AN: Editing remains hard and painful. Still, I didn’t think I was going to get this out, and I’m pretty sure no one else did either eh? If you see any typos or mistakes feel free to leave a comment, or if you want to leave some anything, go ahead!
October 26th 12:30pm
John was late. Not courtesy late: five minutes early, not fashionably late: ten minutes late, but extremely I-am-so-going-to-get-fired-late. Which was about three or so hours late, although John would swear that his lateness was not a product of his own devices, it never changed the fact that John was extremely I-am-so-going-to-get-fired-late, nearly every day of his life.
In fact on that odd exception that proved the rule, his co-workers all took the day off, as John’s early arrival was no doubt a sign of the ever closer apocalypse. Naturally all of these thoughts ran through John’s head as he ran, through the park and hopped the bench and is his haste nearly tripped on a newspaper when he landed.
“Why this day, why any day!? Why can’t I just for once show up when I had to!?” John shouted rather angrily at himself as he ran, past some openly staring people. John let out a curse, as he turned a corner and promptly ran full tilt into another body.
“God dammit!” Jumping up, he quickly extended a hand to help the person; he had just tackled into the ground, up on their feet. “I’m so sorry, are you okay?”
“Well, nothing broken, so I should be fine!” A high pitched, happy chirp came out of the came from the bespeckled blonde currently sitting on the floor in front of him. She smiled at John, before taking his hand and lifting herself up.
“Well then, if nothing’s wrong, I really need to be going, terribly sorry, miss.” John gave a quick nod of his head in apology before continuing his dead sprint towards his workplace, “Just my luck, I get to crash into hello a cute girl and I can’t even stay around to hit on her! This day is going fantastically!” Muttering John turned another corner before running this time into a street pole.
“Yep, fantastically.” Sighing, John rubbed his now bruised forehead, and took a quick look at his surroundings. Regaining his mental map, John started, this time at a fast walk to head to work. Glancing at his phone to check the time, he let out another audible sigh, before turning one final corner and spotting Central Station.
“I just know this day is going to suck.”
Thirty short minutes, of being berated by his boss, getting hastily dressed in uniform, and finding out exactly what he even had to do today, John found himself at the head of a train heading east away from Central Station towards East Station.
“Man, whoever named these stations should be fired.” John mumbled to himself as he continued to check the controls and various dials on the control panel in front of him. “I mean central and east station? I know the city is shaped like a circle, but you have got to have some sort of creativity, otherwise we train conductors get stuck with just going from cardinal direction to cardinal direction…” John gesticulated wildly with his hand, before taking a glance of his surroundings.
A bitter laugh left John’s mouth as he checked the time on the dashboard, knowing that he still had two long hours to wait until they reached the station, John just couldn’t resist watching the clock. John’s only fear, boredom, was far too prominent in his career for his own liking, but the pay was just so enticing that he couldn’t even begin to contemplate quitting.
Still one day, one day John would quit this boring job and do something that he wanted to do, whatever that was. Another sigh left his mouth as he glanced over the train’s controls once more before drooping down into his seat.
As he sat he pulled out his phone and quickly navigated towards the internet browser. “Thankfully, the rest of this route is above ground, where I have data.” John smiled with fake cheer as he turned his typed rapidly into his phone in order to get to his favorite time killing website. “Ah; mythology, how I love thee, now a Dullahan, I wonder what those are…”
Soon John found himself immersed once more in another monster, in another story, and those two hours minutes flew right past him. Noticing that he was now at the station, he began to go through the motions to bring the train to a stop. As the train came to a slow stop, people began to exit and enter as John absently began to stretch his arms and crack his neck.
“Alright two hours down two more to go!” John crumpled into his seat as he let out a loud groan. “I hate my life. Why can’t all these people just take a cab?”
“Because then we’d go out of business, John. That would be horrible and we can’t have that!” A voice from directly behind John, spoke in an overly cheery drawl.
Jumping straight up and nearly banging his head on the top of the train, John turned around in a panic, “Thomas, what have I told you about sneaking up on me?”
“Not to.” The now owner of the cheery drawl now dubbed Thomas, gave John a wide smile that would have made the Cheshire cat envious.
“What did you just do?” John, spoke with clear enunciation stretching out his words as if he was speaking to a person a third of Thomas’s age.
“Sneak up on you.” Thomas’s already giant grin seemed to grow even wider.
“Why would you do that!?” John raised both his hands over his head in exasperation, as he started dumbfounded at Thomas.
“Because you told me not to, duh.” Thomas turned, before grabbing a broom on the side, and leaving the cockpit of the train and entering one of the seating carts.
John’s eye began to visibly twitch as he grabbed his hair with both hands and pulled gently in a frustration. “I hate you so much.” John calmly said to the back of Thomas who was already well out of earshot, John’s hand slid down from his hair and began to rub his temples before he glanced at the clock.
“Well, at least he’s a good time killer.” Rotating back to face the controls, he quickly closed the doors behind him and began to start the engine. Checking all the instruments, John cursed as the train began to slowly move. “Great now, we’re running late too.”
John was awoken from his half daze by the phone he was absently looking at suddenly begin to vibrate. Taking notice of the caller id, John seriously contemplated throwing the phone out of the window. John barely managed to fight that urge and instead brought the phone to his ear and was treated with another rather long winded lecture about responsibility and John’s own incompetence from his loving boss.
“Just, meet me in my office right when you come back, John!” The angry voice of his boss roared from his small cell phone.
“Yep, understood boss! See you then!” All too eager to hang-up John’s finger began to inch towards the call end button.
“And, give an apology to everyone on board for the late start! I’ll see you in my office!“ With those final orders the voice of the almighty boss left his phone, and John stared at his phone in disappointment.
“Dammit, I never get to hang up.” John muttered as he glanced over to see that the PA system was in working order, with a quick flip of a switch, John was now capable of being heard by everyone on the train.
“Hello, passengers, this is you conductor speaking! Just wanted to say sorry about the delay at the beginning there, we had a small… rail… distribution issue. I would just like to say thank you for riding with us, and I hope that you join us once more.” John switched the PA off, and smacked his head against the console making sure to avoid hitting any buttons.
Pulling out his phone, John set out to enjoy what little he could of the rest of the train ride. It was short while later before John brought the train to a slow stop once more but this time at Central Station, and it was an even shorter while later before, John found himself in his boss’s office.
She stood with her back towards him, facing the large window that her rather stereotypical office had. A large wooden desk with a chair on either side of it separated John from his boss as she stared out towards the park outside of the office absently.
“Now I know that we have been trying our best, both you and I to solve all the issue we’ve been having…” The voice of his boss began, obviously slightly annoyed, she gestured with her hand absently and John fully entered the office and made sure to close the door tightly behind him.
“Both inside the workplace and outside the workplace,” The voice of his girlfriend continued, “and honestly I think that we’ve been doing our best too.”
Suddenly all hints of the boss persona was dropped, and John was no longer looking at the back of his nagging and hard-ass boss, but the big doe-eyed, still nagging and rather easy going and sometimes airheaded woman that was his girlfriend. “Dammit, John we need to stop having this conversation!”
“I know, it’s just-“ John began as he wrapped his arms around her, bringing her closer to him.
“No John, we just- why are you so late today!?” She squirmed out of his grip and started at John, her doe-eyes watering slightly.
“’I’m telling you Kate. It’s not-“ John sighed as he crumpled down and onto the chair in front of the desk.
“John, I told you that today you were being assessed.” Kate sighed, before taking a seat in her own chair across from John.
“I know! I made sure to set my alarm early and everything! It’s just that-?” John’s eyes widened as he leaned closer to Kate.
“HR is making me put you on probation for your lateness, John” Kate spoke with an even measured tone.
“Probation!? I’m the most highly trained conductor you have!” John stood up, staring at his significant other in disbelief.
“I know that John!” Kate tried to calm John, as she stood as well and began to stoke his arm, “It’s just… you’re never here on time. Ever.”
“I’ve told you, it’s not my fault!” John seemed exasperated, as he grabbed Kate’s hand.
“I know John, I know, but HR doesn’t know that.” Kate said her boss persona slipping back on. “HR just needs you to go and do some simple tests and then you’ll be reinstated!” Kate smiled at John hopefully, doe-eyed once more.
John too disheartened to respond, sighed. “I guess you’re right.” John tried his best to smile, but instead could only muster a wistful grin, “I guess I have the rest of the day off then?”
“Yeah, I’ll see you at home then?” Kate leaned in for kiss.
Obliging, John gave her a quick peck on the lips, before going to leave, “I’ll start dinner then, see you at home.” Once he had left the office and the door was closed behind him, he quickly navigated his way through the office and into the change room where he began to tear off his uniform, “Now what do I do?”
Mumbling once more, John stuck his hands into his jean pockets and exited the station. Pulling out his phone, he glanced at the time before running his hand through his hair and sighing once more. “Well I guess I can just go home…” John muttered as he started to walk away from the station. As he turned another corner, his ears were assaulted by the loudest noise he had ever heard.
“What the he-” A huge red thing shot straight up from the center of town, “Holy shit!” Staring opened-mouthed at the beast, John took a step back in shock, “What is that!?”
A vision of red. Flowing red spewing from their eyes, spewing from their very souls. Their life force. Pain, filled his soul, pain filled his entire being.
Clutching his head, John crumpled down to the floor, his knees giving out. His head was roaring and tugging threatening to be ripped apart. John let out a scream, as his skull tried to crush his brain.
“RAHL MAKAC! YRAL MAKAC!”
Gripping his head, John trembling got back up to his feet as his just as suddenly as it came, his headache disappeared. Still dizzy and somewhat confused from the pain, he took a step back and heard the blaring sound of a car horn. Too late did John notice that he was hearing a car horn, because said car was about to make him a stain on the floor. Freezing in shock, John was lurched back hard, and he fell down lading on hard on the pavement.
A second passed as John quickly registered what had happened. “Thank yo-“ Turning to thank the stranger who had just saved his life, John turned around to see no one there. Instead a glowing blue chain had wrapped itself around John’s torso and was still pulling back on John.
“What the hell is this!?” Screaming in shock John put his hands on the chain and began to try to unravel himself. The chain having other ideas retaliated by tightened its grip, and John suddenly found himself ten metres in the air being held only by the now floating chain.
“I just knew this day was going to suck!” John cried aloud, as he began to float away. “I just didn’t know it would suck this much!”