The Tension Pt.4 [Short Story]

The tension was disturbing. Initially Joseph had thought he might be having a heart attack or maybe he was getting winded so quickly because of the joint he had tried last weekend with his girlfriend but when it didn’t get worse and he didn’t, as he feared, collapse and fall off his bike, he kept pedaling along the street. Weaving in and out of the stationary traffic, his headphones blaring some Bon Jovi-esque rock ballad from the 90s, it wasn’t until he passed through the second set of traffic lights that he realised the traffic was at a stand-still in all directions and most pedestrians were standing around on the sidewalk simply staring around in bewilderment. He slowed to a stop and dismounted his bike beside a father and son who were holding hands and staring into space. The bike toppled over as he removed his headphones to try to talk to them.

Prudence watched the bike clatter to the ground beside the bike messenger from the lone window in her corner of the office. She had gotten up to head to the bathroom but the vacant stares and the lack of response from the other office staff had disturbed her enough that she banished herself back to her cubicle. She was awkward enough in normal social situations but when people around her started acting strangely she simply bolted. Her curiosity had been piqued though and after a minute or two of hiding she slowly made her way to the window to look upon the world at large. Her social anxiety and awkwardness meant she viewed the world as a hotspot of lunacy anyway but what she saw outside made her far more anxious and scared than she had ever known.

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