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Scream Fest By Forest Walker

Scream Fest

5

Unlucky

1

0

Elvin stood in front of his superior, feeling the weight of the moment hanging heavy in the air. Sweat trickled down his back, soaking his polo shirt and making him shift his weight restlessly. He glanced around the office, scanning every detail in search of some kind of distraction.


His superior was poring over a marketing letter Elvin had submitted, occasionally looking up to give Elvin a pointed glance. The tension in the room was palpable, and Elvin’s heart was racing in his chest.


“Revise this letter,” his team leader said, breaking the silence. “There are too many superfluous and fluffy words. Be direct with your intention. Do you think the recipient will even bother reading it?”


Elvin nodded mutely, feeling his cheeks flush with embarrassment. He knew his writing skills weren’t up to snuff, but he had hoped that this letter would be good enough to impress his boss.


As his superior drummed his pen on the table and scratched his head absentmindedly, Elvin tried to push down the feeling of defeat.


Elvin takes a deep breath and nods his head, his heart racing with relief. It felt like he had been standing in front of his superior for an eternity, and he was grateful that the verbal assault was finally coming to an end.


“Yes, sir,” Elvin says, forcing a grin that feels about as genuine as a Halloween mask. He’s just grateful that he wasn’t asked to stand outside the room facing the wall. He can feel his back sticking to his polo shirt, drenched in sweat from the long minutes of standing in front of his superior.


The litany continues for a few more minutes until his superior gets tired and says, “That’s it. Send it to me before you go home.”


Elvin opens his mouth to protest, but his superior cuts him off with a single look. The sharp glare from her eyes is enough to make Elvin swallow his objections.


“Before you go home,” she says firmly, taking off her glasses. The glasses go back into their case with a sharp snap that echoes in the still room. If looks could kill, Elvin might have been long gone.


Elvin nods meekly and gathers up the marketing letter. As he backs away from the desk, he feels like he’s just walked out of a battlefield.


Elvin walked out of his manager’s office, his mind racing with the to-do list that he had been given. He trudged over to his desk and slumped into his chair, his eyes darting to his laptop. But he didn’t want to think about work just yet. He glanced at the clock and groaned inwardly. He knew he was going to get caught in rush hour traffic again, and it was only a matter of time before the road turned into a parking lot.


“I’m definitely having a bad day,” he muttered to himself, running a hand through his hair. He tried to push the thought out of his mind and opened his laptop. It was in sleep mode, and when he hit a key to wake it up, it refused to budge. Elvin cursed under his breath and tried to restart it, but it stubbornly hung on the welcome screen.


“Great,” he muttered. “Just great.”


Elvin leaned back in his chair, his eyes wandering around the office. His gaze fell on the coffee machine, and he decided that he could use a break. He stood up, his legs feeling stiff after standing in his manager’s office for so long, and walked over to the machine. The rich aroma of coffee hit him, and he breathed it in, hoping that it would help to clear his mind. He reached for a paper cup, but his hand closed around thin air. He searched around and found that all of the paper cups were gone. Elvin groaned and returned to his desk, the frustration mounting inside him.


“Bad luck follows me like a shadow,” he muttered, drumming his fingers on his desk. His laptop was still stuck on the welcome screen, and he had no choice but to wait it out.


Elvin’s colleagues were gradually trickling out of the office one by one. He watched them leave with a pang of envy, wishing he could join them in their early exit. If only his boss hadn’t requested yet another revision of the letter he had been working on, he could have been out the door with them. He couldn’t help but wonder why his boss was being so nitpicky - was she trying to punish him for not catching her eye earlier in the day? He had been in such a rush, he hadn’t even had a chance to exchange a morning greeting with her.


As he pondered this, a voice startled him out of his thoughts. “Aren’t you going home yet? Looks like it’s going to rain,” one of his colleagues said, startling him.


Elvin shook his head, letting out a deep sigh. “Nah, I have to finish this revision or else I won’t have a job tomorrow,” he said with a wry smile, rolling his eyes.


“Good luck with the traffic later,” his colleague said, offering him a sympathetic nod before making his way out the door.


Alone in the office, Elvin became increasingly aware of the rumors that had been circulating about their workplace. He had heard whispers of firings and layoffs, and he couldn’t shake the feeling of unease that had settled over him. With each tap of his fingers on the keyboard, he typed faster and faster, willing himself to finish the revision as quickly as possible. Unlike a normal day, he didn’t bother to check his grammar and spelling mistakes, planning to go back over the email later when he had more time.


Elvin sat hunched over his desk, his eyes glued to the computer screen, and his fingers typing rapidly on the keyboard. The temperature in the office was cool, but Elvin was sweating profusely, swallowing hard to keep his dry throat from becoming too uncomfortable. His heart raced, and his head throbbed with stress.


“Why is everything going wrong today?” he muttered, trying to push aside the feeling of impending doom.


Despite his anxiety, he continued typing until he reached the closing salutation of his letter. He reviewed it quickly, deleting unnecessary parts before attaching it to the email. He hit send, letting out a sigh of relief mixed with trepidation.


“If he still doesn’t like it, I don’t know what else to do,” Elvin muttered to himself as he closed his laptop.


He grabbed his bag, turned off the lights, and hurried out of the office, walking as fast as he could. He felt like he was in a race, eager to leave the place that had caused him so much stress. He wished he could quit his job, but with opportunities scarce, he felt like a slave, stuck in a dead-end job with a meager salary.


Elvin rushed out of the office building and sprinted towards the parking area, dodging other employees who were walking leisurely. As he reached the parking area, he immediately scanned the area for his car. His eyes fell on his parents’ used Suzuki Celerio. He let out a sigh as he realized that he had to have it tuned up soon, and he was even considering selling it due to the increasing gas prices.


“I need to learn soon how to haggle with car dealers. Perhaps I aso have to fight against the sea of passengers every day,” he muttered to himself as he quickly approached his car.


He fished his keys out of his pocket, clicked the unlock button, and swiftly opened the car door. As he sat behind the wheel, he checked his watch and mentally calculated the time he had left to avoid the rush hour traffic.


“I have to hurry, or I’ll be stuck in traffic again,” he muttered as he fastened his seatbelt.


As Elvin turned the key in the ignition, the engine roared to life, and he let out a sigh of relief. He had been having a terrible day so far, and the last thing he wanted was to be stuck in traffic for hours.


“I just need to get some experience and get out of this hellish country,” he muttered to himself as he navigated his way out of the parking area.


As he successfully made his way out of the parking area, he was greeted by a succession of lightning and thunder. It seemed like the sky was about to split open in its fury, and at any moment, it would unleash a calamity upon this city.


Elvin was driving through the colorful lights and towering buildings of the city, and he was relieved to find that the road ahead of him was surprisingly spacious. He breathed a sigh of relief, feeling like a weight had been lifted off his chest. If the traffic continued to flow like this, he would be home in no time.


As he drove along the highway, he noticed a new Ford Mustang in front of him. Its speed was not particularly fast, even though there was no car in front of it. But for some reason, the sight of the car made Elvin feel annoyed. Perhaps it was because the same model was being driven by his superior at work. Whatever the reason, he felt the blood rising to his head, and a slow build-up of heat.


Without a second thought, Elvin stepped on the accelerator of his car. The engine roared to life as the tires screeched on the road. He had no intention of slowing down. The anger that had been simmering inside him since earlier was like a floodgate that had been opened, and it flowed out of him like a tidal wave. In his mind, he needed to let out all of his feelings, or he would remain angry.


As he sped past the Mustang, Elvin lowered his front door glass and raised his middle finger in an act of defiance. His car roared like a lion, as he pushed it to its limit, relishing the feeling of triumph. “That felt so good!” he shouted, feeling a sense of release from the frustrations of his daily life. It wasn’t often that he felt like a winner, even in a small way. It felt great to win, even if it was just a race on the road, even though he was defeated every day by life’s challenges.


As Elvin reveled in his victory, he felt a drop of rain hit his open window. He quickly rolled up the glass, and the sound of little fingers tapping on the glass accompanied the pitter-patter of the rain. The rain seemed like a blessing that cleansed the city’s misfortunes, and as it subsided, the sky’s anger abated.


But soon, the traffic began to slow down, as Elvin had expected. He had hoped to avoid this issue on the highway, where cars were always stuck every night. The twenty-minute drive usually takes more than an hour because of this problem, and Elvin felt like he was wasting time that he could have spent resting at home.


After a few moments, he noticed the gradual slowing down of the traffic flow. He was expecting it, especially on this highway where cars were always stuck every night. The twenty-minute drive usually takes more than an hour because of this problem. “Nevermind, I’m not the only one annoyed by traffic,” he muttered as he leaned back and rested.


He knew that it would still be a while before the traffic started moving again. He would only exhaust his energy if he paid attention to the continuous honking of cars. So he played his favorite playlist to drown out the noise of the honking and the rain.


He accidentally focused his attention on his rearview mirror. There he saw a familiar car - he was sure it was the Ford Mustang he’d passed earlier. Suddenly, the car door opened and a uniformed man, tall and chubby, stepped out.


Elvin couldn’t deny what he saw. Despite the blurry road due to the heavy rain, he saw that the man was holding a gun.


“Fuck! That was not a good idea,” Elvin muttered in frustration, realizing he might have provoked the wrong person.


Amidst the loud sounds of engines, honking, thunder, and the pouring rain, people didn’t notice the sound of the gunshot. It was only when some people noticed a Suzuki Celerio in a parked mode despite the traffic moving forward that they realized something was wrong.

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