“It better not. And you’re in for your late shift today, Jack! Remember that!” He yelled over his papers.
“Yes, boss.” I replied. Nothing was really simple at Gecko Cartoons. The manager, Jeremy, could have made an excellent slave driver before the civil war. I earned a meagre sum of two hundred pounds a month and I was one of the main cartoon artists. Sighing, I resumed my sketch. Two bulging eyes, arched eyebrows and a open mouth. This is what I was good at. I would have chosen another company to work for with the blink of an eye but sadly, there were not enough in the vicinity.
“Hey, Jack,” Jim, a co-worker said in a whisper, “I won’t be able to stay late today. We’re throwing a party down at my place, and I thought you might want to come too. You can always postpone your shift and do it another time.”
“I’m sorry, I really want to get the Doodle General done for today. Another time, maybe?”
“Yeah. Maybe.” Jim continued typing again. This was going to be a long day.
It was 11:50 and I was finishing off the last few boxes for the new comic. I’ll sketch the last part at 12, I thought fancifully. Who was I kidding? I was a nobody, living alone in a sad, run-down apartment. I sat there, doodling the General one last time. A hat, some hair, a mouth, a nose and eyes. I had drawn everything but his trademark moustache when the church clock struck twelve. Then I decided to go for a short toilet break. When I came back, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The General was gone.
To be continued…