‘The hell am I supposed to do now?’ Mathias said with a huge sigh mixed with a growl, as he laid his head onto the table. ‘Two days without any connection… How am I going to get anything done?’
A long drive last night through the serpentines, then the woods lastly making his way through a thick fog covering the already unclear off-read track with a malfunctioning GPS. The trip tired him enough to forget what he had promised. But now, being somewhat rested, the memory resurfaced.
‘You need to get out’ Hekate said, concern ringing in her voice. ‘You can’t live your job, man.’
Mathias listened in a dazed state having been just woken up, indicated by the thin slits for eyes.
‘Come on, I just wanted to do this one job’ Mathias retorted.
‘What? Did you start a side-project on napping?’ Hekate teased, pointing her finger to a post-it note still stuck to Mathias’ right cheek.
‘I heard it improves productivity’ Mathias fought back in a still sleepy tone.
‘Yes, so does proper sleeping. Something you should do once in a while you vampire.’ It was a nightmare to try fighting against Hekate. She had an iron will and would rarely change her stance once she had decided on something. Mathias had learned to simply nod and afterward continue doing his own way, if it seemed better fitted.
‘Fine, I’ll take a day off’ Mathias said, throwing his hands up in the air.
‘The whole weekend’ Hekate said putting her hand into a back pocket. ‘Here’ she said, extending her arm and handing Mathias a card.
‘What is this?’ Mathias asked, his interest piqued.
‘That’s the address of a summer house in a nearby town’ Hekate replied. ‘Why not go there to take your mind off work?’
‘Fine, I will do it’ Mathias agreed, holding crossed fingers behind his back.
‘Fine- my ass’ Mathias growled again. ‘I will actually bite her the next time we meet.’
Despite being pressured by Hekate to get out somewhere, Mathias wasn’t planning on staying off work. All he needed was just an internet connection. Something that was slipping through his fingers.
Picking his head up, Mathias pushed the wi-fi logo on his laptop a hundredth time, again being left with no connection. Admitting his defeat, he lowered the screen, closing the laptop. Mathias sat back in the chair taking a deep breath and another look at the house, that he had barely observed stumbling inside after a long day and a long drive.
A hall, coming from the entrance, ended in the main room where Mathias was seated at a table, right in the middle of the living space. A few steps back stood a spacious couch, still in chaos from when he slept. Nearby it was a bedside cabinet, with a violin resting on top. All walls surrounding him were covered in bookcases. It felt peaceful. Warm. Like home.
Picking himself out of the chair, Mathias walked to one of the bookcases and looked through the contents. Seemed like no one was there for a long time, hinted by a layer of dust on the books. His eyes slid row by row, recognising titles both old and new. Picking one of the books, Mathias fell back into the nest that he made out of the couch. A few minutes later he was asleep again.
Waking up from what seemed to be a light power nap, Mathias checked his phone. A whole day had passed. Fuelled by shock and confusion he jumped out of the couch, dropping the book onto the ground. As Mathias picked the book, he noticed something sticking out. A note, reading: ‘Why not take a walk?’, seemingly acting as a bookmark. The suggestion did seem appealing to Mathias, especially now after sleeping almost the whole 24 hours. He was aching for a bit of exercise.
Well-rested, calm and knowing he won’t get much work done sitting in the house, Mathias got dressed and walked through the door. The cool air hit him right away along with the sight of the fog. Locking the door behind him, Mathias made his way down the stairs, taking a right turn in the street towards where he anticipated finding the town’s center.
The fog made it difficult to see but Mathias could make out people moving around. But there were no cars, no huge villas luring people in to enjoy the sea that he could so clearly hear but not see. All Mathias noticed were small, white, cube-like houses with blue details- exactly like the one he stayed in.
‘They look like beakers’ Mathias chuckled to himself. Even now his mind was noticing objects and linking them to his usual laboratory environment. DNA, proteins, cells- it was an unending cycle of experiments and trials. Thinking back to the talk with Hekate, maybe there was some truth. Perhaps he was overspending time at work. He couldn’t remember doing something for fun for a while.
Hobbies seemed to dissolve among the mundane tasks, doing nothing was not a part of his life either. But it felt that the same was with any excitement he had once before. The fascination of how the world works. Reading books and feeling like a discoverer of history, science. That is why he chose the path of a discoverer. Yet, after more than seven years of studies, that excitement had faded. Strongly. What kept him moving was mainly just the need to keep the ball rolling, simple inertia. Perhaps even fear to stop? But why could that be?
The thoughts kept bouncing off each other as Mathias made his way down the road. More and more houses were now visible, with something glinting in the distance, cutting through the fog. It was difficult to say how far away it was, however, a moment later the structure appeared right in front of him out of nowhere.
It was a pyramid, with an ornate base, going upwards and narrowing. About halfway up, the structure becomes more basic, begins twisting, left with an unfinished top, out of which the fog tumbles out.
At first glance strange, in a moment the picture became clear to Mathias. That’s what made him restless with his work- an excited man’s fascination ignited an amazing journey, which has revealed itself to be more than expected, clouding his life. He became so enthralled in this one thing that it became his chains rather than wings.
Touching the pyramid, Mathias turned in the direction of the house. He found what he was looking for. It was time to go back and begin changing things. Lost in thought, Mathias made his way back, packed up and left. Making his way through the fog, Mathias took a glance at the sight behind him in the driver’s mirror. The view was hazy due to the fog but finally, throughout the whole stay, beams of sunshine broke through the thick atmosphere.
The trip seemed to have been lost in a daze, Mathias making his way home and then to work. Finally, plumping into his chair, he turned on the computer. As he was about to continue his work, he decided to do something else right before.
‘So? What are you up to?’ Hekate asked, appearing as if out of thin air.
‘Picking a hobby’ Mathias said, turning the computer’s screen.
‘Violin, not bad’ Hekate said pleasantly surprised. ‘I guess the weekend getaway was useful.’
‘You didn’t let me work’ Mathias said his eyes narrowing.
‘That was the plan’ Hekate replied, showing off a mischievous smile. ‘Bite me.’
‘That was my plan’ Mathias said.
‘Looks like you’ll be too busy for that’ Hekate said, turning to go away. ‘I look forward to hearing you play on my birthday.’
‘But it’s in a couple of months’ Mathias protested.
‘Better get practicing then’ Hekate replied. ‘I expect you to be out of the lab by 5pm daily.’