Mystery Fiction Science Fiction

The monotonous grind of life. I had worked in an Amazon warehouse for the better part of three years. I had always wanted to work there for a year, take advantage of their free schooling, and move on to something better. Now I was gonna hit my three year mark, which is your last pay increase until you get promoted for more income. Except I didn’t have an interest for working at Amazon long term, I never did.

I did take advantage of the schooling and got a Google IT certification, which didn’t net me much. 

So day after day, I would wake up, and drive twenty minutes to work. As I kid I had really loved the Disney movie Hercules.

Reason being, Hercules felt like he didn’t belong and had a greater purpose, that there was a place that when he got there, people would cheer and he would feel like he is where he was supposed to be. I felt like that, and still sort of do. 

Over time that feeling has been slowly dying, and don’t get me wrong I know it’s my fault. Why would I think anything special would happen to me when I didn’t do much to let that opportunity present itself. So always in the same rhythm, I would walk in the warehouse scan my badge, push myself through the padded turnstile, walk for 8 mins, past metal rafters, the constant sound of conveyer belts moving at various speeds, until eventually to a manager. They would hand numbers that corresponded to stations that I would be working at for my full ten hour shift.

3169, south side, was my number for today on the third floor, there is four floors in total. A westside wrap station closest to to the bathroom, water station, and third floor break room. Pretty much the best station to get. So my job, like I was saying very monotonous, awaiting a robot to bring a 10ft pod on the drive floor to the side of me. I would then grab an item of corresponding size and put it inside one the allotted slots. For ten hours, with two fifteen minute breaks, and a thirty minute lunch. So I figured a system to make time pass more or less in a pleasant manner. I would fix my phone between the two screens in front of me, the first screen identifying the item I scanned, the other a newly implemented game screen that they tried out, that synchronizes with items stowed away to earn points. That game screen has a power unit visible on a latch attached to the screen behind it with USB ports. I would plug my phone in to charge it all day while I watched movies with the subtitles on.

9:30 am comes, first break of the day, I walk to the break room, grab a coconut water and a Lunchables. Ham and cheddar cheese is my preference, so I pay, chill, and scroll my phone for a new movie to watch. I am pretty much in full zombie mode at work, just uncaring, and indifferent. I don’t really even talk to people often, unless a manager is doing rounds. So break is over and I walk back to my station, I’m typically back before other people that really milk their break. I sign in to my station, get to working again, but then ten minutes pass and I notice no one is back from break yet. I really think nothing of it, but then thirty minutes pass, and still no one in their stations yet. I get curious, so I walk around to the main line before the wrap, sometimes they clear the wrap for training purposes or if there’s low amount of work. I completely walk around the other side, and no one is there either. 

I go back to my screen to see if I had gotten a message, they would often send mass messages to everyone’s station to let people know of any notices or news. Nothing is there, there definitely wasn’t a fire drill, I really have no idea what is going on.

So the warehouse I work in is about four football fields, two perpendicular, and then two out. Immensely large, I leave my station and I walk up stairs to the fourth floor, there are stairs in every corner symmetrically. I walk the fourth floor main line, not a soul. So I walk past the line, around the opposite wrap towards the north side. I eventually get there, and no one is there either. I think well I should go to the opps desk, located in the corner east of the south side on the first floor, typically that’s where the managers are for late arrivals.

So I make my way down, doing a whole lot of walking, when suddenly I notice that the conveyer belts have been completely silent the whole time have been dead still.

I start getting nervous at this point, on the first floor, I briskly walk to the opps desk and you guessed it, no one there. There is probably over a thousand people working at the facility on any normal day, “where the hell is everyone” I say out loud. Then I noticed there’s a radio on the opps desk, I turn it on, then turn the channel to 8, which the department I works channel, stow.

I get on it, hit the button, “can I have manager meet me at the opps desk” a minute passes by “ does any one copy?”

Nothing. I roll through the other channels asking if anyone is around, all 9 channels and no response. Well I think to myself, I better just get on out of here, so I make another journey to the entrance, past the security check, where there was also no one, try to scan my badge to get out, but it doesn’t register, I tap my badge on it multiple times to no avail. There is glass doors that I can see out into the parking lot, and the whole thing is packed with cars parked. I really don’t understand what is happening, if all those cars are there, where are the people? 

In the distance, I hear someone yell “hello!” 

I look around, and run towards the sound of it. Then I see the  source and it’s this guy named Max, I had met him a week ago pulling pallets from trailers, he was a shorter light skinned Hispanic guy, semi stocky, and older but you can only tell by his grey hair. He sees me and runs up to me “ dude, what is going on?!” “ I really have no idea” I reply.

What I knew about Max was that he had been working here for about a year, and that a few years back he was in the marines, so I think this is good guy to be stuck with. 

So I ask Max “what do you think is happening?” 

He says “I really don’t know, I just came back from break and everyone was gone”

“Same” I reply 

“What do you think the move is here?” I ask

He says “I really can’t be sure, for whatever reason, you and I haven’t been affected by whatever caused everyone to disappear, so that means something” 

“You think so” I say back curiously.

“Well it’s awfully strange that it’s just us two”

“But you don’t know that” I add

He says “I don’t know, but maybe we should get out of here”

I tell him “I checked the main doors,my badge isn’t working” 

He nods and says “I know”

Then I remember there is a caged door by the receive desk near the trailer doors that maybe we can access, I tell him about it and he says “or just the trailer doors”

“You are smart” I say

So we rush over there, I’d never opened one the trailer doors before and neither had he, so we are struggling with one of them and we can’t get it open. So then I see the caged door and a higher ups badge sitting on the desk, you could tell because there was a red marker in the corner of the badge. I say “hell let’s use it!” Max agrees.

We scan the thing that opens the cage to the exit door, but then the door after says an alarm will sound if we open it. I put my arms out to my sides in a motion to stop Max. He says “What’s up?” I begin saying “we are about to open this door, the alarm will sound, what if whatever that took everyone hears it?” 

“We have to get out of here man” he responds 

“I just don’t know if this is necessarily a good idea

“I can’t believe we’re  arguing over this we have to get out here and plus what choice do we have?”

I reluctantly agree, he pops door open and the alarm goes off, it’s insanely bright outside, brighter then the sun it feels like. We walk out side and I can’t open my eyes, just an extremely luminous light blinding me. I start feeling lightheaded, and can’t move. I feel myself losing consciousness.

July 06, 2022 21:06

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