Sharp Planning

“…but there’s no way out!” Larry said in astonishment as he looked around the small room. It was slightly smaller than a standard 10′ x 10′ room. Solid black walls surrounded a white tile floor and vaulted ceiling; a grave-sized hole was dug on one side of room. It seemed as if the room itself was built with the hole in mind, the white tiles were cut perfectly at the edges. Next to the empty hole sat a small round table and a single chair. The bitten-burger and fizzing soda rested on the table.

“I can see that,” Diane rolled her eyes at Larry’s helpful contribution. “What time is it?” she asked.

“9:47,” he replied with a sigh. He’d been working so hard it felt like hours passed; he was disappointed to learn they’d only been there 47 minutes.

“Alright, c’mon,” Diane ushered Larry out of the room, then stepped out.

“This is fine here, for now, right?” Larry asked as he rested on the file cabinet they moved to find the door. It was deceptively heavy and even with a dolly, it took both of them to move it. The original plan had been to drag out back to see if they could open it without a key; but, Diane noticed the door behind it.

“Yeah,” she nodded. Her tight black ponytail bounced with the movement. “It might belong to…,” she gestured at the closed door. “Anyway, let’s start clearing the big office,” she said then wandered off. Larry took a moment to look at the door, then followed Diane.

“What do you know?” Larry asked as he walked into Diane’s future office; he used his thumb to indicate the other room he just left. “Are secret rooms a regular thing in other universes?” he asked with a chuckle. The multi-verse had been open to travel for a few years already, but Larry couldn’t wrap his head around it. He preferred to stick to what he knew.

He was worried when the company he worked for was bought out by a company from another universe; but, it worked out well. Not only did he manage to stay employed; he got promoted to assist the new regional manager, Diane. She was from an alternate universe.

“I know some Estrellas like to have a hidden safe space; and, I know Sharp Development chose this building for a reason,” she shrugged. “Get to work,” she pointed at a pile of broken, dusty office equipment. Larry nodded.

Later, Diane stopped him as he walked in from a trip to the trash.

“What time is it?” she asked.

“10:55,” he replied, then grumbled. “Don’t you have a watch?” Diane lifted her wrist to show that she did indeed have a watch.

“It’s set to my universe, and I didn’t bring my node with me…,” she explained. “…anyway, c’mon. That should be enough time,” she walked back into the room with the hidden door.

She reached the door and surprised Larry by knocking instead of walking in; she rapped on the door twice. He was shocked again when the door opened inward and revealed a portly middle-aged man in a shabby suit.

“Yeah?” he asked the pair.

“Sorry for barging in earlier,” Diane was quick to apologize. “We didn’t know someone was in here.” The stranger hung his head and nodded.

“Don’t worry, I’ll leave the space alone,” he said.

“Nonsense,” Diane smiled. “You were there first; if anything, we’re you’re guests. Besides, it would be amazingly handy to have access to the multi-verse here in our office. Maybe we can come to an arrangement?” she asked him.

“What, like a job?” he asked. Diane nodded. “I.. I’d like that,” he said.

“Wonderful. I just need to get your signature on a few forms, then you’re official. Welcome to Sharp Development.”

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