Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mark Bucket

Mark Bucket was having a bad day. His bus had gotten stuck in traffic and now he had to walk further than usual, unable to read his paper, passing by all the smelly people that, under normal circumstances, would be separated from him by a thick layer of glass and metal.  Just when he was about to cross the street, squeezing himself through the dense crowd, a pigeon had decided that his cup of frappuccino was a perfect place to take a dump. With a sigh, Mark threw the cup in the garbage can, lamenting the loss of another five dollars.

Mark had forgotten how noisy the people were. Everything about them infuriated him - the way they were all running from place to place, as if someone was chasing them, the way they screamed. The noise was pretty deafening. Surely, he thought, they’re much louder than I remember. He quickly abandoned the thought as he noticed a nearby clock that indicated that he had less than 15 minutes left to reach his work. And so he sped up, going at the same pace as the others, though he still wondered why they were so noisy.

He was only a block away from his office building when a sudden downpour soaked him entirely. The sky got dark and the people were screaming even louder. Mark just noticed the traffic had stopped and the people got out of their cars and started running away in panic. Nevertheless, he was almost there and couldn’t afford to be late, so he decided for one last burst of speed, despite the wet clothing slowing him down significantly. He was mere feet away from the door, when the unimaginable happened.

His office building was obliterated. One second it was standing intact, with people pouring out of it. The next, it was gone, replaced with a cloud of glass, metal and concrete. Mark didn’t even notice that he could no longer hear anything. Nor did the care to look at the sky to gaze at the horror that had destroyed the building and likely caused all the people to run away in panic. He stood there, unflinching, sighing.

There goes my paycheck, he thought.