lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
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Title: Leslie McCormack And The Story Without A Title: Part 1A: The R.O.B.'s Revenge or Leslie McCormack's Last Night On Earth
Fandom/'verse: Original - For lack of a better name the Leslieverse
Notes: A revised version of the opening of my April 2017 Camp NaNoWriMo project
Summary: Leslie McCormack is just an average guy living an average life, which has a R.O.B. (Random Omnipotent Being) seriously annoyed.
Warnings: Involuntary bodily changes and transportation by said R.O.B. Later sections may involve bullying, sibling strife, threats of or actual corporal punishment, at least one case of bigotry, and embarrassment for the main character.
Words: ~1360 words

Leslie McCormack

Part 1A: The R.O.B's Revenge or Leslie McCormack's Last Night On Earth

I had no idea my thirtieth birthday would be the end of life as I knew it. It began like any other work day. I woke to the discordant buzz of my alarm clock. I showered. I put on a white button up shirt and black pants from my closet. A dozen of each saved me the trouble of deciding what to wear before I'd had any caffeine. I ate the same breakfast I had every morning. Buttered toast, a scoop of oatmeal with a spoonful of raisins, a mug of coffee, and a small glass of milk. I rode my bike to the bus stop, took two buses to get reasonably close to work, and biked the last few blocks. After locking up my bike under the parking garage stairs I went up to the fourth floor and sat at my desk. Another day of data entry and no reason to treat it any different from any other.

The last five times this day came I insisted I didn't need a party. So when lunch rolled around they kept it low key with only our direct supervisor and the other data entry clerks. Out came a homemade cake and everyone gathered around to sing happy birthday. But they refrained from doing any crazy office games and soon the cake and lunch were finished and we went back to moving files from our in-boxes to whichever database they belonged in.

I started six years ago as an entry level data entry clerk. I'd hoped to save up so I could go back to the local college to finish my degree. But my bank balance never seemed to go up enough to cover tuition and I didn't want to take on any more loans. Even avoiding the expense of a car I still paid for a bus pass, rent for my apartment, food, far more than I wanted towards insurance even with work kicking in a bit, and unexpected expenses like new clothes after sliding my bike on oily patches of pavement. Paying down the loans from the two years I did go to college took out another big bite.

Don't get me wrong it isn't a bad life. I have a roof over my head, enough insurance I don't have to panic when I get a toothache, and enough money left over to buy some books and take in an occasional movie. I even have a retirement account that was growing better than my school fund. I go to work five days a week, keep files up to date, come home to watch the weather report and read those books. Then I go to bed and do it all over again. It isn't an exciting life but it's a far better life than many have to suffer through. To tell the truth I wasn't sure I actually missed any of the things I was supposedly missing out on.

I'd never dated, even back in high school. I didn't really feel like I was missing anything there. Spend money to go to a bar or restaurant with someone I hardly knew and would probably never see again? Why? I had a few friends and they were enough. I didn't go on vacations. I didn't have the money to wander far but the occasional movie or visit to a museum was enough. No car, but if I wasn't doing the other things why did I need one? A fancy television and entertainment center? A modest computer could stream movies and why did I need a big screen if I wasn't inviting others over? If I didn't feel like a movie I could find plenty of free browser puzzle games or just read ebooks.

Sure my family occasionally suggested I was a shut in or possibly depressed but it never felt like it. It wasn't like I wished I was doing all those other things. Even going back to school was losing its appeal. What would graduating college get me? A better position at work? Better how? A bigger paycheck? Maybe. But then I'd have to get used to an office full of new people who would once again try to convince me to go out to bars or join them at parties. Once more I'd have to convince them I didn't really want the office to do anything special for my birthday. They might want me to travel for work or handle money or be in charge of other employees I might someday have to fire.

No, the night of my thirtieth birthday was nothing special and it didn't need to be. Once work was over I biked to the bus stop and then rode home. I read a little. I stuck a frozen chicken and broccoli meal in the microwave. And while I ate I watched the weather report for the next day before switching over to the radio. Then I went to bed. For once I actually dreamed.

* * * * *

I was wandering a featureless white plain. I suppose that might have bothered some, but it didn't bother me until the voice boomed down from everywhere around me.

"You my friend are boring."

"So? So what?"

"So what? I choose you for one of my pawns and what do you do?"

"My job. My life. What does it matter to you?"

"Your life? What life? You are going through the motions of life without ever living. You. Are. Boring."

"Boring pays the bills. I still don't see why some mystery voice should care."

"Why should I care? When you've lived a few hundred millenia watching the planets turn ask me that again, boy! Trust me, it loses its appeal. Thankfully we have the amusement of you mortals to watch. I did you the honor of choosing you as one of mine and you go and do this to me! I have endured as much mockery in the last decade as I did when I wagered on the Chinese colonizing your shores. What happened? You read adventure stories as a kid. You devoured adventures on the television screen. You dreamed of going on your own adventures. Traveling to the planets as an astronaut, exploring ruins as an archaeologist, and dozens more. And how many of these have you tried? Not a single one."

"Dreams are for children, I grew up and got bills. Where would I even find adventure these days? The lost cities are found and the astronauts don't go anywhere. What should I do, charge into a war zone just to keep you happy?"

"I provided you with more than one hundred and twelve opportunities for a more interesting life in the last year alone. Two were Class A opportunities for fame and fortune. And you ignored every last one. You're making me look bad."

"What opportunities? And why should I care I never asked for adventure."

"No, it's too late to choose, I'm tired of waiting for you to do so. You had better appreciate what I'm doing for you. I'm burning one of my trumps to give you an adventure whether you like it or not. You'll just have to live with the consequences of your own inaction."

"What? What do you mean?"

"Hey! What do you mean? Where am I?"

"Are you still here?"

A harsh buzzing replaced the voice as the field of white faded to black. Soon enough even buzzing faded in turn.

* * * * *

"Leslie! I'm not telling you again, get up before you're late! If you miss your bus..."

What? Groaning I stretched and tried to remember my dreams while my mother yelled from across the apartment. How can I be running late if my alarm... Why wasn't I hearing my alarm?

What was my mother doing in my apartment?

Tossing my bed sheet aside I sat up and stared at the just out of focus room. I didn't need my glasses to tell that it was not my bedroom. Or that it was not nearly as out of focus as I would have expected.

"Leslie, you'd better be moving!"

"Mom!" What are you doing here was left unsaid. That was not my voice. "What the hell?"

(Continues in Part 1B: Leslie McCormack Thinks It's All A Dream)
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