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The Metamorphosis of Mr. Martin
by E.F. Banyon

Enter Mr. Clarence Martin, an ordinary department head in an ordinary office. He is not too ordinary, however, to have undergone a change, a change of character known only to one other person – the victim of that change. For you see, Mr. Martin possesses a uniquely multifaceted personality. He is at once mild and orderly but cunning when threatened.

Mr. Martin appears the most mild mannered of employees and more constant than the chair upon which he passes most of his day. To his coworkers and the rest of the world he is a simple man with simple needs and simple goals. He is plain, drab Mr. Martin, a man who did not smoke, would not drink and could not yell. In all respects he is a perfectly pleasant individual.

Martin has a passion for order. “Passion”, however, is a word he would never use himself. His days run like clockwork – each identical to the next. Each week is another row on the calendar; each calendar blends with its predecessor. The routine that is his life is like Old Faithful. Mr. Martin, though, never openly erupted. He never even gurgled. Unfortunately, Mr. Martin has a flaw in his perfectly ordered personality; for his love of routine has rendered him intolerant of change, of any change. This is where the darker side of Mr. Martin’s personality creeps from beneath his well ordered facade.

Enter a threat to his orderly little world in the form of one Eunice Barrows, a diminutive woman with a personality that is anything but. Mr. Martin has a strong dislike of Mrs. Barrows. A dislike of this degree does not fit his well-ordered personality, but then again neither did Mrs. Barrows. To him she existed as a mistake, and this mistake needed to be corrected. Urged on by this rational conclusion, his cunning crawled from beneath its rock and schemed to rid his life of this anal retentive woman. Thus, the same mind that thought highly of the virtues of civility and order also thought of murder. Murder was a corrective means of sorts in its own way sometimes was it not? On the verge of committing this necessary deed, a sadistic brainstorm swells in his mind. His cunning is unleashed and like the barrel of a gun, it is squarely aimed at Eunice Barrows- who quickly disappears from Mr. Martin’s well-ordered world. The precise means by which he brings his plan to fruition are of less importance than the precise way in which he covers his guilt....and if nothing else, Mr. Martin is a precise man and a well-crafted murder is after all a precise undertaking.

Of all people Mr. Martin is beyond the realm of suspicion in matters as ....passionate...as murder and as such, is never even suspected. His cunning has fooled them all, manipulated his victim, his co-workers and everyone else by drawing on his own personality as the perfect alibi. Needless to say the results are quite devastating for the late Mrs. Barrows. For Clarence Martin however, the objective has been reached and he closes another chapter in his life, filed under “R” for routine restored.

Mr. Martin is a mild man of reason and order – methodical in his duties and peaceful in his nature. However, even the most peaceful of people can react in the most menacing of ways when threatened. Exit Mr. Martin.

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page last modified: May 11, 2014

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