Office Window Part 3

The van had stopped. I came fully to realising this. I had slide down and so had to pull myself upright. Listening hard, I tried to figure out where I was and what was happening. The van doors opened before I time to run through a list. Mr. Ryes stared at me then moved away leaving the door open.

A strong smell of damp and mould drifted in. I shuffled along the bench and peered out the door. We were in an underground carpark. I stood up, my knees shaking and side stepped to the middle. I had to sit down again and push myself towards the edge, before getting out the van. The ground felt good under me and I took a few steps forward.

Looking around, I couldn’t see much due to the dimness. The outlines of a few cars to the right of me and a light stairwell seemed to be behind them. I moved further out and saw Mr Rye and friends sharing a smoke next to the front bumper.

‘Where are we?’ I shouted to them.

Mr Ryes dropped the cig and stomped on it. He came over, swung around behind me and grabbed my cuffs. Without saying a word, he half dragged me across the carpark and towards the stairs. His friends followed us in the same silence. We waddled up the stairs and at the top went through some red double doors. We entered a hospital like hallway and walked down it to another set of doors.

We made it through them and entered an airport security like room. There were two guards sitting in a booth, looking bored. A number of long tables and tall chairs were lined down the room. There was also a fully body scanner and an x-ray machine against the far wall. I felt myself go numb as I was led to one of the chairs.

Ryes left me there and went to the booth where the guards were all ready moving. They talked in low voices and I missed everything they said. Fear was gripping me hard. Finally, Ryes and one of the guards came over to me. I was forced to stand and the guard patted me down. I came up clean and with a shove, Ryes pushed me towards another door and we went through into an interview room. Here, there was only a table, two chairs opposite and voice recorder. Ryes sat me down then took the other chair.  He started the recorder then with a deep sigh asked me to state my personal information.

Feeling trapped, I spoke in a voice I didn’t recognizes as my own and stated my name, age, address, job title, place of work and my mother’s full name, as standard.

Ryes grunted then leaning back in his chair asked, ‘do you deny staring at a drone earlier on today?’

‘I looked at it, yes.’

‘Were you staring at it?’ he spit.

‘No. At least, not really,’ I answered.

‘Are you trying to be funny, Coy? Answer the damn question!’

‘Then, no!’ I shot back, ‘I wasn’t staring at the drone.’

‘Are you a spy? Are you against this government?’ Ryes asked as he pressed a hand to his forehead and rubbed it.

‘Of course not! Do I look like a spy to you? And I actually like the government right now, they’re doing a good job,’ the words came too smugly from my lips.

‘Who was the woman we saw you talking to?’ Ryes asked, seemly ignoring my tone of voice.


‘At the office. The blonde. You followed the drone to her desk and we saw you talking.’

‘Oh her! Nope. I don’t know her. I needed something, so I went to see if she had one,’ I replied quickly, the story spilling from me.

‘What was it?’

‘A..erm…staples. Yes, I need staples.’

‘And you couldn’t go to the supply cupboard?’ Ryes drawled.

‘No. It’s company policy. Everyone gets the correct amount of supplies every month. We have to fill in a form to request more and prove usage. Doesn’t that happened here too?’

‘Look…let’s just get through this okay. Now, tell me the truth, what do you know about that drone? What were you doing?’

I shook my head, ‘nothing. I was going about my job. I saw it out the corner of my eye and it startled me. Then I just got back to work.’

Ryes sighed and grabbed the desk tightly in both hands. He seemed to be weighing up his next words carefully. ‘You swear upon this?’

‘Yes. It’s the truth. And there’s still no law against looking at government drones, is there?’ I asked a question for a change.

‘Ha, how do you know it was a gov drone?’ Ryes banged a fist on the table.

‘Well, if it wasn’t why did you bring me in here? Of course at the time I didn’t know that. All drones look alike, especially the white ones. Don’t they?’

Ryes swore and stood up, he stomped out of the room and the door banged shut behind him. I stared after him then settled back in the chair. It was a good few minutes before he came back. Silently, he released me from my cuffs. I rubbed my wrists and thanked him.

‘So, what happens now?’ I asked gently.

‘You’re free to go,’ Ryes snorted, ‘turns out you are a nobody. Leave.’ He waved me away.

‘Just like that?’

‘Yeah, sure. Turns out you’re the wrong person. Luckily old you.’

I frowned and looked around the room hoping to see that this had all been some kind of joke.

‘You are free to go. There’s the door,’ Ryes pointed out.

I stood up and went to it. I reached out for the door handle, hoping he didn’t see my hand shaking and turned it. Stepping out, I felt cold air rush around me. Whatever I was expecting –people jumping out, sirens going off etc.- didn’t happen. I walked back through the security area and saw the guards back in their booth. They didn’t even move as I walked through the doors and into the hallway.

I walked down the corridor through the other doors and into the underground parking. Still no one stopped me. I walked over to the van I had come in and saw a door opposite marked street exit. I went over and easily opened the door and stepped out. I walked up some stairs and found myself back in the middle of the city.

The air seemed so clean and welcoming, I took in a few deep breaths before heading home. My mind tumbled through what had happened and Ryes’ wrong person line. A smile lit up my face and thought how unsuspecting being a ‘nobody’ was.

Office Window Part 2

I can’t answer the door. I stood frozen, cooling water dripping off me. The knocking continued, a heavy fist banging away. My towel began to slip from my hips, my fingers scrabbled to hold on to it and I hitched the towel up. Scrubbing myself down, sweat broke out across my skin. I could easily not answer the door. Whoever it was would go away, right?

I threw the towel on the heating rack and went to my bedroom. The knocking followed me, demanding me to answer it with every step I took. I went to the chest of drawers, pulled out and put on some boxers. Pausing, I wondered what to wear. If I answered the door, I need to be presentable and prepared. If I didn’t answer the door? Comfy clothes.

Shrugging, I went for an in-between and put on jog pants and a t-shirt. I grabbed some socks and put my running shoes on- just in case. I went to the door, the knocking was louder than ever. I unlocked the door and called out, ‘who is it?’

‘Open up,’ a booming male voice yelled back.

‘Who is it?’ I repeated.

‘Police. We need to talk.’

I opened the door and had to look up at the three people now standing before me. They were all dressed in the same dark blue suit uniform, with black shirts and dark grey ties. Their faces all looked the same as they all had the same hair style and short beards.

‘Mr Coy?’ the first one spoke.

I nodded.

‘We need to talk. Can we come in?’

‘What’s this about?’ I asked and jammed myself between the door and frame.

‘Please. Just let us in, Mr Coy. We don’t want to cause a scene, do we?’

‘All right,’ I said and opened the door.

They stepped in and I stumbled backwards. I and the door hit the wall at the same time and I felt a little breathless. The men walked in and looked for somewhere to sit in my almost empty living room. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking that they looked like an elephant in a doll’s house.

I didn’t bother to invite them to sit down, there were only two armchairs and I didn’t have another other chairs. I closed the door and stood against it. Arms crossed, trying to make it look like I meant business too.

‘What’s this about?’ I started up.

‘You were caught staring at a drone today, Mr Coy,’ the first answered. He was busy staring around, trying not to let the look of disgust leak across his face.

The other two were trying to fit themselves into the corners of the room, backs against the walls. However, they just couldn’t do it and so they tried to act casual, but that wasn’t working either.

‘What?’ I blurted.

The first man tugged out a notebook and flipped through it, ‘at around two twenty-five this afternoon, at your office. You looked out your window and stared at a drone. Why did you do that?’

‘I…Well, I didn’t know what it was. It startled me,’ I answered slowly and carefully.

He frowned and his expression made it clear he didn’t believe me.

‘Who are you again?’ I asked instead.

‘Mr Ryes,’ he said and flashed me a badge I didn’t see. ‘So, the drone startled you and then what?’

‘Well, I didn’t understand what it was doing there and it districted me.’

‘But you kept looking at it,’ Mr Ryes pressed.

‘Yeah, well….look what’s this all about? There’s nothing wrong with looking at a drone.’

‘But it isn’t right, Mr Coy. It raises eyebrows and then we come and ask questions. Are you a spy, Mr Coy? Were you born in this country?’

‘What? No and yes. What do you want? This is ridicules!’ I half shouted. I launched myself off the door and into his face without fully thinking it through.

The seconds flashed, Mr Ryes grabbed me and so did his two friends. I struggled against them, but they wrestled me to the floor. Metal cuffs bit into my wrists then they dragged me out. I kicked and screamed like a mad man as the dragged me out of the building and into a black van. They forced me onto a bench and finally I settled. My arms and hands hurt whilst my legs and breathing were shaky.

They got into the front of the van and were a rumble of the engine drove off. I bounced around in the back. My shoulders and back of my legs hitting everything repeatedly. My head spun, what had I done? What did they want? Where were we going? What was going to happen to me?

I felt like screaming, but I held it back. My feet scrapped across the metal floor and the sound was terrible. I took deep breaths and tried to remain calm. I shut my eyes and relaxed. I cleared my head and kept believing that everything would be sorted out and that this was all a mistake. The government didn’t just arrest people for looking and wondering about a drone. God, those things were everywhere now, doing all kinds of things and belonging to a whole range of people.

The van suddenly stopped and I slapped sideways into the bench. Pain shot through my shoulder, I cried out and tasted blood on my tongue. The van engine rumbled beneath me then started off again. I licked my lips and discovered I had bitten my lip and tongue. Sucking away the blood, I tried to push myself back up, but couldn’t do it. I thought about rolling off and laying on the floor, but then decided that it looked harder than the bench.

I struggled upwards, the van’s sides scratching my hands. I felt for something to cling too, but it was smooth metal. I got comfy again and went back to my breathing and believing. The van rushed on under me, but I ignored it and so lost all sense of time and place. My eyes started shutting and I kept snapping them open. Finally, though I give in and kept them closed.

To Be Continued… .

Office Window Part 1

I grabbed my mug as I abandoned my headset on my desk. Around me, the office flowed with voices, phones ringing and the taping of keys. It was mid-afternoon, time for my second cup of coffee and my first sneaky break. Getting up, I stretched and heard something cracking in my back. I sort the slight pain with my free hand and rubbed the spot.

Something flickered in the corner of my eyes and I looked across at the window. The city’s tallest buildings stared blindly back at me. Behind their glazed windows, people like myself were busy at work. I placed my mug down, lent over my desk and looked harder outside.

I could only see a touch of the skyline because the rest was blocked by buildings. A few birds circled passed then I saw it, a white drone. It was hovering a few windows down from mine, it’s four propellers a wild blur. There was black camera attached to the top of it. I looked down, but of course couldn’t see anything.

Grabbing my mug again, I walked away from my desk and counted the windows as I went down. At the fourth I stopped. Peering into the cubical, I saw the blonde head of a woman. She was talking on her headset, but was almost slummed down on her desk. The drone was outside the window and she seemed not to have noticed it.

‘Hey,’ I whispered, ‘hi.’

She didn’t respond.

‘Hello? Sorry, excuse me?’ I said louder.

With a deep sigh, she moved and looked up at me. Her hair was a mess and her face was strangely blotchy. Her makeup was all in place, but it didn’t hide the tiredness etched into her skin. With a single movement, she ended the phone call and turned to me fully. She was wearing a black suit and a white blouse.

‘Sorry. There’s a drone outside,’ I stated when it seemed like she wasn’t going to speak.

‘Oh? There are drones everywhere. Is that all?’ she threw back at me.

‘It seems interested in you.’

She shrugged and turned back to the computer screen. On it was the normal list of numbers and names we had to connect. She selected another number and called it up.

I looked at the drone, trying to see if there were any markings on it. I felt her eyes on me and instinctively, I left.

I went back to my desk then suddenly remembered my coffee and hurried to the kitchen. No one else seemed to have noticed anything and were hard at work cold calling the latest company deals. I made my coffee and went back to my desk. As I went to sit down, I noticed the drone hovering outside. I took my chair, put on my headset and ignoring everything, selected a new number to dial.

Whatever was going on, I didn’t want to know. I listened to the dial tone in my ear and quickly scanned through my lines in my head. Nobody answered the phone. I hung up and went for the next one, my eyes slide to the side and I saw the drone. It was still there, hovering and with the camera still staring at me.

The dial tone rung in my ears, but no one answered. I hung up and took the headset off. I picked up my coffee and walked back into the kitchen. I drink my coffee, acting like I was taking a break. A few people came in and out. I kept my back to the window, not daring to look. My mind whirled, who owned that drone? What did it want? Was it actually tracking me?

I shook my head, called myself crazy and got back to my desk. The drone was gone. Feeling relived, I got back to work. Throughout the rest of the afternoon, my eyes kept glancing to the window. Of course nothing was there, but I couldn’t help it, something was watching me. I knew it. The end of the shift came and I didn’t want to leave. What if something was waiting for me?

I went to the kitchen and tried to delay leaving as much as possible. Someone else had all ready cleaned up and the rest was normally the cleaners’ responsibility. I rubbed my hands and felt sweaty and agitated. I couldn’t leave, I just couldn’t do it. The rumours always spoke about the spying drones before people disappeared. Didn’t they? But weren’t they seen for a lot longer than just an afternoon?

I stopped and noticed I had been pacing. I had to leave. I got my stuff and headed downstairs. My bag banged against my hip and my clothes were stuck to me. I hurried down, passing three other floors before getting to the front doors. The receptionists and security guards didn’t even look up. I walked out, glanced around then rushed for the coming tram.

I expected to hear the drone overhead and people yelling for me to stop, but there wasn’t anything. I got to the station and boarded the tram. It was packed with rush-hour travellers. I hung on and waited for my stop. I hardly remind calm and when I got to my apartment, I fell up the stairs twice before getting to my rooms.

Everything looked the same. Nothing was out of place and no odd smell hung in the air. I firmly locked the door and went into the bathroom. Locking that door, I dropped my stuff and took my clothes off. I ran the shower and waited for the water to warm. Stepping in, I let the water relax me. I felt myself un-tense and began to enjoy the cascading waters.

A buzzing at the front door burst my bubble. I froze and listened hard over the shower. It was nothing, nothing. I turned back and washed my hair. The buzzer sounded again. Ignoring it, I half drowned myself. I got out a good few minutes later and was drying off when there was a knocking on my door.

To Be Continued…