Home to Roisin’s and Elias’s collections and work shop.
Elias had been back in his office for maybe fifteen minutes when the buzzer on the intercom went off. He recognized Thomas’s voice and responded immediately: “Well hello there, Tom. Come on up- well, actually, I’ll come down and meet you. Just a moment.” After hitting the button to release the door, Elias stood, cracking his back and moseyed on over to the door. Once again reminding himself to put some W-D 40 on the roller later (a useless endeavor unless written and still of dubious usefulness even when actually written) he smoothed his face back to a smile after wrinkling his nose at the sound. He left the door open as he entered the elevator and rode down to meet the boy. Exiting into the lobby, he looked toward the entrance and waved at Thomas and then opened the door wide so he could roll in the trolley.
“Been a while son. How’ve you been?” He would clap a hand to Thomas’s shoulder as he greeted him. It was Elias’s way to be familiar with most everyone, but then Thomas should also remember him from many other happenings at the Lightbox, including his own showings. Once they were through the doors Elias would then head back for the elevator, talking as they walked, and after Thomas’s reply, Elias would launch into an explanation and warning: “I’ll show you around again soon as we’re up, though nothing’s changed. You’ve been here before? Anyway, yeah, Ro’s in the back finishing up the packing. Bit of a stickler on that, but then, these are a bit more breakable than what I usually handle. Just smile and do as she asks and she won’t bite your head off- probably. Don’t pay any mind if she does; girl’s antsy about the show.”
Thomas might well be surprised by Elias’s warning, but it was just as understandable if he was not considering that he had likely dealt with fussy artists when moving things before. As for the warning about dealing with Róisín, well, Elias felt it his duty. He loved the girl. She was a daughter to him, but that tongue of hers had slayed more than one man. Women too. There were days he could swear she ought to come with a disclaimer. Once they reached the top, Elias would hold the studio door open for Thomas and help him with the cart before leading him into the space where the sculptures and Róisín currently were.
by Mori ❤
As always Thomas was his jovial self, enjoying Elias’s banter as they were something of old acquaintances since Elias had shown his own art at the Light box a few times and with great success. He walked with a pronounced swagger as his size made him sometimes awkward. He loved his job as he was able to not only handle such great works, but also build up a re pour with the artists. A happy go lucky kind of guy that told bad jokes half the time, he always enjoyed a laugh and rarely took life seriously, unless it was to do with his work. He was totally different from Lucy and Maxwell in that regard, and made friends easily.
Thomas was impressed to hear that Roisin had her pieces packaged to go. He actually bobbed his head with pursed lips, though the edges were curled up into a smile that was infectious. He took on Elias’s warning about Roisn’s nature like water off a duck’s back. He knew all too well the nature of the beast so to speak. Many regarded their pieces as a part of themselves, and they had to be handled with the utmost care and attention.
“No problem Eli, just point me in the right direction and I shall get things going, but of course paying close attention to Miss Ro’s needs.” Seeing her working up the back, he ambled over and tipped his hat politely.
“Afternoon Miss. Where would you like me to start?”
“No problem, Eli,” Thomas said. Yes, no problem thought Elias. He nodded but shook his head all the same as Thomas continued on ahead of him into the studio to meet Róisín. Sure, Tom had a point and had dealt with the like many times. Yet Elias couldn’t help the feeling that his happy go lucky manner was going to draw Ro’s fangs all the same.
Róisín had heard the door buzz in the background, but by the time she had finished securing the wrapping on one of the second to last piece and made her way to the door, she had discovered it was already open and that Elias had left his office to meet Thomas himself. She returned to the studio with a shrug and began wrapping the last relief in cloth. She had that fastened and was in the process of unraveling bubble wrapping to add over it when Elias and Thomas joined her. As usual she did not turn to greet them, and so, Thomas’s greeting came first. Elias was right. Róisín turned on Thomas with a look of irritation: “Don’t call me that. My name is Róisín, or Clarke Morrigan as far as anyone other than Maxwell, Lucy, or Elias are concerned. Got it?” Ro crossed her arms as she said it, staring Thomas down until he agreed.
Elias grinned and came to stand next to her as he inspected the bubble wrapping. One of them burst under his fingers with a loud pop, drawing an exasperated glance from Ro. “I’ll finish this one. Just help Thomas start loading the others.” Looking sheepish, Elias acceded before inquiring about the name she’d just given Thomas.
“Clarke Morrigan? You’re using a pseudonym?” was the question. Brows drawn up quizzically, he looked at Róisín as if expecting an elaborate explanation. He saw no reason for it.
“Yes,” was all she said in response. The way the word left her lips made it obvious she did not wish to elaborate. She simply continued with her task leaving Elias to do as requested. He did so with a frown and a half audible mumble about a “hard headed girl.”
Poor Thomas was on the rough end of the stick when he made his polite approach to the young snappy artist. What was it with the women in the art world, that always acted like their tampons were on fire? Thomas scratched his cheek awkwardly when Roisin more or less spoke down to him, and called herself the name of Clarke Morrigan. Now, while she might have explained the reason for the use of the pseudonym to Lucy, it was never mentioned to the hapless Thomas. With Roisin now staring at Thomas like she was a school Ma’am waiting for him to agree to her terms, Elias walked up and stood next to her.
Stuttering and confused, Thomas simply said.
Elias kept a trolley that was used for taking pieces off site, and Thomas went to get it, passing Elias and saying loudly.
“You know, you would think Lucy and Miss…err..Clarke were from the same nest. Or maybe it’s that time of the month. I don’t know, but all I do know is they both need to get laid.”
This might have brought some laughter from the older artist, who knew that Thomas always said the things that people think and are too polite to say out loud.
Thomas set to work on starting to load up the pieces, every now and again casting a look over at Roisin. This was going to be one long afternoon, that was for sure.
Thomas actually sounded confused when he responded to Róisín. Was he daft? It wasn’t complicated. “Róisín!” she growled before she turned her attention to the bubble popping Elias. Thomas went over to get the trolley during Ro and Elias’s exchange. Elias was walking over to the leaning sculptures when Thomas made his oh so careless comment. The idiot. It was all Elias could do not to face-palm, but as Thomas was passing him when he had given his remark, the boy very likely did not see the older man’s reaction. Likewise he would not have seen Róisín’s as her back was to him. By the time Elias had paused and turned around the damage was done.
The moment the words hit Ro’s ears her eyes flashed. Had Thomas been looking at her face he would have known he was in for it. Her body, however, presented no real sign that she had taken offense, and rather than verbalize her incense, Róisín opted for the more *diplomatic* approach. She taped the last bit of bubble wrap down and set the tape dispenser on the table near Elias’s paint ball gun. Thomas’s back would be to her as he continued toward the trolley on the opposite side of the room. The gun was loaded with half frozen florescent yellow projectiles. Róisín picked it up and fired directly at Thomas’s ass. Considering he likely had nothing on save a jeans and boxers, the shot would be not only surprising but also a bit painful. His rear would also be splattered with bright yellow paint thereby making him look like a walking caution sign: “Don’t say that about me again. Or Lucy.” The Irish lilt was clear in her voice thanks to her annoyance, and her reaction was to be expected. Typical Róisín fashion.
Now, Thomas was used to dealing with Lucy who usually gave him the look if he had pushed the envelope too far, but with Roisin, he had met his match. Unbeknownst to him things were about to spiral out of control in a way that would leave him feeling her fury in a very unlikely place. He heard her growl out her name “ROISIN!” and this got from him a simple shrug of the shoulders. His job was to collect the pieces to transport, not get into slanging matches over a client’s name or names.
His off the cuff comments WERE heard by the fire brand Roisin, who had had just about enough of the antics of the easy going gallery storeman. Needless to say, when his back was turned and he was getting the trolley like he always did he found out in the worst way why you should never turn your back on a woman….with a paint ball gun.
She shot him with a yellow paint ball…right in the ass. Smack bang, dead centre and it was enough to make him hollar.
“JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!”
Yes, it hurt…it hurt so bad that he doubled over and that gave Elias a good viewing of Thomas’s bright yellow backside. Reaching around, Thomas’s fingers came into contact with the sticky paint and when he brought his fingers around, he screamed at Roisin.
“You shot me!…You shot me in the ass! Who does that? My god, who shoots people in the ass?”
This went against every code of employee’s rights and he whipped out his phone to call his union.
“Hello. Mister Ranger? Yes, Thomas Bickerson. I’m on a job and this….woman shot me with a paint ball gun. *pause as the man on the other end bursts out laughing*….No…she’s not my girlfriend, she is some artist with a temper to sizzle off your nuts. Sir? This isn’t funny!”
For the next five minutes, Thomas was trying to get through to his union rep while the Union rep was laughing his ass off at the predicament.
“Forget it, I will contact Lucy at the Gallery.”
This was when he hung up and then pocketed his cellphone, which was now covered in yellow paint. He glared at Roisin, then at Elias.
“Well? You know what. I’m outta here. You work things out with Lucy. I don’t come to work to get shot!”
And with that, he stormed out of the studio and headed back to the truck.
Elias heard the gun go off and immediately knew what Róisín had done. Sure enough he saw before him the spectacularly hilarious view of Thomas’s rear end as he bent over clutching his butt. He could not help himself; he had to grin. The boy had loosed a spectacular exclamation and Elias spoke on the heels of it just as Thomas was turning back around: “Son, in my experience it’s never a good idea to point that out to a woman unless you’re offering, and even then it’s still usually a bad idea.” The advice earned Elias a paintball to his right foot from Róisín. He laughed harder.
Thomas proceeded to yell at Róisín as if she were an alien. “You shot me!…You shot me in the ass! Who does that? My god, who shoots people in the ass?” he asked in outrage. Her response was every bit as snarky as her actions: “Clearly I do, you arse. No are you done whining?” She simply stared down the barrel at him as if he were a child. She gave not a shit that he was calling his union rep though she did find it ridiculous. How big of a pansy was he?
Elias, on the other hand, did care. It was not out of fear of repercussions but irritation. He too found Thomas’s need to call his rep unnecessary and even his rep laughed him off. At Thomas’s announcement that he would be contacting Lucy and that they could take care of moving the pieces themselves Elias said: “Oh, go ahead. I’ve got her on speed dial actually. Let me help with that before you drive all the way back to the gallery only to have to return.” Bringing out his cell number he hit the number and brought the phone to his ear. While he waited for Lucy to answer he spoke to Róisín: “I’m sure you can put that thing away now. Thomas won’t be fool enough to earn anymore bruises this afternoon.”
With the gun still pointed at him, Thomas was done with the artist and her works. Even with Elias yelling after him that he had Lucy on speed dial and that he would only be having to drive back anyways after he spoke to her, the wounded pride of the man with the bright yellow ass could not be sated. The door to the gallery closed with the upset store man making his way down to the truck.
On reaching the street, passersby saw the bright yellow stain on the back of his king gee work pants and so many were pointing and snickering that this only made things worse. He whipped out his tainted yellow phone and proceeded to wait for her to respond, since the phone was currently engaged…..as Lucy was already speaking to Elias.
Lucy : “He what? Wait, who shot him? Roisin? Why?….Oh that shit. Okay, I will call him myself. Leave it with me Elias.”
~At the Lightbox~
Lucy was sitting in her office banging her head on the desk as she had just heard what had happened at Elias’s studio. From the sounds of it, Thomas was his usual daft self and met his match with Roisin. She really didn’t need this added to the rest of the dramas she was going through at the Gallery as Max was off somewhere, probably at home. Lucy immediately rang Thomas, who was taking off his pants, in the middle of the street.
Lucy: “Thomas…I don’t care if she shot you in the ass, I want you to get your ass back into that studio and pick up the pieces as we had agreed.
Thomas: “I am not going back into that building with that crazy ass bitch with the paint gun!”
Lucy: “You will, or it’s your job.”
The threat was made as Lucy had lost all patience with the store man. Thomas grumbled on the other end and then said.
Thomas: “Then I quit. Better come get the truck.”
With that he hung up and tossed the keys to the truck in the driver’s seat, before going off to catch a taxi home.
Lucy: “Hello? Thomas? You can’t quit!”
Grumbling, Lucy went to get her coat and then left the gallery to catch a cab to Elias’s studio. On reaching it she saw the Light house truck with the keys in the front seat. A pair of yellow stained pants were on the road, the last sign of Thomas. Sadly, Lucy took the keys and then headed up into Elias’s building, knocking on the door with a disgruntled look on her face.
It looked like she was really putting in overtime on this one.