heard from the basket, but it fades away.

Tuft looks around. The floor is wet with Balloon Tuft’s “blood.” Tuft puts his hands on his hips. “I am not waxing this floor tonight. All that disinfectant should do the job for now. Too much drama tonight. I am just going to call it and go home before my gum turns into a sentient life species.” Tuft pushes the cart down the hall and out a door. The hallway is quiet for the moment. Then Berkeley rushes in, in his pajamas. “Oh dear, I forgot to properly dispose of my Petri dish. The horrors that may befall society if something happened!” As Berkeley runs down the hall, he slips on the wet floor, falling onto his rear end. He looks around. “Why isn’t there a sign? And what smells like science gone mad?”


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One Response to “Short Story: Tuft the Janitor – Cleanliness is Next to Godliness (Conclusion)”

  1. Tweets that mention Short Story: Tuft the Janitor – Cleanliness is Next to Godliness (Conclusion) « Creative Bender -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sean Nixon, The Baffling One. The Baffling One said: There is also the thrilling conclusion to #TufttheJanitor's adventure! #HollowOakUniversity […]

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