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Fiction Urban Fantasy Speculative

I slowly wheeled my cart out of the small closet that sat all of my equipment for the day and trudged along down the shiny tile floor hallway. As I reached the first conglomerate of desks and workers, I noticed some yelling getting louder.

Coming towards me was a loud and angry person holding loads of papers and pencils falling out of their arms. I watched as our longest lasting designer walked out the door in a huff after punching her boss in the face. She was some big wig designer who was working on a piece for this falls fashion show when Ms. Kerns told her she wasn’t a fan of her work and to start over with a good idea this time. The designer became infuriated and acted out of emotion, breaking Ms. Kerns nose in at least one place. Ms. Kerns was also in her third direction change for the fall show since she became head of designs with this company this year. It was June and she started in April. She also acted out of emotion anytime anything came up that she did not agree with. I was guilty as well of acting out of emotion and too angry at my professors to finish school after they said I would probably fail their class and end up a janitor.

As I picked up the last pencil in the hallway left by the designer, I pushed my cart along the gleaming floor. I passed by a television showing the news, it was either showing war or peace and at this point I did not care anymore. As I walked along, I heard the news anchor say the enemy country we had been at war with was now our friend and another country was our enemy. World War III would never come thankfully since allegiances changed like the wind, I thought to myself as I remembered all the wars I had to memorize in school.

I moved on trying to get to my main job before someone interrupted me or made me angry enough to lose this job. I really needed this job more than anyone knew, but I doubt they would care if they knew anyways. This was a dog-eat-dog world and people turned on each other faster than a ballerina spinning on a grease spill.

As I walked past a big office room a big nosed nasty nellie approached me their face red as an apple and pants as wet as a water park. They started screaming at me and pointing to their desk obviously trying to get my attention, everyone on the floors’ attention, and the whole blocks attention. I looked behind them slowly and noticed a coffee cup lay on its side with the handle missing. As I returned my gaze to the angry person, I noticed they were waving the handle around. I pulled a trash can out from underneath the cart I was pushing and they angrily dropped the handle in the can making a hollow thunk sound as it landed. They then stormed off towards the bathroom very irate that poor fortune had found their coffee cup.

I nodded my head to a tune only I could hear and absentmindedly wiped up the coffee from the person’s desk. I watched as I pushed the brown liquid into the can and noticed how the brown started to stain thew white rag I was using. The rag was doing its job but would be thrown out at the end of shift because of the ugly stain it would leave. No fault of its own just the wrong place at the wrong time. I then sprayed the desk with peroxide and wiped everything down making sure it wasn’t sticky and straightened the desk.

As I exited the office, I saw a couple pointing my way and whispering behind their hands so I wouldn’t know they were talking about me. Their eyes betrayed them as they peered over their fingers like peeping toms looking at someone, they knew they shouldn’t. I turned my cart towards the elevators and started towards my main duty for the day, again. As I waited for the elevator to arrive, I noticed two people flirting with each other. One had a ring on their ring finger and was getting touchy with the other person. They both seemed really happy and I had to admit I was curious to I decided to listen in on what they were saying.

“Oh, you know I’m married now, stop it!” the one with a ring on said.

“But you’ve been doing so well on your diet and at least I listen to you! Come up to my office with me and I can show you what true love is!” the other one said.

“You always make me feel so good! Why not?” they then giggled and embraced each other and I felt my blood pressure start to rise.

Just as I was about to say something the doors parted and I quickly entered the elevator. My heart was pounding, every instinct I had told me to hit them, to berate them, to make them feel the same way they were going to make their significant other feel. I rustled in my deep cargo pockets for the headphones I carried with me and jammed the end into my phone. I scrolled through some apps and found the one I was looking for.

“I love you daddy! Please come home early from work so we can play!”

I pressed repeat.

“I love you daddy! Please come home early from work so we can play!”

I pressed it again and again until I felt my heart rate finally slow down.

“I love you da-“

It was cut short as my battery died and the shiny steel doors slid open. I was at the top of the building looking at pristine white marble floors, gold encrusted statues, and expensive vases. It made me sick thinking of what kind of money was paid for things that didn’t matter. I slowly pushed the cart around the room slowly dusting the tables, scrubbing the floor, wiping the windows, and emptying the trash bin. Same thing fell into my basket as it did every day. A bottle of blood pressure pills, empty except for a label that read “Lucas Estenwood”. That was the name of the owner of this obnoxious tower.

I strode over to the window and looked out across the city at the fore front of my gaze was the highly successful and volatile big businesses constantly rotating employees just because they were mad or didn’t like the cut of their jib. Past the businesses were the schools and smaller businesses that were riddled with violence and disaster due to adolescence not being observed and corrected. Then there were the homes of broken families, broken windows, and broken dreams.

People followed their heart and desires, quickly flipping from one thing to the next so why would they fix anything when they can be who they want and not put in effort to make someone else happy? I sigh and turned towards the double door cabinet to my right and opened it. Inside was a multitude of suits in every color the owner wanted just because they wanted it. I felt the fabric, satin, why not?

The intercom buzzed on the desk. “Mr. Estenwood another designer is here for an interview”

I pushed the button and simply replied “She’s hired”.

I released the button and sighed again. My headphones were dead. And my day had just started. My daughter was the only one who kept me level headed and doing things for her not myself. Without her voice in repeat in my ears I didn’t know if I would be able to make it through today without an incident.

What I did know was that I loved my daughter. And that love guided my every decision now.

November 17, 2022 04:16

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1 comment

Tamarin Butcher
16:07 Nov 28, 2022

Interesting story! This prompt made me think of something I was once told about emotions: Your emotions are valid and you should feel what you need to feel; however, how you act on your emotions is key, so watch your actions carefully.


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