Welcome to my world. I am happy.
My den is at peak den. I have all I need, and more. After months, years, of ups and downs, I have finally arrived where I want to be. Peace, comfort, security. A room with a view. A sea of tranquillity stretches out to every point of my horizon.
But then the ground shakes. A messenger from the old world comes, unexpected, and with an unwelcome invitation.
If ignore it, it will surely be forgotten. I am not so important.
The messenger reappears, threatening this time. I have no choice.
I pack a bag, lock my door, and go.
I take a seat, the wheels are turning, back down the old road. No turning back now.
I have been away too long. I hardly remember this place. It is darker. There is danger at every corner. Strangers everywhere. Why do they want me here, after all this time? I don’t belong here.
A friendly face, aged, but unforgettable, reminds me what I need to do and leads me further inside.
But too much is different. I can’t do this.
My friend puts his hand on my shoulder, takes me to the door, holds my bag, urges me on. He will be here when I come out, he says. Life will go on, he promises.
Inside there is a confrontation. I have to fight, I have no choice.
‘I don’t want this. It will kill me,’ I say.
‘I’m sorry, but everyone’s got to do hybrid, now. I can give you two days in here, and three from home. That’s my best offer.’
‘All right, then, if I have to, but I’m not coming in on Fridays. No bloody way.’
Robert Scott lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. He has short fiction in several magazines and a couple of anthologies.