August 16, 2002
Fred didn’t come in to work today. Not that unusual, right? People take sick days and days off, right?
Someone else was sitting at Fred’s desk, and his cubicle was completely redecorated. So I asked what happened. Did Fred get fired? Did he finally retire, only really quietly to avoid all the fuss? They all looked at me like I’d just grown antlers. Who’s Fred? They asked. Mary has worked here for the last six years.
(Pause. Footsteps pass by)
Six years? What’s this horsehockey? Fred’s been in this company—in this same damn spot—for as long as anyone can remember. At least twenty years.
I looked around to make sure that I was in the right department. After all, I’m going crazy, right, doc? Maybe I just got confused. But no, I was in accounting, right enough.
(Pause. Footsteps pass.)
I tried to call Fred’s home, but I just got one of those damn sirens and the message that says the number’s no longer in service and there’s no further information.
So I find myself with two options: either I hallucinated eight years of stopping by this cubicle every day, Super Bowl parties, and stopping by the pub on the way home; or someone is messing with me and has ‘disappeared’ Fred and all evidence of his existence to do it.
Which is crazier?
(Phone rings. Pause. Phone rings several more times, then stops)
Or maybe there’s an option three: that Fred really doesn’t exist anymore. Just like the Statue.
My god, is it working on people now?
I have to answer that.
August 24, 2002
Previous three entries reveal that patient suffers from paranoid delusions. Recommend immediate hospitalization before he begins to act upon his fantasies of persecution.
Have you ever gotten just a little bit lost? So that you’re somewhere familiar, but not seeing what you expect to see? Have you ever, just for a moment, wondered if it was the world that was wrong, and not you?
That’s what’s happening to Randolph Stevens. And in his case…he’s right.
The tale of fraying reality is still 100% free at Amazon from now through Thursday. Pick yourself up a copy!
While you’re there, you should check out the rest of the library. Each one a fine, reasonably-priced piece of entertainment.