Writing Prompt #515
You’re a security guard for a high rise building. The lights go out in the top three floors and you must investigate it.
Get a job as a security guard, they said. It’d be easy, they said. I press the up button on the elevator before I get a call from dispatch saying that the power outage on the top three floors has affected the elevators. Great. I make my way over to the stairwell.
“Why the hell do I need to go up there anyway?” I reply on my shoulder radio, “Don’t they have maintenance for this kind of crap?”
“Security protocol,” replied the tired sounding female voice on the other side, “Look, the sooner you get up there and give the “all clear”, the sooner you can get back on your lazy ass and shove donuts down your gullet like you always do.”
I pause, “Today is my first day.”
“Peters?” asked the woman.
“No, Killigan.” Peters left after about an hour after I came into work. Apparently, I only needed an hour of training.
“Oh,” the voice paused, “well, you’ll probably love donuts too. Just get up there and give the “all clear” for maintenance.”
I give a disgruntled sigh, “Roger that.”
I open the door to the stairs. 30 floors. I have to go up 30 floors. I check my belt to make sure I remembered everything. Flashlight. Pepper spray. Taser. Yup, all here. I look back into the main lobby. It’s much different here in the middle of the night. The place is usually bustling with big-wigs in fancy suits and briefcases. I don’t know what they do here. Stocks, maybe? All I know is that they were hiring and I needed money too, ya know, live. It was either this or the mailroom.
The first couple of floors is not that bad. I’m slightly pudgy and out of shape, but I can manage a few stairs. Think Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer, but before he got the role of Star-Lord. Though not as good looking.
When I get up to floor 10, I’m starting to breathe heavily. Floor 15, my belt is feeling heavier and I’m starting to sweat. Floor 20, my lower back is hurting. Floor 25, I can barely breathe. I might have to invest in a gym membership with my first paycheck.
I finally reach the 28th floor. As reported, there are no lights and/or power starting with this floor. I bring out my huge Maglite flashlight and carefully open the door. It’s eerily quiet and dark. I’ve seen enough horror movies to know that this is where the stupid, pudgy security guard gets eaten by the monster. Shit. I’m the stupid, pudgy security guard. At least I’m not two days from retirement. Those guys always get knocked off. Wait, isn’t it the same for rookies too? Crap. I watch too many horror movies.
I calmly check every room. I see and hear nothing. A bunch of cubicles, typical desk job type of layout. What am I so concerned about? This is just a random power outage. Maybe it’s just a fuse. I don’t know, I’m not an electrician.
“Floor 28 is clear,” I say into my radio.
“Great,” said the annoyed voice on the other end, “Now don’t bother my until you give the ALL CLEAR.”
Sheesh, what a bitch. Whatever. On to the next floor.
The 29th floor is pretty much the same. More cubicles. More desks. More nothing. I try to look at one of the desks with some paperwork on it, just to see what the hell these people do. I can’t make heads or tails of it. Numbers. Geometry. Mathematical formulas. Screw this, my brain hurts. I guess they’re not all about stocks. This floor must be for the nerds. I just about reach the door to the stairwell when I hear a thump above me. Dammit. There is someone up here. Or something. No, no, no… stop it! It’s probably just the cleaning staff, still cleaning away in the dark. I think about reporting in, but don’t feel like getting yelled at again.
Cautiously, I open the door to the 30th floor, unsure what to expect. This is where the big boss man sits every day. I hope I don’t have to go into his office. They didn’t give me that key yet. The atmosphere is completely different up here. Not only is the layout completely different but the air around me seems almost electrifying. The hair on my arm is standing on end and I can feel the hair under my hat doing the same.
“Hello?” I call out, “Anyone here?” No one responds, of course. I grab my taser and walk further. This doesn’t feel right. There are gashes in the walls and broken glass everywhere. The electrical feeling is getting stronger the further I go. I pass the CEO secretary’s desk, or what’s left of it. It almost looks like it was cut in half. I hear the sound of crying in the corner behind a fake ficus. It’s one of the cleaning ladies.
“Ma’am, are you OK? What happened?”
She’s an older Latina woman and shaking uncontrollably, “Espada… eléctrico… sin sonido.”
I knew I shouldn’t have taken French in high school. Something about electricity? Yeah, lady, the electricity is out. I help her up and point her towards the door. She’s hesitant at first, but quickly makes a bolt for the door. I look towards the CEO’s office. Both of his doors look like they’ve been ripped off their hinges.
I grab my radio, “Dispatch, this is Killigan, I need backup on the 30th floor.” Silence. “Dispatch, do you copy?”
The response is a garbled mess. “… we… under… respon…”
“Dispatch, please respond, do you copy?”
The response is even less understandable. Looks like I’m gonna have to bolt for the door as well. As I turn to make a run for it, a dark figure stands in my way. He’s holding a metal briefcase in his left hand and a katana in his right. He looks like a ninja in body armor. I instinctively take my taser and drive it into his chest. He looks down at it, unfazed. He drops the briefcase and grabs my wrist, twisting and breaking it. The pain is instantaneous and unbearable. I let go of the taser and he grabs it in midair, looks at it and jams the taser into his neck. His eyes illuminate blue and his sword becomes electrified. The hell is this guy?
He looks towards the CEO’s office and makes a dash towards the blown out doors. I can’t really concentrate on what’s going on, ‘cause, you know, pain from a broken wrist. I try to get my legs moving, but I keep dropping to my knees.
There’s commotion in the office. Another figure comes running out of the darkness. It’s a woman in a hoodie. Her face is covered so I can’t get a good look at her. She outstretches her arm and shouts, “It’s too dangerous here! Get out, NOW!” I suddenly feel a force on my chest as I’m pushed back and hit the stairwell door. My ears start ringing as everything around me goes black.
When I come to, the power is back on. My head and wrist are killing me. My radio is on the floor beside me and it’s going haywire.
“Killigan, respond! Killigan, what’s your status?”
I grab it and respond, “Killigan here, I’m messed up.”
“Jesus… there you are. What the hell is going on? I have a frightened Mexican woman crying about an electric sword or something.”
I look around. There is no sign of either the electric ninja or hoodie girl. “Well, all I have to say is, the boss is gonna be pissed. Also, I’m going to need a pay raise and a doctor. Also, all clear.” I drop my radio and pass out again from the pain.