Fifty Shades Of Orange By DJ Cline
August 10, 2012 Caligula, Ohio
Anita Gromex needed a break from the orange man. She left her sleeping client in the basement and went upstairs and out to sit on the back steps of her house for a smoke.
It was after eight on a hot, humid summer evening. The sun had set but the air conditioner near the back door was still working overtime. The machine was old when she bought the house and at this rate it would have to be replaced.
What she wanted to do was replace the entire house. It was over seventy years old and was a nightmare of lead paint, asbestos insulation, banned pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Of course, the cigarette she held in her hand would probably kill her before the house did.
In a way she had bought the house so she could still smoke. One of the official reasons she left California is that the city of Casa Diablos where she lived, had banned smoking at her job and even in her condo. It was during the housing boom and she could not afford anything else, so she moved to Ohio. She paid one hundred and fifty thousand for it at the peak. The market crashed and now it was only worth half that. She was stuck, chained to the house in a way that even she found ironic.
When she first moved in she thought about remodeling the basement to resemble her old condo’s dungeon. A general contractor took one look and said it was not worth it. The basement remained a collision of asphalt tile from the fifties, wood paneling from the seventies and mold from the nineties. For some reason her clients did not mind the seediness. In fact, they seemed to like it and they paid the bills.
Her clients had actually helped her keep her day job. It was your typical boring office job but she terrorized her coworkers to the point that one of them sued. Not one to change, she did what she had done many times before. She compromised and blackmailed all the lawyers and judges and the case was ruled in her favor. To avoid appeals she worked her way up the dark private corridors of power.
This led inevitably to the orange man in her basement. She had never seen a man drink or cry so much. To seal the deal the orange man said there would be one more client.
She finished her cigarette and picked up her phone to upload the pictures and do a web search. Finding an old station wagon should not be a problem, but where was she going to get a pet carrier big enough to hold a grown man?
Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.