Within the Inferno, I probed further to find a morsel of information unknown to the public and uncover the lost records. Files upon files of her personal affairs lay scattered throughout, not quite guarded, yet crucial all the same. Photos of her family and friends appeared in many of the hundreds of files, mislabeled and filed within another file. A nesting doll of facts I couldn’t wait to sort through. I watched her nephews and nieces grow up before my eyes, her sisters and brothers having fun, her friends on their escapades. To think this dreaded dragon had family was beyond me. They seemed happy and content, unlike my colleagues scorched from her flames―no topical ointment could ever soothe. Continue reading Tales from the Inferno: Lost Records
Tales from The Inferno Part 2: Hidden Treasure
The dragon guarded various treasures old and new. She had a particular fancy for photography and abstract paintings. A personal taste I enjoyed and disliked depending on the artist. She kept all her treasure under surveillance. Cameras and alarms throughout the gallery, an honest precaution, despite having no clue how to use any of them. Perhaps she was afraid someone would steal her treasures from right under her flared nose.
One day I came and found the door locked despite it was time to open. I knocked and texted a coworker and eventually led inside. My coworker hastily informed me that the dragon was having a little tiff with an artist. I never met him before, but I had done a little investigation of my own. He had originated from the far south and worked at the gallery years earlier, trying to get his citizenship and bring his family over. The dragon had helped him, his wife and two children. Plenty of personal photos depicted them in her steaming pool and fortress, relaxing and having fun. Perhaps she wasn’t so bad—hardly.
So the drama between them, none knew about, although they only told me he wanted his artwork back. The dragon ordered to have his work hidden in the basement, locked away so he could never find it. He called, badgering me on the phone, then banging on the front door, but we were not allowed to let him inside.
“For our safety,” she had stated as she exhaled a sordid billow.
It was his paintings why not give them back?
“We have procedure: we can’t just give them to him,” she said with a piercing grin. “And we don’t even have them.”
I saw the paintings downstairs. I know this isn’t right, but I can’t do anything.about them. I’m no knight or hero, so I sat my desk and got back to work.
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(The Inferno has a natural grainy photo filter that blurs all pictures. It’s part of the curse.)
Welcome to the Inferno!
From the outside, working at an art gallery seemed chill, but this art gallery, The Inferno, was baleful. Walls oozed angst and ire, asphyxiating hope from ever reaching inside. Physically the gallery was an architects’ masterpiece, a piece of history melded with a contemporary vision. Decades ago it was a brewing factory at the brim with beer, but re-purposed to hold works of art. Now to the average guest that’s all it seems, but when one listens closely, a piercing scream will bring about an unrelenting trepidation that will linger until the grave.
My boss told me he stares at my ass all day and it’s just a joke, lighten up. “Come on, I’m only kidding” he says. And it’s nothing, really. The comments and the stares. They are so small and meaningless; how dare I make mountains out of mole hills?
“Smile,” he commands. Because who would want to stare at a resting bitch face? I need to look pretty and what better way to make me smile than to order me to? No, he’s not threatening me. Because he smiles as he says it. He stops smiling when he tells me that men like their women “young and tight.” This is serious now. I need to remember biology. “Younger girls are just attracted to older men.”
Us women, we must love being told what to do. We must love being harassed at work. We fucking love it when you ask about our marriages and joke about them ending. We love it when you call us sweet cheeks. We fucking swoon over that shit. I am standing on my soapbox now- a mountain, if you will: tell me to smile one more time and I will cut your lips off to make it happen.