I was thinking on the way down to work that you haven’t posted on Digestive Press in a while. Could you write me a story about someone called Adverse Camber and put it up? I miss having stuff to read on there .
I hope you’re having a good morning. I am enjoying the sunshine and am in a pretty good mood, but very tired. I am going to have a coffee to try and perk up.
‘Trouble and Mischief’
Part one: Stock
Eating chocolate came as naturally to Adverse Camber as walking, sleeping and making stock. Dust and shards of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk fell on his chocolate-coloured suit trousers, on the cream duvet of the hotel bed and on his bare chest. The duvet was assembling its own story, collecting memories of Adverse’s stay – chocolate here, newsprint there, tell-tale signs of dried blood.
Adverse constructed a picture of the scene in his mind – a bare-chested man, smart from the waist down, sitting on a hotel bed, agitatedly working his middle-distance way through a large bar of chocolate – slow, methodical, paced. There was blood on his face, his neck, under his fingernails still. Some had soaked through the shirt that now sat in the sink. The curtains were drawn on a bright March day, perfect weather for selling stock. But there would be no more stock sold today.
His vacuum-packed wares remained in the boot of his car, perhaps they would later be used as evidence. Adverse didn’t really care, he was beginning to go right off stock. He had made some sales that morning and perhaps people across this city were already cooking with his stock, people that appreciated stock. What city was he in anyway? The thought angered and agitated him and he tumbled off the bed and went to the window. Peering through the curtains he could see no handy landmark to help him identify his whereabouts.
No sign off the police yet either. They wouldn’t let him off, not this time.
What was he doing, sitting in this dull hotel room, waiting around like chicken bones in boiling water? He began to pace the anonymous room in the anonymous city, and when that had exhausted his thoughts he packed up, took a fifth shower, threw the blood-stained shirt in the bin, collected his chocolate and checked out.
There was still blood under adverse camber’s fingernails when he gripped the steering wheel and pulled out of the lifeless hotel car park…
Part Two: Shares
One hour later, in the next anonymous hotel in the next anonymous city, Converse Dambuster checked in, blood beneath his fingernails as he gripped the reception pen. He had put some distance and a fake name between the police and himself, bought a fresh bar of chocolate, and given himself a last chance to complete his project. He moved into the hotel room with his briefcase, suitcase and a large box containing a brand new colour printer. The vacuum-packed stock remained in the car. What use was stock now?
His phone rang as he juggled bags and boxes into a room which looked, minus blood stains, exactly the same as the one he had just left. Adverse ate a square of chocolate whilst drawing the curtains and returned the call to his wife.
“Hello, listen dear, I might not be home for a while, I-”
“Yeah, with your stock? and who am I supposed to talk to about clothes? Your stock is falling, Adverse Camber – FAST!”
The phone was slammed down.
Adverse camber had perfected the art of eating chocolate silently and he performed this trick for no one’s amusement as he set up his new printer on the floor of the hotel room and attached it to his travel lap top. He paused for thought – surely the body had been found, the police would be tracking him. He pressed on. Typing, editing and formatting took a couple of hours. Adverse waited for the sirens.
Finally all was ready, the printer stocked with paper and he pressed the ‘print’ button. As the pages came out he began to construct the books, cutting and binding the tale of his troubles. It was important to chronicle days like these and now people would be able to read all about it – what happened, how he felt about it, the whole shebang. He read through the opening lines –
“Eating chocolate came as naturally to Adverse Camber as walking, sleeping and making stock. Dust and shards of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk fell on his chocolate-coloured suit trousers, on the cream duvet of the hotel bed and on his bare chest…”
He was pleased with the opening lines.
Adverse ate chocolate as he read, natural as anything.
The police had still not arrived by the time Adverse Camber, stock salesman and book binder, had put together fifty perfectly stitched multi-portfolio pamphlets in paper and card. He could feel them coming though and they wouldn’t let him off. Not this time.