This is for dVerse’s Thursday Meet the Bar prompt “Setting“. I read the prompt when I got into the office this morning (time zone difference!), let it ferment throughout the working day, and this is what bubbled up…
Oh and I should acknowledge that I lifted the phrase “rigor mortis of routine” from the Human Anvil’s ‘encore encore‘. It stuck in my mind when I read it, and has been sleeping there, waking whenever I unlock my office door.
The relentless hum of air-conditioning,
which neither cools nor moves the air,
is punctuated by the whine and click of a photocopier,
as voices, muted to an unintelligible muttering
penetrate the two-tone sage-green wall,
through the two-tone sage-green wall
of the office next door.
The recycled, recirculated
and rebreathed air
is tainted with tea-room scents –
monotony and despair,
diffusing down corridors
all sage and rose –
those dead or dying colours
pressed and dried,
squeezed of any life they may ever have had.
I sit at my desk,
the rigor mortis of routine setting in,
and gaze at the dead-flies
accumulating on the window-sill,
pondering their mystery –
where have they come from?
Have they followed someone in,
through a distant door,
through the labyrinth of corridors and stairs?
Have they made this journey,
trapped, unable to find the way out,
banging against the window,
and dropped –
dropped like flies –
to this graveyard of tiny corpses
now decorating my windowsill.
And at last understanding dawns,
as I stir with a finger
the dusty desiccated husks –
the windows are not sealed for security,
for climate control,
for any of the reasons
that we have been told.
They are sealed
so we don’t throw ourselves out.