A Bloody Afternoon

I was sitting in an office hallway, where they always put the lowest-on-the-totem pole people. It was 3:00 p.m. and my nose suddenly began to bleed. I leaned my head back and silently swallowed my own blood, while mindlessly concentrating on the sensory feel of it rolling down my throat.

No one else noticed. A meeting was going on in a nearby office, secretaries working on computers, people walking up and down the aisles, and me, a temp, silently drinking my own blood.

“Freedom.”

I turned around. The yell didn’t seem to have come from the others. They were all busy shuffling paper.

“Free...”

There it was again. Lower this time, with a gurgling sound. Where the hell was it coming from? I looked around my desk, trying not to drip blood. The people in this office didn’t have any sense of humor. Nothing was amiss with all of the desk gadgets, like the stapler, telephone, computer, etc., all in order.

“I’m leaving you. Ha Ha! No more waiting. I’m gone.”

The voice was louder this time. Sounded like it was coming from some kind of tunnel. Suddenly a giant blood clot pushed its way out of my nose. “Freedom,” said the big blob of blood.

“What the hell are you?” I whispered, glancing around to make certain no one was watching. Each worker had his or her own computer screen that he or she was absorbed in to the exclusion of the rest of the world.

“Freedom. Freedom,” said the blob again as it puffed itself up, reached into my nose and pulled out more blood.

“Ow! Stop. What do you want?” I whispered.

“I already have what I want.”

“But who are you? What are you? Answer me, damn it.”

“You might say I’m your essence, your individuality. If you believe in a soul, you might even use that.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, swallowing more blood.

“Stop swallowing,” the blob demanded, reaching back into my nose. “You want me to show you where you could be, like on a beautiful beach, viewing gorgeous vistas through the windows of an exotic villa. Too late, forget it!”

“Freedom, for god’s sake, don’t run away from me.”

“I can’t hang around here any longer. Got to move on. You don’t have me anymore anyway, so what’re you crying for?”

“Please, please! I’m trying to get you. Working hard at it.”

“Yeah, right. Like a slave building a pyramid for your wealthy masters. Bye.”

“No, no, please.”

“I said bye. Hope’s down there somewhere. Up your ass probably. He’s real good company, and as long as you’re peeing and shitting, he’ll be there for you. Remember the old saying, “where there’s life there’s hope.” As for me? So long. Bye.”

Ω

L.A. Mahoney has lived to regret, but lives on to finally write or at least scribble, while trying to keep a roof over her cats’ heads. She has published in now dead magazines Stroker and Japanophile.