MY 500 WORDS

Man in the fog

By
Wonder Woman

Man in the fog... By reddog54 @DevientART
Man in the fog… By reddog54 @DevientART

7:20 am

The fog almost takes all my visibility away. My legs slowly transport my body on its way to the office.

On a normal day, I can see the building where my office is from a very long distance. Today, the fog does not let me do this.

On a normal day, but… this is not exactly a normal day. I can feel it.

When I anticipate that the distance is short enough to see the entrance door, I raise my eyes from the ground and look straight in that direction.

Yes… the foggy day… is not quite a normal day.

The entrance to my office building is surrounded by people. I cannot see very well in this moment but as I come closer, I realize that they are my coworkers.

I am wondering… why no one is entering inside? The door is opened but everyone is just standing there, outside… in the dense fog…

I remember now the wise words someone once said… “The door is there, opened in front of you. However, you are the one to decide if you should enter or not.”

Now… I am wondering… are these words really true? What determined my coworker’s decision to stay outside, and to not enter on the other side of the opened door?

I come closer and closer. I finally arrived.

“Why are you all standing here? Why don’t we enter?” I asked the first woman I’d seen near me.
“We are not allowed to enter – she replied. The paramedics are on their way and also the police. The night watchman fell down.”
“Why? What Happened?”

In that moment, I see another coworker with a huge stepladder. Seems that someone had to climb up to the first floor where there was an open window, and came to open the main door from inside.

“Our manager had forbidden us to enter until the medics would arrive. She was the only one who entered and found the night watchman down on the ground.” the answer came.
“Who was the guard last night?”
“Jim.”

Jim… was… he is still the youngest from all our night watchman. Most of them are almost retired. Our building does not need much protection; no one will ever come to steal our old computers and file cabinets filled with lots and lots of files. Jim is the youngest guard from all of them; he is around 45. I always thought that in case of an emergency, he would be the only one who could ever manage the situation.

I am wondering now… is the young age the subject for an argument on the ability to manage an emergency? I just found out that the only one whom I thought could do it, was found fallen down on the ground, and nearly not breathing.

The police officers are already here. Almost in the same second, the paramedics arrived. Jumping out from their emergency vehicles, they made their way through my worried coworkers and entered inside the building. Soon one police officer came to announce us that we can enter.

 

9:00 am

It’s been more than one hour since they entered. I am going to check and see what is happening.

I am back. They are leaving now. Our night watchman is breathing and will be taken to the hospital. The news is that our guard… our youngest guard has cancer; terminal phase. No one knew… only a few close friends. I am shocked now. His wife also showed up and told us all about this.

I am wondering about life and people; about the expected and unexpected.
I am wondering… how many things do we know about people we see each day?
Do we really care about other people except us?
How many things do we know about people who we think have an easy life? Do we really know and care?

It is said… love your neighbor as yourself… everyone agrees with this, we are all so spiritual and give lots of spiritual advices to eachother.
However… I am wondering now
What the Hell does it mean to “love your neighbor as yourself?

Do I really care about my neighbor to love him as myself?
Am I really as spiritual as I used to think until today?
Until this foggy day…
Until this day in which I saw an open door that no one had the courage to enter…
Because…
Just because on the other side was laying a fainted neighbor… a young neighbor whom no one cared about; someone whom everyone thought had a good, easy and happy life?

Our neighbor… our night watchman… is on his way to the hospital… our neighbor whom was supposed to be loved by all of us… loved enough to at least know that he was suffering with terminal cancer.

 

10:00 am

The cleaning woman just fainted seeing all that blood she had to clean. Finally, a coworker helped her with the cleanup task.
We are all in shock.

 

3:00 pm

The sun is up in the sky, and has been for a long time now.
Candles are illuminating the main hallway.
Rest in peace, Jim
Is there fog also where you are now?

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5 COMMENTS

  1. M.C. this was a beautiful short story. Well written and thought provoking. It’s sadly true that many of us walk in this same fog. Consumed with our own lives and situations, barely noticing those around us. Certainly not so concerned that we truly take the time to really “know” them beneath the surface. I need to do better. I will do better. Thank you for sharing this story.

  2. Good writing. There were points where I struggled as some of the character’s internal dialogue felt. . . off with the on-going arc. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would think of 45 as too young to be a night watchman when many work such jobs who are much younger, and why him “falling down”, which I took to mean to suffer some injury or health matter though it was a little hard to be sure if that was what you meant due to phrasing, meant that he couldn’t handle his job to your character. I also wasn’t sure what the fog, and how this wasn’t a normal day for the character, had to do with any of the Jim stuff. It felt more like two different stories at the start though the middle and end portions were quite solid. Good writing. This little 500 words challenge seems like fun. ^_^

    • Thanks for your detailed comment. It is highly appreciated.
      The story you read, has only one fiction element included… the name of the watchman. The rest of events and thoughts were exactly like they happened that day. It was really a foggy day and our youngest watchman died due to his illness that no one knew about.

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