He had read it in a magazine, about the Romanian civil servant who had died at their desk, sitting propped up in their office chair for two weeks and no one noticed. That could happen here, Graham thought, it is the Friday before Christmas if I died now they would not find me to January.
The office was open plan. A sniper who happened upon the scene should have had line of sight from one end of the cavernous space to the other, but as Graham looked around he could see how people had manufactured walls to protect themselves. A forest of pot plants loomed, family photos were chosen as company over the living heartbeats and conversation of colleagues, calendars were propped up as a makeshift barricade a stuffed Piglet toy and Shaun the Sheep pressed into service as the defenders.
He could hear the tap, tap of a keyboard, an incessant voodoo beat that reverberated around in the post five pm hush on the second floor. Graham watched as the motion activated lights blinked out, a testament of abandonment, an onward rushing tide of darkness that would overwhelm him.
There should have been festivity, he thought, a Christmas tree that twinkled in the corner, maybe a moth-eared chain of paper angels set to fluttering in this air sucked dry of atmosphere, even a simple card, but it was like Cromwell had never left this part of Cambridgeshire. Christmas had been cancelled.
A door slammed, the last light extinguished, snuffed out, only the light above Graham remained alight.
‘I’ve got to get out, while I’m still alive.’ He whispered to the night.
While somewhere out in the dark his unseen companion tapped away at a keyboard.