Once again, a prompt set from the Sunday Starters posts that are shared in the writing group I manage inspired me (shout out to Micah, again – the purveyor of plot bunnies I was not looking for, lol). This time it was at 2AM and I was drunk, but I’m not one to ignore the muse. Enjoy.
Setting: A government office building. Downtown
Dialogue: “Simply delectable, my dear…”
Prompt: A wonderful night out on the town, but the sun fails to rise.
It’s dark and the office building is all but empty. I’ve stayed late because I got suckered in to doing paperwork at nine in the evening on a Friday because, as my older sister is so fond of pointing out, I have no backbone. Meanwhile, the rest of the city is alive and buzzing. Beyond the windows, car headlights whiz by and music wafts into the street. Downtown is a constant reminder of the fun you’re not having, when you work a job like mine.
Most of the lights throughout the building are off. I rub my arms in my cardigan and regret not wearing something warmer to work, though I don’t remember it being quite this cold during the day. I stack my papers neatly on my desk and glance at the time. I could probably squeeze in one more packet of new-hire paperwork, if I have another cup of coffee.
The halls are dark, but I’m used to the building. This isn’t the first Friday night I’ve spent in these quiet office rooms, and it probably won’t be the last. When you’re twenty-two and desperate to keep a good image in front of the boss, you find yourself doing a lot of things you hate yourself for. Memorizing lunch orders, making extra trips to the coffee shop, ignoring that he continues to call you Patty when you’ve told him, point-blank, that you prefer Patricia.
At this point, I just want to wrap up what work I can and go home, scarf down some leftover pizza, and fall asleep drooling into my couch cushions after watching Captain America go from scrawny street brawler to a Grecian god come down from Olympus. Instead, I pour myself a cup of cold, burnt coffee and nuke it for two minutes before I drop in some sugar and a splash of creamer. I’m cooing quietly to myself as I wrap my hands around it and soak up it’s warmth when I feel a distinct shift of motion behind me.
When I turn around, there’s no one there. I shrug to myself and head back to my cubicle. A blur of motion in my peripheral vision catches my attention, but it looks like just a car driving passed the building on the road outside. I sit in my swivel chair and lean back, sighing into my cup. One more packet, I tell myself, and I can justify calling it a night. There’s no other choice but to come in tomorrow to finish up the paperwork, so I should let myself go home and get some rest. I take a sip from my mug, for strength, and scootch the chair closer to the desk so I can get started.
That’s when I feel breath on my cheek. A pair of cold fingers tracing down the side of my neck, sliding across my shoulder. A voice says, “What luck, to find such a morsel waiting all alone.”
I spin, but there’s nothing behind me. No one standing close enough to breathe on me. No one at all. I shiver and turn back around, but the touch returns immediately.
The voice says, “You look simply delectable, my dear,” and pain bursts like twin cells in my throat. It’s so strong it burns the cry that tries to grow in my throat, withers it into nothing in an instant. My vision fades on the edges until it grays out, darkens to black. I am unconscious before I really understand what’s happened. I think, morose, that if I was never going to see the sun rise again, I would have at least enjoyed one last night on the town.