Calling In

Written by Rick Wood |
Published on:

Gary woke up at with his alarm going off at 3:40am; the latest that he can get up and get ready for work without being late. The alarm was set on his phone; he picked up his phone and swiped to the left, dismissing the alarm. Yes, phone, I am up now, leave me alone, he thought. He immediately got up and began gathering clothes to change into after he showered. Something was slowing him down though.

Normally, he could get up and kick into gear within minutes, ready to take on anything that came his way. His coworkers despised the level energy he exhibited, but they were only jealous, he thought. But today, something did not feel right. He forced himself to walk to the bathroom, clothes and towel in hand. He turned on the light. There was a feeling in the bathroom, almost as if someone were watching him. The bathroom, of course, was on the second story, so it was very unlikely that anyone was watching him. He shoved the eerie feeling down and turned on the shower.

After his shower, Gary dressed and headed back to his room. He closed the door and locked it. Something did not want him to leave, that's the only way he could articulate the feeling he had. Something that he could not see or hear, wanted him to stay home. He became very fearful that something bad would happen to him if he left his bedroom, though he could not think of what it would be. He walked over to his dresser, picked up his phone and called his work, letting his boss know that he was 'sick' today and would be staying home. His boss wished him well and he hung up.

Gary had not called in sick for at least a year, and did not feel very good about calling in now. He did feel relieved and safe despite this. The time was now 4:15am, and Gary decided he would go back to sleep. Hopefully, by the time he woke up, this dread would be gone.

He woke up in a sweat at about 2:20pm. No alarms, no phone calls, just a bad dream that he could not remember now. He checked his phone. No notifications. He unlocked the phone and checked his news feed. He didn't know how he knew, but he felt that something had happened at work today.

An airplane had crashed into the building, killing 83 of his coworkers. The crash occurred at about 10 in the morning. He would have been at his desk. He would have been either crushed or burned alive.

From that day forward, Gary always trusted his gut.

Copyright ©

Author: Rick Wood
I am a customer service representative, currently working in a call center for a hotel chain giant. I have been writing poetry and short stories since I learned to use a pencil, though I have only been published once (it was a poem, published in a poetry compilation book). I am a father of 5, with 1 more due any day now, and absolutely love fatherhood.


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