Yesterday I stepped through glass doors uninvited, shifted from light to dark. Yesterday I applied; spoke to a man, to a woman. Their suits were gray. Their words were gray. They said nothing at all. I said nothing in return. During our exchange, a bird died on the windowsill. In deference I relented, accepted, extolled. The man collected signatures; the woman extended a flaccid hand. We nodded equilaterally. I thought I heard gunfire in the distance: an execution, possibly mine. 

Afterward, I traded dark for light. I shuffled home hired, shed my suit hired, watched my girlfriend fold origami penises hired, sat atop the crest of my roof and traded whispers with the moon hired. Despite myself, I had been hired, indentured.

Today my suit is gray. My thoughts are gray. I slip pills under my tongue, linger at a gleaming urinal and mimic the touch of yesterday’s flaccid hand. At my desk I sit dutifully rigid and peck randomly at ordered keys. I watch letters bestrew a screen once bleached and barren. Punctuation pecks at my eyes. AutoCorrect shaves razor-thin layers from my brain. Blood splatters onto my corp-issued Blackberry in 160-platelet bursts.

Tomorrow I will demand a raise.

Ethan Swage
Black House
Stephen King and Peter Straub