Thursday, 16 July 2020

EVERYTHING'S FINE

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Eric’s day is off to a rough start: his regional managers are in town, he’s running late to work, the moon seems to be falling apart, and he just can’t seem to get his tie right. At least he has his priorities straight: it’s the little things that matter. The world may be plunging into chaos, the neighborhood children might be mutating into abominations, but that doesn’t mean he can let his standards slip. If he and his co-workers can survive their nightmare walk to the office, then Eric has a plan for success…

 

 

Something happened to the surface of the moon while Eric Eldridge struggled to adjust his tie that morning. He was terrified of this, the way the fabric refused to yield to his shaking fingers, the way it alternately came undone with sudden abandon or compacted into a hardened, ugly snarl. Hadn’t he tied a goddam tie before? Granted, he was trying to pull off a Balthus knot, a calculated risk when he had only an hour to get to work. Sebold told him those ostentatious knots were in with the trifecta of regional managers visiting the office this week, hinting this minor change would garner Eric more status than a quarter’s worth of spotless paperwork. But even after watching five web videos on the Balthus, Eric was having a hard time producing anything better than this tangled mess. He’d got the upper bit right, sure, but how the hell was he supposed to produce that bit of fabric cleavage below?

Convinced that staring in the mirror might be behind this fumbling, Eric turned away and looked out the window. Outside, a bus swept by, followed by a flurry of litter and black flower petals. Across the street Mrs. Squint was wrestling a lumpy plastic bag into her trash bin while twin brothers skipped past, dressed in matching, pin-striped uniforms, weirdly eager to get to school. Blood still dripped on the windowsill from the walls, but at least it wasn’t as bad as it had been last week.