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Jan 19, 2021

Suspense

“Better call it a day soon,” Susan said to him, her warm coat on as well as her hat and her scarf. She was always dressed so elegantly.

Dan looked out the window. It was dark out, though that wasn’t abnormal for January as he normally worked until 5:30 anyway. The snow was really coming down even more than normal this time of year. That didn’t bother him as he was just focused on getting his work done and it wasn’t like he had anything to do when he was at home anyway.

“I still have some stuff to finish up,” he said. “I’ll get going in a bit.”

“It’s really bad out there,” Susan said. “Not just a normal storm. Even my gym is shutting down early tonight.”

“Good night Susan,” he said. He didn’t need to hear any more from this beautiful woman that would never actually date him that she wouldn’t be able to go to the gym when she left at a regular time because she didn’t have anywhere near the amount of work he had, though she made more money than he did.

Once Susan left, the building did seem a bit eerie. Most of the people that worked later with him had also left early due to the blizzard. There were automatic lights in the building so most of them had gone out. He could see out the window the snow was coming down in blankets like he had never seen before. He wasn’t going to let that scare him. That was why he had all wheel drive. All of the snow actually made it look lighter outside than it normally looked.

It was close to six when he finally got up to leave. The rest of the building was gone so the only light was near his desk. The automatic light went on in the hallway that was dark before he got to it and he walked to the back door. When he tried to push it open it was stuck. There had to be over a foot of snow blocking the door. Normally Maintenance made sure the snow was clear even at night, but there was no sign of them. 

He didn’t wear boots to work but he wasn’t sure it would have made a difference either way as he tried to stomp through the snow which got deeper as he walked through it. When the parking lot was in sight he knew he was in trouble.  He couldn’t see a single car in the entire section of the lot other than his and it was half-buried. Even with all wheel drive, his little Ford Focus wasn’t going to get out of that lot.

He pulled his phone out of his pocket. He couldn’t believe what he saw. He had no service. Snow had never knocked that out on him before. How was he going to get out of here? He wasn’t. He was going to have to go back in the building. He sure hoped the blizzard cleared up and the plow came at some point during the night or it was going to be an awkward next morning.  

He managed to get back in the building but the first hallway that he went into, the automatic light didn’t go on like it normally did. He walked down another highway to find the same result. The Exit signs that were normally lit up also were not. In the short time that he had been outside, the building had lost power.

His first thought was how he was going to get himself dinner. The vending machines weren’t going to be working. He walked into one of the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. There was definitely nothing in there that look appealing enough to eat, although he thought that might change as the night went on. He saw an unopened Powerade which he grabbed, cracked the seal, and took a big swig out of. Powerade wasn’t something that was sold anywhere on the premises so he told himself he would try and track down the owner of the drink tomorrow and pay them for it, though he knew that wasn’t actually going to happen. 

He walked down the hall again walking by the unisex bathroom. He walked by the Red Room. The door to the Red Room was actually ajar. Low level employees like him weren’t allowed in the Red Room. The power outage must have disengaged the lock somehow which normally required a fob. He hadn’t seen anyone else in the building and he hadn’t seen any other cars in the parking lot when he was outside. He had to be the only one in the building.

He went inside the dark room. His phone service was out but the light on his phone still worked. He looked around a bit. He pulled on some drawers. Locked. He got the same result when he pulled a couple of others. Boring. He left the Red Room and wondered if the World Room was open. It was. Just like the Red Room, it was full of a bunch of drawers that were locked. All that wonder he had all of the times he walked by those rooms and now all of that wonder was still there.

Angela Bara’s office was open as well. He had no doubt that everything in her office would be locked three times over. She was the Vice President of the building, a fair woman, that everyone knew not to mess with as they would not only be fired but done so in such a way that it would leave a mental scar with the person that would stick with them, possibly forever. Stephen Shakes has seemed like a tough man, a thick, bald bodybuilder who no one would have wanted to mess with out of the office. When Angela fired him she ripped into him so badly about every weakness in not just his job performance, but his overall personality, that he ran out of the office crying. He allegedly had checked himself into a psychiatric unit for a couple of days after that. Dan wasn’t sure he believed that but knowing Angela, he didn’t disbelieve it either.

Going into her office was about the stupidest thing he could have done no matter how sure he was that no one else was in the building, he knew that, but curiosity can often trump over someone’s logical side. He would just jump right in like he was jumping into a cold pool, then get out, and forget it ever happened. Everything in there was going to be locked securely anyway so what was the difference?

The first drawer that he tugged on pulled wide open, almost causing him to fall over as he gave it a good yank thinking for sure that it was going to be locked. And when he saw what was in the drawer he knew he had something to keep him entertained on this night when he was going to have nothing else to do. There was a file folder on every single employee and each one included their current salaries.

He couldn’t believe this information wasn’t stored on a computer instead of here but he wasn’t complaining. Now he could see what all of his coworkers were making and see if he was getting taken advantage of for all of his hard work. The first folder he pulled out was for Jack Dietz. He was sure Jack made more than him despite having a job that was far less demanding and that always drove Dan crazy.

He looked right at Jack’s salary. Jack actually made quite a bit less than Dan did. He’d be damned. Maybe his situation at this company was better than he thought. Maybe all of that bitterness he had about working hard and not being appreciated was just an overreaction. Suddenly he felt guilty about going through Angela’s files. It was time to put the folder back and go figure out if there was a place in this building that he’d be able to sleep comfortably for the night.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

He felt his hand that was still holding the folder start shaking as he heard the voice and looked up to see Yvonne standing in the doorway. The 38-year-old woman stood at a tall 5’10 but the heels that she was wearing brought her over six foot. Her dark hair looked like a shadow with the darkness of the hallway behind it.

Yvonne wasn’t at the level Angela was at in the company but she was only two below her. She was low enough where she would have numerous interactions with Dan during the week but high enough where she would verbally bully him and get away with it. She made his life at this company very unpleasant but he couldn’t quit because his limited skillsets prevented him from simply going somewhere else and finding something better. She was two years younger than he was but seemed older to him because of her success and confidence. 

“Oh hey Yvonne,” he said nervously, sneaking the folder back into the drawer as if she couldn’t see exactly what he was doing. “Guess I’m not the only one that got snowed in.”

“Going through Angela’s stuff, huh? She is going to eat you up and spit you out when she finds out about this.”

There was no time to be messing around with Yvonne’s mind games. Dan needed to get out of this office immediately. He put the folder back in the drawer, hoping that he was putting it back the way it had been, but not having enough time to check, and he shoved the drawer shut. He stood up and made a rush at the door but getting by Yvonne wasn’t going to be as easy as one might think. While she was a tall woman, Dan only stood at 5’6 and was also a thin guy weighing a mere 145 pounds. Yvonne’s presence in the doorway intimidated him.

Still knowing that he had to get out of there, he charged at her. She put out her hand, shoved his chest once he got close enough, and knocked him down on his butt. She had intimidated him enough mentally in the office but he never actually thought that she might be physically stronger than him despite the fact that she was bigger than he was, but now he had to face the fact that she was stronger. He looked at the tall woman standing above him and he was too intimidated to get up.

“Come on get up off of your ass, you little peon,” she said to him.

She had talked down to him plenty in the past during office hours but never to this level. She was clearly going to take advantage of the fact that it was just the two of them in the office now. But not having anyone else there made him fear her more. He got up to his feet just like she said and she looked pleased about the control she had.

She walked in the office from the doorway and shut the door behind her. She grabbed him by the tie and yanked him away from the door, walking him back in the office by the tie like it was a leash. He had never felt so degraded. She walked him back to Angela’s desk and pushed him down in her chair. She then walked back to the chair on the other side of Angela’s desk. Dan could see the door past her and he knew he was going to have to get by Yvonne to get to it. He knew that wasn’t going to happen. It looked like she was moving her lower body.

“So you don’t want me to tell Angela you were in here?” she said.

“What do you want?” he asked.

“Well…if you don’t want me to tell on you…then you are going to massage…my feet.”

She kicked her legs up and rested her feet right on the desk. She had kicked off the heels she was wearing and she hadn’t been wearing any kind of socks, stockings, or pantyhose. Just the bare wrinkled bottoms of her size 10 feet looking right at him, needing to be massaged as the only way he could be safe from getting in trouble with Angela. 

“You can’t bully me like this,” he said. “You’ll get in trouble too.”

“Yeah? You going to go to Angela and tell her you were in here going through her files and you’re reporting me for making you rub my feet. Is that what you are going to do?”

He hated everything about this woman, and he felt that hatred far more than he ever had before. He just had to do this and get it over with and then see if he could be transferred to a different department or something so he would never have to deal with her again. But first this was going to have to be done. He stood up and grabbed her left foot with both of his hands. Just feeling the texture of her foot in his hands made him feel like he was her slave. He rubbed them lightly just wanting to get this over with.

“Oh you’re going to have to do better than that, peon,” she said. “Come on, massage them well.  This better feel good or Angela’s gonna find out about everything.”

She got herself more comfortable putting her hands behind her head and she wiggled her toes a bit. He began massaging her feet just the way she wanted him to. If she didn’t make him feel low enough normally, this was the ultimate bottom. He continued to massage her feet and she actually started moaning with satisfaction.

“Yeah that’s a good little peon,” she said. “Jusssst like that.”

He moved his hands to the other foot, now actually starting to want to please her. She looked satisfied and he hoped the better of a job he did, the quicker she would let him out of here. But time passed and she didn’t look like she was going to be letting him stop any time soon. He stood and she sat in silence for probably a half hour as he massaged her bare feet. He couldn’t do this anymore.

“How much longer do I have to do this?” he asked.

“You want to stop, peon?”

He didn’t bother protesting what she called him. “Yes.”

“Alright but before you finish up I want you to smell my feet. Stick your face right into them and take a big whiff. I want to hear the air coming in through your nose. I’ve been walking around on them all day with no socks on. I bet they stink, ha-ha. Go ahead. Let me see you take a big whiff.”

This woman had complete control of him and there was nothing he could do about it. She kept degrading him more and he was just going to have to go along with it. He looked at those big feet looking at him and thinking about what they were going to smell like after a long day’s work made him not want to do this at all. He had to do it and get it over with, just like jumping into a cold pool. He shoved his face into her feet and took a big whiff. Surprisingly, they didn’t even smell bad. They smelt fresh and fruity like she had just put some nice lotion on them, and while he could smell a hint of her shoes, even that wasn’t unpleasant. They actually smelled kind of good. He didn’t want her to know that, though, as he feared it would lead to ridicule or her making him do it more so when he pulled his face away, he made a face like he did not enjoy it.

“Ha-ha-ha,” she laughed with pleasure. “How was that, peon? Alright, go and get of here before I decide I want to make you do more stuff.”

He quickly made his way to the door but when he tried to open it, it was locked. He pulled on it frantically but it would not open. He looked back at Yvonne who was too busy admiring her feet to notice what was going on. Finally, she realized he was staring at her and she turned her head to look at him, her bare feet still on the desk. He didn’t say anything but pulled on the doorknob a few more times to show her what was doing on.

“Oh, you know what happened?” she said casually. “When the power went out it popped the door open. But when I closed it, the door locked again. Neither of us can unlock that door from either side. Looks like you are stuck in here with me all night.”

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