Dear Diary #29

composition, cute, design

2017. 2017. Even just writing that feels weird. I’ve gotten so use to putting 2016 at the end of dates, events and things. It’s going to take awhile to switch that one number around. But it’ll be the same for everyone I guess.

Well, my first day of 2017 was pretty tedious. Who wants to sit in an empty office whilst everyone else sleeps off last night’s party? Nobody is the correct answer! But me being the Geek I am agreed! And why not? It’s not like I have a life anyway.

It’s 2017 and what have a I got to show for it?

An office job with long, strange hours that pays so little. A tiny apartment with an outrageous rent and a stray cat I can’t get rid of. A driver’s licence, but no car, the fading memory of a degree in a useless subject and a handful of friends who live too far away.Oh and now I can add three ex-boyfriends who are in new relationships.

What has my life become? Where has that carefree girl who spent all her free time reading books and watching movies gone? The girl who didn’t care if she was not in a relationship whilst everyone else was? The girl who dreamed of being a Princess in a tower waiting to be rescued by that drop gorgeous Hollywood guy?

I guess, Diary, she grew up and she saw what life really was; a repeating pattern of work, eat and sleep.

I shouldn’t be so bitter about everything though. My family are all well and I did get to see all my friends at the reunion day. My health is good, but I’m going to drop that diet for a bit. I know the weight might creep back on and I was so good over Christmas, but I just need some cheering up. I’ll still be going to the gym and swimming class though.

I’ve decided to give up on the romance for bit though. Lord knows I need a break from that! And maybe it’s time I looked at getting a new job and moving house. I like my apartment, but maybe something cheaper out of the city would allow me to get a car? Oh, to be driving again and have such a freedom! I could see my friends more often, maybe make new friends and go on new adventures.

Could I really do that though?

Is it worth it? Would I be happier?

I guess anything would be better then this, Diary.

Family Secrets (Part 3)

Pedestrian, Walking, Shadow, Night, Evening, Street

He was gone when she woke. Em rolled over and looked at the dip he had left in the bed. Reaching her hand out, she felt the cold sheets. Sighing, she lay there and thought about why her husband would have an affair. He’d never seemed to look at any other woman but her.

Maybe I’m unattractive in my old age? She thought, I’m only thirty odd though! 

She then took a few moments to work out how old she actually was then how many years they had been married for; eight.

Perhaps, that was the problem? We married too young.

Pulling a face, she decided that tonight she’d find out the truth no matter what. Getting up, she noted the time and turned her thoughts to time tabling her day. She didn’t need to be in work till this afternoon, so she had time to tidy up and maybe do some more snooping.

She got herself sorted then went downstairs. Rick had left his breakfast things on the kitchen table. She paused in the doorway, realising he must have been late for giving a lecture or a workshop at the uni. She tidied up as she debated what to eat. Em had done most of the kitchen cleaning, when she decided on toast and a coffee.

After breakfast and feeling a bit better, she decided to go and clean the study. Rick would complain like hell, but she could face it, if I find a clue, she added. Grabbing everything she needed, she clambered up the stairs juggling the vacuum and the plastic tray of cleaning stuff. At the study door she stopped to get her breath.

Opening the door, it was clear he had been looking for something. The desk and floor were covered in papers, open books and files. It reminded her of freshly fallen snow. Leaving her cleaning stuff at the door, she tried to step around it all to get to the desk, but failed when she stepped on a book. The spine cracked loudly, the noise like a snapping twig in the quietness of the house.

Rolling her eyes, she picked up the book then begin plucking other books off the floor and stacking them in a pile. Next she did all the papers though she tried to divided them into subject matters. With that done, she started on his desk. Picking up a notebook, the side of her hand hit the computer mouse and the screen woke up.

Her husband’s diary was displayed. She looked and saw that he’d been due to give a lecture on ‘creating fictional characters’ at nine this morning. Then he had a follow up workshop after an early lunch. Biting her lip, she scrolled back and forth through the days, looking for any hints that he had put a meeting with the other woman in.

Soon though, she realised this was his only uni schedule. Growling, she looked through the other tabs he had open, but it was only his lecture notes, presentation and handouts. Abandoning that idea, she turned the computer off and looked through the notebook that was still in her hand. It was a mess of story ideas in her husband’s handwriting. None of them made much sense to her.

She placed the book back and started looking through everything on the desk, but nothing else stood out. She sank onto his well worn leather desk chair and wondered where else she could look. Though it would be hard in all this mess….

Em started tidying again. Luckily, she had cleaned her husband’s study enough times to know where most things went. The things she didn’t know, she placed piled up on the low, long coffee table which was against the right wall next to his great-granddad’s leather armchair. By the time she was done, Em had to leave for work.

Instead of driving directly to the office where she was a part-time admin, she took the route her husband had headed last night. Slowing down at the place she had lost him in, she looked at the houses and tried to see if there was one… that what?  she thought, had a sign post outside saying mistress’ house? Or maybe cheating husbands’ grotto? 

She smiled at her silliness and drove to work. The afternoon passed in a blur of phone calls,  paperwork and filing. Driving home afterwards, she felt too tried to do anything and when she got in, Em lay on the sofa trying to get rid if a small headache.

The ringing of a mobile brought her back. She fished the phone out of her bag and answered it without looking who was calling, ‘Hello?’

‘Em, I’m sorry but I forgot to tell you about this dinner I’m going tonight,’ Rick rushed.

‘Dinner?’ Em questioned as she noticed the breathlessness of his voice.

‘With some colleagues. I totally forgot about it! I’ll be home real late too. You’ll be okay though, right?’

She nodded then said, ‘of course.’

‘There’s no need to wait up. I’ll try not to disturb you. bye’.

‘Okay. Love-‘

The phone beeped in her ear and Em tutted. Placing it down, she decided she wasn’t feeling hungry and that if her husband wasn’t going to home anytime soon she’d go into the attic for a bit. Collecting her things, she went into the bedroom and let her stuff beside the bed. She got changed into jog pants and an old jumper. Realising how quiet it was, she turned on the TV which sat on her dressing table. The news channel came on and she left the steady voice of the news reporter talking to the empty room.

Out in the hallway, she pulled the attic hatch cord and watched the ladder descending. Climbing up slowly, she then felt for the light switch at the top and waited till the blinking light bulbs had settled to step inside. The attic felt hot and stuffy. She breathed in old air and dust as she made her way to the back left corner. The wooden boards creaked slightly under her feet and the voice of the news reporter followed her like a warning spirit.

She reached the back of the attic where behind a dining table and six stacked dinning chairs from her grandmother’s old house was a seemly abandoned steam trunk. Going around the table and chairs, Em reached up to wooden beam and felt along it. Her fingers brushed something small and metal. She brought the key down from it’s hiding place and knelt before the trunk.

She looked over her shoulder and listened, holding her breath like a child waiting to be caught. However, all she could hear was the now the faint sounds from the TV. Turning back, she put the key into the steam trunk’s lock and slowly opened the lid. She breathed in a very faded scent of lavender then looked down at the contents.

To Be Continued…

Dear Diary #22

 

Dear Diary,

It’s too quiet in the office. I forgot it was half-term and nearly everyone has booked today off. It’s strange seeing so many empty desks, it’s like the staff have all got up and fled as the Doom chime sounded.

Sitting at the front desk is even worse. At least though the phone sometimes rings and someone walks through the door. Ah, the postman is here. I’m not nosy, but sometimes I just get drawn in wondering about people’s correspondence with each other. It’s poor pickings this morning. There’s a small gardening magazine, a letter for someone who left a few months ago and a leaving card for someone who’s moving to another department next week.

Nothing worth pondering over. Also, today is one of those days were I don’t have much work to do. That’s why I’m sat here, writing this down and looking out of the window at the coming rain. It was meant to be nice today, but it’s clouded over so fast now it looks like a cold grey sea hanging  above the buildings.

There’s a slight rattling in the back and running water. It’s only the cleaners finishing up. Seems like they were on a late start this morning. I can hear them talking, passing on some gossip about someone’s affairs. They come to the front desk, saying cheery goodbyes before heading into the now drizzling weather.

I watch them walking away, chin resting on my hand and a small smile on my face. Then I’m back to daydreaming when I can escape into the stormy sea scape of the day.

 

The Receptionist (Part 2)

Free stock photo of marketing, woman, apple, desk

Emily stayed behind her desk, though her body and mind were eager to get up and go. Pretending to type and look at paperwork, she kept her eyes on the door leading out. She heard the elevator, a few footsteps and passing voices before everything fell silent.

Stealing a last look around, she pulled out her tiny phone again and checked the messages. Nothing flashed on the phone. She closed it and grabbed her voice recorder instead.

‘I don’t think he’s coming back. Time to snoop around his office again. Maybe I can find out why he left,’ she whispered into the mic.

Switching it off and making sure it and the secret phone where in the small pockets of her jacket, she got up. Picking up two files that needed go on to his desk, she walked over and opened the door.

His office looked just like her work space did; spotless. The large glass desk dominated the room and the small white laptop on top was almost unnoticeable. There was a large fake green plant in the right corner next to a row of floor to ceiling windows. Thankfully, the blinds were closed. Two landscape paintings faced each other on the right and left walls, they looked old and expensive.

Emily placed the files on the desk and lifted the laptop. She turned it on with a tap of the screen, remembering seeing him do that once. She sat on his chair, feeling it cushion her back and behind straight away. She smoothed her skirt out and watched the laptop demand a password.

He fingers reached out then she paused. Of course, it would be passworded. She glanced around, pouting her lips, hoping she would spot something that would give her a clue to what the lock was. Her eyes landed on something on the floor she hadn’t noticed before.

Getting up, she walked over and picked it up. It was a napkin from a bar with a number penned on it. Wondering how it got there, she slipped it into her pocket. She walked back to the desk and the wired bin that was next to it.  Emily bent and looked through the scraps of paper and other rubbish.

If anyone comes in, just say you lost an earring, she reminded herself.

She found nothing of interested.Straightening, Emily heard the phone ringing on her desk. Sighing, she walked out and answered it.

‘It’s me. I forgot something,’ her new boss’s voice growled into her ear.

In the background, she could hear traffic and beeping car horns.

‘Oh?’ Emily answered.

‘There’s a paper file, a red one. Do you know where it is?’

‘Yes. I just put it on your desk,’ Emily gushed.

‘Get it and bring to this address,’ her boss uttered then sighed deeply.

Emily snatched up a pen and wrote it down. She nodded into the phone and said, ‘I’ll find someone to bring it to you, right now, sir.’

‘It’ll take you less time to walk there then it will to find someone! And bring my laptop too.’

The phone clicked off. Emily looked at it in her hand then placed it back down. Her mind spun, but she didn’t give it time to develop any of those thoughts. Going back into his office, she grab the red file and his laptop. She went back to her desk and slipped both into her large black fake leather handbag.

She pulled out her recorder, made a quick note then prepared to leave.

   To Be Continued…

The Receptionist

Free stock photo of marketing, woman, apple, desk

There was a reason Emily Jonesson played dumb as she stood behind the front desk, fluttering her fake eyelashes at her new boss. She smiled sexily, feeling the stickiness of the too thick pink lipstick in her mouth once again. To distracted her self, she twirled a bit of strawberry blond hair that had fallen at her throat.

She watched him closely, taking in the red of his fat cheeks, his thinning black hair and the fact that his bright blue tie wasn’t done up right. Emily  waited as the boss signed in, flung the cheap pen down and stormed off. The door slammed behind him and shouting drifted back to her.

Emily sank into the leather chair and watched through the frosted glass as her boss carried on arguing with someone who she couldn’t see, but was possibly on the phone to someone. Slowly, she picked up the phone next to her and connect it into his office. His shouting voice hit her ear and she listened as he demand a cancelling to some kind of order.

She held her breath and listened hard, but after a few more minutes realised that there was nothing interesting about that call. Hanging up again, she pulled a small voice record out of her black jacket pocket and began mumbling into it.

‘He takes a call at nine twenty, but it seems to be nothing more then a wrong order for printing paper and filing boxes. Seems to be normal. Everything is quiet so far.’

She turned the device off and slipped it back into her pocket. Looking at the computer screen was more, she fixed her boss’s appointments in her head and noticed that none of them seemed out of the ordinary. Scanning through the other programs she had open, her mind wander as to why her actual bosses thought this guy was up to something. Everything looked to be in order and above board.

Tabbing all the programs, she looked down at her diary, open next to the keyboard. The pages were filled with her neat handwriting telling her where and when she need to be. Slotting the pen in, she closed the sparkly pink book that looked more like a child’s play diary and sighed deeply.

‘Soon it’ll be over and I can give up this want to be beauty queen look.’

The door to the boss’s office crashed open and Emily jumped. Quickly, fixing a look of shock horror on her all ready looking shocked face, She stood up and lend over her computer. She watched him storm out, walk past her as if she wasn’t there and go out the other door to the corridor. It banged behind him and Emily felt the vibrations running through her legs.

Yanking out her voice recorder, she made a note about what had happened then pulled out her secret mobile phone and dialled the first of only two numbers that were stored in the tiny thing.

‘He just left,’ she whispered into her hand, ‘I don’t know where he’s going….He’s cleared his appointments for the whole day. I just got the notice now.’

Emily hung up and looked at disbelieve at the message box that had popped up on her screen. Maybe her bosses had been right about this guy after all?

To Be Continued…

 

Cacti

Cactus, Plant, Plant Rack, Green, Sting, Spur

The cacti was dead. Linda wasn’t sure how she had done it but she had killed the only plant she’d been told was impossible to kill. Picking it up from the office window sill, Linda carried the potted plant outside.

Laying the shriveled, brown remains to rest in the bin, Linda couldn’t help but compare this event to her current situation. Sighing, she closed the bin lid and went back to her desk.

The lawyer’s office was quiet with only the hint of distant voices, ringing phones and tapping keyboards. Linda looked at the piles of papers and other things cluttering the desk. All ready, she felt tried and it was only a few minutes past nine. She pushed things around for a few moments in the attempt to try and get her motivated.

Giving up, she sat back and dropped her hands to her small stomach bump. Too many ifs and buts swirled through her mind. Trying to avoid the coming tears, she tried to move her thoughts on to how long this time it would take to lose the weight.

Pulling over a calendar, Linda looked at the days but the sight of clinic and doctor’s appointments marked down made her toss the thing away. She turned again to the work on her desk and threw herself into it.

Lost It

Dictionary, Focus, Book, Word, Text, Education

And the words just wouldn’t come. It was like gobbledygook in his head and he didn’t understand it. Quickly closing his mouth, he tried to pull it together, but it was just gone. Sweat beaded on his brow and hands as it began drenching him. Trying to ignore the twenty pairs of staring eyes, he calmly placed down his note cards and grabbed the glass of water. Taking a few sips, he then coughed and attempted to carry on with the business speech.

‘As them, THE, sorry, data shows….’ he stuttered to a stop again.

He had to get out of the room.

Glancing at the stern and stretching face of his boss, he swallowed, but it didn’t go down. It felt like there were feathers in his throat and mouth. He drank some more water and tried to pep talk himself back into things. Fixing his tie and coughing again, he shuffled the cards, but the words upon them were now blurred.

He looked at the projected image behind him, which showed a graph of the data.

‘We are predicating all of this,’ he said and waved a hand at the rectangle blocks, ‘and that’ll help bring more business to this area and more employment and improvement and money and overall it’s just a good investment. Thank you for your time,’ he rambled.

Grabbing his water, he went back to his seat and moved it so he had his back to everyone in the room. He sipped his water and tried not to meet anyone’s eyes.

His boss’s voice rumbled with ‘as anyone got any questions?’

There was a slight mumble then a few people spoke out.

He carried on sipping his water and when the meeting was over, he fled the room and locked himself in the bathroom until the words had come back.

The Button

Emergency Stop Button

It was a slow day. Every time I looked at the clock the numbers seemed to have melted together. Which give the hot stale air that the many fans couldn’t cut through, wouldn’t have surprised me. I leant back in my plush chair and listened to the phones ringing like lazy flies buzzing in the background. I fanned myself with a paper fan and breathed deeply.

I avoided checking the time again and instead looked at the spreadsheet before me. My desk was scattered with paperwork and a few folders were balanced neatly on the edge. I listened to my co-worker chatting to someone on the phone as someone else began hammering at a keyboard.

Dropping the fan and sitting up, I got back to work. Keeping busy would pass the time, I told myself, whilst not believing a word of it. I scrolled about on the screen and looked at which client’s details needed up dating or deleting. Shuffling the papers, I found the matching data on the information on my screen and started.

I couldn’t contract and my eyes wondered away and settled on the wall opposite me. Underneath the clock and next to a small noticeboard was a large emergency stop button. It’s bright yellow and red form looked as out of place as an elephant.

I frowned and my thoughts spiralled down the familiar staircase of questions. What was it for? What would happen if someone pressed it? Etc. Perhaps and this was a theory by a co-worker, the builders who had renovated this historic building had forgot it or not been allowed to remove it.

Sinking back into my chair and kicking off my black high heels, I curled my legs up. My chair twisted a little bit and drew me level with the button. The background noises of the office faded and I was alone with my thoughts. A daydream started up and I pictured myself getting up and pressing the button. There was a sawing like sound and the ceiling opened up. I looked up at the blue sky and felt a cooling breeze on my face.

In the next daydream, a trap door opened under me and like Alice I tumbled into a land of fun and nonsenses. My co-workers quickly joined me and we were free to live much better lives. We’d have tea parties with rabbits and mice, explore the queen’s garden and sing with flowers. Okay, so maybe that was a bit too far.

The phone rang on my desk, jarring me back. I scrambled for the receiver, silencing it and speaking too quickly. A dull dial tone beeped in my ear then a faint voice began running off a too rehearsed script whilst other people did the same in the background. I hung up, muttering about call centres under my breath as I did so.

I turned back to my computer screen, pulled a stack of papers into my lap and tried to make it look like I was reading. My eyes though didn’t take in any of the information and instead stayed still. My thoughts reeled once more and I pictured the emergency stop button once again. What else could it be linked too?

Maybe it was for a fire? Did it stop the elevator or something? Maybe it was for bomb or other alerts? Wasn’t the risk of attack at an all-time high? But if that was the case, the logic side of me spoke up, then there’d be a notice or we’d all know. My eyes went to the noticeboard, but it was too over crowed with small posters and flyers. The only way to know would be to get up and press it.

I shook my head, there was no point in risking it. What if the button was important and I lost my job? I turned back to my computer and picked up my work again. I pushed all thoughts of the button away and got on. Maybe it was the heat or because I had thought about it too long, but I couldn’t really get rid of the thoughts. The urge just to press it and run away like a school girl bore down on me like a dare. My mind bubbled over with thoughts about what it could be linked to again. Some hidden piece of machinery in the walls? Maybe we were all robots and that was the button to stop us all? Did someone come in at the end of the day and press it then hooked us up to something that made us believe we were human and had lives?

I shook my head violently. That couldn’t be true!

But what if it was….?

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.

‘Woman?’

‘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… .