Monday, January 13, 2014

Jacob Marley

Today I'm posting a piece that I wrote just before Christmas. I'm not usually one for fan fiction, but after going to see Christmas Carol, the musical with my daughter, I felt drawn to one character in particular: Jacob Marley.



When Jacob speaks, people listen. Eventually. The fact of the matter is, Jacob Marley is of short stature; completely benign in appearance and form.
That’s just the way he likes it.
On this particular occasion and time, Jacob enters the conference room unnoticed. He stands at the door, scoping out the comrodery taking place. Something about that moment of before always amuses Jacob, so he makes it a point to soak it in to the utmost. But, like every good thing, there is always something else more pressing that must take its place. That is exactly why Jacob is there.
No one notices as he takes the vacant place at the head of the table. “Two weeks,” he says in his usual quiet voice.
The talking continues as if he’d said nothing.
He continues undeterred, “At that time this branch will be closing its doors. Consider this your official notification. Are there any questions?”
People start listening then, but Jacob Marley is already on his way towards the door. He knows from his years of experience that this part isn’t nearly as pleasant as the creating of it; the useless begging and pleas could easily turn his five minute announcement into a two hour chore.
Jacob Marley’s time is far too precious for that.
One brave soul rises to his feel. “Why?” he asks.
There is nothing all that original about that question or Jacob’s answer, “In the world of business, it is all about profit, ladies and gentleman, and you’re not making any.”
The room vibrates with the sound of clanking; a metal chain being added to the long string already years in the making. Jacob’s eyes sweep the room, looking for the sound now so familiar, and yet still so mysterious. Finding nothing, he turns to leave. He has more business to attend to, after all.