Breathe

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Working late can sometimes be an ordeal...

Submitted: June 19, 2018

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Submitted: June 19, 2018

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The silence was abruptly ended by the shrill, loud ringing of the office phone. It pounded across the room, slamming into her ears, a bell used as a cudgel against her mind.

Taylor hadn't expected it. But this was the latest she'd ever stayed at work, and her first time alone in the office. When the phone rang before, there were other noises, noises that it blended with, so that it would fade away into the background of the world around her.

But now, there was only the phone. Now there was only the ringing. She stared at it, her heart pounding, her thoughts shattered by the loud suddenness of it all.

She reached out to the phone, but found that her fingers resisted grasping it. Her hand stayed perfectly still, hovering over the screaming device, unable to complete the task of picking it up.

She thought she heard Ben's voice in the ringing. He'd told her about the affair over the phone. He'd told her that they were over, over the phone. And then she'd called her best friend, the woman who had betrayed her with Ben, and listened to a ringing phone as the traitor ignored her.

Taylor took a deep breath. Or she tried to. Her lungs felt so empty.

She gasped. She wheezed. She sucked in as much air as she could, but it wasn't enough. Her hand withdrew from the phone and she clutched the armrests of her chair for dear life as she breathed more and more breaths that did nothing.

Her heart pounded. Her eyes went wide and she looked wildly about the empty office, now so dark and deep in ways that she had never quite understood before. She opened her mouth wide and gulped down all the air she could but it simply wasn't enough.

It did not calm her heart. It did not end her terror. She knew-- she knew-- that she was going to die here.

And then the feeling passed. Taylor sat there in a daze, her breathing still heavy, as all the pain and horror and certainty became nothing more than an unpleasant memory.

She looked at the now quiet phone, and wondered when it has stopped ringing. And then she stood up, collected her things, and left the office.


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