Serial Saturday [Horror] – Nancy, Please #8

So, did I get annoyed by anything this week? You bet I did. It’s got to be an age thing, or perhaps i’m just miserable.

This week (last weeks TikTok thing still bugs me) it’s the turn of American English. Why do you insist on pronouncing aluminium as aluminum? It’s a small thing, yes, but why different from REST OF THE WORLD?

The American Chemical Society (ACS) officially adopted aluminum in 1925, but in 1990 The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) accepted aluminium as the international standard.

Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary

A minor niggle, yes, but I do remember saying these were inconsequential niggles. I’m just old.

On to the Serial…

Read the previous posts HERE, but now, on to part #8

“I can’t tonight, Mark. I’ve got a thing with a friend that I can’t get out of.” I’m hoping he’s stupid enough to have missed my pause before I answered him. He is.

“No problem. Tomorrow night will be fine.” He winks at me before shuffling the papers on his desk. I guess that’s me dismissed, but I walk slowly back to the door, expecting to be called back at any moment. “You look good from behind.” Tosser. I think I know what I’m going to do. It’s something I’ve thought about, but never really considered acting on. Until now.

I turn round and give him a smile that lets him know what I think of his remark, but he’s already got his head back in the papers on the desk, which suits me. Before I push the door open, I take the key from the lock and drop it into my pocket. I slam the door again, hoping he will take it as anger, but what I do is drop the snick on his lock, sealing him in his office with his wine. Once outside, I slip the key back into the lock and turn it slowly. A glance back into his office tells me Belshaw didn’t hear, his head still looking down at the papers in front of him.

I hop down the steps to the shop floor to the usual chorus and laughter, which stops when I reach the floor. It’s interesting that how gobby a person is can be directly correlated to the distance that person is away from the object of their ridicule. I’m not bothered. They can laugh all they want.

Aisles of shelves with an assortment of replacement parts surround the machines on the shop floor. If a machine goes down, the knock on effects to the rest of the production line can be catastrophic, and these machines break a lot. But I’m not interested in productivity now, just in getting away from the voices behind me.

These aisles seem to go on forever and I smile, despite my situation as I wonder if Gary had ever had any of the girls down here. There was a reasonable chance that he had. The deeper I get into the factory, the more the noise behind me recedes. I can still hear the constant drone of the machines from the shop floor, but thankfully, the endless prattle from the women is gone. I’m counting the aisle numbers because, luckily, I know where to find what I’m looking for. I see them now. Damn. There’s only three. I need four. Well, I’d like four, but I think I can make it work with three. I give one last look around to make sure I’m alone down here and then I pick up the three big chains and throw them over my shoulder. The padlocks are here too, and I grab them as well.

The first emergency exit is three aisles over and it takes me seconds to reach it. There’s a part of me that knows what I’m doing is wrong, very wrong, but that’s the sensible part of my brain. The other part, the emotional part, and more to the point, my heart, tells me that there is no other way, so, ruled by my heart and my emotions, I loop one of the chains through the push-bar handle of the door and snap the padlock in place. From there, it is just a short trip around the wall until I come to the second of the doors, and I snap the padlock closed on the second chain. The second one was easier than the first, my brain barely even registering a protest as I wound the chain into place. The third is easier still, leaving just the final door that will need securing in some other fashion, but I’ve already had some thoughts about that.

When I reach the final door, I look around before removing my cardigan. There is no one here to see me, so I pull out my lighter and flick the wheel. I hold the flame to the material and as it catches light, I drop the smouldering bundle on the floor and kick it under a nearby wooden pallet holding several large cardboard boxes. I wait a moment until I see the first wisps of smoke as the cardboard catches light, before pushing through the final emergency exit into the bright sunlight. It takes a minute for my eyes to adjust to the brightness, then a further minute to spot my car in the car park. I make my way slowly across the car park. I’m in no rush as I don’t want to attract any attention and besides, the fire will take several minutes to take hold.

I reach into my pocket for my keys as I hear the fire alarm sound. I don’t need to look back because I know what will be happening: the office staff will be gathering up their belongings and finishing off their cups of tea, before dragging themselves to the exit. As I start the engine, I can see the first of the staff begin to emerge from the front entrance, some looking mildly irritated, none looking particularly panicked. They will start to feel differently in a few minutes when the shop floor staff realise that their exits have been blocked. All but one, and to tackle that, I pull away and drive towards the remaining exit. When I arrive, the doors are still shut, so I nudge my car towards the doors, stopping as my bumper just touches the wall, pinning the doors closed. No one is getting out this way.

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