By L. A. Campbell
The constant rattle, that intrusive low din, and the
ever present migraine inducing banging noise. The air conditioning in this
office is older than me I swear. It sounds like ten generations of rats are living
up there, going about their daily ratty business in a most uncivilised manner.
Sitting behind my now overly sparse desk, sanitised
as per the office ‘tidy-desk’ policy, I contemplate my existence in this world.
I try to convince myself there is a reason for all of this, all the while pulling
an ugly gurning face as I go through the daily motions, repeating the mundane
tasks as if I am a programmed robot, mumbling under my breath as I type
meaningless emails to my faceless colleagues.
“BANG” I look up, the loud intrusive bang a welcome
distraction from my vacuous task. It sounds like the air con people are here
again, fixing – to use the term loosely – the ageing system. Just one problem
with that, there is no one here; the air con people were here yesterday repairing
it. There are no cars outside, nor any work vans. I am all alone here.
“BANG” a second loud bang, louder, it’s getting
closer to me. I can see the ceiling panels expand and contract with the motion.
What is this?
A rattle louder than overhead thunder. I jump up
from my chair, alarmed by the closing chaos. I thought I was all alone here.
Backing myself up, unnerved both by the ensuing
commotion and my own fears of loneliness and isolation, I instinctively want to
run and hide in one of the less than appealing bathroom stalls.
Resisting my urge to flee and cower, a somewhat
sensible option, I instead drag my chair over towards my doom. I pull myself up
onto the filing cabinet and slowly lift one of the ceiling tiles, revealing the
inner workings of this old and somewhat deteriorating shell.
Raising myself up, my tiptoes dancing off the edge
of the cabinet, all the while looking around for what I hope are the repair men
that I have just missed coming in. It all seems quiet, too quiet, just an empty
space above the misery of day to day working life, followed by an even emptier
feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Just as I turn to lower myself back to the mundane, I
sense something. Turning, I am hit with the force of a truck, knocked backwards
from the chair, my back crunching as it hits the corner of a desk. I barely
manage a scream, a silent whimper, before I am overcome. Then there is nothing,
just blackness and silence. I am one with the darkness now.
No more mundane. I wonder if my boss will even notice.