The Rest Of Us In Hell by Matthew Lyons
The Rest Of Us In Hell
We’re doing fine without you. Everything’s basically the same as it was when you were here. Anyone who tells you different is a fucking liar.
We’ve already filled your desk, found someone to do all your work. His name is Dell. He keeps spiders as pets. Whole hordes of them. Black and brown and glass-smooth and banded in green, terrariums full of teeth and eyes and mummified dead things. Dell calls them his little beauties. He brought one of the clear, plastic boxes in a couple of weeks ago to show off, but of course some of them got out. It’s really no problem, except Dan in Planning got bit on the back of his hand, and now there’s a rotty, black hole where you can see the bone through. But it’s cool. He only uses that hand to gamble and talk shit to teenagers on his phone when he thinks no one’s looking anyway.
Ever since the spiders got out, things have been a little crazy around here, and it’s not just because of the stink off of Dan’s hand. It’s everything. Alan Norton’s been drinking so much that it’s easier to count the days he doesn’t show up stumbling and vodka-punched. Caroline’s been locked in her office for days now, shouting about how she has a gun. People are plotting to break in and make her prove it. The cracks around her door smell like jars of shit and stale piss. She’s going to die when they kick their way inside and everyone knows it.
Alicia’s still getting headaches. It’s either withdrawal or a brain tumor. She asks about you sometimes. She loses time, forgets conversations in the middle of them, her nose starts to bleed for no apparent reason. Just because she likes your shit on instagram doesn’t mean she remembers who you are or gives a fuck anyway. Last week a few of us caught her outside in the parking lot, burning the insides of her thighs with cigarettes. She cried a little then offered free handjobs if we’d keep it quiet. The spots made her look a little like a leopard.
The CEO shot himself on Monday. He did it during an investor presentation. Maybe you saw it on the news, I don’t know. One second he was talking about annual returns and the next a nine millimeter was pinballing around inside his skull like Pacman on crack.
That reminds us: somebody found a bag of crack rocks in the baby changing station in the ladies room the week after you left. Some people got all up in arms about it and took it to HR. The next day, HR started up a fight club. You can smell the blood and sweat from the elevator banks. Nobody wants to go ask them about the crack.
Up on the tenth floor the accountants won’t stop shredding papers and microwaving hard drives. It’s been going on for almost a whole week. The fires happen every day now. The fire department won’t even bother showing up anymore. The last time they did it was to rip the smoke detector out of the wall. People keep saying that the whole department beat a guy to death for saying the words securities fraud and nobody knows if it’s true, but nobody’s seen Tony since last Wednesday.
Somebody put a computer virus on the company’s intranet that automatically reroutes all our google searches to hardcore gay porn. Nobody knows how to get rid of it. We can’t look up what year Dale Carnegie died or even check our emails without getting assaulted by towering, glistening monster cocks and walls of pulsating, blown-out assholes. It’s gotten so we don’t even see them anymore. It’s just aggressive, angry anatomy wallpaper that shouts shrill daddy shit at you. Easy to ignore if you try hard enough.
We hear California’s nice, though. Or Pennsylvania. Or Toronto. Or wherever the fuck you went after you stopped being here. Nobody really knows, but everyone says nice things. Nobody means them. You’re dead to us now. People pretend like they don’t remember you, and maybe they don’t. Maybe you’ve faded that much already, just another dead face and broken body in a long line of dead faces and broken bodies sitting at that desk in that cubicle and dying slow, day in and day out. Just like all the rest of us.
Except you left.
You pussied out.
So fuck you.
If you tell anyone about this, if you call the cops or anyone else, we’ll find you wherever you are and we’ll fucking kill you. For running away and leaving us behind and making us reconsider what it means to be a coward.
We fucking hate you, Jenna.
We wish you’d stayed.
© Matthew Lyons
Matthew Lyons is probably taller than you, not that it’s a competition or anything. His work has most recently been published in Out of the Gutter, The Molotov Cocktail, Animal, Abstract Jam and more. Complaints can be filed on Twitter at @reverendlyons.
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