One Picture, One Story
Ron stared intently at the red fire alarm. He didn’t know what to do in this situation. He had no recollection of ever being in a scene quite like this. It seemed he had just lost his mind; as if a nerve centre had shorted out and now he couldn’t seem to move. He couldn’t decide if this would be considered the type of emergency that warranted a pull of the red bar. He tilted his head slightly as if it would allow him a more thoughtful approach to the situation.
“Hey man! You ok?”
Ron scanned the hall, but could see anyone around. He hadn’t expected anyone to be left up here as he was always the last to leave the office.
“What, you a mute? I asked you a question!” Ron swore the voice had said axed, not asked, but he put the poor pronunciation in the back of his mind. He needed to find out who this was.
“Where are you. Who are you?”
“I’m right in front of you, idiot!”
Ron looked at the fire alarm. The thing just stared right back, cold and unfeeling, just like a fire alarm should.
“What? The fire alarm?” Ron laughed at the absurdity, but didn’t remove his gaze from the alarm.
“Yup. That’s me!”
Ron fell back; or he would have if he wasn’t frozen in place by some strong force he swore was coming directly from his brain. He’d be damned, the alarm was speaking to him! He could hardly contain himself. He wanted more than anything to be able to run away, but his legs would not move. Defeated, Ron conceded to the reality at hand. He was stuck in place and conversing with a fire alarm. Surprisingly it didn’t seem nearly as odd as he thought it should.
“Well if you must know, I’m stuck in place and I am not quite sure what to make of it.”
“Plus you’re talking to a fire alarm.”
“You talked first.”
Ron glanced up and down the hall hoping there would be a straggler who could help him. His luck didn’t look too good, especially with it being a Friday before a long weekend.
“They’ve all gone home. Looks like you are stuck here with me.”
Ron rolled his eyes and tried to get his legs to move, but alas he was not going anywhere.
“You’re going nuts you know.”
“I think that is quite obvious. I’m talking to a damned fire alarm!”
“How can I be damned? I have no soul to be judged. I have no spirit to dwell in hades. You are truly mad aren’t you?”
“Shut up you stupid thing!”
“So much hostility! Tisk, tisk, Ronald”
“My apologies Ron. Quite a boring name, isn’t it? Then again you’re a boring guy, aren’t you Ron?”
“I’m not boring. I’m predicable.”
“There is a difference? When did talking to a fire alarm while frozen in place become predictable? You aren’t that bright, are you? Maybe I should let your boss know how dumb you really are! Predictable! Ha!”
Ron was grabbing at his legs trying to get them to move, but to no success.
“Don’t bother, you’ll never succeed. Just like how you never could succeed in life up to this point. Face it Ron, you’re a loser and an ugly one too!”
“Ya. You’re right. I can’t argue with you there, but it still doesn’t explain the madness that is occurring right bloody now! How the Hell are you able to talk and why the Hell can’t I move?!”
“How I became able to talk is less of a mystery than you give me credit for, but I should be surprised coming from someone of humble intellect like yourself and my use of humble is merely another way of calling you stupid. Don’t fight it Ron, you know the truth. Deep down it’s there, mocking you, pointing and laughing at the infantile clump you call you IQ. I could outdo you and I’m a bloody fire alarm!”
Ron slouched his shoulders. He was suffering defeat at the metaphorical hands of a simple fire alarm. His spirit was beaten and his mind was obviously far from sound. He simply stared at the floor, unmoving, vanquished.
When everyone returned from the long weekend, Ron was still there; still staring and unmoving. He didn’t blink as the asked what was wrong; he didn’t flinch when the EMTs placed him on the stretcher and didn’t make a sound when they showed him his room.