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  • Writer's pictureJT

Sally | #shorts

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

No one likes Mondays. No one likes the acknowledgement of the monotony of life that is perfectly represented by a Monday morning.

Sally reached in her purse to grab her keys.

“Ouch! Fuck that hurt!”

She quickly took out her hand and dropped her keys on the ground. The back of her hand had a drop of blood forming right next to her thumb. She angrily shoved her hand back in her purse and pulled out the knife her dad gave her years ago, which had somehow opened up inside her bag. She sighed and looked up and down the sidewalk glancing up to the storefront of shops and offices lining the street.

Thanks Dad - this knife is really fucking useful, she thought and bent over to pick up her keys to unlock the door.

“Hello there”, a voice from behind her said softly.

Sally jumped at the sudden mysterious greeting and bumped her head on the door knob.

What the fuck?!” She said quietly as she gasped and grabbed her head whipping around to see who had startled her.

Standing there was Mr. Mortimer, a slight and kind-faced old man who always shows up early for his appointments with a precious and immutable smile spread across his face.

“Oh dear, I am so sorry. Are you okay, Sally?”

Sally exhaled a sigh of relief and began to laugh off her shock and surprise, “Don’t worry about it, Mr. Mortimer I am such a clutz. Happy Monday!”

She opened the door, turned on the lights, and held the door for him as he walked in to sit in the waiting area and wait for the doctors to show up, “Go ahead and take a seat, I’m sure the docs will be in shortly.”

Mr. Mortimer took a seat and Sally began her morning rituals.

Get Moving - Physical Therapy. Sally had been working here for a little under a year as an Office Manager, which is really just a fancy name for a receptionist who is paid the same with more responsibility. The job is fine for what she wants, which is a job that she can show up to at 8 and leave behind at 5. In reality she has no idea what she really wants to do, because who the fuck knows what they want to do with their life when they are in their twenties.

Here we go again.

First, she makes the coffee using two scoops less than she would for herself because her boss is a little bitch when it comes to his coffee. Second, she gathers all the trash that she should toss out on Friday nights but never gets around to it. Next, she goes into each patient room to tidy up the stations and ensure that everything looks presentable. Then, she goes to Doctor Bitch’s office to turn on his computer and print off his morning schedule. Then, she visits Michelle’s jungle of an office to water her many plants and feed her fish. Finally, as the doctors walk in she takes a seat at her desk.

Everyday is eerily similar, at least it has been since she started this job. After a while of being upset with the monotonous day after day of doing the same shit, Sally was finally lulled into a comfortable sense of security. Subconsciously waiting for the day that her life is miraculously changed by something extraordinary.

These guys are totally fucking, she thinks as the doctors walk in. “Hey guys, Mr. Mortimer has been keeping me company waiting patiently for you to arrive”, she gestured over to the old man still smiling in the chair next to the door. Michelle continued to walk towards her office and politely ignored Sally as she always does.

Doctor Bitch flashed a look of anxiety and annoyance and then genially spoke up, “Mr. Mortimer! You sir are nothing if not punctual, please give me a minute to settle in and I will have Sally send you back.” He walked by Sally’s desk and knocked twice as he passed like he always does, “Thanks Sally, hope you had a good weekend.”

Wow. I DID have a good weekend you little bitch.

“You too Brad, thanks!” Sally knowingly being duplicitous at work is nothing new. Ever since her first job she has had the ability to be exactly who she needed to be. Bubbly and positive? Sure. Quiet and pessimistic? You betcha. Overly emotional and absurdly feminine to fit in with her female coworkers? Yup.

The doctors left and went into their offices and left Sally and Mr. Mortimer in the lobby. She began to browse the internet and open all her usual tabs, Facebook, personal Gmail account, Etsy, Amazon, and of course Reddit. At this point, Sally began to notice that Mr. Mortimer was still smiling but not just smiling and looking off into the middle distance like an android who has malfunctioned.

He was smiling at her.

A chill ran across her shoulders as she got the all too familiar feeling of being made uncomfortable by yet another man who is overly infatuated with her. Being afraid and suspicious of men is a constant in any woman’s life, but it’s always been something that Sally has consciously monitored and kept track of. So this was nothing new. It was new for Mr. Mortimer, but nothing she hadn’t shaken off or ignored before.

She smiled back and then made herself look away and stare at her computer to act like she was working and see if he would give up or at least realize that he was staring at a woman in public but nothing worked. Sally continued to act like she was working and Mr. Mortimer continued to smile at her.

Boop!

Sally’s computer notified her of a message.

“Doctor Bi-...Doctor Keiper will see you now.”

Phew.

“Thanks Sally!” Mr. Mortimer slowly stood up and walked back to the back room.

“You’re looking so much better Mr. Mortimer. It really looks like Brad has got your hip working again. You’re moving so well!” Sally exaggerated her enthusiasm as usual and immediately looked back at her monitor.

“I appreciate that. He told me last time that this should be our last appointment. Hope you don’t miss me too much.” Mr. Mortimer’s voice cracked a little when he said that and it caused Sally to look up.

When she did, she saw a deep sadness in his eyes and could not understand why.

“Mr. Mortimer, are you okay?”

“Please, ma’am. Call me Jerry.” And the smile returned.

“Well, Jerry. I will indeed miss you beating me to work every Monday.” The honesty returned to her voice and she felt for him.

“Here I come, Doctor Bitch.” He whispered under his breath and knocked the desk like Doctor Bitch as he walked by and knowingly winked at her.

“How did y-” But he was in the room by then and she heard Brad’s voice coming from down the hall.

“Jerry! You certainly are walking better. Is that a new watch?”

Jerry’s voice perked up a little and sounded strained, “Watch? Oh, I didn’t realize I was wearing it. I mean, I didn’t realize I actually put it on this morning”, he laughed awkwardly and then Sally stopped listening.

She kept trying to figure out what just happened.

Did I say it outloud? How does he know that Brad annoys me so much? I’ve never told anyone that. I mean, I’ve told Judith but she has never overshared my shit. Especially work shit which I’m pretty sure she can’t even remember the day after I tell her about it.

As she shook off the weirdness of that exchange, the day really started. The morning’s patients started flowing in and the phone started blowing up so she just had to move on and try to forget about it. Praying that he didn’t reveal her hatred of Brad while the two of them were locked in a room together.

Michelle’s morning was a few quick back-to-back check-ins with patients and Sally knew Brad would be in there a while with Mr. Mortimer, especially if this was to be his last appointment. However, after the first hour passed and no one was coming back out of that room she got nervous that Jerry spilt the fucking beans and that she was in trouble for her hilarious “Doctor Bitch” nickname.

As soon as Michelle wrapped up with her last morning patient Sally waved her over and tried to gather some intelligence, “Do you know why they are still in there?”

“What? No, Brad doesn’t share anything with me.”

Well, you shouldn’t be taking that too personally because he is definitely sharing that dick of his with you while his wife has no idea.

“Huh. Well they have been in there for over an hour now, so should I go check in? Brad’s next patient is about to show up and he loves to get off schedule by talking patients’ ears off.”

Michelle laughed, “Yeah, sure. Do what you want. You don’t need my permission to do your job.”

“I just wanted to have you to blame in case he gets upset”, Sally smirked and walked towards the back room and as she reached down to grab the door knob the door opened to reveal Jerry and a sullen-looking Doctor Bitch.

“Well, Jerry I am so sorry to hear about your wife. You have been a hell of a patient and your progress over the last few weeks is astounding, it’s almost like that hip was the one you were born with. You have regained all of your mobility and you are owning that new hip. Sally, please help Jerry check out.”

Sally quickly had to switch gears and cover herself, “Yes sir. Will do! I was just coming to check on you guys. Jerry, come with me.”

Once they got back to her desk, she couldn’t help herself.

“Mr. Mor-...Jerry, what was Brad talking about? Is your wife sick?”

Jerry’s eyes began to well up as a small sad smile formed on his face, and his voice seemed weak when he responded, “Well, she was. She had been in a coma for over a year and passed away last night.”

Sally felt so bad for her earlier feelings, “Jerry I am so sorry. That’s awful. Are you okay?

Is your family doing okay?”

Jerry perked up a little, “Yes ma’am. My kids are helping out and I have found my own peace with it. I will just really miss-” His voice broke and he began to cry. Sally just held her gaze with him and didn’t know what else to do so she stood up and went around the desk to hug him. When she embraced him, he hugged her back hard. He stood there and held her for a long time but it wasn’t unwelcome, it was familiar. Something felt warm and there was an intense and instant connection between them. Sally forgot that she was trying to comfort him and instead gave into the feeling of home that she could not help but recognize. It felt like they were standing there for hours, then…

Boop!

Sally came abruptly back to reality as she heard her computer notify her of a message. She took a step back from Jerry and wiped her eyes, not even realizing that she had been crying and went back to her seat. She handed Jerry a tissue and said, “Jerry again I am so sorry. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do.”

Jerry took the tissue and seemed grateful. She ran his payment and noticed the watch she heard Brad comment on earlier and tried to brighten the mood, “That, sir, is a very sleek watch you have there. Was that a gift?”

He quickly looked down and a worried look flashed on his face, “This? Uh, yes. It was a gift from a, uh, a work friend. He gave it to me a few weeks ago and I usually don’t wear it to my appointments, but today I guess I left it on. Anyway, I must be getting back.” His characteristic smile spread across his face again at this point and said, “Don’t you go missing me too much, okay there Sally?”

“Of course I will, Jerry. I hope you have a good day. And enjoy your hip!” Sally said this and then everything started to return to normal as she went back to staring at her monitor to find the message she missed. Soon after she heard the door open and close and looked back up to confirm that Mr. Mortimer and left.

Jesus that’s fucking sad. His wife was in a coma for over a year and then just up and dies? How can he just move on from tha-...SHIT! His fucking card is still on the fucking desk.

She grabbed his card off the desk and ran out to try and catch up with Mr. Mortimer.

He must live nearby, I have never seen him drive here.

She looked around and saw as he was rounding the corner. She ran after him and turned the corner going as fast she could in her 6-inch heels.

Thanks for that dress code bullshit, Doctor Bitch.

There he was standing in the middle of the sidewalk.

Thank Christ this mother fucker is old and feeble.

The closer she got she noticed the wind started picking up around her. It wasn’t until she was right behind him that she noticed the vortex she had stepped into.

“Jerry! This wind is crazy, right?!”

Jerry whipped around with a look of terror on his face and screamed, “Wait! No Sally, you can’t be here!”

Sally then heard a disembodied voice say, “Trip prepared. Opening wormhole in 3-

Sally tried to yell over the incredible commotion surrounding her, “WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!”

“2.”

Jerry grabbed her arm and she saw a display projecting off of his fancy watch.

1.”





Sally couldn’t feel the ground beneath her and the incredible whirring in her ears started to dissipate into a singular and distinct noise cutting through the ringing in her ears as her eyes were still adjusting. It was a constant, piercing, and simple tone. She then began to hear voices as she kept blinking, thinking she might be blind.

“Mr. Mortimer! You were only supposed to observe from afar, not only did you interact but you brought her back?!”

“I’m sorry, I had no idea she was there. She stepped into the field before I knew it and I either had to bring her along or throw her into the wormhole with no protection. And I was not going to kill my wife!”

Your wife?! What the fuck kind of soap opera did I just walk into?

“So what the fuck just happened and where the hell am I, Jerry?” Sally asked the question to whoever was in the room, she still couldn’t tell where she was but that noise was getting clearer.

“Sally, you are in a hosp-” She heard the smack of a punch or a slap and then Jerry said, “You are somewhere safe and we will get you home shortly.”

“Mr. Mortimer, may I remind you that the Goodbyes Watch you currently have on your wrist is property of the insurance company and it is my responsibility to ensure that it is used properly. Your plan only covers one round trip and the fact that you broke policies while using it means that none of this will be covered anymore and you WILL be bil-”

“Excuse me, who the fuck are you and where am I? What is that noise?!” Sally’s vision was slowly returning and she was able to make out Jerry and a large, rotund individual with a golden insignia on his neck who also had a strange looking mustache on his face. In fact, all of his fashion choices seemed to be taken right out of a slightly more refined version of the clothes from Back to the Future II. Beside him was the source of the noise. An EKG machine next to a hospital bed where an elderly woman was lying unconscious, she had the same golden insignia.

“Holy shit, is she dead?! Is that your wife Jerry? How the fuck did we get to a hospital?! What in the hell is happening to me?!”

“Now Sally, please I can explain.” Jerry began to walk toward her and she could see a bruise forming on his face.

The large man pushed him out of the way and grabbed her by the arm to escort her away from the room, “You sir, will do no such thing. She is now my responsibility and the responsibility of Closures, Inc.”

“Wait! No! What are you going to do with her?!” Jerry screamed after them as he followed them out of the room.

Once they got in the hallway, Sally noticed they were definitely in a hospital but it was unlike any hospital she had ever been in, because everything seemed really high tech. Monitors outside the patient doors, tiny drones carrying trays, and wait - was that a robot nurse?

Okay, so Jerry must be rich. And I guess teleportation fucking exists now?

A group of people sat outside the room and one of them spoke. He had brown hair, wore glasses, had that same fucking insignia, and looked like what Sally would imagine Jerry looked like in his 30s. “Dad? What’s going on? Who is that wom-” He stopped short and just stared at Sally as they walked by.

Sally was starting to get a sinking feeling now and looked back at all the people outside the room. There were 3 of them. Were they all siblings?

“Hey, we have the same haircut”, Sally said to one of the two women.

After the woman heard her voice she screamed and said, “Oh my god! What are they going to do with her?!”

Then her eyes floated up to the display next to the doorway.

Sally Mortimer - Deceased, 24/11/2058.

The edges of her vision started to blur and her legs wobbled beneath her. As she lost consciousness, she heard the voices of her future children screaming for her as she was unconsciously dragged away...


----


Sally awoke to the smell of garbage, with a pain on her neck. She opened her eyes and looked around, trying to get her bearings. This alleyway looked familiar.

Holy shit! I’m on the street next to the physical therapy practice.

She stood up and looked down. She was still wearing her clothes from before.

Was that real or did I just get fucked up and black out? I’ve had those mushrooms in my freezer for almost a year. I guess I did those and thought I went to work and subsequently to the fucking future.

She walked out of the alleyway and before she got to the street she heard a WHOOSH above her head and glanced up.

Sally’s jaw dropped at what she saw.

Flying cars and what looked like billboards floating in the sky. Ads for toothpaste, deodorant, video games, and movies flashed everywhere as the cars rushed by. Every ad had a designation in the bottom right corner that read, “For Golden Tier ONLY.” Or, “For Golden and Silver Tiers ONLY.

She had no clue what that meant, but obviously her trip to the future wasn’t some mushroom fever dream.

“Oh my god. I need to get some help.”

Sally ran to the street and looked for anybody she could talk to. There weren’t a lot of people outside, but she saw a man walking on the sidewalk and ran over to him.

“Excuse me sir, I need your help. Do you have a phone or anything?” As she spoke she noticed a similar insignia on the man’s neck, but this time it was bronze or copper.

The man looked her up and down and smiled to himself, “Honey, you know good and well people like us don’t get phones. But I know a guy who can get you up to silver for a price.”

As he spoke, he reached out and grabbed at Sally’s chest.

She slapped at his hand and backed away, “What the fuck are you doing dude? What do you mean silver? I need to get back to my time!”

He recognized the distress in her voice and his smile faded, “Ah shit, you’re one of those crazy bronze tier bitches. Get the hell out of my way!”

He pushed past her and left her there.

What the fuck is he talking about? What the fuck am I supposed to do?

At that moment a car came down and parked beside her. Sally saw the man who groped her look back at her and the car and he took off running down an alley. The car window rolled down to reveal a man with piercing green eyes, perfectly quaffed hair, and a hideous looking bright orange and crimson suit.

“You need some help, sweetheart?” The man’s smile was big and he seemed to be genuinely asking.

Sally thought for a second. What should I ask? How can I not come off as crazy but also get what I want? “Yes sir, please. I need to get to Closures, Inc. they can help me.”

“Sure thing, hop in and I can get you there. They have an office just across town.” The man opened his passenger side door and as he did his shirt collar shifted and Sally could see a silver insignia on his neck. Sally ignored that for now and sat down, sitting as close to the door as humanly possible to avoid anymore unsolicited groping.

“What’s your name, sweetheart?” The man looked ahead and had both hands on the wheel. He was shifting a little in his seat, but Sally didn’t know why.

“My name is Sally. What’s yours?”

“Sally? Okay, my name is Walter.” There was a little pause filled with more shifting around and then he asked, “You know you won’t get far in there as a Bronze Tier. What are you looking for anyway?”

Sally tried to play along and looked down at his car clock which read 12:45PM, “Yeah, I know. Um, I know someone who works there though. They wanted to meet me for lunch.”

“You are friends with a Golden Tier?” The tone of his voice was unmistakable. He was not buying that lie for a second, but Sally pushed forward and tried to buy time for this man to just drop her off.

“Yeah, well technically it’s my sister. So she’s my friend because she has to be.” Sally added an awkward, uncomfortable smile to try and assist her lie.

There was a pause but eventually he stopped shifting in his seat and just nodded along. Once his smile returned he said, “Wow. Wonder how two sisters got split up like that.”

Sally jumped to answer, “Oh it’s a long story. Wouldn’t want to waste your time. Are we almost there?”

“Yeah, the gate is coming up here on the right. I’ll talk to the guard, you just sit right there sweetheart.”

Walter pulled the car up to the gate and lowered his window to speak with the guard. The guard was a standard looking mall cop but he was wearing a cape and his badge was 3 times bigger than a normal one and took up half of his chest. Also, for a gate guard this man was armed to the teeth with what Sally surmised, through her love of violent video games, were non-lethal stun weapons. He had a baton on his leg, two tasers, and a funky looking rifle that looked like something out of the newest Call of Duty.

Walter spoke to the guard calmly and as he did he started shifting in his seat again. It reminded Sally of her nephew waiting to open his Christmas presents.

“Hello sir, I have a woman here who needs to see a friend inside. I was hoping to get my golden ticket today.”

What the fuck is a golden ticket? This isn’t a Chocolate Factory, is it Walter?

The guard nodded and looked in at Sally, who meekly smiled in return, “Go on ahead sir. Drop off is up there, around the circle, and to the right.”

Walter thanked the guard and drove through the gate, all the while his fidgeting intensified. Sally started getting that sinking feeling again, but it was too late. They drove up to the spot the guard pointed out and they were greeted by two ladies dressed in brightly colored uniforms, looking like they were taken straight out of an 80s cartoon. Behind them a door opened and a couple more armed guards came out. They parked next to the doorway and Sally looked over at Walter who was beaming ear to ear.

He saw her staring at him and spoke, “Sally, you stay here for a second. I’ll handle this.”

He stepped out of the car and walked over to the ladies, one of whom peeked in the window at Sally, looked at her neck, and smiled as she turned to grab Walter’s arm. As the ladies began escorting Walter to the building, the guards who had just walked out started walking over to Sally’s door.

Well, Walter is a piece of shit.

She wasn’t going down like this.

Sally flung the door opened and screamed after Walter, “What the fuck do you get for this, asshole?!”

But he was too far away and couldn’t hear her as he was escorted through the door. Sally attempted to run, but one of the guards caught her with a taser. She didn’t get knocked out or feel any pain, but she couldn’t move a single muscle.

As the guard grabbed her arm he started to recite, “You are a Bronze Tier who has been graciously donated to the betterment of the human race by a charitable, caring, and productive member of society. Your sacrifice grants him Golden Tier status as you will be sent to help mine valuable resources in one of the Global Unified Coalition's remote sites. Like all Bronze Tier citizens sent to a mine, you will have a chance to earn Silver status within the first year if your body lasts through these upcoming hardships. We hope to see you here again. Good luck.”

The guards dragged Sally away as her body was still immobile from whatever non-lethal weapon had disabled her. She felt useless, helpless. Her life was over.

The last thing she thought before dying in the mine was:

I was just trying to be nice...fuck you, Jerry.


THE END


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