2 minutes 26 seconds| Regrets, regrets, regrets...
Novel-in-Progress, excerpt 20| The observers continue to speculate on the nature of the motionless guard, although David has noted changes in the room that raise unsettling questions:
David was not on post when he entered the tower, but this was no cause for worry. The arrival knocked on the bathroom door, as this facility within a facility was the morning observer’s home away from home for much of his workday.
The colleague grunted from inside and made his usual complaint about constipation.
“It’s all those antacids you eat,” Lowell warned. “They throw off the acid-base ratio in your body.”
David flushed the toilet, although this gesture was probably symbolic, or intended to dissuade lectures. It was evident little progress was made when he appeared at the desk tucking in the last of his shirttail. “Do you see any difference?” he mumbled toward the window.
“I see no difference,” answered the colleague too quickly.
“The arrangement of heads on the dummies has been changed, yet again.”
Lowell quibbled, “Then they’re in the same positions they were the day before yesterday, the last time I would have seen them.”
“Well, I saw them yesterday, and they’ve been moved.”
Lowell glanced futilely over the log, knowing Howard had marked nothing down.
“What about this blind person on payroll?” David segued.
“What about him?”
The questioner jabbed the windowpane. “What if that person on the couch is this new hire?”
“You were saying just yesterday the guard was a zombie.”
David had jettisoned one theory for another. “You think our bosses have employed someone to sit in enemy territory and gaslight us?”
“Someone to pretend they’re dead?”
Hearing it said aloud did not improve the logic of the argument. The departing observer grabbed the remains of his sack lunch, yet offered an obiter dictum from the doorway, “If that place over there is a theater, then it’s Kabuki.”
On this his replacement did not disagree.
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