- A Work in Progress :-P
It was difficult to recall the exact moment when she realized she was not “normal”. Thousands of thoughts overwhelmed her already boggled mind, as she tried to extract a specific memory, but it was all in vain. Everything was so loud. So many different sounds, in every corner of her brain. Where was she? Something told her to open her eyes, but as she tried, she felt them tighten closed even more. “Too bright!” she thought. This isn’t right at all. She tried to speak, but as she attempted to open her mouth, it tightened closed just as her eyes had. “What the hell is going on?!” she asked herself. Even with her eyes tightly closed, she could still she colours flashing through her eyelids. Was this a dream… a really weird dream?
She tried to get up, but her body was not reacting to her brain impulses to move. “Oh my God I’m dead!” she thought. She felt cold. Not the coldness you would feel stepping outside on a cold winter’s day, but the kind of cold one would expect to feel when the life was drained from one’s body.
She wanted to scream, but nothing happened. She couldn’t move and couldn’t speak. All she could do was lay there, and think.
“…was what they called ‘nothing short of a miracle’ when they found a very scared but unscathed Madeline Shard, age four, in the stairwell of one of the largest steel fabrication plants in Newbank. Officials say that after being missing for nearly five days, with nothing but the clothes on her back, this young child faired better then most would have imagined, under such circumstances. Madeline’s father ro…” - CLICK - Shane Steward tossed the TV remote onto the coffee table amongst a filth pile of old magazines, used tissues, empty beer cans, and a half eaten, slightly moulding slice of Meat lovers pizza. He looked carelessly around his shabby living room, looking for his clock. Shane had become such a slob these days. Not caring much about his personal appearance, nor that of his home. The now jobless twenty-nine year old, was in a mode of deep depression, and lacked the motivation to even shave. Shane’s carelessness showed in every corner of his medium sized apartment. Dirty laundry, pizza boxes, toppled over ashtrays and ‘heaven only knows’ what else, lay un-orderly across the floor. The smell of sweaty feet, and beer flooded the filth palace, and every blind in the disgusting hole was drawn closed, leaving very little light to see by. Shane had not left his apartment in three weeks now. Since he lost his job, nothing else seemed to matter, and so he resorted to ordering Pizza Joe’s specials and Chinese food to stay alive. He had only one can of Panther Mill Brew left in his fridge, and an answering machine full of messages he had failed to check. Shane had not been answering his phone.
Just as he was about to drift off, Shane heard a knock at the door. It took a few moments to register what he had heard, before slowly getting to his feed and shuffling to the door. “Who is it?” he asked in a low, phlegmy voice. “It’s me Peter. Shane let me in, shit!”
Groaning, Shane slid the lock over, turned the knob and pulled the thick wooden door open. Not even looking up, Shane stepped aside to let his friend through the threshold and into his apartment. “Jesus Shane. It stinks like fuckin’ death in here man. What the hell you been doing?” Peter looked around in disgust. He had never known his friend to be so unorganized and dirty. Peter was a top Executive for the corporate firm ‘Palm and Sanders’. He was not only a good friend of Shane’s but was also an ex co-worker. Only three weeks ago, Shane had been Senior Secretary of Affairs to “Palm and Sanders” He had worked this incredible career for 5 years, and worked his way up to his position in just 3 short years. At one time, he was quite an asset to such a prestigious company, and now…
“Shane, there has been lots of talk about you at the office. Some are saying you moved out of the country, others are saying you turned into a drug fiend, and even the guys in the mailroom are talkin’ bout how they think you’ve probably hung yourself in your bathtub. What the hell have you been doing all this time? Look at you, look at this place!” Peter looked anxiously at Shane, with a look of grief.
Shane grunted and looked at his wall where the clock used to be. He hadn’t seen it in days, so had absolutely no concept of time. “They’re talking ‘bout me eh?” he mumbled. “Yes Shane,” spouted Peter, “they are. But you still haven’t answered my question. I know loosing your job is not easy, but you haven’t even come by to clean out your desk, I haven’t seen you at Murphy’s Diner since you left, and no one has seen hide nor hair of you. Please, what is going on?”
A million and one thoughts raced through Shane’s mind at once, as he tried to come up with an answer to Peter’s questions. He didn’t want to tell his friend that he wanted so much to kill himself, and that nothing else mattered in life, so he muttered the first thing that came to his mouth.
“Peter, I lost more then just my job. I lost my life. My job was my life, you know that.” Peter looked at him reproachfully. “Your life? So what, Max, James and I are not part of your life? You haven’t even answered your phone. Your answering machine has been full for two days now. We are your friends Shane, You don’t turn your back on your friends.”
“My friends!?” shouted Shane with a look on his face much like that of a crazy person having a bad hair day. “My ‘friends’ who didn’t stand up for me when Paul Sanders and Philip Palm walked into my office calling me a crook and blaming me for the number shortage in last year’s return, and threatening to have my life ended if I ever tried to work in Newbank again? The same ‘friends’ who just watched silently as I was escorted out of the building by two of Paul’s thugs, and said nor did anything about it? Yeah… who turned their back on WHOM, Peter?”
“No, no you got it all wrong” urged Peter “we tried to talk to Paul and Phil, we told them that it must have been some mistake, and that you were a good SSA and that you were very diligent in your work, that it must be a typographical error or something stupid. They wouldn’t listen though. They said that they had been tracking you for months, and that you were embezzling from the firm for a very long time.” Shane looked towards the door. Peter could tell he was uncomfortable and that he wanted to be left alone. “Can I just ask you one more thing Shane?”
Shane slowly looked at Peter and nodded “Ask away.” Peter looked around the room as if to make sure no one was listening in on their conversation. “Did you really take the money Shane?”
“Get the fuck out!” screamed Shane, as he marched over to the front door flinging it open and pointing down the hall. “NOW!” he added.
With that, Peter gave a Shane an offended look, and said nothing more, as he marched out of the apartment. The door slammed behind him and he heard one of Shane’s valuable pictures smash to the floor. What was he going to do? His good friend Shane was struggling and he didn’t know how to help. He was seriously worried that if no one intervened soon, they might all be reading about a suicide on Cart worth St. in the daily paper.
Something had to be done, and quick.