Jobsworth

‘I can’t believe you’re doing this. This is the greatest moment in human history and I’m missing it. I need to be let through!’
‘I’m sorry sir, but you can’t come in,’ the Security Guard said. He stood firmly in front of a pair of heavy oak doors into the conference room.

‘But I’m the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, I brokered this deal! The Filiansal wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for my intervention on Mars.’

The Prime Minister’s eyes softened and his voice shifted into the same jolly tone that won him a landslide victory and ever decreasing majorities in parliament over the last ten years.

‘I know why you won’t let me in. The protocol is clear: it’s designed to stop us spooking our guests. But I’ve already spoken with them, they know me,’ The Prime Minister closed his hands into fists and made a series of movements that, if one were generous, could be described as sparring at the man in front of him. ‘So what do you say?’

The Security Officer flexed his fingers on the butt of his steel, spring coil extendable baton.

‘My superiors have made it quite clear that I’m to let no-one in to the meeting once the formal introductions have been made,’ he said.

‘Perhaps I could speak to your superior,’ the Prime Minster moved in closer to whisper. ‘I happen to know Sir Marcus personally.’

‘My boss is a man called Barry, sir. I could call him on my walkie-talkie, but I believe he’s on the other side of the door and it may cause our guests some distress.’

‘Good point,’ The Prime Minister replied. He took a step back and hopped from toe to toe as he strained to look through the frosted glass above the doors into the conference room. His bulky frame wobbled slightly when he stopped and a bead of sweat had formed on his brow. ‘I’m sure he’s busy.’

‘Yes, sir.’

A low pitched, musical stop-start hum, the first sounds from an alien tongue spoken on Earth, was barely audible through the door. Several voices joined together to form a chorus. There was a gasp.

‘Look it’s all just a misunderstanding…’

A young, feminine voice pierced through the door like a javelin. After a moment of absolute silence, the room erupted in terrified cries and shouts, quickly followed by heavy thumps against the door. The Security Officer didn’t flinch.

‘Let them out man!’ The Prime Minister moved to the conference room, but the Security Officer stood in his way and pushed him to the ground. The door creaked as the screaming and dying desperately pushed against it, but the ancient wood held firm. A splash of red liquid struck the frosted transom, turning the light in the antechamber a shade of sanguine pink. Blood began to trickle through the gaps of the door and a rapidly spreading pool flowed around, and then enveloped, the Security Officer’s heavy boots. The Prime Minister tried to scramble to his feet, tripping and falling in the wet mess, before finally resting on all fours.

‘My God, what have I done?’

‘Don’t worry, sir. You won’t have to think about it for much longer.’

The screams became quieter and the Prime Minister could hear the singing again, except there was no harmony in the voices now, it was a discordant dirge of hate and violence.

‘They’ll be coming out soon. You’ll see for yourself.’


Originally published on 365tomorrows.

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