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Illusions (standard:Suspense, 1796 words)
Author: SootyAdded: Jun 27 2003Views/Reads: 2138/1414Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
'Illusions' is a story about the doubts and fears that a social misfit experiences on his way home from work one night.


The laughter followed me as I ran down the corridor, almost ricocheting
off the wall and echoing into my ears. 

“Did you see him run?” 

“Run? I thought he'd have a heart attack!” 

“Heart attack? Him? Too common – he'd have a coronary arrest!” 

I could imagine their faces without having to look back; the twisted
sneers and raucous glee were all too familiar. Why did I always fall 
for their stupid pranks? Why did they always pick on me? I kept 
running; it was past five anyway. The office door opened easily before 
my determined pull, and I stepped outside into the cold night air. 

I stopped, pausing to take my inhaler out of my pocket and hold to my
mouth. The exertion had caused more phlegm to catch in my throat, and I 
was forced to cough vigorously in order to rid myself of it. My head 
felt somewhat dizzy: the cold that had been clinging to me for weeks 
was reaching a climax and I choked softly on the mucus, making a mental 
note to check my temperature on the graph when I got home. 

A chill breeze swept across the road and into my face. The irritating
tone of a mobile sounded nearby, and I swung round to see who it 
belonged to. 

There was nobody there. The half-full car park was deserted – usually
there would be a bustle at this time as workers hurried home to their 
warm houses and waiting families. There was no one waiting for me: no 
wife busily preparing an evening meal in anticipation of my homecoming, 
no children refusing to go to their beds before their father returned. 

I kept watching, and still nobody appeared around the corner of the
building. I felt a prickle on the back of my neck. I had heard a 
mobile, I was sure of it. My breaths came with increasing irregularity. 

“Yeah, like I was saying... I said like I was... hello? Can you... can
you hear me? Damn!” 

The voice belonged to Ranjit. He stopped as he rounded the corner and
spotted me, the mobile still clutched in his right hand. 

“Oh, its you. Why ‘you standing there?” 

“I... er, I was just going,” I stuttered. 

“Just going? Where is everybody else then?” he demanded. 

“Why, there're still up...” I gestured upwards towards the office window
with my hand. “I left...” 

“You left? Oh, I get it. You fell for it again, didn't you?” Ranjit

“I say... why do...” 

“Lighten up,” he said. “You're too different, that's your problem. How
do you expect to fit in when you act like you're superior or something? 
Try to act normal. You could start with John's bash on Saturday.” 

“Oh, well, I'm afraid I have prior commitments at the weekend." 

“‘Prior commitments',” Ranjit mimicked. “Jesus Christ.” He moved past
me, brushing his shoulder against mine as he did so. Pushing open the 
door, he disappeared inside. 

I stood and pondered his words, staring out into the night. It was as
dark as I had ever seen it – an impenetrable blackness. I found myself 
eager to be in the comfort of my home, and so I moved away from the 
shadow of the building and onto the pavement. 

I walked onwards, the paving stones seemingly materialising out of the

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