Winter at Daghorn mountain was a strange time. People would come from all over just to see its natural beauty throughout most of the year. But once winter came, tales of people going missing randomly in the snow greatly hampered the influx to the resort. On the other side of the coin, those who stayed during the winter were rumored to be gifted with a special insight into the creative blood of the universe. Deacon pondered this as he waited for his partner in the hall of the Trae Building, that landmark at the base of Daghorn mountain where Alac Corp. was headquartered, the world’s leading architectural agency in the province of Daghorn, part of the sovereign state of Euja.
He would have preferred to work alone but it was company policy to have a partner to bounce ideas off of and keep the other steady. People had a tendency of not only going missing, but also of simply going mad from all the sensations and insights the unique environment would bestow upon its inhabitants. Going even one full day alone, the symptoms of energy overload could begin to manifest. One man was found frozen at the foot of an oak tree, the most complicated mathematical formulas having been scribbled up and down its trunk. Apparently he had penetrated the mysteries of why birds defecate on people’s heads and had actually calculated the probability of such head-soiling based on age, occupation and general temperament. Karma squared: math-style, as people liked to say.
Too bad he froze to death, as he was immediately nominated for the Most Innovative Employee of the Year award for this “vital” contribution to humanity. In any case, he ended up losing to the woman who invented the self-cleaning toilet seat. The Housewife Committee had seen to that. Don’t mess with a woman on a mission! Deacon had to laugh at the memory of the love of his life, Bree, going into to hysterics over the toilet seat inventor’s win. “In your face, grime boy!” she had crowed triumphantly.
“Yeah yeah, you know you like it dirty!” had been his manly reply. But that was in Autumn, and they had both become increasingly focused on their individual projects over the last several weeks. While the busy season was coming to an end at Alac Corp., with clients leaving for their home provinces for the winter, Bree’s business contacts were just getting fired up and so she too had left to secure some important deals overseas.
Back at Daghorn Province, both the architectural and scientific community were abuzz with the designs coming from Alac Corp., and this fervor only heightened with the coming winter, largely due to Deacon and his partners continuous flow of architectural marvels. Come spring, they would have accumulated a slew of watershed innovations which the scholars and critics would eat up like starving children.
If anybody would have stationed their head office at a magically-endowed rock with the highest missing person rate of the state, it would have to be Deacon’s father, he thought somewhat ironically, his father being afraid of heights but ever the opportunist. What’s a little vertigo to holding the key to creativity in the palm of your hand? Now, being the CEO’s son did not bring the glamor and ease with which it was rumored to be. Father made sure that Deacon would earn his keep, just like everyone else. One advantage he did receive however was having the best instructors, giving him an edge over his peers. He had many great instructors during his program, both literally and figuratively. Trina Tucker was his last. A wild girl from the South, who not only taught him how to make any wall so well-designed it could withstand hurricane force winds, no matter how delicate in appearance, but also taught him how to catch a deer with nothing but a steel comb and dental floss. And the icing on the cake, after the lesson would come the inevitable “extra credit”. Deacon had that boyish charm that women could not resist. Not that he needed such charms to get a passing grade during his studies, but it didn’t hurt.
Deacon sighed under the onslaught of nostalgia. Those were indeed the days, he thought wistfully. Nowadays all he really had to look forward to was the pandering to the needs of any businessmen with enough money to catch Alac Corp’s avaricious eye. He did not enjoy the compromise that this inevitably entailed. “We don’t like the arches” was the last client’s petty gripe. “They look too feminine. Our boss wants something more manly.”
More manly? Give me a break. After years in the field, Deacon was quite tired of all the “compensation” that industry magnates would engage in. None of it matters after all is said and done anyways, as far as he was concerned. You either got it, or you don’t.
His fingers began to tingle around the roll of blueprints and digital renderings he held in his hand. This always happened before a client meeting. The energy resonating from the mysterious forces of the mountain coursed through his veins. It was a gradually building euphoria. A skill that varied among the staff of Alac Corp, in fact, with Deacon being particularly efficient at “channeling” as they called it. Within moments his mental meanderings ceased, and he was ready to get down to business….
To be continued!