Death Plods on the Next Man

It was another morning in July, a Tuesday precisely, and the cloud again plods with raucous gale. After all, with great aggression, it poured two days before, with the earth still wallowing in its sufficiency, he questioned why the sky again deepens its blackening. The city shivered with an extreme chill as Maiden Street once more was a cluster of hovering debris and plastics with steps scurrying — these of people trying not to be caught up in the cloud burst …

death cloud

Mark isn’t the type to couth his words — an absolute blunt he is. In fact, he seldom acknowledges his boss, talk less, his colleagues. He’s a grumpy forty-year-old and unmarried. No one would apparently want to sign up for a lifetime of trepidations and hazy peace. His one-last-friend died in a ghastly car accident six months prior, a tragedy he owes to a life of debauchery, leaving Mark with no one close enough for such an ascription as a buddy.
Neighbours quite aware of his standoffish and ineffable appearance knew their limits in dealings.

Mrs. George, his manager, confronts him in her office on a harsh sunny afternoon, and this time, it’s for his reoccurring unprofessionalism and nonchalance at work. This day happens to be his fourth summon, all in one month, just to caution — a typical unlikeliness of someone wanting to keep his job.

“You have without remorse crossed the line of duty again, Mr. Andrews!” Mrs. George stresses.
Her words are halfway out when Mark reiterates with a shrill and confronting tone; one would think he’d always wanted to throw back at his manager this fervid disrespect, as though that’s what she very well deserves. He’d gotten away with this insolence severally and today also wouldn’t have been exempted. Instead, he tenders his withdrawal and stomps out of the office premises with his same signatory sour pride after earlier completely losing it.

Now that he’s, without second reasoning, exited his job for his unrepentant arrogance, and with no other job to fall back on, however being a critical thinker, he immediately conceives an idea of pioneering a brick production establishment. Since others are about twenty-five blocks away and not really into bricks, his station would be the nearest within this twenty-five-block radius from his street at the very least. Though without expertise but fairly enough capital and with a strong conviction, he’s convinced this would pay off heavily with a robust annual return. He immediately makes contact with savvy accomplices.

In no time, he procures some two plots from one of the street’s long-standing unused lands. This hasty decision-turned-establishment has a humbling infrastructure for a start as Mark hires a second hand and a third, and so on…

No doubt, working with a man of Mark’s disposition would require so much self-control from losing one’s cool. Mr Lawal, one of his recruits — an aged man, short and skinny, has always had to swallow his supposed crude replies to his insensitive remarks with each day passing. When this exceeds his threshold for patience, he immediately opts out.

Losing his laborers is nothing to him since he knows the street is full of the unemployed, those who are ready to jump at any chance they get. “As one goes, another comes.” He always says this each time anyone approaches him with news about their exit with a face not bothersome, with blithe ignorance regarding their reasons. Clearly, his ways are glaring to him, but rather, he remains so unyielding.

His business flourishes nevertheless and, with time, a bloom. This he has, as a parallel contrast to his disdainful reports that keep sifting through walls around the street, spreading like wildfire.

With his business name gradually turning into a household name, Mark looks further into diversifying. This time, he thinks of a complementary sachet water factory having made enough money within the space of three years of his first set-up.

Running these two businesses for Mr. Andrews is undoubtedly not stress-free. As a type of great curiosity, he makes sure he’s aware of all happenings. He also doesn’t condone inefficiencies and unproductivity, even though these were his depictions as an employee. This diligence (although by coercion) from his workers gradually translates to the factory’s progressiveness.

Days pass, and with every second there in, Mark climbs a step higher, ascending the ladder of riches.
“We will get the job done” —a reply marked with thrill as Mr. Andrews has just been contracted a job by a construction company with his business name now more pronounced.

He has his workers toil with hard labour daily to meet this demand. He does this, knowing would pave ways for other opportunities. After a seemingly endless harsh five weeks of labour, they meet this two million landmark supply. This would be the earliest anyone would have had the job done, and this gave way for other huge deals from numerous construction companies as they now have his factory, their stops for bricks.

Suddenly as Andrews harnesses more wealth, his demeanour changes entirely. And as it is for many, one would expect the same of his person, but contrastingly, he now becomes open-handed. He starts from his workers to people on his street. He gives as much as he earned, leaving everyone bedazzled at his eerie transformation. Also, at festive periods, he becomes so respectable and lovable. He usually has his whole compound, a constellate of people, dining.

This goes on and on, with time having its share of the tale…

It was the rainy season and the third month of Mark’s passing after the sudden declination of his affluent being due to his catastrophic illness. The clouds had already commenced their pouring and on the streets were only the mappings of turbulent tributaries. Mark’s only kid — an adoptee, Tony, having yet been unable to etch his head around the actuality of his dad’s demise, curled himself up in the earth. There, right in the rain and with a gaze fixed upward to the tearing sky, howled as his blissful reminisce was spared with the tart reality of foster living.

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