Haven’t had cigarette in twelve hours now.
Offices all look the same. Sure, one company sets up cubicles and the other has rows of desks with those Cicso Voice Over IP telephones on them, but ultimately, they all radiate the same feeling. The office feeling, the one that tells you that you’re uncomfortably middle-class and in the long run going absolutely nowhere and you better shut up and be happy about it if you want to keep your job.
My workplace is the one where they decided against the cubicle approach. To generate teambuilding and rapport, I bet. And so here I sit looking at my monitor, too bored to play MineSweeper and too busy to be writing the lines of code that my employer pays me to write. Then my colleague leans over and whispers something about how he thinks our new project lead is ought to do a good job.
Like the Terminator, I mentally consider the responses list. Frankly, it’s much shorter than what the tin-can assassin could’ve came up with.
-Whatever you say, Richard.
-You can’t put a person who knows Jack and Shit about programming in charge the day when Jack left town.
-Fuck off, asshole.
I decide to say nothing and understandingly nod instead. My colleague is an asshole. Only assholes wear company logo T-shirts every day to work. It’s like as if it didn’t say “Cordex Soft” on his chest he’d forget who he works for. And his name is Richard, too. If your parents call you “Dick” and you grow up to be one, then no-one has to act surprised.
Haven’t had a cigarette in twelve hours and thirteen minutes now. Bloody hell.
Giving up on both him and my cold and soulless LCD, I make my way to the kitchen. Lara from the sales department is standing in the corner with a blank stare on her face. I try to avoid her gaze as to not bring down the how-I-broke-up-with-my-bf-and-men-are-pigs shitstorm story upon myself again, but as I exit with my freshly brewn cup of coffee, accidentally look her in the eyes anyway.
She doesn’t look so hot with her eyes all glassy. Probably took to drugs, poor thing. Maybe just a sales department thing, though. You can’t sell a pink elephant until you yourself start believing it’s there.
Back at my desk, Dick’s gone, thank the Maker, so I sip on my coffee and stare at my monitor some more. Tap the keyboard. Be a good boy now.
A scream echoes through the room. I jump, and rush to the sound.
First I think it’s a freak accident. Computer blew up. Something. Richard’s standing over our new team lead’s desk, dark liquid dripping from his fingertips. Something that looks a little bit too much like blood. I can only see him from behind, but the team lead’s face-down on the table, motionless. I then think it’s a shooting. Except there was no shot. Or was there?
And then Dick rips the team lead’s head off.
Blood fountains from his neck, high enough to reach the ceiling. It splatters on the desk, on the carpet, on Richard, and on me. I blink. The crazy asshole turns around. His face is blank, same glassy look I saw on Lara. He drops the head. And then the bastard jumps at me.
Evasion. Like a Navy fucking Seal I jump out the way and grab the first thing I see. A Dell desktop computer. Wires fly as I hurl it at the crazie and make a run for it. In my peripheral vision, Lara is eating someone’s brains.
Twelve hours and twenty minutes. It’s the Zombie Apocalypse and I’m all out of smokes.
Rushing past my desk I notice Richard’s gaining up on me. It’s not just him and Lara, there are more of them now. There are screams of pain and horror, and the berserker cleaning lady sticks the back end of her mop in our security detail’s eye. I duck as something flies past my head, then hit some dude with my shoulder and run past him as he tumbles to the ground.
Dick’s still behind.
The window. It’s only three stories, I won’t die. Twisted ankle maybe. Broken leg. But then Dick’ll nail me. And as the thought hits, he finally catches up. I side-step and his wild swing misses. Grabbing a flatscreen monitor I hit Richard across the face with it as hard as I can. The monitor cracks. Dick doesn’t. I shove the monitor in his face and run forward.
Run. Just run. Don’t think.
We break through the window.
The flight’s fast and painfully over. I’m lying on Richard who is now missing half his head on the account of the monitor stuck through it. “Cordex Soft” barely visible through the blood on his shirt, he looks like a Teletubby from Elm Street, except the screen is through his head and not his stomach. Like a Teleheddie then. I frisk his pockets and find a crampled pack of Marlboros, two cigarettes left. I put one in my mouth.
There are gunshots in the distance. Screams. Police sirens fading away, more gunshots. Today is the day the shit hit the ventilator. I frisk the horror Teleheddie some more. No lighter. No matches. Even in death, Dick’s a real dick.
Twelve hours and thirty two minutes now.