“I think there’s a monster under my bed,” said Rene, “I heard it last night just as I was trying to go to sleep. It started making this horrible buzzing noise, like it had a little muted chainsaw and it was going to use it to cut me up while I slept”.
Steve stopped stirring his coffee for a moment to confirm what he just heard.
“A monster you said? Under your bed,” asked Steve.
Rene nodded emphatically and stepped closer to Steve in the small break room. Rene grabbed Steve by his elbow and looked at him with wild, bloodshot eyes.
“I think I’m going crazy Steve. I swear there was something, a monster, under my bed. I haven’t believed in monsters since I was a little boy, but now. I’m pretty sure of it,” said Rene.
Steve pulled his elbow away from Rene. The last thing Steve wanted was for Rene to think they were actually friends. They were acquaintances, but not friends.
“Of course there’s a monster under your bed Rene,” said Steve.
“What…,” asked Rene.
“Part of the conditions for working here was you had to let a monster live under your bed. Don’t you remember that from orientation,” said Steve.
Steve added a little more sugar to the bland coffee he hated to drink but drank anyway because it was free. It tasted like mud. Steve was pretty sure it was made with actual mud or maybe something worse.
“I have to be honest, I don’t remember the bosses telling me that,” said Rene.
Steve rolled his eyes and sighed. He put down his spoon and stepped across the floor of broken glass to an impalement device that served as a chair in the break room.
“They didn’t come right out and say that a monster would be living under your bed. That would be silly. They said, and if I remember right, ‘Employees are subject to quartering of management forthwith and to eternity’, or something like that,” said Steve.
“I thought that meant they could cut us into fourths, you know, being quartered,” said Rene.
“Nope. It meant as in your home is now their quarters, like headquarters. It’s fairly common in this industry,” said Steve.
“Damn. Well, it was really scary. I mean this gnashing, grinding, buzzing noise from under the bed. I mean, it had me up almost all night,” said Rene.
Rene crossed the broken glass floor and winced as a shard poked him in the heel. He moved to the other impalement device and hiked up his toga. He sat on the hard point of the impalement spike and cringed as it drove up into his body cavity.
“Damn. I should have got a coffee before I sat down,” said Rene.
Steve toasted Rene with his coffee mug and cringed as he slid a little further down on his own spike.
“So what do I do about the monster,” asked Rene.
“Nothing. There’s nothing you can do,” said Steve.
“I just have to deal with it. Forever,” asked Rene.
“Well, I mean, at least until you quit this job I suppose,” said Steve.
Rene frowned and tried to adjust himself on the spike that was now seemingly poking him in the liver.
“I can’t quit. I wasn’t really qualified for anything else. This was the best job I could find,” said Rene.
“I know what you mean. I went to college to be a nutritionist. I’m not sure how I ever ended up here,” said Steve.
“A nutritionist? That’s pretty cool,” said Rene.
“Not really. Nobody cares what they put into their bodies,” said Steve.
Steve finished his mud coffee and used the leather straps dangling above his head to pull himself up off the impalement spike.
“Listen, don’t worry about the monster. Just leave a cup of piss out by the end of the bed every once in a while and the monster will leave you alone for the most part,” said Steve.
Rene tried to pull himself up off his impaler, but his arms were too weak. He frowned again and sighed.
“I hate this job,” said Rene.
“Me too. But someone has to do it. Well, I guess I’ll see you around lunch. They’re serving goat placenta in the cafeteria today,” said Steve.
“That’s okay. I brought something from home. I’ll probably just eat at my desk,” said Rene.
Steve nodded and stepped across the broken glass on the floor leaving a few bloody footprints behind. Rene reached up to the leather straps and pulled again, freeing his rectum from the impaler.
“Well, at least it isn’t Monday,” Rene mumbled.