Write Now Prompt April 15, 2014
Ed woke to his alarm clock as he did every morning. Today was the first day of December, the last month of the year and the month that he is supposed to close all of his open accounts from the past year. See, Ed is the local property tax collector and a field collector at that.
He had breakfast with his lovely wife and he talked to her about his job and how he had a few accounts that needed to be closed by the end of the year. They finished their breakfast and cleaned up the morning mess. Ed kissed his wife as he did every morning, wished her a good day and headed out to the bus stop.
Waiting at the bus was the usual crew and they all did their little morning small talk, “How are the kids, Mike” “How is the remodel going at your home Gina” “Ed how’s work doing for you”. The usual morning pleasantries. Ed always had a smile and always seemed joyous.
He got to the office, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed to his cubicle. Turned his computer on, loaded the days list of visits and printed it out. Ed grabbed his coffee and headed out to the bus stop again. The first of his stops is on the other side of the town other wise he would have walked. As Ed got off the bus he was smiling hoping this would be a productive day and that all the people he needed to see would have their taxes and he would not have to do anything to force anyone to pay their taxes on this holiday season.
The first stop was a little laundry shop, the charming lady who ran the place was reluctant to pay but she eventually paid her due. Off to a coffee shop who had owed since the year before, when he got to the shop there was a sign saying that they would be closed till the end of the year, he made a note in his pad to arrange a visit at the beginning of the year with a new bill with all the late fees attached.
The next few stops had their taxes ready to pay and just handed him the checks not really feeling good about it but knowing that they had to pay their taxes. The final stop, Hervey’s Toy Emporium, was just around the corner from the office so Ed headed back to the bus stop and was grateful that he got there just as the bus pulled up.
He was glad that the shop was opened. Ed hoped that this man had his taxes ready to pay other wise he would have to seize his property. Some of the guys back at the office would be all giddy about seizing the toys of a toy shop during the Christmas season but despite appearances to the contrary, the tax man really did not like his job, and these are the times that Ed realized this.
Unfortunately Hervey was not willing to pay his taxes and this made Ed feel a little ill in the stomach as he said with a smile that was as forced as his pleasant voice was, “Well sir, I will have a crew here in the morning to seize all your assets until you complete payment of the years property taxes.” hoping that he was not going to have to follow through on this warning.
Hervey got a flushed face as he realized that this man was not going to back down and that he would lose all his merchandise during this the most prosperous time of the year. “Can you hold on for a minute while I check my bank account to see if I have the money in there.”
“Of course I can wait a minute, I would rather get the taxes than to go through with the seizure.” Ed said hopefully.
A little bit later Hervey came back from the bank with the cash for the taxes. Ed was feeling really good about the out come of this day. He collected from all but one of the businesses he visited today. As he walked back to the office to turn in his collections from the day he had a hopeful thought that the whole month would go the same way.