The light was blinding when Errica opened her eyes. Sleep still clung to her mind like frost on a blade of grass and the dream that seemed so real moments ago fled like a deer through the forest. She was raising a hand up to her face when the sudden urge to stretch struck her and her body straightened as though invisible cords were pulling on her in opposite directions. Her hands shot up and pressed against the headboard. She pushed so hard she felt herself slide a few inches down the mattress. Her back arched and she let out a yawn that seemed to come from the deepest recesses of her soul.
Once that was done, she opened her eyes, squinting in the bright light and looked feebly towards the alarm clock on the nightstand. It was only then that a sudden pang of concern swept through her mind. A single thought; it shouldn’t be this light right now, occurred to her and in an instant she was throwing off the covers and jumping from bed like a thousand bugs were crawling over her.
As she jumped from the bed she stepped on a dog toy that let out a sharp squeak. To her sleep addled ears it sounded exactly like her dog. She almost went ass over tea kettle thinking it was Pepper her 13 pound mutt. She caught herself on the nightstand, but sent the alarm clock flying in the process. Pepper let out a grumble as the clock landed near her on the bed where she was laying, now covered by blankets.
Errica stumbled towards the dresser to find her clothes, promptly stubbing the big toe of her right foot on the leg of the bed. She let out a gasp and began hopping on her left leg, again almost falling, but this time making it to the dresser for support. It was in this commotion, eyes still adjusting, pain throbbing up her leg, that she realized the phone had begun ringing.
“Shit,” she said aloud and she forgot the clothes and headed towards the phone. She must have left it in the bathroom down the hall. She careened as fast as she could, still oblivious to the time, but certain it was her boss growing ever more impatient with each passing ring.
She reached the bathroom door and shoved it open. It struck the vanity so hard that the phone, which she left precariously close to the edge, absorbed just enough kinetic energy to fall from its place of uncertain safety. It fell towards the toilet that some less than thoughtful plumber had installed so close that there was no possibility of it landing anywhere else. She lunged forward as the phone’s insistent ringing seemed to plead for its life as gravity pulled it towards its watery fate. The first splash was followed quickly by a second as her hand plunged forward, moving too quickly to admit defeat. She grabbed the phone lightening quick, pulled back and shook it vigorously while bringing it to her ear.
“Hello?” She said in a voice that was now fully awake.
“Hello?” She said again hoping against hope that she still had a job.
There was a odd click on the other end and then a voice which she didn’t know but sounded oddly computerized spoke.
“Hello and congratulations! We are calling to inform you that you have been entered into the final draw-”
She hung up the phone.
It was at that point she noticed the time, quarter past nine, but more importantly there on the phone’s screen, still dripping wet with toilet water, was the date: Saturday, December 8th.
“Oh what the hell!” she said as she limped back towards her room. It was her day off.
Originally Appearing on Medium.