Read No Hope for Gomez! Online

Authors: Graham Parke

Tags: #Romance, #Humor, #Suspense, #Thriller, #(v5)

No Hope for Gomez!

BOOK: No Hope for Gomez!
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No Hope

For Gomez!

 

 

Graham Parke

No Hope Media

This is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the ideas expressed herein and your own perception of reality is not only coincidental, but worrying. Any similarity between the characters in this work and any persons, living or dead, is to be taken as an act of plagiarism on the part of the persons, rather than that of the characters, or their author.

Do not copy or distribute any part of this publication. Just tell your friends to get their acts together and buy their own copies. It will improve their lives. In no big way. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, or by any means, without written consent of the author, except in the case of brief and brilliant quotations attributed clearly to the author.

No Hope for Gomez!
All rights reserved
Copyright © 2010 Graham Parke
No Hope Media

Interior 2015a
ISBN: 978-94-91919-01-5

Cover © Graham Parke

 

 

Also by Graham Parke

 

No Hope for Gomez!

 

Unspent Time

 

Sometimes I’m So Smart, I Almost Feel Like a Real Person

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Places to stalk Graham Parke on the internetwebthingy:

 

Blogspot

grahamparke.com

Facebook
GoodReads

 

On the off chance you don’t hate this book, please consider leaving a review. It goes a long way towards ensuring future adventures of Gomez and his pals see the light of day ;)

 

 

 

Read an article about a group of mathematicians who developed a financial model to accurately compare apples and oranges.

I was stunned. Never thought I’d see the day.

Preliminary indications are that the model allows any two kinds of fruit to be compared, although guava still causes minor rounding errors.

Further testing is ongoing. 

 

-- Gomez Porter, blogspace entry

 

 

Part one

 

 

 

1.

 

 

I haven’t been sleeping well. There’s this strange sound coming from the apartment below at approximately 4:22 a.m. It’s a sound I’ve never heard before and I can only describe it in terms of other sounds that might combine to be mostly identical: it sounds like my neighbor is stir-frying hamsters in a large enameled wok. And let me tell you, that kind of sound messes with your ability to drift away peacefully.

Wide awake, I decide to get up to do some writing.

They asked me to keep a blog. They told me to be meticulous and exact in reporting my experiences. Leave nothing out, they said, no matter how mundane or unimportant it seems.

You see, I’m in this drug trail, and I have no idea what kind of drug I’m on. It could be a nervous system depressant, an anti-psychotic, or just a simple pain reliever. So I really have no way of knowing what kind of experiences would constitute effects or side effects. To be safe, I create a new blog entry whenever something strange happens, then I upload it through the clinic’s online portal. Let them sift through the mess to decide what’s relevant and what’s not. What’s out of the ordinary and what’s to be expected.

Just write down everything, they said. So, here goes…

 

Blog entry: Another terrible night. Neighbor was busy with his hamsters again (by the sound of it). Got up really early but still didn’t make it to work in time. Lost valuable minutes leaving my apartment: couldn’t find matching socks. Laid them all out on the bed and spent the better part of an hour trying to find a pair. In the end I had to pretend not to notice matching a black sock with a very, very, dark blue sock.

Note to self: throw out old socks and invest in 15 pairs of black, unpatterned socks. Should speed up my morning routine by 35 to 48 minutes.

 

Blog entry: Arrived at the store with Hicks already waiting. He paced back and forth looking intense as usual – hollow eyes, clenched jaw, hands thrust deep into the pockets of his oversized coat. He shot me a pained look. “Where were you, Gomez?” he asked. “We should’ve opened at nine!”

I shrugged and unlocked the door. “There were some unforeseen circumstances,” I said. “But don’t worry, I think I have the problem licked.”

Hicks seemed unconvinced. He stepped inside and hung up his coat. “I just think we should open on time, rain or shine,” he said. “Your customers will appreciate knowing they can count on you.”

I’ve noticed that Hicks doesn’t react well to me arriving late. Standing out in the street makes him nervous for some reason and not opening up on time leaves him twitchy. Today was not a good day for Hicks.

I managed to calm him down and we got busy carrying cheap antiques out to the curb to lure customers. I selected a few chairs and a commode. Placed a weathered mirror on top of the commode, put a few expensive looking (but cheap) pillows on one of the chairs, then, with the display done, we proceeded to clean up the store and get ready for customers.

No customers that morning.

 

Blog entry: Afternoon was quiet also. Decided to make up for my faux pas by letting Hicks leave early. This turned out to be a terrible idea. Apparently leaving early makes Hicks break out in shingles. Also, it leaves him strangely disoriented. I watched him walk erratic circles out in front of the store and had to bring him back in and make him sweep the storage room. That calmed him down.

 

Blog entry: Afternoon remained slow. Spent most of my time updating my blog and reading the paper. Was burning time quite happily until I came across this article about a guy found near-dead in his apartment. Apparently he’d been comatose for the better part of a week before he was found.

Now normally this kind of story doesn’t affect me much. It might tickle the part of my brain in charge of morbid curiosity, it might stir up some momentary apprehension about living alone and dying unexpectedly, but then I’ll realize this would bother my neighbors more than it would me, and I’ll carry on with my day. But this article had my hair standing up. Not only did I know the guy in question, I also had a sneaking suspicion about what happened to him. What was worse, I felt I might be headed for the same fate!

I scanned the article quickly, looking for phrases that proved me wrong, snippets stating the cause of death to be completely natural and, if possible, even somewhat pleasant. I found no such thing. Had to buckle down and read the entire article carefully. When I reached the end, though, I was still none the wiser. So far, police had yet to release any information on the cause of the guy’s collapse. They also declined to indicate whether foul play was suspected. There was nothing in the article to soothe my growing dread.

 

Blog entry: Hicks returned from the back and broke my concentration. He told me he’d done all the sweeping the floor could handle.

“That’s great,” I said, struggling to tear my attention from the paper. “There are some boxes of administration in the back that have to be moved to the storage room. You can start on that.”

Hicks checked his watch and shot me a worried look. His right eye twitched slightly. “Could I do that tomorrow?” he asked.

“I guess,” I said. “It’s up to you.”

“It’s just that it’s five o’clock. I’m only supposed to work till five o’clock.”

“That’s fine, Hicks. You can go.” I didn’t care about the boxes, and I really didn’t want to find out Hicks’ reaction to leaving work even a minute late, so I bid him good evening.

Hicks hoisted himself back into his giant coat and headed for the door. Before he opened it, he turned. “Gomez,” he said. “Just one more thing…”

“Yes?”

“Nothing important, really, just something I thought I should mention. I noticed your socks don’t match.” He pointed at my feet. “I think it’s better for customer relations if we all commit to wearing matching socks, don’t you?”

“Yes,” I sighed, “you’re right.”

“And your left sock is black, while your right sock is clearly very, very dark blue.”

“I know.”

“Just thought I’d mention it.”

“Thank you, Hicks. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight, Gomez.”

 

Blog entry: Finished my blog and locked up the store. On the bus ride home I tried to take my mind off the coma-guy by re-reading that amazing article about the apples and the oranges.

Couldn’t find it. Went through the entire paper three times but it just wasn’t there. Wondered if I’d imagined the whole thing. Wondered also if this might have something to do with the drugs. Made a mental note to ask Dr. Hargrove about this during my next appointment at the clinic.

 

 

2.

 

 

 

Blog entry: Slow day at the store. Had a few crooners in but that was it. You can spot crooners a mile away; they like to touch and browse, but not to buy. They amble into the store with their eyes all sparkly and then they proceed to say things like, “Oh, this is just what I need!” or, “Henrietta would simply adore this!” Then they smile some more and amble right back out again.

I assume they go on to croon over clouds or sidewalk gum or something. 

I really don’t care. All my stuff is old junk anyway.

 

Blog entry: Checked the calendar and realized it’s a clinic day. Gave Hicks the keys and told him I had to run. Hicks wasn’t happy. I explained the alternative was to wait for me to return, which could be well after five. Hicks relented and said he’d close up.

 

Blog entry: Hurried over to the clinic and actually arrived early. There was a new secretary at the desk and I gave her my project number. She found the appropriate sign-in sheet and said, “Name please?”

“Gomez.”

She looked up from her clipboard and raised an eyebrow. “Gomez? You sure?”

“Of course I’m sure.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, I’m Gomez.”

The secretary shook her head. “Funny,” she said, “you don’t look Swedish.”

I shrugged and signed next to my name. As I had some time to kill, and the secretary’s low cut dress semi-unintentionally offered me a ‘panorific’ view, I decided to hang around and explain the origins of my ‘Swedish’ name. I told her how my parents hadn’t expected a baby and how, when it was time to name me, they could neither think of a nice name nor agree on a plain one. In the end my mother put her foot down and said it was going to be Albatross. My dad gave her the finger, went down to town hall, and took the name of the person in line ahead of him. He wasn’t aware he’d overheard a last name.

So I was stuck with the name Gomez.

As I’ve grown up with this name, it’s always been the names that
weren’t
Gomez that sounded strange to me.

The secretary rolled her eyes and asked me to please move along to the waiting area.

I gave her the finger and moved along to the waiting area.

 

Blog entry: One of the things about blogging for the sake of identifying experiences that may be out of the ordinary and could, therefore, be effects or side effects of the drugs, while not knowing what kind of drugs you’re on and thus not knowing what to expect as effects or side effects, is that you start noticing so many things being out of the ordinary.

 

Blog entry: So. Many. Things.

 

Blog entry: Waited my turn in the waiting area. Browsed some old magazines. Made a mental note to bring my laptop next time. When it was my turn, I went in and Dr. Hargrove gave me some pills. I had to swallow them in front of her, then she ran down her list of questions.

“Any dizziness, nausea, or headaches since your last visit?”

“Nope.”

“Difficulty swallowing?”

“Nope.”

“Unexpected feelings of elation or euphoria?”

“Not really, no.”

The list went on. When she reached the end, she asked, “Anything else that’s not on the list?”

I told her about the strange, tingling sensation I’d experienced after our previous session. She wrote it down and asked, “Is that all?”

“I felt a bit flushed too. Warm in my face. There were some red marks on my skin but they disappeared after a few minutes.”

“Right.” Dr. Hargrove made another note. “Did they return at any point?”

I shook my head.

“I see.” She browsed her forms to see if she’d missed anything. “Are you still updating your blog, Gomez?” she asked.

“Of course,” I said. “Daily.”

“Good.” She flashed me a warm smile. “I can always count on you, can’t I, Gomez?”

 

Blog entry: Decided to show Dr. Hargrove the newspaper clipping about the guy found comatose in his apartment. She read it with interest, then looked at the picture. “That looks like Joseph Miller,” she said, confirming my suspicion that he was part of the trial, and giving me his full name. “Haven’t seen him in a while,” she said, “but I’m fairly sure it’s him.” She shook her head. “It’s a real shame… he was a nice guy.”

“So you don’t think his condition had anything to do with the trial, then?”

Dr. Hargrove looked up with a start. “What? No, of course not!” She gave me a soothing smile. “Don’t worry, Gomez, we’re not testing anything dangerous here. Not by a long shot.”

 

Blog entry: Made a new appointment with Dr. Hargrove and left the clinic. On my way home I seriously considered quitting the trial, just to be on the safe side. Then I remembered Dr. Hargrove mentioning she hadn’t seen Joseph in a while. Maybe quitting was the opposite of what I should do. The trial might not be the cause of Joseph’s condition, he could’ve been involved in a million other dangerous activities. Plus, what if Joseph tried to quit the trial cold turkey, just stopped showing up for his appointments? For all I knew,
that’s
what made him pass out!

BOOK: No Hope for Gomez!
12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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