Suggested Audio Candy:
Dolly Parton “Nine to Five”
Cornelius is DEAD! That’s right, that icky little imbecile who I’d just gotten on first name terms with is no more. I’m devastated; besides myself with guilt and you wanna know why that is? ‘Cos I’m the one that read him last rites. That’s right, what was meant to be another constructive day at the office ended up a crime scene. I feel like God punched the clock on old Cornelius; we’d only just been formally introduced and our relationship was still in its infancy. Now he’s gone and I’ve got his slime on my hands. I never considered myself capable of ending another life but that is exactly what I have gone and done. Let me make this opaque from the offset; it wasn’t pre-meditated. I may well be a suspect as I went down on record writing Waiting to Die to brag over my canister of slug killer but I’m no monster.
I simply took the same transit I would any other day between home and work. It may have gone unnoticed had it not been for the fact that I had negated to wear my sneakers. I felt a slight squishiness underneath my sock halfway down the garden path and knew straight away that something untoward was afoot. I couldn’t bring myself to glance back so I kept walking but, upon investigation of said sock, I was crushed to discover a Cornelius-sized wet spot on the heel and I knew that would be the last I would see of the little fella other than the dreaded identification. I feel dreadful, sick to my gut in fact, as he didn’t deserve such a fate. He was just going about his business like he would any other summer evening and chose foolishly when choosing the interstate. I told him before “stay off the moors boy” but he must’ve misinterpreted. Now he’s just another statistic of nature. That saddens me; to me he will always be more than that. He is Cornelius; my friend, one time collaborator and never to be forgotten.
I have no idea what I’m going to tell Clive. He’s in his usual spot, looking chipper as ever, waiting for his dear friend to clock in so he can tell him all about his daily exploits. I haven’t got the heart to bear this bad news; not just yet. I would hate to be the reason for anybody’s day going down the shitter, least of all one of the gruesome twosome. I think over-compensation shall be key here; if I treat him extra keen then I am honoring Cornelius in some way right? Throw me a bone here, can’t you see I’m taking this hard? I’ll just act like nothing happened and see if it comes up in conversation. Wrong again, he’s a goddamn slug, lengthy chats are never going to be on the roster. He will just look at me with his sad little antennae, wondering when he’ll ever get to rub noses with his compadre again. I know the answer to that poser and it breaks my heart.
A little more encouraging news for y’all; there’s a new slug on the circuit. She’s miniscule, obviously a tiddler, makes Clive look like Tex “Randall” Cobb. At present She is in the main lobby and asking around for directions. I’ll leave it a while and I’m sure they’ll both need the copier at some point during their shift. When this transpires I shall be there ushering them towards one another, a matchmaker of sorts. I’m sure they’ll build a rapport in no time and, who knows, maybe one day it will blossom into love. That would surely go some way towards absolving me of blame. True love is a most wondrous gift and, to think I had a hand in hooking that shit up, would sure take the heat off my ass right now. I want to be remembered as a community figure, somebody who unites the like-minded, not that heavy-footed fiend who murders slugs for kicks.
I have just entertained another notion and wished instantaneously that this hadn’t been the case. Let’s just say that Clive is actually Clarissa. I never did get to Googling whether or not slugs have penises although I did take the advice of one beloved Sister of Grue to tap ‘snail sex’ into my search bar but that is a whole other article entirely. It’s too raw at the moment; besides, it is hardly respectful given the eulogy I am currently scribing. If it is Clarissa then maybe that little lady is the offspring. Should that be true then I’m a home-wrecker as well as a clusterfuck. That is a lot of burden for my already wearying shoulders.
They’re on course right now, within the next five minutes they should be united. I’ll keep a look out for terms of endearment but it just seems like I’m torturing myself. Is this what Cornelius would want? I believe it most certainly isn’t. I’ll let nature take its cause and not give a further glance. It only seems fair that I respect their privacy after obliterating dear daddy. Besides, there are other pieces of business I must attend to while I’m on company time. I need to check on all other employees, equal rights are imperative. Before I do, I think it only fair if I give our newbie a name all of her own. Candice. From this point forward she will be known as Candice.
My resident arachnid may be playing hooky as I haven’t seen so much a silk zip line the whole time I’ve been here. I’m not naming him yet as he is far less hospitable and I’m keeping him at arm’s length at all times. If he plays his cards right, pays his dues and keeps up to date with invoices then maybe I shall consider promotion. For now however he is bottom rung. We all start that way, it’s the nature of business. He should count himself lucky; had it been indoors, then he would’ve been hoovered a long while ago. I’ve heard the stories; we all swallow eight spiders each year, that’s a truly chilling statistic is it not?
I think I shall call it a day here, I’ve put in quite a shift today after all. I already written two new pieces which you can expect in your in-trays tomorrow. Both were scribed with stars aligned so I guarantee a pair of tasty treats. Thank you all for your glorious support when I have needed it most. My metamorphosis can only be achieved if I know my work brings joy. That is my primary concern. I’d be unhinged if I didn’t have this outlet and would never have forged such a cherished connection with Cornelius. Sleep mighty warrior. Sleep.
NB I can now confirm it to be Cornelius. God rest his soul.
Dedicated to Cornelius (2014-2014)