Thursday, November 02, 2006

Lunch report

Before going to lunch today, two co-workers asked me why I was going earlier than usual. In answer, I dashed off this amusing little piece of hackwork when I got back.

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Mick glanced over at the clock. It was only 11:15 and he was already tired, wishing that the work day was over. Not a good sign. Yesterday, he had read that some scientists had fed fat mice some substance in red wine and that they had lived pretty well because of it. Mick is not a fat mouse, but decided to make this an excuse to drink more wine anyway, a decision he would put in place that very day. But right now, he was stuck in his cube.
Mick sighed, and made the decision to take an early lunch. But first, he had to get rid of the oncall phone. The hated oncall phone. Mick sighed again. Moving to the other side of the room, he successfully palmed it off on his colleague C-, who took it graciously and without fuss. That pleased Mick, but then C- and his fellow bald cubemate B- noticed that Mick was heading to lunch rather early. They began to question him closely, probing him mercilessly. As the walls of reality seemed to decay around Mick, and he began to sense once more the presence of the Old Ones, he fled.
Back at his cube, Mick threw a die to see what he would have for lunch. He did this every day, hoping that it would prove a sop to the cruel Fates, that they may overlook him and lessen his misery. Ah, Fortuna, Mick thought. A fickle mistress art thou! Thus thinking, he headed off to the other building, clutching his pack of instant saag paneer to his chest.
He trudged through the water, perhaps giving a nod here and there to his grey colleagues. Half way across his right foot felt cold and wet from the hole in the heel. Bitterly, he pondered his fate. Nice new shoes were not to be his. Ah, Fortuna.
Inside he microwaved his meal, feeling a little heartened by the warmth and the happy colleagues on their way to strap on their feedbags. Probably the high points of their days, he reflected, such simple, kind people. Finding a newspaper, he munched and read. Then, putting his arms on his hands, he was lulled to sleep by the dimly heard conversations around him. At first he was content, warm and comfortable. But then he heard the familiar far off strains of the idiot flute players that turned his dreams into hellish nightmares. The blind idiot flute players and their dark master Azathoth. As the flutes seemed to come louder, a familiar terror gripped his heart. He longed to wake up and head back to work with C-, B-, and the others but could not. Something unwholesome held him. Chanting seemed to swell up around the cacophony of flutes. He heard the dread names Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathoteph, and chants of "Ia! Ia! Cthulhu f'tgan."
With a great effort, he wrenched himself awake and stumbled blindly back to his cube. Another lunch survived, but only just.

Canby Depot Museum