Friday 7 June 2013

Dark Fiction - Night Terror

Dark Fiction Image

Night Terror

By Casey Douglass

for #fridayflash

‘Goodwin, my office now please!’ The speaker system fizzled as it fell silent.

Goodwin felt all eyes on him, every cubicle, every desk, the denizens of work group 4B sensing a butt chewing in the air. He stood and slowly left the large room, trying to gauge his walking to a not-worried-but-better-not-dawdle pace. He ran a hand down his front, easing the tie into line with his shirt buttons and checking his fly when he reached the bottom. You just never know.

He passed Wilmer’s secretary at her desk, her spectacles perching on her nose like some kind of bird of prey swooping on...well, a big nose really. She pointed at the large double doors without looking up at him. He reached them and paused, sucking in as much breath as possible before entering.

‘Ah Goodwin, take a seat.’ The bulk of Henry Wilmer made a grand attempt at filling the large floor to ceiling window behind him. On a less obstructed day, there was a breathtaking view of the city. Wilmer moved behind his large antique desk and sank into a plush chair, the leather squeaking in protest.

Goodwin sat in the smaller leather chair in front of the desk, his hands clasped in his lap. ‘You wanted to see me Sir?’

‘Yes Goodwin. You know I am a straight talker, I don’t like to beat around the bush.’

‘Yes Sir.’

‘You’re fired.’

Godwin’s jaw fell at the same time as his cheeks constricted. ‘Fired? Why on earth?’

‘You just aren't up to snuff my boy. Your department is behind every goal set for it, 4C is outperforming you! 4C! The ‘special ones’ that struggle to find the canteen!’

‘But wh-’

‘And then there’s the other stuff...the allegations.’

‘What fucking allegations!’ Goodwin jumped to his feet and placed his hands on the desk, leaning forward to look squarely into Wilmer's sixty year old face.

‘Calm down Goodwin! It’s just some of the girls have made allegations of...inappropriate conduct towards them, you know the thing, brushing past their backsides, starring down blouses.’

‘That’s bullshit! I only have eyes for one woman, you know that, Sophie!’

‘Ah yes, Sophie. Well I spoke to her earlier this morning, she wasn’t impressed.’

Goodwin’s legs began to shake. ‘You told her about this crap?’ His voice raised an octave as his throat tightened.

‘Of course! And might I say, she wasn’t at all surprised, said you’d been doing that while out and about even with her!’

‘No I haven’t!’

‘She thinks you have some kind of sexual addiction and, sorry to be the one to break this to you, but she has gone to stay with her sister until you prove you are getting help with it.’

Goodwin launched himself at Wilmer, his hands gripping the sweating quivering neck. ‘What the fuck is going on! I’ll kill you you fat bastard! You are ruining my life!’

He felt hands grab at his shoulders and was bodily wrenched across the room. Two hulking security guards loomed over him, each slowly unclipping a baton.

Wilmer choked and spluttered, a hand cupping his jowls. ‘Go to work boys, teach this ungrateful swine a lesson!’

They moved in, one of them clutched Goodwin's shirt and heaved him to his feet. A hard slap hit his cheek.

‘Goodwin! Goodwin!’ a female voice was shouting into his face.

His eyes flickered open, a dazzling white light making them sting. A worried looking woman was staring him in the face. ‘I didn’t do it!’

‘What? Captain Goodwin, you are needed!’

He sat upright with a start and stared around him, the sparse clean room, the humming consoles, the alarm. ‘The alarm?’

‘We are under attack Sir, a cruiser class ship with no electronic insignia.’

‘Go! Everyone to their posts, I’m on my way to the command room.’

‘Yes Captain!’

The woman saluted and ran from the room, the sound of the alarm intensifying as the large double doors slid open.

Goodwin got to his feet and stretched, a broad grin on this face. The remnants of the dream slipped from his mind like a fragile spider-web being brushed away, his mind his own once more. He slid into his uniform and sprinted from the room, the first rumble of energy weapons coming to life echoing around the hull of the ship. His ship.