Don’t Trip…Another under 500 word story

Don’t Trip

The ball was already in its third hour when she descended the sweeping staircase, her long ball gown rustling with each step.

At the foot of the stairs, the handsome man waited, a shaft of light from behind him concealing his features. She reached the foot of the stairs and he said, “Hello, don’t trip.”

She woke and thought, What does that mean? He’d said the same thing the prior three times she’d had the dream. Maybe her subconscious was warning her about something, but she couldn’t think what it might be

The alarm went off shattering the thought. Thursday morning. One more day until the weekend. Whoopee. Laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the toilet.

She was obsessing over the dream. She knew it, but cubical dwellers have very little life. In at eight meant leaving home, a one-bedroom apartment at seven. Leaving work at five meant getting home at six. Empty apartment, empty life. No wonder her dream was the most interesting thing she had going.

She had friends, of course she did, the women in the cubicles on either side of her. The three of them went for ten-minute coffee breaks at ten and two-thirty and thirty minute lunches at twelve.

She heard about Coreen’s live-in and Jackie’s ten year old son, but had nothing much to contribute. Once a year she went home to Texas for a week. A depressing life.

Friday, after another long day, she arrived at the apartment building to find the entrance blocked by a moving van.

The apartment next door, 2C, had been empty for two months. She had been grateful when the couple living there left. They were either engaging in noisy bedroom gymnastics or knock down, drag out yelling matches. The apartments were long and narrow and shared living room and bedroom walls. She heard it all.

Since it was the only empty apartment in the building, she assumed the apartment was about to be inhabited once more. Hopefully there would be a more peaceful tenant this time.

She edged around the boxes and walked upstairs.

The door next to her apartment was open, but boxes filled the space between the staircase and her door.

A man came out of 2C and saw her. A dazzling light spilled out into the hall, concealing his features.

“Hello,” he said. “Careful, don’t trip.”

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