Just Keep Mopping
Isaac had never loved any job. He had never even liked his job, to be honest. But this new one? Man, it sure was something else.
It paid well, so that was something. And the job itself wasn't too difficult...most of the time.
Janitorial work, the job listing had said. That's nothing, he had thought to himself at the time. Isaac had been doing manual labor his entire adult life, and being part of a cleanup crew would be nothing new for him.
Bang. Yet another shot rang out somewhere down the hallway.
Isaac put his head down and kept his steady pace with the mop. As he looked down, he realized he'd just been smearing the red liquid around without getting any actual cleaning done. The realization made him dizzy, as it did on the occasions when he experienced clarity and the reality of the situation entered his mind.
Isaac took a deep breath and he squeezed his mop out into the plastic yellow bucket. He released it slowly as he watched the pinkish water move.
He plopped the relatively clean mop back on the floor with a squish and resumed his routine. He figured he had better finish this one up soon, since the shot meant that he would be called upon to clean up another mess soon.
But rather than the quiet dragging sound that normally followed the ringing shot, an alarm suddenly cut through the air.
Isaac jumped in surprise as the blaring sound filled the building and flashing warning lights cast the hallway in red. His grip tightened on the mop handle as he stared at the large doors in front of him and listened to the muffled, panicked shouts coming from behind them.
As he continued to look, the doors burst open, and something that might have once been human came forth, half running, half limping directly towards him.
Isaac stood frozen in fear as he helplessly watched the bloodied, mutilated form rapidly close the distance between them. When it was a few feet away, he squeezed his eyes shut and took a deep breath, listening to the pained moaning coming from the creature's mouth.
This was it, he thought. This is how I die.
Bang. The familiar shot rang out, though it was much closer than he was used to.
Isaac felt hot liquid splatter his face. Curious, he risked a peak, slowly opening one eye.
He saw the barrel of a gun pointed directly at his face. He fully opened both eyes. He looked over the barrel, tracing it with his eyes until he saw the gun was held in the hand of a woman in a white lab coat. It was stained with fresh red splatter, as he no doubt was now as well.
She lowered the gun and smiled apologetically at him. "Sorry about that," she said. "They don't usually get away from us, but well..." She trailed off, gesturing towards the prone figure lying at their feet.
Isaac, still holding himself rigid and clutching his mop, nodded stiffly at her.
She nodded back, smile still on her face, and turned around. She walked easily back through the large doors at the end of the hallway and pulled them shut behind her.
Isaac breathed out, trying to will his shaking body to calm so he could get back to work. There was another mess to clean up. He needed to get to it. They would be here soon to drag the body away, and he didn't want to appear unproductive.
He put his head down and resumed the familiar back and forth movement of the mop.
This job, man. It sure was something else.
More by this Author
My father died of pancreatic cancer when I was in middle school. The people around me didn't make it any easier by refusing to leave me alone. A short creative nonfiction piece.
No comments yet.