As a recent graduate armed with a business degree I felt on top of the world when I was swooped into the corporate arms of a major international company. Capitalizing on my research on efficiency and organization, the company immediately sent me to a low performing branch office in a location that I found to be quite desirable. I was given free reign in changing the way things were run there and everybody at the location would have to answer to my directives. Upward mobility within the corporate ranks was practically handed over to me on a silver platter. Nothing could stop me now.
It didn't take long for me to assess that space at this location was being poorly utilized. In the first few days that I was there I studied the entire floor that our offices occupied. In one hallway where there were a number of private offices and supply rooms, I saw a closed door. The door did not have any sign on it like the other doors.
I asked the location manager, "What's in this room?"
"Nothing," he shrugged.
"Nothing?" What he was saying made no sense. "What do you mean nothing?"
With a blank expression he said, "There's nothing in there."
Feeling somewhat annoyed, I put my hand to the doorknob and started to open it.
"Don't go in there."
I turned to him, feeling a rising sense of exasperation. "Why?"
"There's nothing in there." Unwavering, he looked at me.
I opened the door and gazed about a sizeable room that was totally empty. I could not believe what I was seeing. Thousands of dollars in unused real estate space. There was no furniture. There was nothing. I stepped inside and immediately an icy chill swept over me. After a few steps into the room I began to feel nauseous. A confusion combined with fear clouded my brain and a feeling welled inside of me like an undefinable sad longing. Feeling disoriented, I stumbled out into the hallway. All energy was drained from me. I felt sick, weak, and chilled.
Without emotion the manager asked, "Are you okay?'
As we made our way back to my desk I replied, "Yes, I'm fine. It's nothing. I just need to sit down for a moment."
Sitting with my head bowed and eyes closed I heard the manager's voice, distant, expressionless, "Maybe you should take the rest of the day off."
I did not understand what had come over me. I decided that going home to rest might not be a bad idea. It was shortly before three in the afternoon when I laid down on my bed and fell asleep. I dreamed of darkness in an empty place. When I awoke the clock read eleven but it was still light outside. I realized that I had been sleeping for about twenty hours straight. I felt weak and hungry. I had nothing in my stomach. But nothing sounded good to me.
Knowing that I had to eat something, I had a cup of chicken broth and saltine crackers and hot tea. Slowly I ate, gradually feeling a little better. Nothing in particular seemed to be bothering me except a deep sense of ennui. I wanted to do nothing. Gradually regaining my strength I spent the afternoon with the television on watching nothing in particular. That night I slept an empty dreamless sleep.
I felt better when I awoke, a little weak perhaps, but ready to go back to work. Nothing seemed to be wrong with me. I needed to be at work. Nothing was said to me by anyone as I entered the office. I sat quietly at my desk throughout the day and was left alone. Engrossed in a planning program on my computer, I eventually noticed that everyone else had gone home for the day. How had I not noticed that the other workers had left? Had I fallen asleep? A custodian entered the office and began vacuuming.
Arising from my desk, I went to the hallway and stared at the door to the empty room. I was drawn to the door. It was as though a void was sucking me in. My feet began moving me in the direction of the door and then I stood before it, reaching for the doorknob.
Suddenly startled, I saw the custodian standing next to me. He quietly was watching me, saying nothing.
"What's in there?" I demanded.
"Nothing. Nothing's in there."
I guess that's a bit of flash fiction. I don't recall having written a story that short before. I wouldn't say that this came to me in a dream, though it may have. I woke up yesterday morning at 4:50 compelled to write this story for N day. Hope you enjoyed it. Any critiques are welcomed--adulattions always make me feel good, but solid constructive criticism helps me grow.
N also stands for Notable as in the following bloggers:
Carol's Corner -- Carol Fleisher has really been putting up a fine array of posts for the A to Z Challenge.
GaFlygirls's FLYJournal -- April C writes about many topics and has a real love of family.
http://carol-weishampel.blogspot.com/-- Author Carol Weishampel just joined us. She has some important messages to deliver.
Morning by Morning -- Independent mom Stacey blogs about her everyday journey through life and lot's of helpful tips to make life easier.
My Life With Photographs -- Blogging from Fairbanks, Alaska Lorena Sims is a lover of music and the arts.
Try to get by and visit these blogs, say hello, and become a follower if you haven't done so already.
Don't forget to join us on Monday May 3 as we each give our individual reflections on the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge. We want to hear want everyone has to say because everyone has their own story to tell.