Raptors at Work

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

Raptors at Work

Calvin dove over the nearest desk and tried to catch his breath behind the cubicle wall.  His weapon seemed to be functional, but it was hardly a match with just one of him and three of them.  Why did they have to hunt in packs? 

Calvin wiped the sweat off of his forehead and saw that there was a new bloodstain on what was left of his shirt sleeve.  He looked to his arm and realized the “scratch” that he had felt was actually a slice in his forearm.  He considered tending to his new wound, but it was not severe enough to require his attention.  His necktie was tied around his right arm as a tourniquet.  His slacks were just as torn and tattered as his dress shirt.  His wife was not going to be happy, but at least there would be one less suit to be dry-cleaned.  He wondered if the suit jacket he had hung up on the coat rack had survived the melee.

Calvin tried to slow his breath, let his heart catch a break, all while being as stealthy as possible.  It was him against them, and their senses were much better.  He was about to hazard a peak around the corner when he heard the board room door open.  If their sharp claws tapping on the windows as they opened the door had not given them away, their sharp voices, piercing through the office with a deathly cry certainly would have.  Freakin’ raptors. 

It was all corporate’s fault.  Despite their many protestations that this was a bad idea, the higher-ups had insisted that diversifying their workforce was crucial to greater growth and development within the company.  And so they hired five raptors as interns. 

The first day had been, well, nerve-wracking.  There was of course the fact that they showed up naked.  HR reps had tried to voice that there was a dress code that had to be adhered to, but there was an obvious language barrier.  The payroll manager had attempted to place her fur coat over one of them, but the article had quickly been snatched in one of the raptors teeth.  Then all the raptors went into feasting mode and set about gnashing and tearing at their “meal”.  Finding that there was no meat underneath the fur, they all started to resonate with a low, dangerous growl. 

The frightening sound came half from their throats and half from the ravenous look in their eyes.  Things could have gotten ugly right then and there had the head of HR not placed a lanyard with ID badge over the neck of the apparent leader.  The raptor stood as high as it could on its hind legs, its powerful neck muscles adjusting back and up so that the beady eyes on the side could get a look.  It cocked its head to one side, like a parakeet examining a stranger’s finger entering its cage.  The raptor took one powerful claw and tapped at the roped item.  It brushed against the creature, plastic ruffled through the feather-adorned hide.  The raptor hit it again, a bit harder this time, and watched as the ID swayed back and forth.  The other raptors gathered around and they all picked at the item, apparently calmed by its pendulum movements.  The others sat on the floor around the leader, all waiting to see which arc the ID would swing on this time.  The brave HR head was encouraged, and he managed to put a lanyard around each of their necks (from behind, of course).

The dinosaurs’ need for a pack mentality was surprising.  One would never be seen without the other four.  The interns all stuck together.  They would always be found standing right by their fellow species, except when they went to the bathroom.  Curiously enough, the raptors seemed very protective of their bathroom needs.  The remaining four raptors would wait dangerously outside the door, menacingly staring down any others who would use the facilities.  The interns would all take turns, none of them being rude enough to use the toilet until the last one had left.  And displaying an amount of courtesy that was unexpected, they always washed after themselves, leaving the room spotless.  Calvin had to begrudgingly agree that the bathrooms they used had never been cleaner.

Perhaps that was why the custodians and the interns had become such good friends.  Or maybe it was their shared remembrance of “days gone by”.  The two ancient custodians had mostly sat in their office before, coming out for a few hours a day then going back behind their closed door until the rest of the staff had gone home for the day.  In the savage new interns though, they found kindred spirits.  The third night the interns had been here, Calvin had been working late on a new proposal.  Around eight, he heard the custodians’ trucks squeal out of the parking lot.  He looked out the window and down to the pavement where he was met by an incredible sight.  Two raptors were in the back of one truck, two in the other, and the fifth poked its head out of the driver’s side window of the second truck.  They all were holding on tight to the vehicle, apparently piercing the metal exterior with their claws as they grabbed on tight.  As the custodians hooted and yowled, the raptors merrily stuck out their tongues and lifted their heads to the starry sky above.  If anyone was going to tear up the town, Calvin was convinced those two groups were the ones to do it.

At first, it had seemed that the efficiency experts were going to be the interns’ pals.  The head of the productivity department had claimed with a wink and a broad grin that the raptors had the kind of killer instinct he had been looking for.  He pulled them all into his office and then locked the door.  The fogged glass window did not allow all the details to be seen, but the howls and shrieks which would normally come from people that the fat man fired was instead coming from him.  He had foolishly interrupted their lunch break.  Without their twenty pounds of freshly killed beef waiting for them (an industrial fridge had been brought in to allow them to share the company’s newly remodeled kitchen), they had attacked the nearest source of food.  While the efficiency chief was hardly the most beloved (he had always bought the cheapest white elephant gifts at Christmas), Calvin had not wanted to see him go like that.  Still, what was done was done and Calvin called the custodians to clean up the mess.

As soon as the custodians unlocked the door for their pals, the head manager was there to read the interns the riot act.  Things like mauling and digesting ones’ coworkers could not be tolerated.  He acknowledged that there was a severe cultural misunderstanding, but vehemently iterated that eating any coworker was simply not allowed.  They were passionate words that came from a place of anger, but also from a man who wanted the best for all his coworkers.  It would have been a great speech, a memorable one that people would recite for years to come.  Of course, that oration was cut short when the shortest of the raptors went for the quads and the other raptors followed in pursuit.  Calvin really thought the first guy would have kept their eager bellies contented, but he watched with the rest of his shocked coworkers as the feeding frenzy continued.

From that point on, the free-for-all was in full action.  Groups were attempted, but the more they huddled together, the easier it was for the raptors to find them and pick them off.  The coworkers’ attempt at strength through solidarity ended up making a mess of middle-aged, out of shape cubicle-gophers who were tripping over each other.  The shouts of “Man down!” were quickly abandoned, and each person desperately found ways to get out alive.  Regrettably, the office that hosted this feeding frenzy was on the twenty-third floor.  One had better chances of surviving a raptor’s teeth and claws than pulling off an Olympics-style dive out the window.  Two raptors guarded the only exit door while the other three continued their manic-spree.  There had been a second door, but the first casualty of the interns’ sharp teeth had suggested that they plaster over that and use the wall space for another row of filing cabinets.  No one had been brave enough to stand up to his suggestion and call it asinine.  They were too afraid of being found “ineffectual” or “narrow-minded” and terminated.  Of course, that was all before bits and pieces of the head of the productivity department became decorations for the conference room.  Calvin wondered how the custodians would feel about having to clean up the mess their “buddies” had made.  Would they still be so chummy with the interns when they were mopping up the stench and stains?

Calvin was out of time.  He had one last ditch hope.  There was a window washing apparatus four floors above.  They always stashed the pulley-cart near the roof at the end of the day and lowered it to the floors they needed to work on the next day.  Calvin had seen it up there as he returned from his early brunch meeting.  With a string of industrial strength garbage bags he had tied together and a plunger, he was sure that these materials from the storage room could work as a climbing rope to get him to that pulley-cart.  All he had to do was get past those three raptors.

Calvin looked to the large Mag-lite he held in his hands.  He had removed the batteries and the head from the flash and had pulled a strand of thick rubber bands through.   Grabbing all the standard screwdrivers he could find, Calvin had been sharpening the ends into metallic darts which would hopefully wound these hunting terrors.  He could only hope that his makeshift slingshot might allow him his escape. 

He heard a series of loud thuds on the desk behind him.  The only thing between him and several raptors was the cubicle wall he was bracing himself against.  That same desk which he had hopped over just moments ago for safety now held the weight of his attackers.  This was it.  There was to be no retreat.  Calvin clinched his teeth, holding his collection of screwdriver-darts with one hand and his flashlight-launcher with the other.  The veins in his arms bulged as he clasped his armaments tightly.  He hunched over, letting the weight rest on his feet, and then he sprang forward.  The raptors looked at him in surprise as he began to fire and yell out, “It’s Extinction Time!

*****

Note: This entry was greatly inspired by this picture. Many thanks and much appreciation for the idea to build on. 🙂

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About anecdotaltales
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

One Response to Raptors at Work

  1. Pingback: Intermission- Postaday vs. NaNoWriMo « Anecdotal Tales

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