Suspense Fiction


I have been working in the Brothers Grimm and Associates architectural firm for almost twenty years. I have always been involved in the renovation , or  refurbishment of bathrooms and kitchens. Never in all these years I have been asked to design a building. And when I say a building I don’t mean a public work (one), not a condominium or even a villa. No, I mean a single house, even a small one.

Well, that morning , one of my bosses, Adolf Grimm, summoned me in his wide office. He even offered me a tasty, hearty  breakfast, after which he started to talk about what he called the occasion of my life, that he would offered me. Ah, he said me, a real stroke of luck, for you, my dear James. Indeed a train to be seized on fly , since, oh, occasions  like this doesn’t happen every day. As he lingered in these preambles, I swear I was thinking he is going to offer me a trip to the space , or something like that. Might be he was going to propose me the design of ( for) buildings on Mars.

When he finished with his introduction, which promised, announced wonders, Adolf Grimm instead said me that he had decided to entrust to me the project for the construction of the villa of the Commendatore S. Rossi, who was also a Knight of merit of the Republic. I was complexly stunned, more than surprised, I could only be incredulous.   “ What, you don’t say anything?”  Mr. Grimm asked, with his thundering voice. Then he, standing up from behind his desk, came beside me, with his hands stuck  unto his trouser pockets, his chest out, and his belly too. I had remained seated , and was quiet, silent as a chick. “ Ah, but sure, I can understand that you are left speechless, by God! You would never have expected an occasion like this, right?” Mr. Grimm said, towering over me with his imposing physique. He leaned over me, his big bald head hit my ear, my cheek too. He grabbed my shoulder with his big hand, giving me a strong squeeze. “ Come on, but speak therefore! No, don’t tell me you have to think about my proposal! Since   you don’t really need to think about it! It is an opportunity to be seized on the fly! On, what are you waiting?” He shouted, giving me a strong slap on the back. “ Oh, I….really need to think about it a little before deciding” It came naturally ( spontaneously) to me to say. “ Ah, don’t start saying bullshit now! I cannot stand it!” Adolf Grimm thundered. “ But I have no experience. I never projected a building, much less a villa” I said. “ Oh, my dear James, I know, it’s our guilt. Ah, it’s mine especially, if you here, in our firm ( studio) have not been appreciated as you would have deserved, Oh, sure, I’m sorry, I regret too having entrusted you only with assignments mostly regarding the modernization of some rooms of a house…..Ah, look, I acknowledge that I have been wrong, even much wrong, that I made a big, unforgivably mistake , and I’m ready to apologize …..But you know how things go…..my brother Frank and I, we aren’t the only partners in this firm….” The biggest of my bosses started a rant, or rather a spiel , that I really didn’t stand to listen to….Oh, if I knew how…..things go in a prestigious architectural firm ( studio) like that of Brothers Grimm and…..and others. The architects who have to make a name for themselves, they are entrusted with the projects for important works, those works of which magazines and newspapers will write, of which  television will also speak , which will indeed advertise and the works and the architects who designed ( projected) them.  And, coincidentally, the architects who are entrusted with the design of these great works, they are always either relatives or friends  of the firm’s partners . ( of the firm’s owners) . And, as for friends, they are all sons, daughters, nephews, cousins of very rich and successful entrepreneurs , or even of powerful politicians.

Meanwhile he, my biggest boss, insisted, he continued to speak non-stop, without listening to a word of what I said, indeed of what I was trying to say, he kept claiming the very great importance of that task ( assignment) for me. Oh, could I imagine? My name associated with the villa of S. Rossi! He, just he, the big entrepreneur , the biggest in the country, in the steel, iron, aluminum, pipe industry! Ah, his villa would obviously have been a marvel! It could only be an absolute wonder, a masterpiece, the villa of a man so much excellent! I understood this too, didn’t I? Oh, of course I should have designed the villa taking into account the tastes of this very excellent man “……since , oh, after all, it is he who pays!” My very big boss said, pulling up, with an energetic   tug at his belt, his trousers , which, truly, were not falling at all. Oh, but he, Adolf Grimm, is like that : when he loudly proclaims an unquestionable truth, oh, he needs to underline his words with an energetic gesture.

Despite his great commitment, although he really gave it all to make me accept that sensational, fabulous assignment , oh, a more unique than rare occasion ( opportunity) for me, he could not at all convince me. Since I did not feel like saying him immediately, in front of his large face, that I didn’t  accept the wonderful assignment , which he, so magnanimously, had decided to gave me, since I also could not stand to hear him declaiming , thundering, his rant, I said him that oh, I thanked him very much, but I needed to think about it for a while before accepting that assignment.  He would never have expected it, that I could not have accepted instantly, so Mr. Grimm was very disappointed. Oh, I could see on his face how much he was disappointed . What face he made! Oh, his big, large and stubby face seemed to be smoothed out ( stretched out), flattened. It really made me think that it was as if the rolling pin, with which my grandmother smoothed the dough, had passed over his face .

But that day the surprises weren’t over for me. I had just come back to my office, I was look at the plant of a bathroom to renovate when, oh, nothing than surprise, I almost took a hit, here that she came….she, Claire, the young and beautiful niece of the Grimm. Even Claire worked in the Brothers Grimm and associated firm ( studio). But she, unlike me, was a successful architect, yes, she was almost an archistar, however she was going to become one ( an archistar). Ah, Claire was a real beauty. She was tall, with a lithe, harmonious physique (body) , beautiful legs, slender and well shaped. She had a perfect oval face, wide, sculpted features, green cat eyes. Eh, Claire….years ago, not even so many years ago, even if it seemed to me a century had passed from then , when she had just been hired in the firm of her uncles, ah, I had been struck by her . I had made her a tight court. I had sent her flowers, accompanied by notes with words, oh, what words….words which now it could  never happen to me to write to anyone, never…….I had given her gifts, yes, jewels too….But she…ah, to say that she had stubbed me, it is too little. She had done worse. She had mimicked me with people of her high entourage, she had made fun of me. I had waited in vain for her on more than an appointment , which she had given me, and to which she had not come. But now, as they say, all this was a thing of the past. And instead here I saw her arrive, quite unexpectedly, in my office, all smiling and winking, even full of kindness, but you look a little…..Claire immediately ___she had entered without knocking on the door, but, oh, of course, apologizing as soon as she entered____began to congratulate me on the very important assignment that had been entrusted to me. Oh, a really great opportunity, not to be missed! Oh, I had to feel me at the seventh heaven, hadn’t I? I said her that, yes, the project for the magnificent villa of S. Rossi  was a great opportunity for me . After saying that I agreed with her, I was silent for a few moments, as if preparing the effect__or the space___of what I would add ( of what I was going to add). However I didn’t know if I would have accepted the fabulous assignment, I said, in fact. “Oh, but you want to joke, don’t you, James? You cannot at all speak seriously, on! It wouldn’t have ( make) sense for you to refuse! But why you would refuse, then? I really didn’t understand!”   Claire started screaming, even yelling, so much  she couldn’t believe that I spoke seriously when I said that I still didn’t know if I would have accepted to take care of the project for the villa of S. Rossi. She kept on screaming, came next to me, and, hopping around me,she slapped on my back. She even asked me, coming close to me, all thoughtfully, bringing her face closer to mine, if I was okay. Did I have health problems, which prevented me from accepting that assignment? “ No, I have no health problems. I’m fine” I replied calm, without breaking down.

“ Then why? Oh, you won’t be serious, this is an occasion to be seized on the fly, that you can’t miss! “ She continued to insist, shouting and hopping around me. Perhaps it was because of her insistence , because it was evident that Claire, like her big uncle, didn’t care about what I thought____what mattered, what she, like his uncle, could admit , and also what they could understand, was only what they thought____that suddenly  her very presence became unbearable for me. I couldn’t wait for her to leave. When she, all smiling, said me that she was inviting me to dinner at her house that evening, that we would be alone, that , oh, she would have convinced me to accept the fabulous assignment, I would have liked to kick her out of the way. Of course, I didn’t kick her . I only refused her invitation, saying that I couldn’t, since I already had a commitment for that evening. Oh, the face that beautiful Claire made when I declined her invitation to dinner! Suddenly her perfectly sculpted features wrinkled, her face assumed the appearance of a deflated balloon. Of course, it wasn’t true that I already had a commitment for that evening.

When I came home, the sun was setting. I stopped in front of the lawn near my house.  “ SUNSET is my favorite time of day, it’s my hour” My grandmother Lucy said, and I seemed to hear her voice again as I was looking at the lawn in front of me, under the light and shadows of the sunset. It was a meadow that had always left uncultivated. In the green of the meadow, among grasses and weeds, the daisies grew thick. I was used at that meadow. I saw it every day as soon as I left the house, it had nothing special for me. That day, completely unexpectedly, under the fiery sky of the sunset, that meadow appeared to me as an enchanted, wonderful vision. That expanse of daisies which peeped in the green carpet of the grass , suddenly it was something precious, something priceless. 

August 14, 2021 03:13

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