SepSceneWriMo 2022 – Day 11 – A day off.

After about 45 minutes of swirling in your office chair, you are finally ready to check your emails. Let’s see how much more work is required of me today. First, you open the ones that you know are company newsletters and run-of-the-mill announcements. You scan each one to make sure that there is no end-of-the-world event communicated, and then you send them to the Trash folder. That’s about 25% of the new messages in your Inbox. Then, you open the ones that have the same title but are from different people – hopefully, others have already taken care of the problem, and/or you are just included as FYI. People really need to learn when it’s OK to ‘reply to all’ and when it’s not. If someone sends a group message and asks for people to RSVP, there is no need to reply to all. You can either tell your co-workers when you chat to them at the water cooler in the next 3 minutes or just keep it a surprise until you all meet at the party. Only the person that asked truly needs to know. You roll your eyes and take a deep breath. The bulk of your messages is from your boss. The first one you open asks you to forward your presentation to them so they can review it and potentially add to it. A presentation that you only began to work on the day before. A presentation that has two slides – the title and the thank yous.

Right as you open your PowerPoint, you hear chimes. You look around – at your computer and phone to see if it’s a ringer you forgot about – but the chiming continues, and you cannot find the source. Then, a voice comes from above you: “Today is Eschaton. Please exit the building in a calm fashion. You will then be provided with additional guidance.”

You think of ignoring the alarm and getting back to your presentation, but your co-workers start congregating in the hallway in front of your office, confused as to what is going on. “Today is Eschaton. Please exit the building in a calm fashion. You will then be provided with additional guidance.” The voice from above repeats.

“Escha-what?” Bree asks, but everyone just shrugs.

“Eschaton,” you reply with a sigh and join your co-workers in the hallway. “It’s basically Judgement Day,” you add, realizing that it probably is not going to help anyone anyway. It’s not like like we do Judgment Day drills… You smile and hope that others don’t notice. You don’t want them to think you’re crazy, but you’re just tickled how you’ve only recently learned the meaning of that word from BBprompt – a blogging community. It almost makes you feel like you are the most qualified to be the leader of your group for whatever comes next.

They look to you and then at the windows – more and more people pour out onto the lawn in front of the building. As the voice repeats its orders again, your co-workers go back to their offices to grab their belongings. “You won’t need those where we’re going,” you want to say, but you bite your tongue.

Once everyone has their wallets, their phones, their purses, and more, you walk downstairs and out – people asking one another if they know what is going on. Outside, two of your co-workers call their wives, and another three call their kids – they, too, have heard the chimes and have gone outside.

“Please get in your appropriate line. Single file,” a man with a crossing guard vest on motions towards the two signs that just appeared out of thin air – ‘Wrong doing’ and ‘Right doing.’

You look around to see how people are reacting – if it’s some kind of an elaborate prank, you’ll have great material to write about. There are people crying, people trying to run away, people on their knees praying, and people that just stand around chatting.

A visibly larger crowd gathers at the entrance to the ‘Right doing’ lane.

“What stops someone from joining the line for the righteous, even if they know they have committed grave sins?” You ask the man who announced the separate lanes.

“Sin detectors,” he points to the beginning of the lines to things that look like airport body scanners. “When it’s your turn, you go in, and it either lights up green or red, depending on your soul’s purity. If you get red at the ‘Wrong doing’ lane, you get to exit that scanner and go straight to our ‘Lounge of the Righteous’ – where we have all sorts of foods, drinks, and amenities – to await final transport to Heaven. There, you will receive an additional award for your humility. If, however, you get a red light in the ‘Right doing’ lane, then you get the privilege of being tortured in front of everyone who awaits their scan until everyone is processed. Then, of course, you get an express ticket to Hell.

You gulp audibly. Well, at least I don’t have to finish my presentation.

***

P.S. The final paragraphs starting from: “A visibly larger crowd…” have been added five days after the original story had been published. Sometimes you just think of things to add after the fact.

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“Write a story inspired by the word ‘eschaton'”
– prompt used for this CW piece.
[Source: BlogBattle]

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P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!

Stay golden,

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27 thoughts on “SepSceneWriMo 2022 – Day 11 – A day off.

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    1. I know, right? I figured you might find it fun with your propensity for anonymolypse.

      Wouldn’t there have to be procedures like such to judge so many people at the same time? Or do we each get a case worker that does an assessment ahead of time and submits it for consideration?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Very funny take Sam, especially the BB reference…one of my word choices haha.

    Really like the way you’ve captured the blasé office approach. Rather like fire drills…is it real, a faulty alarm or a test. Gather up everything not nailed down before considering leaving. Enter the boy who cried wolf too. So much media catastrophe that a real one gets bypassed as another over hyped headline.

    Then the honesty signs… give people the option to choose. Can’t imagine many would, in fact, be honest there!

    Also be dead annoying if, after ten hours and a full stop to type, the chime to exit sounded. I think you’d want this one while staring at the blank page not sure how to begin!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, there are always people who make nothing of a potential emergency at the office as well as those who have no clue what to do/ where to go, etc.

      Good point about people potentially not being honest. In hindsight, I should add a bit about entering a line chosen by you and having to go through an airport security gate – if you’re carrying something you shouldn’t be (a load of sins), then it blares and you are asked to go to the other line or something like that.

      Indeed. There definitely are more convenient times than others for the end of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very true. Thing is I think people get immune to warnings if they are repeated frequently. Or hyped by media as they are here. It desensitises the response when a real disaster occurs.

        Let me know If you add a line haha. Could be something like an MRI scanner that searches memory and tally’s it against what the mouths saying. Get it wrong and drop through a trapdoor straight to the bad place!

        Like

          1. Haha, much more practical. Of course after the first one goes red everyone else might well be wondering if the tiniest flaw of character will set it off! Would that create a paradox for worlds end? Only occurs if people actually pass through the sin detector… if no-one does would the “higher authority” have a plan B?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. It’s meant to give them pause to recount their deeds. Going through the wrongdoing scanner and getting taken to Heaven instead is much better than the alternative. So yes – they should worry, but also not. It’s better to air on the side of caution than to embalm yourself with pride.

              Heh, leave it to humans to try and find a way out of it or around it. First, there’s a gesture of good faith. Then, comes the lava rain.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Love how you handled the word for this month – the reference about learning it from BBprompt made me laugh! The second person perspective is both unique and well done. It’s not an easy POV to render, and some attempts come off better than others, but yours certainly works. Most of all I enjoyed the psychological and metaphysical aspects. How true that most people consider themselves to be good, even though in reality ‘we’re all sinners.’ It did make me wonder that if somebody admitted their wrong doing and got in that line, would that confession mean that instead of being condemned, they’d get to go through Purgatory and then into Heaven (as opposed to going to the Lounge of the Righteous on the final transport to Heaven)? Very clever story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to pay homage where it was due. It also made me chuckle as I wrote it because most of the people I interact with in real life don’t know about my writing/blogging, so I think it would be an interesting conversation topic while we get in respective lines.

      Like

  3. Very droll and incisive Sam.
    Everyone ahead of me of me has mostly said what I had in mind
    Having been one who spent their working life in offices I did enjoy the office-based perspective. And can understand the relief at avoiding that presentation.
    (Hell- continually having to do presentations with only an hour’s notice)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Roger!
      I used to enjoy giving presentations on the fly in the past. But then, for a long time, I didn’t have to and I fell out of the rhythm. Until, one day, the meeting starts and I am asked to give an informal presentation… I was not ready, but I made it work. It put me right back into the rhythm from the past – always be prepared.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah takes me back to the time, when semi-retired and down a grade or so I was roped into these initiatives. There was a gathering together of presentations for the various initiatives and our team leader wasn’t able to turn up while others had constructively vanished. So there was me and a supportive ‘temp’ as the team. While others produced charts or power points we went into a huddle with a half A4 scrap of paper and some vague memories of what had gone on at the team meetings
        I presented, and was thanked by the senior manager and glared at by one of the power point folk.
        I took full retirement not long after, on the grounds being too old for this stuff (well I didn’t actually use the word ‘stuff’)🙃

        Liked by 1 person

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Ellie Thompson

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