Story A Day May #6

Today you get a little more of Something Bad. I apologize for the shortness of it. I had planned for today’s entry to be a bit longer, but it’s been a busy day of life getting in the way. 🙂 Still, there are time’s when I would’ve let that go ahead and push aside this particular goal, but I’m trying to not let that happen nowadays.

Part 1 of this story began on May 2, for anyone that needs a refresher.

May 6, 2015

Something Bad Part 2

I remembered Doug’s name badge hiding in my lab coat pocket. Shame kept it there after I found it beneath my coffee table three days earlier when I woke up on my couch wearing only my undies.

I should have given it back to him right away, because I didn’t know if he had a spare. The security guys at our building were dicks. The exact same people came and went everyday, and they all acted like they’d never seen us before. Forget your id badge and be prepared for a ten minute hassle. Usually it results in a department head coming down to the lobby, which results in another ten minutes of lecturing from said person about responsibility, government clauses, blah, blah, blah.

I swallowed the last bite of burrito, sucked down some soda, and fished the badge out of my pocket.

“Here. I found this, uh, under my coffee table.”

“Ah, thanks!” He took it from my hand. “I wondered where I left this. It’s always falling off.”

He sounded genuinely grateful. It made me suspicious. I mean, who is perfectly nice all the frickin’ time?

“I hope you didn’t have any trouble getting in the building.”

“Nah. I’ve lost it before. After the second time, I convinced my boss to make me a spare, which I keep in my glove compartment.”

Why the hell wouldn’t he keep the first one in there? Nice and scatter-brained. Ugh.

We sat in silence again. I crumpled up the burrito wrapper, resisting the urge to lick it clean of cheese sauce, and dropped it in the empty take-out bag. I gathered up his trash too, against his polite protest, and stood.

“I’ve got to get back. I’m working on this new formula and I’m close to getting it right. Thanks for the food.”

“Anytime. I hope your formula comes together.”

He walked me to the door. Nice, scatter-brained, and old-fashioned. I really do attract the winners.

The rest of the day went by quickly as I kept trying to perfect my formula. At quarter to six, I started packing away my supplies and cleaning my equipment. I had a slightly tweaked version of the serum, after messing with the structure of the peptides. Once my lab was neat and tidy, I popped down the hall to say goodbye to Jamie.

“Helen and I are meeting at the bar. You in?”

“Of course. I’ll be a little late, though,” he said.

“Ok. See ya.”

I stood at the elevator for what seemed an eternity. I hit the button a couple more times for good measure, but the damn thing seemed to be stuck in the basement. Probably Helen getting more corpses. I decided to walk. When I passed the sixth floor, I gave the number a guilty glance. At the fourth floor, I stopped. The guilt nagged at me for not seeming more appreciative to Doug for the lunch. He went to stupid lengths to have lunch with me after what I imagine was an average at best night of drunken sex. Hoping I wouldn’t regret this, I started back up the stairs in search of Dr. Allan.

His office door was still locked. I tried the lab room where we ate lunch, but he wasn’t there either. An aluminum case sat near the edge of the table. The whiteboard had been wiped clean. I glanced behind me to the empty hallway, listening for any sounds. When I felt sure that I was alone, I went to the case, unfastened the latches from each side and opened it.

The device from earlier lay nestled in thick foam. A second space was empty. I picked up the gadget.

I would expect a handheld device meant for bending time, or making wormholes, or whatever it was supposed to do, to be much, much shinier. Maybe come with a teeny tiny plasma screen. Speak with a male British accent. Anything other than the narrow, rectangular gray metal with four buttons, an LED screen, and a clear section through the middle with nothing in it.

“Time travel,” I scoffed. I started to replace it in the case when my thumb hit the purple button. The middle started glowing. “Oh, shit. Maybe it’s a bomb!”

I dug it back out and pressed the button again. Tiny bluish-white lights zipped back and forth. Three other buttons remained: orange, yellow, and black. I yelped as the thing shocked me. It clattered on the floor.

Over my head, black dots appeared. At first so small I could barely see them. Too numerous to count. They began to converge, forming a massive hole. I snatched up the device now vibrating noisily on the floor and tried to run for the door, but a force of gravity (Yippee! I can finally use that phrase appropriately!) sucked me backwards in an ear-splitting crackling vacuum of black and icy coldness.

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