Chapter 3

Chapter 3 small

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Chapter 3

  1. Matt says:

    My Mom Doesn’t Clean –

    It was the handprint that threw him. Everything else was your typical employee break room, complete with passive aggressive snark. But the handprint on the corkboard was weird.

    “Did you see that print on the board?” he asked.
    “What print?” replied Brian.

    Les pointed out the oddity.

    “It sorta pops out towards you. Instead of pushing in.” said Brian.
    “Yeah it’s weird, right?”
    “Probably like a Halloween thing.”

    Brian was eating the sloppiest tuna sandwich Les had ever seen. The bread soaked through, the tuna more a soup then a spread. Plus, it had two thick slices of tomato on it for some reason.

    “It’s been there since September.” said Les.
    “So’s that glob of jelly, or whatever it is, on the side of the microwave. What of it?”
    “I don’t know. It’s just weird.”

    Brian finished his sandwich and then, using his teeth, opened a tube of GoGurt. The fake pink of the heavily sugared sludge didn’t lend itself to the labels claim of, ‘Strawberry Kiwi Kick’.

    “Do you think anyone in management knows about it?” asked Les.
    “About the jelly stuff? Probably. It was probably management that left it there. They’re all too good to clean up after themselves. Can’t imagine wiping down a microwave as anything other than beneath them.” said Brian.

    The more Les looked at the handprint the more it creeped him out. He’d seen it before, of course, but never given it this much study. Never really thought about it, until today.

    “Not the gunk on the microwave, the handprint. Do you think management knows about the handprint?” asked Les.
    “Why would they care?”

    The receptionist, Carol, came into the room. She swished by the two men and stuck her oversized coffee mug into the microwave. Pushed the drink setting and swished away.

    “You know, she drinks on that same cup all day?” asked Brian.
    “She sips at that same cup all day. Comes in here off-and-on, to reheat, but only drinks the one cup.”

    The thumb on the corkboard seemed to be in a different position then it’d been when he’d first come in. Seemed to be closer to the palm, or it was further from the palm, or the same distance. But it was definitely different, somehow.

    “I can’t figure how she can last on one cup a day. I’ve usually had five or six by the time lunch comes around and I’ll usually have two or three more before quitting time.” said Brian.
    “Did you notice if the thumb had moved?” asked Les.

    Brian gave him a suspicious look.

    “You’re screwing with me right?” asked Brian.
    “It just sorta seems like the thumb wasn’t where it is now.” said Les.

    Just then the microwave beeped and Carol swished back into the room.

    “You guys any closer to goal then you were this morning?” asked Carol.
    “I haven’t had any luck.” said Brian.
    “Have you noticed the handprint on the corkboard?” asked Les.

    Carol looked at the corkboard, studied it. She was a thin woman with unusually wide hips and a slight slump to her shoulders. Her glasses were old Tina Fey but her hair was current day Katy Perry.

    “I think I’ve seen it before. Is it something you put there?” she asked.
    “No. It’s been there since September.”
    “Les is pretty concerned about it. He’s thinking he might need to notify management.” added Brian.

    Carol opened the door to the microwave, but didn’t grab her coffee. Instead she took another look at the print on the board.

    “It’s weird cause it seems like it’s pushing out, instead of in.” she said.
    “That’s what I said.” added Brian.
    “How do you think it got there?” asked Les.

    She stepped back, turned her head to the side and really studied the print. Then her eyes strayed to the paper posted beside it.

    “Les is this you?” she asked.
    “Is what me?”

    Carol pointed to the picture on the paper, posted beside the handprint.

    “Is this you?” she repeated.

    Les hadn’t noticed the paper. He’d been looking at the board for nearly fortyfive minutes now, but he hadn’t noticed the picture of himself on the paper, posted next to the handprint.

    “That really looks like you.” said Brian.
    “That’s you Les. That’s definitely you.” added Carol.

    A sort of dread set in all of a sudden. A cold panic. A wobbly stomach turning unease.

    “The paper says you’re missing Les.” said Carol.
    “What?” asked Les.
    “Says you’ve been missing from the Houston area since…”

    She squinted at the words on the page, then fled the room. Leaving the microwave door open wide, her one-cup-a-day coffee still inside. She’d left so quickly, with such purpose, that Les hadn’t noticed Brian moving to leave as well.

    “Where you going?” asked Les.
    “I’m just… I just gotta get back to it. Gotta hit goal. You know what I mean?”

    Brian walked backwards out of the room, keeping Les in sight the entire time. He seemed suddenly very jumpy. On edge.

    “You guys are acting weird.” said Les.

    But they weren’t the only ones acting weird. Les could feel his heart racing, his palms sweating. For some reason he was bouncing his knee. He’d loosened his tie, it hung around his neck.

    “That handprint is weird.” he said to himself.

    But by now, he wasn’t really concerned with the print. If only he could still be worried about the print. Now he was worried about the picture on the paper, posted next to the print. The picture of him.

    “I guess I better get back at it too.” he said to himself.

    He tried to get around the table in the breakroom without looking in the direction of the corkboard. He had to keep away from the corkboard now. It wouldn’t do him any good to look too closely.

    “Gotta make goal.” he said to himself.

    Les stood next to the microwave. The corkboard on his left, the exit straight ahead. All he needed to do was walk back to his cube. Just walk right on back to his cube and get right on back to work. Gotta make goal. But now he couldn’t move.

    “Did any of you guys notice this note on the fridge?” Les asked.

    Someone had written a snarky remark about cleaning up after yourself. Something about your mother not working here. Then someone else, some rascal, had written a cute little note saying, ‘My mom doesn’t clean.”

    “This little note is funny. Did you put this here Brian?” asked Les.

    He just needed to get back to his desk. Just needed to get back to work. Definitely didn’t wanna read the paper, posted next to the print. Definitely didn’t wanna see the picture of himself on the corkboard. The lights in the breakroom flickered.

    “You guys are making to much of this.” said Les.

    He looked at the paper. He didn’t wanna, but he sorta had to.

    “I’ve been missing for twenty two years.” he said to himself.

    Les was certain now that the thumb had moved. That the handprint wasn’t the same as when he’d gotten here. Wasn’t the same as when he’d first come into the breakroom. Twenty two years ago.

    “You left your coffee in here Carol.” Les said.

    He was still wearing the shirt from the picture. The tie, hanging loose around his neck, was the same tie. The paper was old, a coffee stained yellow, crinkled, some small tears at the edges… covered over in tape.

    “Carol. Brian. You guys are making too much of this.” said Les.

    They’d been having lunch together for a month and a half now. In fact, Les had been having lunch with everyone in the company. In fact, now that he really thought about it… Les hadn’t been out of the break room in twenty two years.

    “I’m not dangerous. I mean, I’m not gonna hurt anyone.” said Les.

    All he needed to do was walk straight. Straight out the exit and into his cube. Just get right on back to work. Gotta make goal. All he needed to do was leave the breakroom. But he knew he couldn’t.

    “Did you guys see this note about my mom not cleaning? It’s a cute note.”

    The lights in the breakroom flickered.

    – The End

  2. Doodlehoose 1 says:

    Well done. Creepy.

    So now we have three chapters. Do we continue to add more characters or start to tie them together?

  3. Matt says:

    Gotta Gibson this bad boy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *