39: A Head in The Clouds

The Boss likes being up at the top of the building. The stairs are steep and take a long time to climb. The lift is old and clanky and there are rules surrounding its use that means she doesn't get bothered too often. The Boss can sit at her desk and bask in the brightest sunlight in the world. Her office is the only room with a proper window.

And what a window it is. A sky-light that takes up the whole ceiling, slanted against the roof. A ceiling wall papered with blue and clouds, and at night, the black and the stars and the orange glow of city light pollution.

Often, The Boss will lie on her back on the desk and look at the day turn into night and back again. She will chant the Dewey Decimal System. She will conjure classifications eleven decimals long. They work like spells.

Today, The Boss has been feeling twitchy. It started in the morning with a new recruit and a bouncing ball. She'd taken a trip downstairs to see Rosalyn, and make sure she was all right for food and water. Rosalyn had seemed odd. The Boss had wondered about offering her an extra day's leave, or perhaps sending her on the Pre-Retirement Course, but then Linda had nearly caught her on the stairs, and she'd forgotten about it.

She'd slept, most of the day. She'd rested her feet inside the wastepaper basket and held a hole punch against her heart while she dozed. Music. There was the most beautiful music.

And now? Now the electric lights aren't working and there is a noise on the stairs. The Boss sniffs the air. She tries to sense what is coming. She does not want to do another induction. She doesn't want to give advice about Google. She is not very interested in new search terms or keywords. She used to think about Service Performance and User Surveys and Event Evaluation Monitoring. There are forms for all these things. She pats her desk and looks for the forms. The grids and tick-boxes are comforting. Nothing. There's nothing there.

It is as if the lights have gone out in her too.

The Boss opens the stationary cupboard and gets inside. It smells of Heavily Supervised Items in here. Printer paper. Toner cartridges. Elastic bands. She closes the door behind her, and waits.

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