You decide to stay and look at the ceiling for a while. There's an interesting stain on it.

Or not, you decide as quickly. As in not get up and check Bill and Rita are okay, and not in fact in some odd laugh-related distress. They’re probably simply in the moment, hilarity-wise. Besides, it is a fascinating stain, up there on the ceiling-tile: dung brown and shaped liked Java, the tropical vacation spot you’ve been saving up for by doing whatever it is you do in the eight-by-eight cubicle you should probably soon get back to.

Being a cubicle worker, rather than a paramedic, say, you through no oversight on your part could not know Bill and lovely Rita have in fact only heartbeats of precious life remaining. While you gaze at the ceiling and imagine running, in slow motion, along a brilliant sea-lapped Javanese beach, and looking good doing it, Bill and Rita laugh and laugh. They retch, laugh some more. You see, Bill and Rita are in the final stages of wholly preventable neuro-cardio-whatevero distress triggered by recklessly jumping into a really funny watercooler joke, of the knock-‘em-dead variety, inside six minutes of the morning’s third heart-kicking energy drink.

It’s suddenly a lot quieter. On your back on the floor, you snap out of your Javanese getaway. Propping yourself up on elbows, you grasp the situation before you with some alarm. Neither Bill nor the lovely Rita are your friends, so they only earn some.

Rita, to all appearances, has actually died laughing. Mouth open and the strangest expression over her glassy blue eyes: must’ve come as a bit of a shock, you’d say. She’s still standing, too: like she died, forgot to fall over.

Bill’s not got long, that’s plain. Staggering about by the bubbling watercooler, both hands locked in front, fist in hand, and hammering said fist against his sternum. He’s performing CPR on himself, of course, that’s it.

He has noticed you, staring at him. Oh, now it’s plain in his wild expression that he’d appreciate you getting up off your elbows and doing something. But, being no paramedic, you wonder what possible something you might do.

The End

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