Artwork: ghost

The Number 6

Author: HJH '19
As seen in: Symphonia Fantastica #

Arthur Peddleton is unable to comprehend the number 6.

It began as a normal day for Arthur Peddleton. He rose from his bed and sighed contentedly as he stretched his full 5’9” frame towards the ceiling. He dressed in the same outfit he always did when he went in for a job interview: a plain white button-down shirt with 5 buttons and a pair of khaki pants with 2 leg holes. He brushed his teeth for exactly 44 seconds and fell down the stairs exactly twice. Nothing, not even a set of jagged stone stairs covered in glass and poison, could bring him down today; he had a chance at his dream job: an accountant.

Arthur arrived at the offices of Reid Thornton Accounting at 99 Boylston Street 10 minutes early. If his professional tennis player of a mother had taught him anything it was to arrive early and how to play tennis. He took the elevator to the 19th floor of the tall glass building, and a friendly attendant informed him that Reid’s office was the third one on the left. Arthur approached the door, inhaled, exhaled, breathed, and knocked four times.

“You must be Arthur Peddleton,” said a voice behind him. Arthur jumped in the air and completed a perfect 540o turn so he was facing the man.

“Why, yes I am,” Arthur replied.

“Impressive,” the man replied. “Very impressive. The name’s Thornton Accounting. Reid Thornton Accounting.” Arthur extended his hand for a handshake. “You might not want to touch that,” said Reid. “It’s covered in mayonnaise from the 512 of a foot long sub I got from Subway for my 47th birthday.”

“Oh yeah, gross,” said Arthur, pulling his hand away.

“Please, step into my office,” Reid offered.

Arthur entered the beautiful corner office and the interview began. For such a fancy firm, the interview was quite standard. Reid quizzed Arthur on a few numbers to make sure he was the real deal. After Arthur confirmed his knowledge of 1, 4 and 12, Reid was satisfied. As Arthur was preparing to leave, Reid had one more question. One that Arthur had never heard.

    “So tell me, ‘Arthur’ was it? What is your greatest number-related weakness?” Arthur froze. His hands grew clammy and his face white. His lower lip trembled and his upper lip got eerily still as he barely managed to utter, “I don’t have one.”

    “Well, Arthur. I must say, that answer was… perfect! You’re hired!”

Arthur leapt for joy and ran down the 182 stairs as the office stood to applaud him. He burst through the 2 front doors and smiled at the 1 sky, jumping and clicking his 2 heels.

    Suddenly, a dog ran by and clipped Arthur’s feet while he was in the air. He did a half flip and landed really hard on his shoulder. He was slow to get up, but he was fine.