“They’re shutting down another museum?” Michael groaned as he turned the page over. “Who do these guys think they are? There’s like, what… two museums in the world left?”
Michael’s co-worker slowly raised his head above the cubicle and cocked a brow. “Mike, do you ever listen to what you say? Let it go, man and save up like everyone else.”
Michael Wiseman had a reason to be grumpy: he was the only one left in his family for the next four hundred years. That and the $2.50 wage he was making as a network engineer. “Sal, you just don’t get it. Every day they are making this era more and more stupid. This year seriously sucks, and it ain’t going to get better.” He went back to typing, watching the unhindered ping flashing by on the screen.
The mailman passed by a few moments later, looking tired as hell. His eyes were droopy and he was panting like he’d been running all over the place. Go figure. “Mail… whew… for, uh, Sir Michael Wiseman?”
Michael snatched the preserved letter before the postal worker could do any more damage to his pride. “Thank you very much, Jim. Don’t you have the rest of the East Coast to get to?” Jim skittered off to catch his plane with a mumbled insult.
Michael lounged back in his computer chair and opened the letter carefully. Sal came over with a cup of coffee and watched him read.
“Why do your parents always make your name goofy and shit when they send you mail?”
“I have no clue,” Michael said, giving a sidelong glare. “They say that unless they label it as royalty in Victorian England, it never gets anywhere.” Sal rolled his eyes and sipped his brew, while Micheal carefully handled the centuries old paper. “It’s not that I don’t like reading it, Sal. See? My dad is telling me he’ll send me Jack the Ripper’s knife. Normally I’d have been excited, but we all know there’s like a thousand of them around today, probably the same one. Who wants to buy a knife that’s so common like that?” He shoved the letter into his desk drawer.
“Mike, listen…. you should just chill. The Time Company is going to have a new sale on the 1920’s. You could just quit here, pack up and go if you wanted. Your parents would even still be around by then.” Sal’s brows were furrowed with rarely-showed genuine concern watching his friend and only co-worker’s frustration.
“Eh, I don’t know… I heard that they have that anti-alcohol law there. No wonder it’s going on sale.”Sal’s smile became smug as he went back to his desk in that otherwise empty office area. “Hey man, there’s only about ten thousand of us out there and I know a lot of them will take the sale.”
Grumbling issued from the other side of the cubicle. “And what about you? You going, Mr. Optimist?”
Sal pulled up his paycheck on-screen, grimacing as he read the total of “$50.42” for two weeks work. “Me? I’m saving up for The Renaissance, and according to the recent pay decrease–”
“Shit! I hate this fucking population-to-pay budget ratio!” The voice rang out in anger on the other side of the cubicle wall.
Sal just sat back and shook his head, “Yep. This year sucks.”
365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.
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