08 July 2009

Someone's Surprising Sarah

Setting: 7:00AM, Wednesday, 8 July 2009, Somewhere, USA

Seated in a chair, our secretary heroine stares contemplatively at a single book setting in the center of the otherwise empty desk. Sarah wonders where everything has gone: her computer, keyboard, notepads, phone, box of tissues. She hesitantly reaches to open the desk drawer to find nothing inside. Searching through drawer after drawer yields the same results.

Suddenly, the book opens of its own volition. Sarah jerked, causing her chair to roll back about a foot. She sat upright again, determined to figure out what was going on here. Scooting her desk chair forward, Sarah peered into the open book. She gasped at what she saw.

Standing in the center of the page, moving just enough to be noticed as something unusual, was a little figure. Sarah leaned in closer to see exactly what kind of thing it could have been. She saw what appeared to be a little man but with three sets of all appendages.

Shaking his fists violently at Sarah, the little man seemed to be shouting, though his voice was much to tiny for her to hear anything. Sarah leaned a little closer, causing the little man to step back and cringe into a shielded position. Slowly he raised up his head as he realized no danger befell him. Sarah began to speak, but his frantic fist shaking began again; this time, she was close enough to hear.

"Shhh--before you speak, listen to what I have to say!" the little man shouted as loudly as he could, although his voice barely reached Sarah's threshold of hearing at the tiny frequency the voice emitted. "Sarah, I have been sent here to bring you a message, and you must promise to listen." Shocked that he knew her name, Sarah's eyes grew wide and her breathing became shallow. She studied the little man's face a while before she realized he had paused, waiting to hear a response.

She stuttered out a quiet and meager "Sure." Sarah listened intently as the little man spoke slowly and clearly.

"Sarah, you may have wondered why your desk was empty, save for this book and, of course, me. Someone in management has sent me here in a very surreptitious manner to tell you this. Sarah, you're fired."

Sarah paused a moment, taking in the little man's words, making sure she got every little word. She jerked her head backwards as she realized finally exactly what he said. She just got fired! Sarah glared at the little man and quickly grabbed the front of the book. Slam went the book as the heavy cover met the rest of the open pages.

Slowly Sarah opened the book to the page where the little man had stood. She was not sure he was even real; but if he was, had she just killed him? Situated on the center of the page, just where he had been standing, was a light colored smudge. Sarah looked closer and saw that the smudge was actually paint, and written in the paint in tiny but discernible letters was the word "Surprise!"

Sarah stood up, confused. Streamers and confetti started streaming down from the ceiling. Salsa music started playing out of invisible speakers. Some of her coworkers started emerging from the walls as if they were at one point part of the drywall, but now back in human form. She looked at the desk again. Standing in the middle of the book where the paint had just been was the little man with three sets of all appendages smiling, waving, and shouting happily.

Somehow a cake rose out of the desk. Scribbled in sugary, blue icing was "Sarah, You're Fired!" Sarah was now very disoriented, feeling the room shift around her like water in a washing machine. She raised her hands to her face and would have screamed had her larynx not been frozen. She started to run away but, as if on a treadmill, she stayed in one place.

Suddenly the world stopped. Sarah found herself falling quickly until, finally, she sat up in bed. Sleeping beside her up until now, her husband woke up and asked if everything was okay.

"Sure, sure...just a bad dream," she murmured sleepily.

"Someone needs to stop eating pizza at bedtime," her husband warned warily.

Sarah nodded in silent agreement and began to lay her head back down to sleep, until she saw something that made her scream--out loud this time. Sitting across the room on her dresser was the little man with three sets of all appendages waving, smiling, and shouting happily: "Surprise!"

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