Short Story - Too Low for Dinner - Bryan Kaminsky
By: Bryan Kaminsky
Dark clouds spanned the early afternoon sky as Edward walked out of the back door of the storage room of a florist. Edward was wearing a black cloak, ripped black jeans, and a black shirt. Edward liked the color black because it absorbed every spectrum of light, and he liked to absorb any information he could obtain or observe.
He was carrying a rare plant which most people do not think of owning, growing, or planting. It was a carnivorous plant. Its appearance is similar to the ones people think of being located in jungles. It had a stem, a big mouth with teeth which could snap, and thorns. It was small though, smaller than the pictures seen of them in a jungle habitat.
Edward approached his car, a black sedan with lightly tinted windows. He owned a black car for the same reason he wore black clothes. He got behind the wheel and placed the plant on the floor in front of the passenger seat. Edward thought to himself as he did each step, “put key in ignition, start engine, move stick, pull out, and drive.” He drove seven miles to his apartment in a neighboring town.
Upon arrival he parked the car, got out, hid the plant under his cloak, and walked to his room. Along the way someone asked what he was hiding under that cloak of his. He grunted and responded, “An artist does not reveal his work.”
After getting to his apartment he walked to his back room which he referred to as his “working studio” and put the plant down on the floor in a corner to the left of a window. The rest of the room was completely empty except for one wall. Against this wall was a mahogany desk with a computer and art supplies on it. Next to the desk was a tripod with a camera on top, and next the tripod was various lamps and lights.
Edward opened a drawer in the desk and pulled out a few lenses and placed them on top of it. He walked over to the lamps and lights and grabbed two; one in each hand and placed them on the long window sill under the window he put the plant next to. He plugged them in and turned them on.
Edward went to his desk and turned on his computer. He opened up his uploaded photos to get inspired. Photos of people, dogs, cats, trees, benches, flowers, and buildings flashed on the screen. He scrolled past one after another until he stopped at one of the side of an old church with mice eating garbage. His eyes lit up at the sight of this. He had been reunited with inspiration again. He left the room, and did not come back until two hours later carrying a cage of mice, wood, nails, and a hammer. He put the cage down on the right side of the desk and the rest in the middle of the room. Edward sat down on the floor and started nailing pieces of wood together to make a right angle one foot high and four feet in each direction. He went to another drawer in his desk and pulled out a paint brush and wood stain. His floor was made of wood and he liked to use the same stain on any wood he brought into the room for his art. He stained the wood, and pushed the right angle into the corner of the room the plant was in. Edward then opened the window to air out the room of the retched smell of wood stain.
Edward turned off the lights and left the room walking to his bedroom in his two bedroom apartment. This bedroom was actually used as a bedroom and had an actual bed in it. The room was usually kept too dark to distinguish what else is actually in it besides the king sized mahogany bed. He took off his cloak and jeans and lay down in the bed to go to sleep. Edward closed his eyes and did not open them again until it was 9:33 the next morning.
The room was still really dark because he kept black clothed blinds down at all times to keep the room dark. He put his jeans and cloak back on and exited his room to go back to his “working studio.”
Edward entered the “working studio” and yawned. He checked the stained wood to see if it was dry; it was. He went back across the room and got the cage of mice. He released the eleven mice in the cage to run around in the corner around the carnivorous plant.
Edward went to his desk and grabbed his camera. He started snapping pictures of the mice running around the plant until he finished the roll of film. Edward walked back to his bedroom with his camera, and shut the door. He hit a switch, but a regular light did not turn on. Apparently his bedroom was also a photo development room. Tables lined one of wall of the room with bins on them. Along another wall was clothesline with photos hanging down from it developed.
Edward took the roll of film out of his camera and began to develop his film. He lay down on his bed to take a nap. A few hours later he woke up and looked at how the photos looked. An expression of dissatisfaction appeared on his face, and he walked out of the bedroom. He did not like the pictures he took.
He put a new roll of film in his camera and left the room again to go back to the “working studio” and was pleased to see that nothing died in the corner. He turned on his two lamps, and grabbed two more, and then another two. He scattered them around the room, plugged them all in, and turned them on.
A shadow appeared behind the carnivorous plant. Edward’s eyes lit up again, just like how they did when he saw the picture of the old church. He realized that he will use shadows to his advantage.
He began moving the lamps and lights around until he got shadows on the mice as well. He started snapping pictures. He stopped and moved the lights around a little more and got more shadow mice on the floor. He began snapping pictures again until his roll was finished.
Edward walked over to his desk and placed the camera down on it. He raised his arms in the air, looked at the ceiling, and shouted, “On this roll of film is the moneymaker!”
He turned toward the corner and pointed in its direction, and said “Tomorrow you all go back to the stores you came from.”
Edward, lay down on the floor, and starred at the ceiling. He whispered to himself, “I will call it ‘Too Low for Dinner’.” He stood up, turned off the lights, and grabbed his camera.
Edward exited the room closing the door behind him leaving the room dark. He had done it. He had taken the picture that was going to get him enough money to keep his apartment.