18 August 2007

Perils of Peeping

He stared at the form. It was the same form he'd been filling out for 5 months, with only a few label changes from the previous form, which itself predated his 7 years of employment in this office. He knew this form intimately. He even dreamt about this form. His entire life seemed to be wrapped up neatly in the inviting yet limited rectangles, the attention-getting but forbidden hash marks of the 'for office use only' portion, and the large margins that made it appear independent, self-contained.

He kept staring at the form, with only a general idea of what was supposed to go into the next box. He glanced briefly at the stack of papers near the corner of his desk which gave him all the relevant information. He glanced briefly back at the half-completed form. He chose to look past the rectangles, the hash marks, and the margins, and pushed his chair over to the window instead.

There was another margin outside. The sidewalk, many floors below, teemed with life. He knew that the maintenance closets were the hash marks of his life, and his office was his rectangle, which he filled nicely in spite of recent revisions. He watched the people mill around at street level, watched the cars and busses make their way through downtown traffic, watched a falcon perch on a flagpole protruding from another building. He started to look for her.

She normally worked in the office across the street from his. He didn't know if she was young or old, pretty or homely, smart, or funny. He could only see general size, build, and colors through the semi-reflections of her windows. Yesterday she had worn a red blouse with black pants, today it was a white blouse with a tan skirt. He didn't remember seeing that particular skirt before, but for him she was just an idle distraction, so he returned to his form.

After finishing several more forms, he felt like taking a break. He looked for her, but she was not in sight. He sluggishly rose from his chair, and wandered to the break room, stopping to chat with a few friends on the way. In the break room, he purchased a cup of coffee from a machine that made bad gourmet coffee and a box of small donuts from a machine that usually sold nothing but candy. He sat down at one of the tables, and looked out the window.

From here, he could see into what appeared to be a conference room. There were five people in the room, and she was one of them. They appeared to be moving the chairs towards the door. Suddenly, all five backed away from the door, scrambling over the table in the middle of the room. He stood up and walked over to the window to get a closer look.

There was, in the room across the street, a pile of chairs in front of the door. He could see the pile shaking, and the people appeared to be going hysterical. After a few seconds, light began to come through the door, as if holes were being knocked in it. As he stood and watched, the door disintegrated, and what appeared to be giant chickens began ripping the chairs apart. They only sort of looked like giant chickens. They appeared to be the size of a man in a reddish brown chicken suit, and they appeared to be hopping like he'd seen pigeons do in the local parks and plazas.

He continued to watch as the chickens circled the large table, as more flowed into the room behind them. He started to count them briefly, but stopped when their incessant jumping made that task impossible. Two of the five people had gotten back on the table, surrounded by the chickens. The other three appeared to be in a pile on the ground, being pecked at.

One of the chickens at the pile stopped pecking and leaped onto the table. The two people on the table, startled either by it's movement or the human foot sticking from it's mouth, ran for the door. He couldn't see what happened to them clearly, but he was pretty sure they didn't make it.

"Am I interrupting something?"

He turned around. One of the new guys from marketing had come into the room, and was standing in the doorway, holding the door open. "Excuse me?" he asked, knowing what had already been said but stalling for a few moments to refocus his attention. He could see the marketing guy start to speak again, but all he could hear was the clucking noise coming from down the hallway.

Goe, needs to thank somebody.


Rachmeg said...

I remember a story like this from long ago - was it always giant chickens?

Rach - Still missing a Tuesday.

Goemagog said...

they were always chickens.

Goe, cause science made stupid already used saber-toothed ducks.