warning: This blog only contains the first 8 of ten chapters. The last two chapters have been removed as the entire story is now available on iBooks or Amazon. Just 2.99 for the digital version. Hard copy arriving soon through Amazon. Feel free to read the first 8 here and decide if you want to purchase my collection which includes the full version: A Little Serial in the Morning.
Otis loved working at Brown and McCormick. What was not to like? He was doing important work at the largest, most important office building in town. He made connections for important people, brought people together, made work flow possible for the 195 different offices on Thirteen floors. He got to meet new people every day, knew and was almost unanimously liked by everyone who worked there from multi-billion dollar presidents to the cleaning crew in the building, and not infrequently he turned an unpleasant trip into a pleasant one for those visitors who came to Brown and McCormick.
When people asked him how work was, he liked to say “It has its ups and downs,” but truly he loved every minute of his job.
Today he straightened his tie and smiled broadly as he entered his office. He was almost always the first in the building and the last to leave. From 5:30 am until 10:30 pm he would only leave his office when he absolutely had to for lunch or break. He loved his office. His office was unique, just as his job was and virtually everyone who entered the building had to pass through Otis’ office to get where they wanted. His office doors closed automatically behind him and he turned, gazing, completely content, at the shiny doors, the close burnished walls, the unusual checkered pattern on the carpet, and of course the rows of electronic lit numbers from 1 to 14 with no number 13.
Otis was an elevator operator.
Actually there was not much to operate. It wasn’t an old fashioned elevator, but a shiny meticulously maintained perfectly functioning elevator which didn’t truly need any special knowledge to operate
Brown and McCormick though was a very special office building, one which prided itself on a very specialized, very wealthy, and very eclectic group of residents. To rent space at B&M, one had to apply and be approved by the mysterious, never seen, board of directors. But once you were in, it meant immediate boost in status and prestige, and it meant, among other perks, that your customers who visited got the attentions of Otis, certainly the best, and possibly the only, elevator operator in the entire metropolis.
Otis knew every one of the residents, from the peculiar to the mundane, from the gregarious to the taciturn. None of them really knew him, though they thought perhaps they did.
Otis put his key in the elevator lock (which would not run otherwise) and locked the doors open for the first arrival which would always be Mrs. Crankle. For 1830 days it had always been Mrs. Crankle of the 6th floor at 6:01 am precisely according to Otis’ solar powered, extremely precise, satellite watch. Never once in the last 5 years had Otis been surprised by this fact. She would start the parade which would mostly be residents until around 8:30 when the first early visitors and clients would begin to arrive. Many regulars he would know, plenty of new people to get to know. Old people, young people, kids, men, women, all nationalities, cultures, social strata and interests.
But two things never changed.
Mrs. Crankle was always first at precisely 6:01.
And no one ever went to the tenth floor.
Every floor in the building was at least partially rented out including the tenth floor. But whoever rented the tenth floor never went there. Not once since the building opened 5 years ago had anyone ever gone to the tenth floor. Rumors were that Brown or McCormick themselves lived there, but if so, they’d never come out either! Or if they had they only used the stairs, because Otis had never stopped at the tenth floor for any reason. Not that he wasn’t curious. He was, but he would never violate the trust of his employers either, and his job was to take the elevator only where people actually needed to go. Not to indulge his own curiosity, however great.
This morning though, it was a good thing Otis liked surprises, because at 5:58 am, a stranger used his one of a kind, key card to enter the front door, and approached Otis at the elevator door.
Otis blinked, appraising the tall lean good looking man in the Armani suit.
“Hello. Good Morning sir. What floor?”
The man smiled pleasantly, “Tenth, Please.”