Bentley The Bone Picker

 

Photo: A.M. Moscoso

Photo: A.M. Moscoso

Bentley Fremont always had a bone to pick with somebody, somewhere. He was always arguing, he just couldn’t help himself.

One year a co-worker of Bentley’s kept saying that the freight elevator was making a strange sound when it stopped on the third floor- she also insisted that the safety gates on each floor looked like they were hanging funny. Maybe they should get it looked at she told Bentley.

There was no real reason to not get it looked at. The company they worked for had a service contract with a company whose only job was to work on the freight elevator. Bentley told her, even though he could see exactly what she was talking about from a couple of dozen feet away from the elevator doors that she was right.

So Bentley opened his mouth and what came out was, “I’ve worked here for twenty years,”

“Good for you Bentley, but the gates look crooked and when the car stops-“

“It’s not doing anything new Suzy.” Bentley told her “I would have noticed.”

“Maybe it’s because you’ve been looking at it for 20 years that you have not noticed anything new. Maybe it’s worked its way sideways over time.  Who cares? Let’s just get it looked at.”

He winked at her and shook his head. “Nothing is wrong with it Suzy.”

A few days later when Suzy- who refused to use the elevator to ride on- was loading some boxes onto the car and as Bentley was walking on his way to his work station Suzy told him she had called the company to come in and take a look at the elevator. She was tired of just stacking things in the elevator and then walking up after it to unload it.

Bentley laughed at her shook his head and went up to the next floor.

He made sure he was alone in the hallway and then he pulled out his cellphone and called Moore’s Elevator Service and cancelled the service call request.

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It happened an hour after Bentley cancelled the work order.

Suzy was unloading the elevator when the gate broke away from it’s track and came down on the top of Suzy’s head. She bit off part of her tongue and the teeth that did not break apart in her mouth were knocked out of her head.

She lived for about an hour after the accident.

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Bentley went to Suzy’s funeral.

Her coffin was pink and it was trimmed in silver, her headstone was pink granite and it was not marked with her name.

It said:

Bye For Now

“ That’s weird.” Someone said at Bentley’s shoulder as they stood at Suzy’s graveside and watched the coffin being lowered into the ground.

And Bentley said, because he could not help but to argue with anything anyone said “No it’s not.”

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It was right after the funeral when Bentley was getting into his car that he had his first door problem.

He had just gotten into his car and was about to pull the door closed when it slammed shut- it slammed hard enough to shake his car. He grabbed his steering wheel and said:

“That did NOT just happen.”

Harder to argue against but still there was the the problem he had with the door at the bank.

He walked through it and it slammed shut- which is something that those automatic doors never do- they might get stuck open or closed but they don’t rattle and then slam shut. The door at Bentley’s bank did and he wasn’t all the way through when it happened.

It’s a good thing those doors were made from safety glass the paramedics said as they were checking on Bentley.

 “Actually, “Bentley said “ I think I was far enough over the threshold, that’ why it wasn’t worse.”

It was like that for Bentley for the next two weeks- doors would slam shut on his face, or just after he walked through the doorway. His car door was the worst. He had bruises on his shoulder and his hip from that door.

“ You’re having the worst luck with doors Bentley.” His neighbor said the day after he got a black eye from one of the kitchen doors which had swung open all by itself.

“ Oh, I don’t  think so.” Bentley said.

“ Uh-huh his neighbor said “ whatever Bentley. But if anyone asked me I’d say doors don’t like you very much right now.”

If you knew Bentley and  heard him argue against the killer door theory that everyone else had at the moment, you’d think Bentley was arguing because that’s we Bentley did.

The thing of it is- this time Bentley wasn’t arguing just for the sake of arguing .

The doors weren’t trying to hurt him.

Suzy was.

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Suzy was there the day of the funeral-standing next to his car in the dress her family had buried her in.

“ I’ve come back to get my revenge on you Bentley. I think I might just kill you. I’m thinking I’m going to like doing that an awful lot.”

Bentley stood there for a minute looking at her.

“ This is for real Bentley. I haven’t even gone to my grave yet. That’s how bad I want to get even with you.”

“ This is not for real.” Bentley told Suzy.

Suzy rolled her dead eyes up into her head and she said to herself, “ Jeeze.”

bones

So Suzy had been there for each door attack- but Bentley wouldn’t admit to himself that a ghost was trying to kill him and the Ghost’s weapon of choice were doors.

Where there was a door, there was Suzy.

She was everywhere.

Finally Suzy showed up at work , she wasn’t wearing her funeral dress. She was wearing the black t-shirt and her beat up jeans and black converse shoes with the little yellow hearts on them that she had died in. She was drinking pop from red plastic cup and Bentley could even hear the ice crackling inside of it.

“ I’ve been here all morning Bentley and do you know what? There’s still something wrong with that elevator. It’s making the same sound that I heard  just before the gate crashed on my head. I don’t think they fixed it.”

“ Yes they did.” Bentley told her.

“ Couldn’t have.”

“ They fixed the gate.” Bentley told Suzy’s ghost.

“ But Bentley I said there was something wrong with the elevator. That’s why the gate was busted.  I think something was wrong with the car. You know that.”

“ Nothing is wrong with the elevator Suzy.”

“ If you say so.”

Bentley lifted the gate and stepped onto the elevator.

“ The elevator is working just fine Suzy, so why don’t you crawl into your grave and make the worms happy.”

” ‘kay.” she told Bentley.

He waved.

She waved back and as the elevator car went up Suzy’s ghost said, ” come on come on….”

The car clanked and hummed up to the third floor and just before the brakes caught hold Suzy saw the safety gates in front of her shake and then she hear something snap from above and the freight elevator car with a very surprised looking Bentley flashed by her.

” See you Bentley!” she called down the elevator shaft.

Suzy put her ear to the gate and smiled.

This time there was no argument from Bentley.

None at all.

Photo: A. M. Moscoso

Photo: A. M. Moscoso

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One Night

One Night

I set out on a trip all by myself.

I did not have a map or a ticket I did not know where I was going.

I went alone.

And I stayed alone.

For awhile.

Towards the end of the trip I heard someone coming towards me-

And then I heard someone breathing

just around the corner from where I was was walking

all alone.

And then I stopped.

” Someone there? “

I asked.

No one answered.

” Hey!  Is someone there? ” I called a little louder.

The breathing stopped and the footsteps came towards me

from around the corner.

I closed my eyes tight and put one foot in front of the other and then I flew towards the breathing and the footsteps and the voices that cried out:

” What the hell was that? ” came the voice from behind me and then below me as I took to the darkness above

” What the Hell was that! “

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