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Short Story
No One Hears
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Writer The Yobanashi Girouette
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
103 Reads

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No One Hears
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If you were to be replaced one day...would anyone notice?
The Yobanashi Girouette
Oct 7, 2017
4 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!q8k4YdpycL26zvCa8wDxposted on PENANA

Michael Jones was an average citizen.  He read the news, he paid his taxes, was never late with his rent, went to work every day from 9 till 5, and had no criminal record.  40Please respect copyright.PENANAD6Q0vLOlcC
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He was one of the 8.5 million citizens in New York City, he rented an apartment and took public transit to his job.  He was always in and out of work, which was never anything major.  He was more of a professional “support staff” than anything else, working wherever hired, along with hundreds like him.  40Please respect copyright.PENANA5yEQ8FfNwC
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He had no debt, but little savings, with his work covering his living expenses almost exactly.  He had no siblings, rarely wrote to his parents in Saskatchewan, and he rarely got to know anyone at the workplace due to his job-hopping profession.  He didn’t stand out much physically either, having brown hair and brown eyes, an average build, and a very average face. copyright protection36PENANAfKtPg6ZoCD

He woke up at 7:45 one January day, shutting off his alarm with a yawn and getting up with a stretch.  He showered, shaved, and got dressed for work, putting bread in the toaster at 8:07, and pouring himself a bowl of cornflakes as he read the paper.  8:21 found him out the door and off to work, passing by the other nameless people in the apartment as they each went on with their separate daily routines.  Arriving at the crowded subway station at 8:29, he continued his newspaper crossword puzzle until 8:35, when he boarded the subway.  At 8:42 he reached his stop, and was in through the doors of the office building at which we worked just as the hall clock struck 8:45, marking him as 15 minutes early, just like always. copyright protection36PENANAWBww1IkPWT

The rest of his afternoon was spent double-checking the work of other employees, and balancing cost estimates, not counting the regulation coffee and lunch break in between.  The crack of 5:00 found Michael briefcase in hand and on his way out, without so much as a word to anyone else.  He barely even knew the names of half of them anyway, and he doubted they knew his. copyright protection36PENANATxS5tWfDpX

As per usual for a Tuesday, Michael Jones went straight home, taking the 5:10 Subway to the station closest to the apartment, and walking the rest of the way.  Strolling through the same dark streets he always walked, he suddenly stopped and looked into the alleyway on his left.  Something caught his attention, just beyond the reach of his sight.  He poked his head into the alleyway to get a better glimpse…and was gone. copyright protection36PENANA0EIttYztnc

He walked out of the alleyways a few moments later, slightly unsteady on his feet, but with clearer eyes.  Yes, everything was clearer now.  The Voice made it all clear.  Without a look back at the dark alleyway, he carried on home with a spring in his step. copyright protection36PENANA6jNCQOlaEi

The next morning, Michael woke up a good 45 minutes earlier than usual.  He required no alarm clock, for The Voice told him everything he needed.  He got dressed, had breakfast, and even packed himself a lunch, as opposed to his normal plan of eating out.  40Please respect copyright.PENANAIQiWb4raj6
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Walking out the door, Michael greeted a passerby with a hearty “Good Morning”, helped his landlady take out the trash, helped a tourist with directions, and walked all the way to work, instead of taking the subway.  40Please respect copyright.PENANAFWcwXIhL3t
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At the office, he greeted the receptionist with a smile, and even worked through his coffee break and lunch, closing his work at 5:10, instead of at the crack of 5:00 like the others, wishing his boss a good evening as she left.  40Please respect copyright.PENANAo813ZaJeXf
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On the way home, he stopped by a bicycle shop to inquire about a model they had in the window, and he even stopped by at a grocer for cooking materials, as opposed to picking up his usual ready-made suppers.  40Please respect copyright.PENANAQG59Chd4rx
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Walking home feeling a sense of purpose for the first time in his life, 5:53 found him walking by the same dark alleyway he had passed last night.  Ahead of him, another office worker scanned a shopping list as he walked, oblivious to everything around him, shoulders slumped and eyes cast down.  40Please respect copyright.PENANAb6uoCr6Td9
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All of a sudden, the office worker stopped, and looked into the alleyway, craning his neck as if to see something not quite visible.  Pocketing the list, he stepped a little further into the alleyway…and vanished.  Michael Jones stopped for a moment, and looked at his watch.  Less than a minute later, the office worker re-appeared, minus his list, back straight, and eyes bright, whistling a merry tune. copyright protection36PENANAl1KA1oEQnU

Behind him, Michael chuckled softly.  “Another for the cause” he murmured, echoing the voice in his mind as he carried on his way, whistling the accompaniment to the tune.copyright protection36PENANAjFekMvYeEv

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