Monday, October 10, 2016


“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Her beehive perched awkwardly.  The burger sat unsettled and caused her to belch as she moved from floor to floor.  Her blood pressure clouded her vision and verged on dangerous.  These people must be stopped. As she banged on doors, opening them with the passkey and shouting at the reporters, she realized that other measures were needed. They weren’t afraid of the squat concierge.
From under the desk, she found the old shotgun. From another drawer she found the shells.  In her hast to shove shells into her pockets, several dropped and rolled under the chair. One bounced onto a stack of discarded notices. While riding the elevator up, she loaded the gun and as the door opened, she let out a large belch. Then she shouted. “Out! Reporters, out!” Knowing no one lives in 701, she turned to the door and pulled the trigger. Several residences screamed from behind closed doors.
“If you are a resident. Don’t move.  If you are a reporter, come out into the hall. Don’t,” another belch echoed in the hallway, “make me cock this trigger another time! Do you understand? Either leave peacefully, or not. Either way, you will be gone by the time I make it back to this floor.”
From behind 703’s door, Ellen could hear, “Bloody hell! She’s lost her mind! Americans and their guns!” Ellen smiled.
She did the same on the 6th floor, and at the end of the hallway the door flies open and books catapult out the door. They flutter then splay on the floor. Ellen takes aim, but decides against it. “She did, finally, pay the rent.”
Shouting and moving down the hallways, “If you’ve got a reporter in there, send it home!” She goes from floor to floor. Some people shout from behind lock doors, some cuss, some just scream.

Ellen finally collapses into the chair in her office.  She sees people moving quickly out the main entrance, but behind her labored breathing, she can’t be sure if they are reporters or residents.