Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: GREED (03/08/18)
- TITLE: Humble Servant
By Robin West
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
The Asian rock piped through the speakers mingles with the chemical and Jasmine scents of Happy Nails Salon. As soon as Representative Merle Termagant’s feet sink into the hot bubbles, her phone buzzes, rattling on the plastic space between spa chairs. She checks caller ID, and swipes the screen to answer.
“Ashley! Consuela’s cleaning the house, and you know I can’t get anything done with her around. Lunch?”
Thu, squatting on the low stool facing Merle, lifts the politician’s left foot from the soak and starts exfoliating her heel with a tool that mimics a ping-pong paddle.
“Rubio’s sounds divine, but we need reservations. It’s a bit late notice …” Merle’s eyes rove the busy room while listening to her cell phone. She sucks in an excited breath, and says, “… You know the maître d? Well, give him a call, my dear.”
With the phone in her lap, she leans against the headrest, closes her eyes, and lets the gentle undulating of the massage chair soothe tension from her neck. However, a faint pain creeps behind her forehead.
“Thu, can’t you ventilate the room? That acrylic smell gives me a migraine.”
Thu returns Merle’s foot into the water, and says, “I’ll see what I can do, Ms. Termagant.” She scampers to the back corner, fiddles with the thermostat, and returns.
Wearing her unwavering smile, she takes her place on the stool. “The air should smell better soon, ma’am.” With a subtle bow, she reaches into the bubbling water, lifts Merle’s foot, and resumes exfoliating.
The Representative’s phone buzzes. Merle answers and Ashley says she got the reservation. “You truly work wonders…. What? This song is so—” She looks down at the pedicurist. “Thu, could you turn down the music?” Back to her cell. “—Now what were you saying?”
Thu returns from the media corner, mouth turned up, eyebrows sagging.
“Oh, yeah, I heard that story. The CEO stole millions from his investors. What a Scrooge—ouch! Thu, not so rough!” Thu’s shoulders droop; she looks down and concentrates on a cuticle.
Merle gets back to her friend. “There goes her tip. We can discuss the school initiative over lunch.”
While her friend talks, Merle reaches for her water to find the ice has melted, and waves her glass at the skinny man rushing by. “Could you get me a fresh water?”
Aiming her voice at the phone again, she says, “Didn’t you know? We’re proposing a school levy to introduce gender identity curriculum….”
The skinny attendant returns with a glass filled with water, lemon wedge, and plenty of clinking ice.
Merle chortles. “Of course not. It’ll never pass if we call it that, you nut. We’ll package it with some heart-tugging title like “Building Families” or “No Child Left Behind.” I know that’s been used; darn, it’s a good one. You’ll help me find a tag that’s emotionally loaded.”
Thu has finished exfoliating both feet. She lifts the first foot to a clean towel and dries it.
“And we’ll get more than enough to pay for the curriculum. We’ll have surplus for the Capitol Rotunda project, including the Rasmussen sculpture.”
Merle listens to her friend, while Thu begins the oil massage.
“Munster Rasmussen, his work is stupendous. I fell in love with him at his show last year. I’m eyeing this piece he calls ‘Happenstance.’ It cost more than this humble servant of the state could ever afford, so I’ll have to let the tax payers foot the bill.” She chuckles.
Thu dries and massages the second foot.
“If anyone asks, we’ll just talk about the impending ruin of the Capitol building, stress the importance of renovations. Then we’ll rave about the uplifting statement the sculpture proclaims for the downtrodden. That always gets ’em, evoking children and downtrodden is the most effective technique for prying money from the voters’ greedy fingers.”
Both feet rest on the towel, tingling and practically gleaming. Thu looks up at Merle, holding a bottle of nail color. “Champagne Ice again?”
Merle, barely turning away from her conversation, nods at the pesky pedicurist, and returns to her caller. “I’m not sure what Happenstance portrays, it’s abstract, we can spin it however we want. Choose any minority, women, or just the poor in general, and promote it.”
Thu expertly dabs color on each toe.
Merle guffaws into the phone. “I campaigned on ‘Sharing and Compassion’, and it’s my job to get those taxpayers to compassionately share more of their paychecks.”
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.