Segment of the Future

 

This will be a continuous work, but I can't continue past this because of mature content. I can make a separate story out of it if people like it. Note: It will get very, very violent in soon chapters.

***

Wake up, drink coffee, drive to work, sit in a boring office for eight hours. Today was just another boring day for Jeff Wilder. Standing at six feet four inches, he had to stoop slightly to walk in the short doorway leading to his second home: his cubicle. 

Just like clockwork, he performed his daily routine: walk to the coffee room for another cup, skim the newspaper while really wasting time, and go outside for a quick smoke. He eased himself in his chair waiting to punch in some numbers, maybe even write a boring report on sanitary safety in restaurants. He always referred to it as "mind numbing work that led nobody anywhere." In truth, he often envisioned himself as a world leader, but he had an intense fear of crowds and public speaking, so he scratched that idea in his late teen years. 

Turning his computer on, he noticed a blinking light from the bottom saying he had one instant message unread. Taking a quick look around he determined nobody was lurking in the make- shift hall, so he accepted the new person and read the message, face turning pale instantly. 

"I have chosen you, Jeff Wilder, to be my decision maker in everything. You are my magic 8 ball. Here are the rules. You have three minutes to decide every question. They will range from easy to difficult to impossible."

Kind of long for an instant message, he thought cynically face turning his normal color and closed the window to avoid trouble.

No sooner did he close the window did another pop up again.

"A pregnant woman whose life dream is to have a baby will lose her only chance of pure happiness or a potential politician will die in a car crash from a ruthless alcoholic. You have three minutes. If you refuse to make a decision, both will suffer."

Jeff's breathing grew shallow and his pulse raced. 

What do I do? What do I- he asked himself but was cut off by another message.

"Two minutes remaining :) "

What sick (bastard) would do this? And put a smiley face? This must be a colleague joking around.

But a swift look around the desolate room proved that to be false. Everyone wore the same concrete faces devoid of any and all emotion. No snickering was heard, only fingers hitting keys in a rhythmic motion. 

"One minute. Tick tock. Tick tock..."

No response. 

"Thirty seconds. Make your decision now or live the rest of your life knowing you killed two people."

"Fifteen."

"Ten."

"Five."

"Okay, okay. The politician. There! Are you happy? Now tell me who the 4377 you are."

But there was nobody else on the other side replying. The mysterious person had signed off no doubt pleased with evoking an unrational response from a rational person.

Kids these days. Why can't they ride their bikes or play marbles like we did when we were younger?

He pushed the incident out of his mind, but it kept creeping back to disturb him every once in awhile. 

"Okay," he said aloud. "Monterey's Pizzeria. Only four violations, but one was terribly bad- cockroaches."

He liked the spoken thought. It soothed him to hear himself think of every possibility, every angle before making a decision.

Except I didn't before. That was rash, he thought, but shook his head in an effort to toss the idea from his mind. 

Six more hours of this, he thought. I need a break.

"Wilder," an authorative voice said. "Where do you think you're going?" 

Sh*t.

"Nowhere, sir. I just needed a smoke. You know," he lowed his voice a few decibles, "addicted."

Quick thinking. Good job. He formed a small smile then erased it from his face.

"If you don't want to stay an extra hour, I highly suggest you turn your caboose around and walk in your office, sit down, and resume your work."

The young man speaking wasn't very tall, wasn't yelling, but had an aura of authority that made everyone listen to them even if they were his senior and worked at the company longer. Jeff hated it.

"Yes, sir."

Great. Now how am I going to get this out of my mind? A smoke would surely do it. But I need my job. Rent doesn't pay itself.

He peered over at the mound of files to still sift through and groaned. 

Is this what I'm supposed to be doing? Day in and day out? This?

It didn't seem fair to him. All his friends graduated college and made something of themselves- went to graduate school, medical school, even law school. None of them knew what it was like to work a nine-to-five job in the inner city wishing they made a few different decisions in his past. Yet, here he was. Sitting at Yumsters Food and Sanitary Co. working his tail off for poor pay, no benefits, and zero retirement plans. 

Is this like an early mid-life crisis? he thought to himself half believing it even though he was only twenty six. 

Because if it is, then I only have twenty-six years left to live; and I'm sure not going to live them in here.

An orange light from his computer broke his train of thought. 

"You have done well."

It was the mysterious person again.

"Who are you? What is your name? Where are you?" 

"That will reveal itself very soon, my friend."

What did all this mean, though?

"All you need to know now is that I'm watching you. I watch you everytime you walk into work and leave it at 5:10. I watch you take the 34-Blue bus home everyday."

"How do you know this?" Jeff typed with terror.

"I watch you fumble as you attempt to prepare dinner for yourself every night. And I watch you as you curl up in bed alone, hugging your pillow, at precisely eleven every night." 

"Who are you?!" 

"I told you. That will be revealed to you later. For now, know that I am constantly watching you, recording your every footstep. If you go to the authorities, you will die a more violent death than you could ever imagine."

"But who-"

But it was no use. The person had signed off again leaving Jeff with no new leads on this person who, to him, was just a stranger but had known his most intimate routines. 

What the 4377 is going on here?

Five hours later, Jeff brought himself to his feet stomach lurching a little. 

What if- he started, but forced the idea out of his mind. He couldn't bear to imagine he had killed somebody. 

"No," he said aloud, the sound of his deep voice calming him slightly.

As he walked out the large, glass double doors of his workplace, he spun around in a large circle looking for anybody suspicious that might be following him. He made his way to the bus stop around the corner. He took a few steps forward, one step backwards, stopped, looked around, and repeated the procedure several times before he actually boarded the bus just before it drove off. 

He eyed the driver cautiously. Maybe he's following me. He does know what bus this called, where I get on and off. 

However, the driver never gave Jeff a second glance and he ignored the thought. At the third stop, he stepped off the bus one stop early. It was only ten blocks to the next stop, so it would throw off the spy. He had a total of fourteen blocks to his apartment, but that was okay. He didn't mind walking if it meant he would be left alone. 

He reached the inside of his apartment and pressed the call button for the elevator. The ride up felt longer than usual and Jeff started to worry a little. Two men and one woman were in the elevator with him and there was an awkward silence as he surveyed each with a critical eye.

The woman, who looked no older than twenty two, was wearing a complicated suit set and carried a briefcase with a laptop poking out it. The taller man, who looked like he could be an ex-Marine had muscles the size of mountains and a protruding stomach that would scare even Goliath. Etched in his face were many scars, but a distinct smile that Jeff knew melted the hearts of the ladies. The other man looked as if he could pass for fifty was hunchbacked and held a wooden cane in his right hand. He had a small bag of what seemed like medicine in his left hand. His keys were attached to his belt loop to ensure he didn't lose them.

Nobody that seemed suspicious enough- except that Marine guy. He was scary.

Floor nine couldn't have come soon enough and Jeff squeezed himself out of the elevator and it continued to higher floors. He walked the whole hallway length, turned, and faced his door.

Letting himself in, there was a handwritten note folded by his answering machine. 

 

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1,549 [total] words

The End

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