A foreman gets a rude awakening and must deal with a factory in chaos. Contest Entry.
|Winner of daily contest at "The Writer's Cramp" , due 6/19/2013. 918 Words.
Stoicism, the foreman, was having a Very. Bad. Night. He'd finally fallen into bed shortly after midnight, and now here he was at 3 in the morning, listening to the alarms blaring and lights flashing as if it were midday. Stoicism generally didn't have much patience or even tolerance for Hatred, but there were certainly some days he hated his job.
Fear had nearly mauled him as he had leapt into Stoicism's bed right before the alarms had begun to sound. Of all the Emotes to face right after being dragged out of a sound sleep, Fear was the WORST! He shook and stammered, murmuring apologetically about his own cowardice the whole time, and it was nigh on impossible to get any sensible information out of him. Stoicism would have to go find Logic to figure out exactly what had caused the alarm.
"It's Nightmare again," Logic said as soon as Stoicism had entered the control room. The monitors were all up and running, but Stoicism did not try to interpret the chaotic squiggles darting here and there down on the factory floor. Instead, he almost smiled at the steaming hot mug of coffee waiting for him at the primary console. He took his seat and nodded at Logic in recognition as he lifted the mug to his lips and gently inhaled the aroma. Stoicism knew the mug was likely not decaf, and he wasn't sure whether to thank Logic or kill him. He settled for taking a sip and nodding to Logic in recognition.
"Has Amnesia kicked him out yet?" Stoicism asked. "I would love to get some more sleep sometime tonight. We gotta have this baby up and running again by 6!"
Logic frowned. "Amnesia is apparently on holiday to the frontal lobe this week. He forgot to leave an on call number, of course." Stoicism suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. "And besides, I am relatively sure Amnesia wouldn't be able to take care of this one."
Stoicism held in a sigh. "What's the problem then?" Logic simply nodded in the direction of the monitor, which Stoicism had been trying to ignore.
Shock entered the room and settled in next to Stoicism. "Well, that's surprising." Stoicism nodded his head. It seemed Nightmare had brought all the Emotes out to play. There had never been so many of them all in one place. As the three watched the monitors, the chaos of the room seemed to have begun to coalesce into a giant ring, with three Emotes at the center.
"What did Nightmare do to get everyone so riled up?" Stoicism asked while calmly reviewing the pandemonium on the display. Lust and Love were both in the center of the riot, engaged in some sort of three-way fist fight with Shame. Disgust and Self-Loathing were egging Shame on and taking bets from the less-invested Emotes lining the edge of the ring. Meanwhile, Self-Confidence and Courage were periodically cheering on both Love and Lust, who couldn't seem to decide whether to find Shame in tandem or waste their energies on one another. At the moment, it seemed that Shame would be the inevitable victor, as he was so much stronger than the other two. After all, he'd had much more practice on the factory room floor than most other Emotes there.
Meanwhile, Fear had rejoined the crowd and was mewling pathetically for everyone to stop and grant him some peace for the night. Stoicism flipped on the foreman's microphone and allowed his voice to boom over the crowd. "Attention all Emotes! Attention! You all have exactly sixty seconds to get back to your quarters, or so help me I will mount each of your heads to the control room wall!"
One by one the Emotes dispersed back to their quarters for the night. When only Fear and Nightmare were left, Logic headed down onto the factory floor. A few brief words with each of them, and they rapidly retreated to their respective corners of The Brain.
When Logic returned to the control room, Stoicism asked, "What was that all about?"
Logic sighed. "Apparently Nightmare has been hanging around with Boredom too much lately. He decided he would spice things up by filling The Brain with images of Robert kissing another young man."
Stoicism raised an eyebrow. "Which one?"
"Derrick," Logic replied. "The one that just transferred to the high school from Europe? He's got that really attractive accent...Belgian perhaps?"
"Ah," Stoicism responded. "Well, there's nothing to worry about then, I don't think."
Logic nodded. "Of course not. Derrick is new to the school, a novelty really, and Robert is missing Shawna while she is studying abroad." He shrugged. "They didn't say as much, but I am betting that Loneliness had something to do with all the drama tonight. It has his hallmarks all over it."
Stoicism nodded. "You are right, of course, as you always are. And now, if you don't object, I think it's time we all got some rest. We open back up in only two hours."
Logic nodded. "Of course. We need all the rest we can get, with Nightmare having paid us a visit." He shook Stoicism's hand. "I am most grateful you were given the foreman's position, sir."
Stoicism shook his head. "I couldn't do it without you, Logic. Keep up the good work."
The two bid each other good night and retired to their respective corners of The Brain for what little remained of the evening. Tomorrow would be another day.