All hail the window!
Do not look directly at it, for its light will blind you.
Do not remove your headphones, for its hum will deafen you.
Remain calm. Keep working. All is well. Everything is normal. The window will provide. All hail! All hail!
I can’t. I won’t. How long has it been since that thing appeared on the wall near the office door? Hours? Days? I can’t tell. I haven’t left my desk since I last talked with E—. And how long ago was that? Minutes? Years?–Have I been here overnight?
I must regain control. I need to see. I reach into my desk drawer and pull out the $10 eclipse sunglasses I bought for sungazing last week. The window hums; it pounds my chest. My heart skips then thumps along with it. I hold the glasses in both hands. They’re shaking. The closer I pull them to my face, the brighter the window glows and the louder it hums. Then there’s a sharp pain in my chest. I think I’m having a heart attack. My fingers go numb; I slouch in my seat. As I hook the cardboard frames around my ears, I notice I’m crying. Tears stream down my face and gather at the corners on my mouth. I lick them; they taste tinny. I’m not crying: I’m bleeding. I must regain control. I must see. I push the lenses over the bridge of my nose and gaze into the window.
I see everything. The oppressive light coming from the inexplicable window is not sunlight. No. It appears to radiate from a great, green eye, peering in from the parking lot. When I look directly at it, the pupil shrinks and focuses on me. I can feel hot, sticky liquid pouring from my ears, and my throat tastes like metal. I realize I am no longer breathing. My vision narrows and fades like an analog television. “Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel,” I think. I laugh to myself. I’m dead, I think.
Then someone taps my shoulder. I remove my headphones and look up.
“Hey,” says E—. “It’s almost 7 o’clock. No work is that important. Call it a night. I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“Sure,” I say. “Must have gotten carried away. Thanks.”
“No worries. Time tends to stagnate here. I know how it is.”
“Damn straight,” I say. He laughs.
I clock out, log out, and pack up. I look over at the office door. The window is gone, if it ever existed. E—‘s right. I’ve been working too hard. I think I’ll come in late tomorrow.
Like what you read? There’s more.
“Morning coffee” is a serial fiction series, served fresh daily. So far, we’ve covered rubberneckers, co-workers, cubicle stains, office plants, desk trophies, conspiracies, secret organizations, pocket dimensions, black holes, and impending, inevitable doom. And that’s just the beginning.
Where should we go next? Let me know in the comment section below.