The Bottom Floor
by skrath

Chapter 1 - Who Schedules These Things? 

     Well now! Have I got a story for you! Sure, sure, a lot of people say that I'm not a very good storyteller because I tend to ramble on about random things. But it's not the storyteller that's important, it's the story. And seeing as I have unique knowledge about the events in this story, I think that it should be me to tell it. Now that that's cleared up, lets move on with the actual story.
     Cedric Johnson was sitting on a barstool at a bar as he often did. Drinking the same beer that he often drank. Talking the same nothing that he often talked, also known as not saying anything at all. He wasn't a depressed guy or an alcoholic or anything. It was just one of those things that he did. After work he would often just go to the bar, sit down, and have a few drinks.
     Cedric didn't really like being bothered in the bar and made it a habit of not talking to other people there, as this would probably lead to a conversation of some sort. He was the kind of person that would ignore his name being called if he could. Like say, if his name was "Bob". There are lots of Bobs out there and if someone called out "Bob!" he could just ignore it. But seeing as his name was Cedric, he couldn't really do this. Maybe if his name really had been "Bob" or "Nancy" or something like that, none of this would have ever happened.
     "Cedric Johnson! Is there a Cedric Johnson here? Hello?" Came a voice from somewhere behind Mr. Cedric Johnson. Cedric decided not to respond, he was tired and this person obviously did not really know him.
     "Excuse me! Has anyone seen a Cedric Johnson? He's supposed to be here!" Well, it seemed evident that whoever this was wasn't going to stop anytime soon. He sounded rather like a salesman actually.
     Cedric swiveled around on his bar stool and aimed his head towards the guy that had been shouting,
     "What? What do you want?"
     The man, a rather short, pudgy man, looked over at Cedric and came trotting over like some sort of dog. Kind of like a terrier, you know, one of those bastard yipping dogs.
     "Are you Cedric Johnson?"
     "Uh, yeah, I am. Why?" 
     "Oh! Wonderful! I'm supposed to meet you here. I need to talk to you about Mr. Paxter." 
     "Huh? Who the hell is that?" 
     "Wait, you don't know a Mr. Harold Paxter, from New York?" 
     "No, never heard of 'em." 
     "Oh dear, the damn thing must have broken…" 
     "The what? What are you talking about?" 
     "Um, never mind Mr. Johnson… I uh… I have to be going now, sorry to disturb you." And with that, the little man got up and left. It would be quite some time before anyone at all saw him again. 
     Cedric stared at the door with a quizzical expression on his face for a few moments before turning to the barkeep, 
     "I think that I will have a whiskey now." 

     Now I'm sure this is all very confusing to you, and as you can imagine it was very confusing to Mr. Johnson as well. Granted I could explain all of this, but that would just ruin the whole story. Everything's got to have a hook ya know! 
     I suppose some background history should be given about Cedric Johnson. They say that's how you're supposed to build characters in stories so I might as well give it a shot. It also seems like a good way to stretch out the story, which I suppose is good too. 
     Cedric was born in southern Maine, I'm not really sure exactly where or what the town was called, but that's all pretty much irrelevant anyway. Like most average people, he had a pretty average childhood. He was slightly above average in most of his science classes, but was really averse to language arts. 
     Cedric is definitely what you would call a "scientist" type person, an analytical guy. You know, the left-brain type, or is it right-brain? He was never one for art shows or operas or things like that. He liked math and chemistry, and stayed away from literature and art. 
     When it came to physical abilities Cedric was, once again, quite average. He wasn't a little pansy-ass wussy, but certainly no quarterback either. Sometimes bullies would pick on him, but only after changing schools (like from middle school to high school). Because the thing that really made him different was his temper. 
     Cedric Johnson was like a powder keg sitting just inches above a fire. And when he went off, no amount of water could douse his rage. He just kept going until he burned himself out. If Cedric had been born about 4 months later he probably never would have ended up where he is today. 
     He was seventeen at the time; just 4 months shy of his eighteenth birthday, and still legally a minor. He had been saving his money for about a year and a half and had finally scrounged up enough money to buy himself a car. I pretty nice one I think, I don't think he ever told me what it was, oh well. 
     It was red though. I don't think he ever actually said that, but it just had to have been. Red and shiny, without a doubt. Probably had a good deal of chrome on it too. Something to catch people's attention, and that it did. 
     It was summertime, and some people came to live in Cedric's town for the summer. Some of these people happened to have some punk-ass kids. They evidently didn't know Cedric; they'd been at a military school or some sort of boarding school. I don't know what they learned in their school, but it wasn't too useful. 
     They also weren't very rich kids, so they tended to get a little jealous sometimes. They also got pretty rowdy, seeing as they spend all their time in some boarding school. So you can probably start to guess as to what happened when they saw a big, shiny red new car sitting in front of a diner that they had to walk to. 
     They had gotten there just in time to see Cedric hop out and dash into the diner; he was meeting some friends there. 
     "God damn! Look at that son of a bitch and his car!" said the guy with black hair and, of course, a crew cut. 
     "Damn! D'you see the guy that got outta that thing? He's the same damn age as us! No god damn kids our age should be able to afford a damn car!" 
     "Little bastard must be one a those rich kids! His pop probly bought him the damn thing as a damn birthday present! Little punk bastard!"  The guy with the black hair gestured to the others, 
     "Hey, guys, come here. I got an idea…"  An evil little grin spread across the guy's face as the other neared him. "Lets mess up his car man! His friggin pop'll just buy 'im a new one anyway!" 
     "You really think so?" 
     "What the hell is he gonna do? He wasn't all that big, I could definitely take him. Come on! Rich kids are always pansies man! Lets get 'im!"
     "Yeah! All right man! Hey, there's some garbage cans over there! You people thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?" 
     And so that's what they did, they dumped those garbage cans all over poor Cedric Johnson's brand new hard-earned car. Cedric made it very clear that a soiled diaper had been in one of the garbage cans. I think he's still pretty pissed about that to this day. 
     Of course, the whole while they had been dumping garbage on the car they had been laughing and whooping. Just making all sorts of useless noise, a little bit too much noise. Cedric heard the noise and looked out the window to where his car was. He blinked a few times and some words fell out of his mouth, 
     "What… the… fuck?" 
     You could see the anger literally hit him. He turned a darker shade of red and veins most people don't know about started to pop up and pulsate with his now raging aortic rhythm. He jumped up out of his seat and rushed towards the doors, leaving his friends very perplexed. Well, perplexed that is, until they saw what the problem was. 
     One of them stood up to stop him.
     "Oh no… Cedric! No! Cedric stop!" I doubt these words ever even came close to reaching Cedric's brain. 
     He had reached the door now and the punks with the garbage had noticed him. He let the door swing shut behind him, leaving a sweaty hand mark on the handle. 
     "What in the hell are you doing to my car?" 
     A couple of the other kids gave a whoop and started laughing and screaming. They all started to run down the street, jumping and skipping like a bunch of rabbits. Cedric kept standing there, with his mouth slightly parted, breathing hard, and with his right hand twitching by his side. After a few moments, he slowly got into his car and started it up. 
     His friends were still inside trying to decide what to do about the situation. They all turned and looked when Cedric drove off. They hadn't the faintest idea about where he was going. 
     Funny thing about cars, they tend to be a lot faster than walking. Faster even than running. That is, of course, how Cedric managed to catch up with them. He actually drove right by them and parked the car about 50 yards in front of them. Cedric's car had a tire iron in the glove compartment, usually for use with tires and such. He grabbed it out of the glove compartment and tucked it inside his sleeve. 
     They had stopped laughing and whooping now, they were still giggling and giving each other looks as Cedric walked over to them. The guy with the black hair stood a little bit apart from the others, a little bit closer to Cedric. This was probably a much bigger mistake than the whole garbage thing. 
     "Awwww! Did we mess up your little car? Huh, rich boy? What'r ya gonna do now, huh?" Cedric kept walking closer, not hearing a word.
     "You wanna fight? Huh? You pansy rich frick!" The kid with the black hair started gesturing towards his chest. "C'mon! You want it! Huh? C'mon punk!" 
     Cedric finally got up to him. Stood right in front of him and stared right at him. "Yeah, that's what I thought! A stupid rich-boy pansy, ha!" The kid with the black hair turned to his friends, "Will ya get a load of-" And that was when Cedric swung the tire iron. He hit him as hard as he could in the mid-section. The blow, coming from the side, smashed into his kidney with a sickening smack. 
     The kid with the black hair made a kind of "Huh!" noise and fell to his knees. He started making some clicking noises with his mouth and seemed to be having a lot of trouble breathing. After a few seconds he started coughing up some blood, with a little bit bubbling out of his nose. 
     Some of the other kids started moving forward. One of them said:
     "You son of a bitch! We are gonna fuck you up so bad man!" 
     Cedric paused for a brief moment and then struck the kid with the black hair again. He swung that tire iron in a way that would make professional golfers ashamed. He swung and hit the kid's head from the side. The blow actually crushed his temple. A piece of the black hair connected to some bloody scalp landed on the sidewalk. 
     The kid with the black hair skidded to one side. The side of his face that wasn't hit with the tire iron scraped against the pavement. Blood started to come out of his deformed eye socket and nostrils. His left leg spasmed violently, just once. 
     The other kids stopped moving. They starred for a few moments. One of them said, 
     "Oh my god." Then they all left, you have to wonder just what they did after that. 
     Cedric Johnson continued standing there. He had a streak of blood across his chest. His right hand was spattered with blood. The tire iron was dripping in it. It had little bits of flesh and hair stuck to the end. He looked up after a moment, and seeing no one, dropped the tire iron onto the road. Its sharp clang broke the silence once more. 
     Cedric went over to the sidewalk and sat on the curb. He sat there and waited for the police to come. He sat and waited for them to come and take him away. He never went to jail, and the crime was eventually removed from his record, and he spent the next three years in a psychiatric hospital. But he's OK now.

> Read Chapter 2