“What’s that noise,” asked Cameron.“Noise,” asked Dan.
Cameron pointed up toward the ceiling and cupped his hand around his left ear. Dan looked at Cameron and then up at the ceiling.
“Yeah. I don’t hear anything,” said Dan.
Cameron dropped his hand away from his ear and slammed it on his desk.
“How the hell can you not hear that? It’s like a cricket with a violin dancing on a chalkboard with ice skates and spurs,” said Cameron.
“Yeah, I just don’t hear it. I don’t really hear anything like that,” said Dan.
Dan wiped his nose with one finger and turned his attention back to his computer screen. He typed in the next sequence of numbers that flashed along the bottom of the attached spreadsheet information. All day was spent keying in number sequences. Dan didn’t know where the numbers came from, what they meant or where they were going. All he had to do was sit for eight hours a day and punch in numbers. It was all he really needed or wanted.
There was a commotion as papers fell off of Cameron’s desk. He’d pushed them to the floor and was now standing on the top of his desk. He bent his head to the side as he listened.
“I’m serious. There’s a noise, like a mouse with a grinding wheel making pencils out of glass or something, I swear. It’s making me crazy,” said Cameron.
Dan bent down into the aisle and started picking up the papers that had fallen from Cameron’s desk. He looked up at Cameron who continued to arch and crane his neck to turn his head to where the alleged noise was coming from. Cameron’s face was strained and red. He was sweating. Dan put the papers on the corner of Cameron’s desk.
“Hey, Cam, maybe you should get down. You’re not looking so good,” said Dan. He reached his hand up toward Cameron who gently smacked it away.“I need you to come up here Dan. I need you to hear this…crazy noise,” said Cameron.
Dan sighed and looked away from Cameron’s pleading face and toward Mr. Skelter’s office door, which was still shut and had been all morning.
“C’mon, he won’t even notice,” said Cameron.“Fine,” said Dan.
Dan reached up for Cameron’s hand and stepped up on Cameron’s desk. They stood very close together and without actually touching each other.
“Shhhh, now just hold your breath for a second and see if you can hear it,” said Cameron.
Dan held his breath and listened. He could hear the faint typing of Carol in the lobby and the gentle low hum of the ventilation fans, but he did not hear anything that resembled Cameron’s high pitched noises. He looked at Cameron and exhaled. He shrugged.
“I still don’t hear anything at all Cam,” said Dan.“I think it stopped when you got up here. I think I knows we’re looking for it now and it’s hiding,” said Cameron.
“Okay, that’s enough man,” said Dan, “there’s absolutely no noise!”
Dan started to step off of Cameron’s desk when Cameron grabbed him by the shoulder.
“Shhh,” commanded Cameron.
Dan pulled his shoulder away but there was something. There was some very faint whistling noise, like a gnome blowing a dog whistle on some rickety railroad tracks. There was a noise. Dan froze with one foot poised to step down.
“There. There is something,” said Dan, “like a…a faint carnival ride that needs to be oiled.”
“Yes! That’s it exactly,” shouted Cameron, “an ant picnic cheering for an ant college football team.”
Dan stepped off Cameron’s desk and looked up at the ceiling. Cameron also stepped down. They stood at the edge of Cameron’s desk, staring up at the ceiling, just imagining what that noise could be, as numbers streamed on Dan’s computer screen and the sun started to set in the West.