Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Frank left the room tired and fuming with frustration, leaving Igor puzzled and Ante grinning happily.

"Well, that was quite a performance," Bjorn noted, the dull sound of Frank stomping up the stairs in the background.
"What was all that about?" Igor asked.
"Frank managed to misplace his gun at the brothel," Ante answered.
"He did? What a jerk."
"Oh well, he's a nice guy. I'm sure God will forgive him... Give me five minutes, will you, and I'll be with you."

Ante left the room for the kitchen, shortly followed by Igor who went outside to wait in his car, leaving Bjorn all to himself again. The snowy weather was turning into sleet. Big heavy drops of water could be seen between the snow flakes, and the greyness outside was turning correspondingly somber and uninviting.

Bjorn was glad to have the day off, still feeling tired and dull from the night's experiences. But tonight, or was it the following night? Bjorn had promised to take Ante's shift, and he was starting to dread it. It had seemed so far into the future when he accepted the deal, but time to deliver on his promise was soon arriving.

Then a thought struck him. If he was to take the night shift tomorrow, it would lead directly to his regular morning shift, and that would mean twelve continous hours in the glass cage. That would be impossible. He would need some sort of arrangement with Ante or somebody else to get a break around breakfast time, at the very least.

Bjorn had to find out exactly what he had agreed to, so he got out of his chair and headed for the kitchen.

"When exactly am I taking your night shift?" Bjorn Asked as he entered the kitchan. "Tonight, or tomorrow ninght?"
"Tomorrow," Ante answered without taking his eyes away from the turkey legs he was marinating.
"But that leads directly to my morning shift."
"It does, doesn't it?" Ante commented, still not taking his eyes off what he was doing. "I can take thirty minutes in the cage while you get your breakfast. Or you can swap with John. He's taking my night shift tonight."
"He is?"
"It's all written down on Frank's schedule."

Bjorn looked over at the paper hanging on the door of the refrigerator. The spread sheet had hand written lines and comments in blue and red all over it, yet for some reason, Bjorn had never bothered to study it to find out exactly what the rearrangements were.

"If you were a little more attentive to details, you'd be a lot better off," Ante remarked.
"What you mean?" Bjorn asked, feeling strangely hurt by Ante's comment.
"You're not a very astute observer, are you?"
"Yes, you... If you spent a little more time observing the world and a little less time meditating or speculating or whatever you do, you would be much better off. I'm sure of it."
"But I do pay attention to stuff," Bjorn protested.
"I'm sure you do," Ante answered with a smile. "But are you paying attention to the right kind of stuff. That's the big question."

Bjorn did not respond to Ante's provocation.

"You'll find John in his room, second door to the right," Ante continued as he finished marinating the turkey. Then, as he washed his hands before covering the meat with aluminum foil, he suggested that Bjorn sort out his problem himself.

"If there's no change to the schedule, I'll sit in the cage for you half an hour Monday morning," Ante continued. "And if you swap with John, please note the changes on Frank's spreadsheet. That way I'll know what your plans are for Monday."
"Okay," Bjorn said with a nod.

Bjorn followed Ante to the front door where Ante stepped out in the miserable weather, only taking an umbrella to protect himself.

"I'll be back in an hour," Ante commented as he headed for Igor's beat up Volvo. "Should I pick up Frank's gun too, while I'm at it?"
"No! Don't do that!" Bjorn responded, sensing that such a favor would be received badly by Frank.
"He wouldn't like that, would he?" Ante added with a mischevious smile.
"No, he wouldn't."

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