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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Other · #1901514
A trader's first day at the NYSE takes a strange turn. Writer's Cramp Entry, 719 words.
Without a doubt, Harry knew that he had taken a wrong turn.

         It was his first day at the New York Stock Exchange, the place he had wanted to be since high school.  His first hours on the trading floor had been everything that he built it up to in his head and more.  The bustle, the constant activity, being in the middle of all the important buying and selling; it was exhilarating.  Satisfaction had swept over him; he knew that he was home.  As much as he never wanted to leave the trading floor, though, his bladder decided to not cooperate.  After getting some quick directions, he raced to the bathroom, hurried to be finished and back on the floor.

         But, where was the trading floor?

         He had always been lousy with directions, always relying heavily upon signs.  No sign now told him the way.  Of course, there would be no signs.  Everyone here knew the layout of the New York Stock Exchange like the back of their hand, except for the guy on his first day.

         He decided to follow the noise.  Surely, this was a fool proof way to get back to the trading floor where he needed to be.  The floor had to be the noisiest place in the building.

         However, despite his sound logic, Harry found himself in a dead-end hallway with nothing but a door at the end of it.  He knew he hadn’t taken a door to get off of the floor.  Flustered, he tried to look at the positive side of being utterly lost.  Maybe, he thought, this door was a back way to get him where he needed to be.

         He leaned in and put his ear up against the door.  He heard something, but it didn’t sound like the trading floor.  He couldn’t put together what he heard; it was a collection of small squeaks and scratching noises.  The noises kept at a constant the entire time he was at the door, seeming to grow louder the longer he stood there.

         He had to get back to the trading floor.  He threw the door open and looked inside.

         A loud screech filled his ears as he was greeted by a pack of rats.  Living in New York, he had seen rats before but now there was hundreds.  Unable to scream, he took a step back as the herd of rats lunged forward to enter the hallway.  The wave of rats knocked him to ground.  He tried to cover his face as the swarm washed over him, claws and teeth snapping at his flesh.  The rats were not interested in one measly new trader.  They could smell food, and the swarm moved as one heading to one place.

         The trading floor.

         Unlike Harry, the rats, aided by their keen sense of smell, had no problem finding the trading floor.  They burst onto the floor, immediately making their presence known.  The traders panicked at the sight of hundreds of rats skittering all over the trading floor.  The rats were free now, and they had one thing on their mind.  Food.  They crawled into garbage cans and took over desks and tables.  Their claws worked frantically pawing at any food they found; their jaws snapped in happy consumption.

         Harry had staggered after the herd.  Ironically, he was now back on the trading floor, but his dream destination had been ruined.  The destruction was everywhere; the traders had fled quickly, no match for the swarm of rats that was all over the floor.  The rats seemed happy with their conquest, so he followed the rest of the traders out of the New York Stock Exchange.

         “Sir, sir!” a TV news reporter shouted at Harry as he left the building.  She grabbed him in his dazed state and shoved him in front of the camera.

         “This is Gloria Martinez, live from outside of the New York Stock Exchange.  In an unexpected scene, the NYSE has been evacuated by the traders.  Sir, can you tell us what is going on in there?”

         Harry paused, then swallowed hard.  “Rats have taken over Wall Street.”

         Without waiting for a response from the reporter, Harry walked dejectedly to the street.  A life-long dream shattered by the permanent weirdness that permeated New York. 

         Rats had taken over Wall Street.

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