Danny and the Ring sample essay
Even though the spring sun was out in force, the wind still made Danny’s nose so cold that it wouldn’t stop running. The weatherman said that it was going to rain later, but so far the sunshine made him squint his eyes as he walked. Every day, Danny had to be at work by 7:30 in the morning, and he had never been late. He walked up the concrete steps to the door of the funeral home slowly, taking care not to trip on the middle step, which had a large crack in it. When he got to the door, he wiped his nose with his sleeve, and then fumbled for his special key.
There wasn’t anything else in his pocket, but Danny still fumbled anyway. A minute later, he took the key which was on a long shoelace string and opened the heavy wooden door, wincing at the squeak that cut through the silence of the cold April morning. Danny took his job very seriously, and was pretty good at it. The pay was enough to help pay for his room at the “Special House” where he lived, and he liked his good friend Dr. Jacob that worked with him in the basement.
Jacob arrived at the funeral home every day about a half an hour after Danny got there. He thought Danny was a good kid, and he liked the fact that even though he had Downs Syndrome, Danny took to the job well. One thing he couldn’t understand is how he made it every morning at the same exact time like clockwork. Jacob worked on the bodies downstairs, getting them processed and ready for viewing.
Danny would come in and sweep, mop, and generally clean up the workshop. The first day that Danny came in to work, he saw Jacob hooking up hoses to a body. Danny was amazed, yet very calm and understanding, wanting to figure out exactly what Jacob was up to. After Jacob tried to give Danny an overview of what he was doing and why, Danny just told him that he didn’t get it, but that he was a heck of a doctor. After that, Jacob had become Dr. Jacob.
Danny was already started when Dr. Jacob had arrived that morning. The bucket was drawn with fresh hot soapy water, and most of the floors had already been swept. Danny was getting the mop ready when Dr. Jacob got off the elevator. Danny greeted him with his famous smile, and went to shake his hand like he did every morning. “Hands are all full today Danny, let me get over to the counter and drop off my stuff.”
The sterile smell of cleaner mixed in with the lingering formaldehyde wafted it’s way around Dr. Jacob’s nose and told his brain that it was time to get to work. He dropped off his coat and lunch and then turned to Danny, who was waiting patiently for his morning handshake. “Here ya go Danny, and a good morning to you too.” They shook hands and Danny was back to work again. The silence was unbearable down there in the dungeon, as it was sometimes called. Dr. Jacob went to start up the Mr. Coffee, and then turn on the radio.
“You know you can turn this on when you get here Danny boy to give you some tunes to work to, right?” Dr. Jacob said.
“Not till your here Dr. Jacob. No radio till your here. Your coffee is almost ready. Got to get back to work now.” Danny smiled with his whole face, eyes and all. He turned and grabbed the mop and began to dip it and ring it out, getting ready to mop the dressing room. That was the room that Dr. Jacob couldn’t stand. He could work on the dead, processing body fluids and what not, without hesitation.
But there was something weird about getting them dressed for the last time, complete with hair dos’ and all that he just couldn’t stomach. That job was left to the night guy, Joe. He was gone before six every day, and got there at about ten at night. Joe did pretty good work, even made up the ladies with lipstick and all, but Dr. Jacob tried to avoid the whole area if he could. He put some creamer in his coffee, and turned up the radio a bit, and sat down at his desk to review the files that came with each body. He was working on his second cup when he heard Danny yell.
Dr. Jacob jumped up, spilling his coffee on his white lab coat, and ran over to the dressing room. He had never heard Danny holler like that, and he thought something was very wrong. He walked though the double doors and found Danny sitting in the corner, rocking back and forth. “Danny, what happened? What’s wrong? Come on up Danny boy, tell me what’s going on?”
“The lady said she needed her ring back. She said give it back to her. She was a mad lady.”
“Danny, there’s no one else down here but you and me. The elevator hasn’t moved all day. There can’t be any lady in this basement. Did you get scared by one of the bodies down here? Do you want to go home?”
“No, I will get back to work. Your right, Larissa is gone now. I’m sorry Dr. Jacob.” Danny dusted himself off and picked up the mop, and started right up again where he had left off. Dr. Jacob took a long look around the room, but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Danny had calmed down, almost as if nothing had happened. Dr. Jacob shook it off and went back to his desk, and decided to call Joe and ask him if anything had been going on the night before.
The phone rang three times, then a groggy voice was on the other end. “Hello? This better be important, I’m sleeping.”
“Hey Joe, this is Jacob down at the home. Anything weird happen last night? No break ins or anybody snooping around in the basement dressing room?”
“What? No man. Just business as usual. Had two chicks to do up last night. Hell, it was kinda slow. Something going on or what?”
“No, Danny got freaked out. Said something about some lady named Larissa that wanted her ring back. I looked around and there ain’t nobody else in here but us. The doors upstairs dosen’t open until ten in the morning, I just thought you might of known something. Go back to bed Joe, if anything comes up I give you a shout.”
“I’ll come in early tonight, check the place out. See ya Doc.”
Dr. Jacob hung the phone back into place and got up to start working on the first customer of the day. At lunchtime, Danny went home, and Dr. Jacob went upstairs to check in with the manager. He mentioned what happened with Danny, and asked if he knew anything about a girl named Larissa. The manager had no idea, but asked if it was such a good idea having Danny working there, especially with his own key. Dr. Jacob went outside with the manager to the parking lot, where the huge old Swann’s sign stood. The sun had hidden itself behind a thick wall of clouds, and the wind had whipped up another notch.
“There is nothing wrong with Danny working here, he does a hell of a job. I took him on so ya, he’s my responsibility. If something happens, it’s on me.” Dr. Jacob stood his ground as small drops began falling on the pavement of the parking lot.
“So far, there hasn’t been any problems, but like I warned you from the start. The first time he screws up, he’s gone.” the manager huffed.
“I got you, there won’t be any problems. Joe’s coming in early just to check everything out, so I might stick around a little till he gets here. If you don’t mind,”
The manager rolled his eyes, adjusted his suit, and walked back into the home. Dr. Jacob thought about having a smoke, but the rain really started kicking in, and it was getting colder. He decided to head back in to work. When he got off the elevator and headed for the work table, he thought he heard someone sniffle. He called out to see who was there. Danny came out from around the corner, with a strange look on his face.
“Danny, I thought you went home. What are you doing here?”
“I came back to help Larissa. She’s sad. I don’t like to see a lady cry. Can we give her back the ring now?” Dr. Jacob explained that there was nobody there named Larissa, and he knew nothing about a ring. Danny asked if he could stay for awhile and look for Larissa’s ring, and even though everything in Dr. Jacob’s mind told him not to, he told Danny that he could. A couple hours later, the phone rang. Dr. Jacob answered it.
“Hey Doc, I was thinking about what you asked me earlier, and one of those chicks I did last night had a toe ring on it. I took it off when I put her shoes on, and I don’t think I put it back on. Do you think a family member came looking for it or something? Mabey that’s what freaked Danny boy out. Look on the top of the clothes rack. I’m gonna get another hour of shut eye in before I come down.”
Dr. Jacob told Danny where to look, and they found the ring. Danny went over to one of the bodies and placed the ring on the pinky finger. Danny looked up at Dr. Jacob and gave him one of his famous smiles. “I think she’s happy now. Thank you Dr. Jacob.” Danny got on the elevator and headed up. Dr. Jacob checked the name on the body, Laurie Essa. Larissa.
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