I awoke to the sounds of heavy machinery pounding at the ground outside my window. The vibrations were harsh enough to jar me from slumber.
I look at my spartan bedroom through gritty eyes, scanning for the aging alarm clock that crouched on the bedside table. The clock was an ancient box that had appeared to have been thrown together like some great accident; all angles and white plastic. It didn’t matter, it was reliable, nobody would ever steal it and it fit in the pocket of my coat when I went out. Besides it still had the original batteries in even after 9 years of working life.
"Tick tock" I muttered under my breath, reaching over to bring the clock closer so I could read the numerals, I knocked something else of the bedside table, hearing it clatter to the wooden flooring with a dull metal clang, I ignored it for a moment and continued on my search for the time. I knew what the time was already, but I just needed confirmation - a ritual that I performed every morning. Except for those times when I went out to...no don’t think about it. I’m on leave if that’s what it can be called.
The clock read 08:06. The second hand continued its endless revolutions around the face of the clock. I moved back into the sanctuary of the middle of my bed, thinking of the day ahead. The warmth of my bed provided a temporary refuge for me. I knew I had to get up and get ready to greet the day, but the voluntary paralysis I found myself in was intoxicating. A new wave of lethargy threatened to overcome me, so reluctantly I stumble out of the bed.
As soon as my feet touched the coolness of the floorboards, I close my eyes and embrace the shrill cold as it chills the soles of my feet. I feel alive at the sensations that course through my body.
Realisation also sets in at my unfortunate predicament.
The horror of what has happened sinks in. Vanessa, my money, my job, my chantry. All gone.