From ‘Moristoun’ by Kevin McAllion
The journey from Buchan’s desk to the toilet at the far corner of his office was only about 10 metres but it felt far further as he dragged McSorely’s body across the floor. The frame of his apprentice was deceptive as McSorely’s suit did a good job of concealing the spare tyre he had been cultivating with comfort food and Cliftonhill pies since Sarah’s departure from the kitchen had freed him from the constraints of healthy eating. Over 13 stone was packed into his five foot 10 inches and as Buchan hauled McSorely into the toilets, he yearned for a return to the days when the development of a Rubenesque figure was limited to wealthy gourmands. After laying McSorely down on the toilet floor, he made a mental note to invest in a wheelbarrow before Farqhuar added another Q99 to his workload. It was only a matter of time before the burden of obesity pushed a more dedicated aficionado of square sausage, caramel wafers and takeaway pizzas towards suicide and Buchan realised he would need some assistance if taking them through the portal was the only way to avoid permanent passage to Moristoun by more conventional means. Such cases were admittedly rare but the sight of McSorely slumped across the toilet floor provided all the motivation Buchan needed to prepare for all eventualities. Although the most physically demanding aspect of taking his passenger to Moristoun was now over, Buchan was still faced with the challenge of fitting both himself and McSorely into the cubicle marked with the sign “Out of Order”. One final heave was required to hoist McSorely on to the toilet seat and Buchan made sure his new employee was balanced enough to avoid a headlong fall before turning round to lock the cubicle door. He then pressed down on the flush and waited for the required 30 seconds as they were spirited away to Moristoun’s shores.
When Buchan opened the cubicle door, he was relieved to find Farqhuar waiting for him in the toilet attached to his Council office. Any hope his superior would lend a helping hand in transporting McSorely soon vanished, though, as Farqhuar insisted such an act of manual labour was beneath him and limited his contribution to holding the toilet door open as Buchan dragged the new arrival into the office. This soured Buchan’s mood somewhat and ensured he failed to fully appreciate some rare words of praise from Farqhuar after all three figures had taken the weight off their feet. “I doff my cap to you, Buchan,” he said. “I really didn’t fancy your chances with this particular Q99 but, if my eyes do not mistake me, that is most definitely the pathetic figure of James Patrick McSorely slumped in my leather armchair. I take it you have the required paperwork to justify his presence here?”