Midday Snack

“Mother of god,” I whispered to myself as I zipped open the oozing container that holds my mid-day sustenance.

The mescaline was wearing off, and my stomach was starting to untwist from the knot that the drugs had put it into. The visuals came and went, though, and as I unzipped the slippery black bin that my lunch was in, a gigantic sea serpent flew out of the opening and crashed into the air.

It wrapped its way around the picture frames that adorn my desk and made its way out into the office. It was heading straight towards Brandon’s desk. I jumped.

“Watch out, man! It’s coming right for you!” I screamed as I jumped around the corner in an attempt to tackle Brandon. The least I could to after unleashing this hell-beast on him was attempt to save his life. As I made my lunge, I found myself face to face with the ferocious beast. I looked at it. It looked at me. We both peered into each other’s souls. In that moment, it vanished.

I hit the ground and slid about six inches on the scratchy, outdated carpet. I jumped up as quickly as I’d fallen and brushed off my shirt and pants. My face was red, bleeding in spots.

“That’s uh… Alright there, Mitch. Alright.” I turned back around and walked briskly to my desk, hoping that no one would begin to question my sanity. It’s alright, though. No one is quite sane in this business. If you’re not on mescaline or dope you’re sitting in the conference room drinking bottles of scotch or out snorting cocaine off of some parking lot hooker for a good time.

To each his own.

The visuals have subsided. For now, at least. Thank god. No need for another episode like that. At least until I can finish my goddamned bagel, I thought. Sitting back down and opening my satchel, a quiet peace began to overtake me. I reached inside the black cavern and begin to pull out the contents. They’re the same every day: 5 crackers, a cheese wheel,  a bag of strawberries, and a bagel. No need to change it up. It’s just one less thing to think about in the mornings.

I started lining them up on my desk as I usually do, but began to notice something unsettling as I looked at them closer. There was a small bite taken out of the bagel. The bag that the crackers were in was torn to bits. The cheese wheel was nearly gone. Only it’s small, red-wax cylinder remained.

“Little shit…” I said. “It ate my food!” I screamed to Brandon, shouting across the office and pointing at him. “You’re lucky. It was probably coming for you, too. My lunch was the appetizer and it was coming at you for the main course!”

He was staring, but slowly shifted his gaze back towards his computer monitor shaking his head, probably trying to shake me, too.

“Ungrateful bastard…” I whispered under my breath.

“What was that?” Brandon snapped as he turned towards me yet again.

“Nothing. Nothing at all, Mitch.”

“It’s Brandon, you freak. Jesus…” He twisted back around in his chair like the slimy urchin he was. But I couldn’t be bothered with him now. There were bigger problems at hand. It seemed as though a hallucination of an enormous sea serpent had eaten almost the entirety of my lunch and then attempted to eat a co-worker. “A co-worker whose life would be in ruin now if it wasn’t for the valiant efforts of someone trying to keep him from being eaten alive!” I yelled.

Shit. I said that out loud, I thought. Did anyone hear me? The whole office was staring at me. But again, no bother.

I fished around in my lunch bag to see if it had left any clue of its existence. I felt a small prick on my fingertip and pulled out a glistening scale that must’ve come off during the monster’s escape. Holding it up to the light, it shimmered a bright, almost blinding blue and gold. Looking around to make sure no one was watching, I hid the tiny gem inside my pocket as to not arouse suspicion.

I again dove into the abyss and began feeling around. After another twenty or so minutes of searching, I finally pulled out a small piece of paper. It was difficult to open, stuck together with the remnants of the cheese-wax and covered in the slimy secretion of the scabrous snake.

After a moment or two of drying and attempting to pry open the paper with my fingernail, it began to unfold. My heart raced as I slowly opened the note and its message became clear.

‘Brian,

Enjoy your new pet.

Yours Truly’

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