The Night Shift Unheard Of
I and my mate scurried through the empty hall. The light rustling of leaves and continuous chirping of the cricket were the only sounds that reverberated. No one was present. It was finally our time to take control of the night. The whole day the hustle and bustle of the men had made the place inaccessible to us. Tonight when finally the last person left the room, the lights turned off. This was our cue. The moon was kind to light our way. It was time for revenge.
We didn’t have any particular grudge against the people of this company. We used to live in harmony with them. We made ourselves inconspicuous to make them feel comfortable. We never disturbed them when they were busy working. We even worked the night shifts, to keep the place bustling as they probably wanted. I always wondered if the work we did was appreciated or not. There was always this nagging doubt whether they even acknowledged our presence. But nevertheless, we kept working to our best.
Every night our schedule would be the same. Like ghosts of the night, we would step out of the darkness into the now moonlit room. Our duty was to scan the room and make sure it’s cleaned up. I wanted my buddy to take the east corner of the room where the moon shone the brightest. He had a slight sight-impairment. But he would refuse to work alone and preferred to tag along with me. So I reluctantly let him follow me around. It did reduce our work efficiency, but friendship comes first always.
We would first survey the dustbin. It would always be overflowing with so much garbage. But occasionally one can find something useful discarded by mistake. Almost every night we would find food thrown away. It would infuriate me how men could waste so much food without a second thought! How irresponsible of them! We didn’t mind salvaging the perfectly good food and devouring it for dinner. Our stomachs full we would finish examining the whole room. We made sure to leave our signature footprint everywhere just in case anyone doubts whether we covered the whole room. They didn’t keep track of our jobs but we cannot take the risk of unemployment can we?! I heard it was quite rampant nowadays. Better safe than sorry.
Last night we were preparing for our shift when I glanced and found that the lights were still on. Peeping again after some time I noticed one young woman sitting at her desk. I had never seen her work so late. A creature of habit I was already restless to start working. Then an ingenious idea struck me. What if today I finally present myself in front of my colleague? The thought of being apprised made me yearn for it more. Would she applaud me for my hard work? I was already dreaming of a promotion. Maybe they would let us access to the room on the first floor. I decided it was worth the risk. I nudged my friend and took the first step towards what was the onset of a disaster.
We walked towards the dustbin cautiously, heart pounding fast, expecting her to turn around any moment. We reached it but she did not pay any attention to us. So we moved in closer. She heard us maybe and swung around and something very unexpected happened. She screamed like she had seen a ghost! Panicking ourselves, we skittered back to the darkness.
Tonight was revenge night. We finally came to know how under-appreciated we were. Tonight we will quit. But before we quit, we sure will wreak havoc at what was once our beloved workplace. It brought tears to my eyes that I would have to sabotage all that I loved once. But injustice is something I won’t bear. “No, sorry Boss”, I had mustered the courage to say it. No more docility. Even my buddy was instilled with my resentment and today he decided to take one step ahead and venture out alone, trying to maximize the damage. As planned we attacked all the cables first. Gnawed, bit and tore them apart to shreds. Oh! The satisfaction! With fire in my blood, I went to the next target in queue- the soft cushions of the chairs. Engrossed in my mission of demolition, I barely heard the cry for help. When I was out of my stance of revenge, it was too late. My dear friend was breathing his last. I couldn’t believe it. The only day I wasn’t there for him, turned out to be his last. How could he not sense the poison he was eating? All my anger flushed away as I held him in my arms wishing I wasn’t so foolish. If only I hadn’t been greedy for a promotion, my innocent friend would have been alive now! In the last moment he weakly told me:
“My dear friend, do not let my death be in vain. Teach the humans a lesson. They didn’t appreciate our co-operation. Now show them our revenge! Be a menace, a nuisance. “
“Yes, I promise,” I replied as his eyes drooped and he was gone.