TNP2-09 "Being Watched"

TNP2-09 "Being Watched"

A Chapter by dw817

With a growing sense of fear, I realized that with the odd curving slope of the way the walls rose to a point in the ceiling, it was like my whole room was under some giant terrible microscope !


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© July 2014 Written by David Wicker
Please do not reprint without permission

* * *


I actually had some questions of my own for Trudy, but they would keep for the moment. "Yeah. I mean, no. I - can't find my clothes."

Trudy greeted me with that smile I had seen so often at work. "Well, if she tossed your clothes too, they must've been just as bad as your underwear and socks."

"Not - really." I said and twirled my toe uncomfortably against the floor. The carpet was sparse and my room felt more now like a cage than a room. The magic was gone, despite the 'coconut waterfall' Tricia promised me. There were no walls to separate the bed which was just against the right side. And it felt like it was added.

I was certain if I said I wanted walls for my 'bedroom' she would add some. I gave more thought to the 'secret room' where I was behind the 'waterfall' and that too seemed a little plastic and artificial now, obviously made out of fiberboard. Clearly it was added to this disc of a room.

As Trudy shamelessly started poking through the remainder of what I left in the boxes, maybe looking for something to gossip to her friends about, in my mind I removed everything in here, where I was staying. Even the square bathroom.

With a growing sense of fear, I realized that with the odd curving slope of the way the walls rose to a point in the ceiling, it was like my whole room was under some giant terrible microscope !

I gripped myself to control my panic and started to shake. Trudy was up in an instant to console me, "Hey, hun ? What's wrong. Are you okay ?"

I couldn't speak. It was a horrible feeling to believe you were being examined like a insect, curiously, under a large microscope and that's exactly how I felt right then !

"I'm - being - watched." I managed to quaver out.

If I expected Trudy to immediately deny what I believed, she didn't, which only made the feeling worse. Finally she spoke in a more serious tone looking me straight in the face and holding on hard to both of my shoulders.

"David. Look at me. It may seem that way at first. It's because it's too quiet, isn't it ? You're used to noise and - " she looked over her shoulder and turned back to grin at me, "clutter - clearly. You just need to get out and explore, and not stay cooped up in here all day. It gets to you. It does to me to, okay ?"

"Is that what it is ?" I asked her. I wanted to believe her and yet - she didn't just vehemently reject what I said.

She tucked a whisp of her hair around the back of her ear and took my hand, "Sure it is. Come on. Tricia's gone to work and I called in sick, we can have a real breakfast now if you want."

I smiled up at her. Sure enough we took the elevator to the 2nd floor and opened up the fateful freezer that held all the goodies I saw from the day before with Smithers.

"Trudy, who fills this thing up ?" I figured if we were going to nosh out of each day, I might as well know what my limit is.

"There are 3 people living on this level who hate to cook and they are very wealthy, just like you are now. They keep it filled and they have a notice," she then opened the freezer to show a sign attached to the inner door which I didn't see earlier. "Free to all residents. Refilled every Friday by kitchen staff." followed by 3 signatures.

She added, "I suspect it's a bit like chewing gum in class. If you're going to do it, you better have enough to go around for all the other classmates, and in this case, they do."

I nodded and she continued, "So - what would you like ?"

Despite the fact it was closer to lunchtime than breakfast I looked in on one of the lower shelves and pulled out a box titled, "Bacon and Cheese English Muffin Sandwich."

She took it from my grip, "Oh ? Let's see that." She read the back of the box, "Hmm ... 250 calories and 8 grams of fat."

"Yeah, so ?" I asked challengingly.

Suddenly she raised it above my head, "Well, if I were Tricia, I'd say you couldn't have this, what with the DIET you're on." She smiled toothily at me in a mean sneer.

"Diet !?" I squeaked angrily.

* * *

Trudy softened her expression, "Yeah, but I'm not Tricia so I say you get to eat whatever you darned well please." She handed me back the box. I looked at her with a, 'Stop teasing me.' glare.

She laughed. "You know, Tricia stays in such good shape as she does because she eats all that moss and stuff she grows on the lower levels for lunch. It's healthy - but as you know it tastes absolutely nasty."

"Yeah." I agreed as I had already taken off the cellophane and put the muffin in the microwave for 2-minutes.

"So what if Tricia said that you couldn't have anything from here, and she put you on a strict diet to eat her crap cakes from now on. Would you ?"

"Hell no !" I said raising my voice.

"Oh really ? And just what would you tell her ?" Trudy asked, excited to see me finally showing some anger.

"I'd say I want a Big Mac right now and if she doesn't like it she can kiss my a*s !"

Trudy clapped a hand to her mouth and laughed derisively for a moment. Then she added, "You would NOT tell her that !"

I suddenly looked down at the complex design of the floor of the kitchen. "Yeah, you're right. I - I just don't know. We're getting married and all and I know I have to try and make it work I guess."

"Well, there is that." Trudy said and pulled out a low-cal muffin sandwich herself and waited for my sandwich to finish.

Mine did and she heated hers for 2-minutes. We talked a bit more about the mysterious hidden rooms between the elevators. I wasn't completely convinced it was a good 9-rooms between each floor, maybe less. I'd have to sit down with the lights out and count the light passages carefully.

In any case, we each took a styro-foam bowl from the adjacent cabinet, put our muffins in them. Heated up some coffee in little plastic cups from a full pot brewing on the counter, and then went to sit down in the living room to continue our conversation.

About this time I heard a chime from the elevator on this floor and two other unknown people, a man about 10-years older than me and a woman about my age walked past us without a word to the 'loaded' freezer we just got our breakfast out of. They, too, like Trudy, were dressed like they were ready for work.

They didn't bother to heat their selections, however, and took the frozen boxes with them, apparently eager to not linger for the 'new guy,' and I knew that was me, to ask them any questions.

"Popular little freezer." I commented to myself seeing them both get hurriedly back on the elevator.

Trudy sat closer to me and I bristled at this, but then I realized why as she whispered in my ear. "David, I was like you, living in an apartment when Tricia offered me to live here."

"Why did you agree ?" I asked.

She looked down at her bowl for a moment, "I was promised free rent with all the utilities, and home security like I wouldn't believe."

"That's something I wanted to to talk to you about, the home security here, Trudy."

"It works." she said looking straight ahead. "I know that. Tricia evicted a girl, about your age, a few months back. Something to do with her not respecting her as the authority figure of the premises, and she just vanished. I mean, I contacted her parents, everything. She just completely vanished from everyone."

I took a bite of my sandwich and looked ahead thinking about what she said. In front of us, raised up several feet was the familiar beaded screen, rolled up nicely and ready to be lowered when needed. So I wasn't the only one that had a holographic television. How easy it must've been for Tricia to make my darned 'waterfall' after all !

I looked up at the ceiling past that and while this particular room wasn't circular like my room, I did see the familiar design of the 'sprinkler' systems at the absolute top. One of them seemed to click, like the shutter of a camera. Seeing this unexpected thing immediately took away my appetite.

I looked to ask Trudy something else but suddenly felt her lean warm up against me and give me a very nice hug, holding her arms there, her head pushed up against the left side of my neck, as if she was sleepy and willing to rest with me here on the couch with her.

I sighed. Why couldn't I just be content like her ? If I continued to question everything around me, likely I would mess up whatever good things were headed my way, or have to go back to my own original awful apartment, or worse yet - vanish without a trace !


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© 2014 dw817

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This was a brilliant write, can't wait to read more of it. :)

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


5 Years Ago

This chapter is a bit of wishful thinking, 🐱. A perfect community where everyone lives together. .. read more

5 Years Ago

Oh ok that pretty good. :)

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