I opened my eyes to the sound of the alarm clock echoing off my bedroom walls. The lamp on the small wooden dresser beside the bed still glowing bright. I left it on out of paranoia from last night, still can’t get that shadowy figure out of my head. I keep seeing it when I close my eyes, as if it has claimed my brain as its home.
I reach over, smacking the alarm off, the red numbers on it glow stating the time, seven a.m. I let out a sigh, time to throw on that damn suit again for work, joy. I lean up, throwing the silky black blanket off me. I struggle to stand, my legs not prepared for movement.
The sun barely peeks through the blinds over the window as it begins to rise. I hop up, nearly tripping over the pile of clothes I left by the bed last night. Stumbling around, eyes half shut, I make my way down the hallway. I turn and enter the bathroom on my left, bumping into the doorway as I enter.
“God, I need some coffee.” I mumble.
Charlie rushes over, rubbing his fur on my legs, meowing at me. I bend over and give him a quick pet. I already know what he wants, food. I stand in front of the white porcelain toilet, relieving myself, then stop at the sink to wash my hands. A dirty mirrored medicine cabinet hangs above the sink. I run my hands through the water, then stare at my reflection for a moment.
“I look like shit.” I state.
My shaggy brown hair is greasy, draped halfway down my face. The chunk of hair that crazed man ripped out, still smack dab on the top of my head. My skin looks pale, lifeless, more than usual that is. I shrug it off, they say I gotta be at work, they don’t say I have to look good.
I slink out of the bathroom, headed toward the kitchen. I press the start button on the coffee maker, waiting for the sweet caffeine to drip down in the hot brown liquid into my mug. Charlie meows at my feet again.
“Yeah, yeah, I know you’re hungry.” I say.
I walk over to his dish, placed on the floor by the refrigerator. I grab his bag of food from the cabinet and fill his bowl. He digs into the food, no longer caring what I do, he’s happy.
The coffee maker beeps, letting me know it’s done. I walk over and grab the mug. I grab a bottle of french vanilla creamer from the fridge and dump a large dose into the brown muck. I begin chugging it, no time to waste. The mug quickly empties down my throat, burning as it goes.
I sit the cup back at its home by the coffee machine. I pause as a strange feeling fills my throat. Like a bug wiggling back up, making me cough. The tickling sensation is unbearable, making me dry heave. I start coughing uncontrollably until something flies from my mouth, splashing on the ground.
I look down, a pile of maggots are crawling from the liquid mess on the floor. The sight makes my stomach turn, I rush over to the kitchen sink as vomit flows from me. I turn back and the maggots are gone.
“What is happening to me?”
I quickly run and grab my suit from the floor, throwing it on. I gotta get out of here, get some fresh air. Charlie watches me as I rush around, like I’m going crazy. I give the cat a wave goodbye as I rush out the front door heading to the car.
I hop in the car, quickly start it and begin my drive over to the bank. I pull into the parking lot, park, then hop out. I speed walk towards the front door, paranoid more strange things will happen out here. I throw open the door, everything looks normal, everyone sitting in the offices typing away. The front counter is already dealing with a customer, looks like some kind of farmer, the usual.
I avoid the stares from my boss as I dart towards my office. I can feel her beady little eyes burning through me as I walk. I open my office door, retreating behind my desk, plopping into my chair with a deep breath.
“Fuck.” I whisper, looking up to see my boss stomping her way towards me.
Her high heels clicking along the hard floors, her freshly pressed dark blue pant suit marching along with a purpose. Her eyes set on me with a dark stare behind her black trimmed glasses. Her long brown hair is pulled back tightly in a bun.
“Henry, you’re late.” She declares.
“By like two minutes.” I state.
“I don’t care if it’s two seconds, late is late.” She says, her hands placed firmly on her hips, as if I’m her child she has to discipline.
“Yeah, yeah, well I’m here aren’t I?” I say.
“Are you? You look like dog shit.” She states.
I just look at her, unsure how to respond.
“Well, either way, since you’re late you get the pleasure of cleaning the bathrooms. Have fun.” She declared with a smirk as she turns to leave my office.
“Gee, thank you, I don’t know what I would do without you.” I reply sarcastically.
She pauses for a moment before continuing on her way.
“Fucking bitch.” I whisper.
If she thinks I’m cleaning that shit she’s crazy, she can take this job and shove it up her ass. I sit and stare blankly at the screen in front of me, drifting off into my own little world. As I stare vacantly, the phone on my desk lets out a sudden high-pitched ring, snapping me back into reality with a jump.
I grab the phone, quickly bringing it to my ear.
“Hello, you’ve reached the Independence State Bank, this is Henry. How may I assist you today?” I say.
The phone is silent on the other end, only a faint breathing cuts through.
“Hello?” I say.
“Are you ready to reconsider my loan yet?” The voice growls.
“What? Who is this?” I ask.
“Maximus Romero.” He states. “I have a feeling things haven’t been going so well for you Mr. Whitmore. I would bet you could make it all go away before things get far, far worse.”
“Look dude, I don’t know what kind of game you are playing at, but your loan was denied. If you’ve got a problem with that, it’s not mine. Call someone who gives a fuck next time.” I declare, slamming the phone down.
The phone rings once more, I yank it up. “What the fuck is wrong with…” I begin.
The phone lets out a sharp hiss in my ear, a buzzing sound floods the ear piece. I hold the phone away from me, staring at it as it buzzes and shrieks. I drop the phone to the ground in a slight panic as flies burst from the ear and mouth pieces, buzzing around in a swarm all flying directly at me.
I swing my arms through the air trying to ward them off, they just keep buzzing and flying at me in their attack. The door to my office bursts open as my boss barges in.
“Whitmore! What in God’s name are you doing?” She asks, her eyes wide as she stares at me.
The flies have all disappeared, no trace of them remains. The phone is still on the floor where I dropped it letting out a busy dial tone. My eyes go wide, staring around the room in utter confusion.
“I… there were… I don’t know.” I say.
“I think you should go. Get out of here, now.” She demands, pointing at the door.
I don’t say a word, I head out of the office and out the front door. I stop outside as the fresh air hits me. What the hell is going on?
“Go!” She shouts behind me at the door.
I jump as she startles me, then continue towards my car. I quickly hop in my car and leave the lot. Driving down the road, passing by the few buildings in the town, my house quickly approaching.
I go to turn into my drive but something refuses to allow me. A deep growl echoes through the car, but I see nothing. It’s as if something else was controlling the wheel with my hand. My hand turns the wheel to the left, crossing into the oncoming lane. I fight to get back in mine, but my hand refuses.
The oncoming traffic honks and swerves as I block their path. My heart races as car after car nearly smash into me. I grab the wheel with my other hand trying to yank it back over but it’s no use. A semi-truck heads directly at me, frantically honking his horn at me. He slams on his brakes and skids along, his trailer swings sideways making a barricade across both lanes.
I close my eyes tight, bracing for impact, as my hand gives in swinging around, spinning in circles. I stomp my brakes as hard as I can. The car stops just short of colliding with the oversized truck.
I open my eyes, letting out shuddered breaths in panic. The semi driver hops down from his cab and heads my way.
“What in the hell is the matter with you boy?” He shouts.
I give him a frantic look. “I… I don’t know, I think something is wrong with my car.” I say hesitantly.
The trucker shakes his head at me, then walks back to his truck and drives away. The trucker stares at me until he is out of sight. I sit there frozen in fear for a moment before starting back towards my house.