Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Mothers (05/02/05)
- TITLE: Scroggins
By dub W
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“Yes, Mr. Scroggins.” Scroggins’ administrative assistant looked up from her desk, a pen was poised in her hand.
“Did you get it?”
“Yes, Mr. Scroggins.”
“Where is it?”
“I put it in your coat pocket, your card is attached.”
Scroggins tilted further back in his seat. “Sign it?”
“Yes, sir.” Stephanie beamed.
“Good girl; soon as Smith finishes his briefing I am out of here. It’s pilgrimage night.”
“Are you meeting Mrs. Scroggins? Anything I can do for her?”
“No, she is in the Hamptons, she is making her own arrangements, but thank you.”
He rolled back into the meeting. Minutes later he was standing in his office door putting on his coat.
Stephanie handed him the Wall Street Journal as he passed.
“Have my briefcase sent the house.” He folded down the collar of the London Fog jacket.
“Check. I put your tickets in your briefcase, outer zipper pocket, with your passport. Your appointment book is on the other side. Oh, and I stuck that Berlitz guide in your briefcase too, just in case.” Stephanie checked off a list as she spoke. “
“Great. I won’t talk to you again till Monday then.”
“Monday’s a holiday sir, I won’t be in unless you need me.”
“Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. I will be flying Sunday. The dinner is Monday night. Septh is this a Christmas dinner I am going to?”
“Think so sir, but it is formal, I called your house and had your tux put in.”
“You’re a marvel Stephanie, have a great holiday.”
“Merry Christmas, Mr. Scroggins.” She sat back down at her PC.
Scroggins stuffed the envelop into his pocket, there it joined the small box previously put in the pocket by his assistant. Minutes later he was in the lobby of the S&G Investment Group building.
Sid, the shoe shine man, saw him approach, “Merry Christmas, Mr. Scroggins”
A doorman hurried to open the door as he approached.
“Henry, get me a cab.”
The doorman blew his whistle and a yellow cab splashed to the curb. “Where to Mr. Scroggins?” the doorman asked.
“Dix, interstate drive at industrial,” the doorman shouted at the cab driver.
The cabbie leaned over the seat. “Hey mister, Dix is out of district, I can’t wait there so it will be an extra $40.”
“Go,” said Scroggins.
“Merry Christmas Mr. Scroggins,” called the doorman as the cab pulled away.
The cab finally arrived at the suburban area and pulled up in front of Dix center, a white columned Georgian styled building. A lifesize creche blocked the entrance.
Scroggins tucked the journal under one arm and negociated a path to the door.
“Mr. Scroggins,” a cheery voice echoed in the foyer. “Good to see you.”
“Ms. Rienkov, as I remember.”
“Yes, Sir. Merry Christmas.”
“Hold this.” He handed her his newspaper then reached in his coat pocket and grabbed both the envelope and the small box. “Here's the check,” he laid the envelope on the counter, “I think everything is in order. And put this,” he handed her the small box, “somewhere under that Christmas tree, for Christmas morning or whenever you have the party.”
“You won’t be here this year?”
He looked at her over the top of his half glasses. He had never been there for their little departmental parties. It amazed him that she would ask that same question every year. “I’ll be in Paris, if anyone should ask.”
The young woman took the two packages into an office area and emerged with a clipboard. “Sign here please, so the official folks know who was in the building.”
Scroggins grumbled and signed the register. “Anything I should know?”
“Fine.” He brushed past Rienkov and walked down a long hall. At the end of the hall he emerged into a wide interior courtyard. At the end of the courtyard stood a tall woman, in the dim light of the room her cheeks, framed by matted gray hair, looked almost hollow. She slowly turned and pulled a shawl higher on her shoulder as he approached.
Scroggins tucked the journal under his arm. “Mother.”
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