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Thriller Fiction Suspense

AS A MATTER OF FACT

Let’s take a moment to breathe in, and breathe out. I thought to myself as I closed my eyes and allowed the flow of my breath to move through me. The music danced in my ears and a gental

breeze whispered past the hairs that gave goosebumps to my arms. I let thirty minuets pass as I allow my mind to cleanse. I opened my eyes to the dimmed living room light and rested them on the fan in the corner. Back and forth, it sends whispers to all who acknowledge it. My gaze

moved to the cup of coffee that has been sitting across the room for the past thirty minuets.

There was something soothing about drinking lukewarm coffee. I stretched my arms as I stood

up and made my way across the room. The morning sunrise began to shine

through my windows telling me it was time to get ready for the day. I peeled my

curtains back and finished my coffee as I watch the sun make itself known for the day to come.

It was late winter but the new growth of the leaves on the trees were beginning to show early

signs of spring. Today was the kind of day that made you feel like you were in a day dream. If

you looked out to the clouds for long enough, they began moving in a way

that would mesmerize you. "ting" I grabbed my waffles out of the toaster and tossed some cut up raspberries with honey drizzled on top. My favorite thing to eat in the morning for as far as I can

remember. I started to think back to my childhood when I would wake up and go on long walks after breakfast, but my memory scrambled when,

"ting"

I was jolted out of my thought and stare blankly at the waffels that sit untouched in the toaster, showing off its fresh steam. It was like time had frozen, rewinded, and I was just here. Wait no I was having a thought.. “I was thinking about putting raspberries on my waffel?” Did I not

just do that? I either have a stong imagination, or I am just loosing it, I thought to myself as I

reached for the steamy waffle and tossed it on the plate; just quickly enough to avoid burning

myself. I gave the berries a sideway look as they sit there, cut up but, no signs of being

touched. "Yep, thats it. I am definitally loosing it." I paid better attention this time as I fully ate my

breakfast. I checked the stove clock and the time read 8:14am. Just enough time to put on the

outfit I laid out from the night before and get to work before nine. I made my way downstairs to the lobby section of my building. I waved to the doorkeeper as always and he guided me out

with a smile.

"Off on another early adventure?".

"No" I yelled back, not slowing my pace down,"Just another work day".

"well have a good one!" As he tipped his hat at me, I waved back and jumped

into the cab that had conviently pulled up. New York wasnt my ideal place to live. There is

People everywhere you look, and never a moment of true quietness. Even with headphones on,

everything was always moving and someone was always rushed to get somewhere. Its the kind

of place that you either hop on the train or get ran over. Either way I didnt actually mind. I just

missed being alone and feeling like it. Somewhere by the beack maybe. Sitting in a chair

watching the sunset. Or by the mountains where the only movement is the slow grazing animals and nightly creatures who still manage to hunt and eat their prey in complete silence. It was a longing, or day dream sort of feeling. I snapped out of my head when I realized the cab driver was ten minuets into the ride and I hadent even given a hint of where I needed to go. "uhh the corner of Bowery and 4th please" Trying to ignore the fact that we were going in the complete wrong direction. I checked my phone and the time read 8:38. I set myself up to be early today, as being late is an old habit I have been working so hard to break. Yet somehow I have ended up in the trap of never ending... No not today I have plenty of time. I peaked at the GPS of the cab drivers screen. 'est. arrival time: 8:55.' Oh man I hope thats with traffic. Another thing I disliked about the big city. You have to navigate every tiny detail of your day around walking or driving being a better option. Mostly though, sitting in traffic for an hour makes you feel like you should just become a cross country runner. Only you'd be running cross city, just to get to work. By now they should have some sort of air train system. I took a look at the GPS system again knowing I would regret it. ETA; 9:01am. Dammit. I slouched back feeling defeated, Its pointless. what are they going to do anyway? fire me? I let out a small chuckled knowing that it actually was an option as I held a very important position at my firm. And it would be just my luck that today I had one of the most important meetings that would take place all year. I was so prepared. I was over prepared. I should have left an hour early, I knew it. I closed my eyes and thought about the excuse I would use today. 'I forgot to tell the cab driver where I was going so we took a joy ride' HA absolutely not. That is not even an excuse. More like "Your irresponsibility is telling me you don’t care about this job, so you are fired" I imagined my

lovely boss saying. God she was so good for putting up with me all these years. Why cant I do this one simple task. Be on time. Plenty of people do it. Yet I would never know who, because I never am. Snap out of it Soph! I told myself. Self sabatoge gets you knowhere, Ireally imagined my therapist's voice over my own, because she is a broken record giving me this advice. I do take it, sometimes... "we are here'... the cab driver gave me a hard glare in the rearview mirror. Knowiing all he wanted was to get paid I gave him one of my larger bills and shouted for him to keep the change as I was already closing the car door and trying not to look like an insane person as I rush inside. I glanced at my old fashion wrist watch but the clock hand didn’t move. It read 8:14am still. I knew it would need a new battery soon, Ive had this watch forever now. God if only. I would be so early even the janitor would be blown away. I am sure one of my coworkers would think I was dying and call an ambulance. I checked my phone for the millionth time, feeling like a teen who was waiting for a txt back from her lover... 8:38am... "now that cant be right" I sad aloud. I slowed my pace almost to a stop and felt the breeze of my panic rush through me and send chills through my body. I looked around and everything seemed normal. People moving at regular pace. Cars in a traffic jam but that was nothing new.

‘Ting'...

The elevator door opened and for a second it felt as if it had been awaiting my arrival. I looked left to right as if i were to cross a street, everything around me grew more silent. I took my steps forward and slowed my breath. The small thud of my foot making contact with the elevator door brought me back to reality just enough for me to turn around and face the outside world again. A cool breeze washed into the elevator door causing the hairs on my arms to standup. Although I was wearing a long fur coat that kept me very warm, I could feel the hairs pressing into my sleeves. I looked at the elevator buttons, almost forgetting what floor I was suppose to go to, then quickly pressed the one that read number four. The elevator doors

closed leaving me in complete silence. Not a single noise crept in this moment. Nothing from the

outside world. I dont even think I could hear myself breathing.

'Ting'

I looked up and read the number...2... It felt as if the elevator was slowing down. 'Ting'...3... Maybe not. I looked at my phone again, only three minuets had passed since I stepped, well ran, out of the cab. Making me ninteen minuets early. How? I thought the breakfast thing this morning made me feel crazy. Now this. The world must be coming to an end and this is just howit starts. But; you know, I tilted my head to the side, if this happens more often maybe it will solve my being late problem. I thought about bringing up this morning to my therapist, but remembered that it would only cause worry and probably result in a diagnosis of some sort.

'Ting'

the cool breeze rushed in as the elevator doors open. Only today, the air came through on the back of my neck and the doors in front of me remained closed. I turned around and heard a small chatter of people begin to arise. I looked around to see exactly what was expected. One ofmy coworkers, who is also a good friend. Alana.. approached me with a slightly concerned look on her face. "you good?" .."You look like you just escaped jail, and your early" It took me a moment to process what she said, I almost disregarded her before I let some words spill out reminding her of my important meetiing this morning. "Has the elevator always had two doors?" ..."yes haha, I am pretty sure you have been here longer than anyone else, how did you not notice?"..."Anyway I am going to get to this meeting lets have lunch later" I walked away trying to put past me how weird this morning has been. I took a moment to recall how many occurances have now happened. First, the breakfast thing, Then with the time in the cab, but I knew what I saw. Now the elevator.I know my memory isnt always the best but I just feel weird. Not now Soph, We need to focus. I took a deep breath and set my files on my desk careful to look as if I am a professional who intended to show up early. I started to organize my small stack of folders between what was needed now and what would be needed later today. "Sophia, Good morning. So nice to see you here on time" My boss approached my desk, Slightly joking but still stern and I knew she was serious. "lets head to my

office before this meeting gets started, we still have about ten minuets" I Followed her to the

office and was about to ask how her weekend had been, but just as my lips began to separate

’ting'

l felt dizzy and almost passed out. I caught myself on my kitchen counter and

made eye contact with the steamy waffles that had just finished toasting. I looked to my right and saw the cut up berries. "No, this cannot be right" I looked at the clock on my stove...8:14am. I pulled my phone out with more urgency than I Had ever felt before.8:14am... I tossed my phone on the counter taking a few steps backwards. My grip on reality felt like a

merry-go-round. I put both of my hands to my face and tried to rub this feeling away. This is like

that movie where the guy kept having repeating days, I Thought. But this is different. The character has to die or go to sleep to start over. I havent done either. I immediately grabbed a

pen and paper from the kitchen table. I always had to have something ready to write, Because ideas will come and go as fast as a train. "focus" I felt myself put some power behind those words and jolted into a thought process. OK, The last bit of normality was when I was eating my breakfast. Well right before. Then I looked at the clock. My watch froze at 8:14. And I am back at home at the same time. Could there be some corelation there? DID I DIE?? Slight panic tried to creep in but I took an aggressive breath trying not to let that be my only answer. I felt, heard, even talked to people. There is no way this makes any sense. I remembered google is a thing and rushed over to my bag to get my laptop. I set it on the table and entered my password. I read the words 'google' and although this was a familiar page, It felt like I was no longer myself. My handswere typing and my brain was thinking but where was I. I had no idea what to type in. This situation felt like something I would need a book or ancient person for. How is google going to know " what does it mean when I experience multiple changes in my reality" This is all I had right now as far as answers were concerened. So i pushed my glasses to my face, as if they werent already secure, and began to read. "HOW TO CHANGE YOUR REALITY" Obviously that is not what I want. I continued reading, {Dissociation, focus your mind, change reality.} more of what Is

not going to tell me what is going on. I dont know what I thought I was going to find on the internet. If this was a normal occurance I probably would of heard about it. Maybe I had a stroke, OH MAN, I am way to young and healthy for that. I continue to read and saw the words depersonalization across the screen. I clicked on the link and began to read. Now this could make sense. Yes. All of the symptoms align, Not feeling

like yourself cut off from reality, Feelings of things happening that actually haven’t or visa versa.

The only problem here is it says that this is a result of a traumatic experience. Did I get Into an

accident this morning? There is no way. I remember everything that happened clear as day. I

think. I groaned and walked to my bathroom to give my face a good rinse. The cold water felt amazing. I have no idea why I didnt do this sooner. I reached for my towel that was always kept in the same spot but was thrown off when my hands only made contact with more air. I Opened my eyes as best I could with the water dripping from my eyelash and noticed the bathroom. It wasnt mine. Jumping straight to alertness I wiped my face with my shirt and

looked around. It was familar. I knew this place. I scratched my head and a toilet behind me

flushed. I leaned myself against the wall and my ears began to make sense of other noises that

took place outside of the door. One of my cowerkers stepped out of the bathroom stall giving mea slight nod and smile before washing and leaving the bathroom. I looked around the corner of the closing door and saw Alana talking with my boss...Get it together..My body was tense now. Frustration set in and I was determined this time. This cannot happen again. I stood up tall andwalked out of the bathroom. A few people looked my way with concerned faces. Alana approached me this time with caution and asked if I was ok. She informed me that I had a nose bleed and should probably go back and clean up. I pressed two fingers to the side of my nose and felt the trickle of blood go down my arm.

'TING'

I heard it so loud and clear yet my body was no longer there. I lost my foot, and all feeling and

the last thing I remember is the elevator door begining to open and the shoe of a man stepping

out.

February 07, 2023 07:20

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1 comment

Wendy Kaminski
21:41 Feb 12, 2023

What a head-trip, Tamara! Nicely-conveyed dissociation in the main character, which never seemed to end. Great work on the prompt, and welcome to Reedsy!

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