It was 615 pm on tax day. We were at work. Suddenly, our phones go off. We’ve all just received an alert from our company payment app informing us that W2s have just been issued. Couldn’t really get a good look to compare them, so I figured I’d pull out my computer when I got home.
It’s 4 am. I’m home, showered, and settled in. I booted up my computer and logged into my employee account. The second W2 was gone. Some system fluke, I suppose. So, here I am with my computer on, and I figure I might as well make good use of it.
I’m going to grab my Picadilly Write the Story and see what I can come up with before I head to bed. With any luck, I’ll select something I can incorporate a little computer glitch in.
The Supernatural Invades the Everyday
Karina wasn’t having a normal day. She was actually starting to question her own sanity before lunchtime. The lab had been mostly deserted, which was the way she preferred it anyway. She fancied herself a rogue lab rat. The chimpanzee she was working with was the closest thing she wanted to having a friend here at work.
She’d arrived a little early today thanks to a bus being on time for the first time in history. Still sleepy and not in any hurry to chit-chat with coworkers who were just as introverted as she, Karina visited the coffee cart on the corner. The barista barely glanced up as he took her order.
The hot cup felt good between her chilled fingers. She sipped it while she waited for the elevator. One finally arrived that was heading down to the lower levels. A lab tech with a name like Adam or Allen or something like that rode down with her.
“It’s Kevin,” he informed her.
“Excuse me?” she hadn’t asked.
“My name that you can’t remember,” he stood with his back to her.
“How did you…” she let her question trail off as the elevator arrived.
With a mental shrug and a quick sip of her coffee, she’d slipped past him off the elevator. She turned back.
“Kev…” she swallowed the rest of his name because nobody was there.
Karina probably looked like she was sucking on a lemon when she walked into the lab moments later. She looked around for Kevin, intending to give him a piece of her mind, but he was nowhere to be found. She vowed to catch up with him later. There was work to be done.
She turned on her dinosaur of a computer and set off to find the enzyme test results that she’d gathered the previous week. She thought perhaps she’d left them in by the salamander, whom she’d been keeping company while she categorized.
Kevin was standing in front of the salamander’s cage when she walked in. He didn’t turn around. He stood eerily still.
He ignored her. He didn’t so much as twitch a muscle.
“I’ll just take these,” she grabbed her stack of papers.
When she glanced back as the door was closing, she didn’t see him.
Back at her workstation, the dinosaur had finished booting up. Karina pulled up the spreadsheet program. The screen went black, then blue, then purple.
She furrowed her brow. Though it was beautiful, her computer had never displayed that shade of purple before. She gave it a few smacks. She clicked the mouse. She smacked it again.
Bright orange letters appeared on the purple screen.
They flashed once, twice, thrice before merging together in the center of the screen and disappearing into a pinprick of bright light.
“That can’t be good,” she thought aloud.
She looked around and realized that there was nobody there to hear her.
On the dinosaur’s screen, a time-lapse of the metamorphosis of a butterfly began to play. She watched it, mesmerized, as it emerged from its cocoon over and over again.
Black, blue, purple. The screen flashed out again. The bright orange GOODBYE returned, flashed three times, merged into one at the center, and disappeared into a pinprick flash of light. She decided to call tech support.
While she waited, she drank her lukewarm coffee. She pondered again where everyone was. She wandered through the labs and halls of B-1 determined to find somebody, even Kevin. The entire place was deserted.
Karina returned to her workstation when she heard the ding of the elevator. The guy from tech support that arrived looked like he was twelve. He wore coke bottle glasses with fat orange frames. His button-up shirt was two sizes too big and his pants were equally baggy. The gym shoes he wore to complete the ensemble tied together the illusion of kid playing dress-up.
“I’m Jim. You got a computer you say ain’t actin’ right?” his deep voice was a sharp contrast to his appearance.
“Yeah, I think it’s got a virus or something.”
“Let’s have a look.”
She stepped aside so he could get in. He clicked and typed and made grunting sounds as he worked.
“Do you know where everyone is today?” Karina asked Jim.
“They’re probably all at Kevin’s funeral.”
“Kevin’s funeral?” an uneasy feeling washed over her.
“Yeah. He’s the one that died in the car crash last week,” Jim reminded her.
She was a rogue lab rat. She wasn’t part of the mischief. She’d hurt Kevin’s spirit by not showing up at his funeral, and he had known exactly where to find her –working.
It’s after six in the morning. Many of you are starting to wake up now. I should really be heading off to bed. No time to read and edit. I hope you’ve enjoyed this story.
If you enjoy the supernatural, check out my first novel, Child Eater
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