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Friday, November 29, 2013

The Darkest Day of Them All

So it's a holiday, and even if I don't really do much to celebrate it, we all have to play the lazy card sometime. Here's something I wrote a little over six years ago now, in celebration of this particular time of year. 
It all began with a bump on the head. At least, that's what I tell myself, when I'm wondering just how this all came about. Makes it seem all so innocuous, just a little bump on the head. Not even a band-aid. Will they still make those, one day, do you think?

Anyway. I'm writing this now, and I'm about 97% sure that no one will ever see it. I feel bloody ridiculous, I do, but I've got to get this off my chest, to someone, even if it's the grains of graphite scratching across this old safety manual.

Because it's all. My. Fault.

That's right, it's me. I'm the one who threw the switch, I'm the one who ended it all, caused all this chaos and suffering. It's all my fault. Only, it isn't. It was an accident, and I will swear to the end of time that it was ALL AN ACCIDENT. I only bumped my head.

We had been experimenting with utilizing cheaper resources, making and distributing common goods with much lower overhead, and trying to keep schtum about it, lest it get out to public and cause a media frenzy. We really were working towards the greater good. The time of year was perfect for it, too, with everyone going into a financial crunch and looking for cheaper ways to live. I was so sure we'd planned for everything, but we hadn't planned for this.

Right on schedule, the facility went live at 06:oo hours Friday morning. This is apparently a big deal where I'm stationed, I'm not terribly familiar with the concurrent holiday, something about breaking bread with natives. Generally don't concern myself overmuch with other people's holidays.

Only, something was wrong. We opened the steel shutters seperating the operations area from the outer wall, leaving only soft-plated glass, and there they were. Hundreds of them, with dead looks in their eyes and hungry mouths. Listless and vicious, all at once. They saw the shutters go up, and they knew we were in here. As long as that glass held though, everything would be fine.

We were making final preparations, when I'd tripped over stray wire near the plate glass doors. I fell against the wall, and reached out to try and catch myself, when my head slammed into the door panels. I heard a soft sigh, as the glass parted, and it got very quiet for a moment. Then it all went bad. Horribly, horribly bad.

They were inside the facility, inside our safe haven, far before we'd planned, and farther even before we were ready for them. Immediately my friends and coworkers were swarmed, their cries of pain lost among the mindless drone of the crowds. It went on for hours, except for me, stuck in the door control booth. I considered sealing the doors, but if my friends tried to run, I didn't want to trap them. I waited it out. Finally, it was quiet. I warily left the booth, stepping over scattered papers and smashed boxes.

Let this be a lesson, I say. A $200 dollar laptop after Thanksgiving is NOT worth trampling a human being for. Try not to be a bastard this Black Friday, ok kids?

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