Just another day, so Randy thought, putting his last-minute notes together. Today they have a job scheduled at the farthest end of the city that just happened to be on one of the tallest buildings in the area. We got this he told Buddy, Linc, Parker and Gavon. It ain’t our first rodeo, right? Just our usual bunch of swings and roundabouts.
GUTTER CONFUSION was our successful and highly reviewed business where we continued to take the worry out of the replacement factor for this vital necessity to one’s home or business. Now, we, had to take the worry factor off our plate if this big one was going to get done.
The job offer came not long after another high-end scenario ended off kilter. The casual day had Linc climbing up to the top of a five-story building. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate, and a wind gust threw his game off when he stepped into the lift. What happened next is that it caused him to misstep, and he fell over into a nightmare of the worst thorn bushes. Lucky, or not so much at the time, he was only ten feet off the ground. That was not a pretty picture. It was a struggle to lift him out, first, by cutting the clients curb appeal landscaped entrance area highlighting those nasty bushes. Never again will we underestimate the need for one or two suits of armor to keep in the truck!
It was now time for a group meeting to analyze pictures of the structure before going to the site and to think about the ‘what if'. Buddy was the first to react. “Not happening, boss. Just saying. So, I am asking to be put on the DO NOT CALL list. NOW!”
Randy just gave him ‘the look’ paused for a moment and said, “Okay! You win.” He smiled and clapped him on the back. “You are first man up the totem pole. No questions.” The others just ragged on their co-worker because they’ve all been there before. He just happened to say it out loud. This was a bit unique since they would be going higher up in the sky.
Since joining GUTTER CONFUSION, no one, other than their boss, had been so far up in the clouds. His claim to fame was climbing up and down many iconic cliff faces around the world. Many were the ones that were not so easy to climb for the novice but mostly for the insane ones in the extreme daredevil category also known as WTF.
The day was good, weatherwise, for the crew to make this happen. GUTTER CONFUSION had their A Game on. But there was going to be an interesting twist in the game plan. Randy was a Special Forces Army Ranger veteran and saw way too much in his active-duty years. Some of his buddies did not make it back and he made a pact with himself to never forget them. He knew one day things would change. And now, that day was here. The company business was a way for him to be in place, yet not be in place. The climbing part evolved over his lifetime which added much to his time in the service. It became his calling card, and he used it to achieve much success on many missions. Now, he added it to his resume, but only on a need-to-know basis.
Back to business.
FIT TO WIN
Thinking ahead twenty stories up, job completed, each of the boys would have aced their claim to fame. But, in his head, Randy had a bigger plan. This would be the way it would play out. He had a blank page in the book and now it would be filled. A reward of honor and remembrance had now been penciled in. Could this crazy idea happen? Yes, and it will.
He had reached out to a friend who specialized in all things with wood. Randy asked him to help him with an idea. He wanted to create a unique seat, four squares, one for each of his brothers. These would be attached in each corner on top of the high-rise building at the job site on today’s schedule. Work would have to wait. To question. This change in the plans came first.
Everyone was told to meet tomorrow at the crack of dawn up to the back door of GUTTER CONFUSION garage/storage place. No one questioned the change of plans. They had recently put up with a unique challenge Randy put them through lasting a full week. This was just another curve in the matrix. He opened the garage door and met his crew with an armload of mystery clothing.
“Hey, everyone. Just wanted to say ‘well done’ handling the past week of hell. And I mean that in a good way.” He laughed and everyone did the same. “Keeping up with running, rope handling, climbing, jumping, and surviving to the end, made it, well, kind of fun, for me to watch.” He paused giving each a nod to each of the four young men. “Not everyone would have lasted never mind whine and complain every single minute. I know this was not what you thought it would be like, working for me, simply putting gutters on a few roofs' day after day. Now, GUTTER CONFUSION will be making a statement and you are all to be part of it.” Randy shared his idea, his reasons for it, and hoped for a positive reaction. He got more than he ever imagined from this bunch with a round of applause and loud whistles. Never underestimate your impact on a younger generation. This would be a game changer for each one.
One by one he handed each an outfit which surprised them to no end. The WOW factor was over the top. They would all be Ninjas and climb like nobody’s business up the side of the building all the way to the top. Each would be challenged to ascend with one of the uniquely crafted folded chairs attached to their back straps. The honor ceremony would begin soon after the plan was unveiled.
“So, this is my totem pole moment?” Buddy asked in fun.
“You got that right!” Randy shouted. “Look out below y’all!”
Each one hunkered in the back of the truck, grateful and excited for this chance to do a good thing in a strange yet unique way. The talk was endless until they got to the building. Randy gave them the hand up to stop the chatter. His job was to go up first to set the pace. He had this planned to the nth degree. Gavon handed him the heavy rope coiled to specifics. Randy signed off to each one and chose the perfect hand holds to read the structure properly and moved slow and steady upwards. It was still early, traffic barely visible. Perfect timing.
He made it up to the wide, flat rooftop and surveyed the perimeter. As each brother’s image came to him, he took a deep breath and nodded. This is right and would be a fitting tribute. The others did not know that the customer/client was on board with this from the beginning. The architect had created a distinct imbedded replication of the Twin Towers that one could only see at a certain angle on the exterior of the building. Randy had reached out to him a while ago since he knew of his time in the military. It was a win-win.
He removed the rope from his back harness, attached it with extreme caution, and sent it over the edge carefully sliding it to the bottom. No hand holds for these guys, just rope. First one to climb was Buddy, of course, since he had to up the totem pole first. Soon, each one made it, with no serious issues except for Parker, who had an extreme circus moment. He climbed the wall like it was a balancing act on a tight rope. The others laughed so hard. Finally, they all gathered in the middle of the roof, chairs now unlatched off their backs. Randy gratefully thanked each one and proceeded to lay out the final steps. One by one each chair was anchored in all four corners of the roof facing towards the center. Each soldier's name and an American flag were etched into the chair back never to be forgotten.
“Now the final hurrah!” He grinned and reached into the bag. Gavon, Linc, Parker and Buddy had no idea what he brought and were totally surprised with the overload of fireworks.
“Really?” Gavon said. The others were just as wowed.
“Code or not; don’t care. They have earned this moment. OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. We will ever forget them.”
Randy laid out an assortment of party poppers. “Let’s do this!” And with pure abandon, he kept up the blazing cascade of colorful red, white, and blue fireworks shooting flames of flying missiles and whistling bombs bursting in air. It was a stellar moment!
The boys clapped, cheered, and hollered with excitement. Then they heard horns blaring and sirens wailing and looked over and down to see a swarm of police with riot gear. The fire trucks surrounded the area as a huge mob flooded the area. “Umm, not sure what is going to happen next, but I wanted to thank you all for stepping up. This meant more than I can ever say.” Each one approached Randy shook his hand and told him that they were with him all the way. No question. And with pure Ninja enthusiasm, raised mock swords and yelled, “All for one; and one for all!”
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Nice work. For some reason, my thoughts drifted toward an action movie robbery scene where in the end they all jump off the building pulling out the parachute.
That would have made an interesting twist. Maybe?
There's a lot going on here. Randy is an interesting character with a good backstory but the story leaves me with questions about how they do business, the other guys, and the ending. I was confused by them needing to scale the walls, the fireworks, and the emergency vehicles. Are they jumping off to their death at the end? Why?
I guess my mind jumped way ahead. Randy has young guys working for him. The Fit to Win part is actually a military challenge to push yourself. I think I wanted him to help these guys be better, do better. It becomes more than them helping with his business. He is giving them a better edge. The Ninja thing just became a fun challenge to a meaningful moment. The end just became a crowd blowing it all out of proportion.
I see :) Cool! Thanks for answering my questions!