You can read the first part of The Change here:
The Change – part 1
I wasn’t sure about doing a continuation of it, but after getting a very enthusiastic request for more from a reader, I thought ‘why not?’ Hope you all enjoy!
Gerald yawned as he removed his glasses, rubbing his eyes. I really need some coffee, he thought as he pushed his chair back. He went to sit up but ended up slumping in his seat. There wasn’t too much point in going to bed right now even though he was drowsy – he would just end up tossing and turning in bed for about two hours before he’d fall into a light and fitful sleep. That was a frequent nightly occurrence ever since he was diagnosed with insomnia about two years ago.
And it was a pain in the ass.
Just then, Britney Spears Hit Me Baby One More Time cut through the air as his phone started vibrating.
Glancing at his phone screen, he sighed and picked it up.
“Yeah?” He yawned again.
“Hit me baby one more time…” was screeched through the phone followed by vomiting noises.
“Knock it off, Amy,” Gerald chuckled.
He heard her chuckle before. “Oh man, you got bad taste in music, did anyone ever tell you that?”
“You every time you ring me.”
“Well, I’m gonna keep saying it until you listen – when are you ever going to change your ringtone?”
“To what? What could possibly beat the glory of Hit Me Baby One More Time?” Gerald smirked. He loved their playful arguments over music.
“Uh, Let It Go?”
Gerald laughed. “Oh good lord, now you’re going after me with kids songs??? Don’t you realise how pathetic Frozen is???”
Gerald smirked. Oh, this was going to be good.
“Frozen happens to be a work of art – it brings me to tears!”
“You both are pathetic,” a new voice said with disgust.
“Oh fuck off,” Amy muttered. “I suppose you’re going to say that the Jurassic World movies are better than Frozen?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact, they are,” was the confident retort. “They’re actual entertainment.”
“Love you, too, Swab!” Gerald called out to the guy that had joined in on their conversation.
“I still hate how you two call me that,” Swab grumbled.
“Well,” Amy whispered smugly. “If you hadn’t-“
“Yeah, yeah, don’t remind me,” he interrupted with a sigh. “So, anyways, you told Gerald why you’re calling him or do you two still need to have your old lovers argument AGAIN about how much you two disagree on movies and music?”
“We’re not in love, stop calling our playful bickering ‘old lovers arguments’,” Gerald replied.
“Mhmm,” was all Swab said.
“Anyways!” Amy jumped in, urgently changing the subject. “I’m calling cause the boss has said that your work assignment is due tomorrow at noon sharp.”
“But he told me it wasn’t due until next week! I need more time to finish analyzing and organizing all the data!” Gerald protested. “It’s not going to be ready in time!”
“Well, he’s apparently changed his mind. Says it’s imperative that it comes in tomorrow instead of next week.”
Gerald sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Oh, fuck,” he muttered, though he wasn’t really one to swear too much. “Why didn’t he let me know himself? And when did he decide this?”
“He’s busy sorting out some other paperwork so he got us to, and he only just told us like two minutes before we called you,” Amy explained.
“You know what an asshole the boss is,” Swab said quietly. “You’re just lucky that you get to work from home most of the time, me and Amy are the ones that get stuck actually working with him in person all damn night.”
“Alright,” Gerald sighed. “I’ll brew up some more coffee then and…just get right on it.”
“Listen to all those songs of mine that I’ve sent you on Messenger that I know you haven’t listend to them yet cause you already hate my musical tastes,” Amy snickered. “That’ll aggravate you enough to keep you awake.”
“Very funny, Amy,” Gerald chuckled.
Gerald screamed, knocking over his chair as he whirled around. “Owww!” he winced as he gripped his ankle that he had bumped against his desk.
“What’s going on?” Swab asked.
“I don’t know, let me check,” Gerald groaned in pain as he looked up. “Strange…” he muttered.
The window was wide open, some of the glass shattered on the ground. “The windows open…” he whispered into the phone. “And I had it shut and locked.”
“Is it windy? Shouldn’t be as there was no wind forecasted for tonight or anything,” Amy replied.
The curtains twitched a little.
Gerald tenderly hobbled over to the window, clutching onto whatever he could as he went as his ankle was too sore to try walking on his own for the moment. Reaching the window, he looked outside, not daring to stick his head out.
“There’s no wind,” he whispered as he bought his phone back up to his ear. “But I can’t see anyone or any sign of something being thrown in or anything that could’ve caused the window to burst open like it did.”
“You sure there isn’t anything? Take a good look around the room,” Amy instructed.
“Okay,” Gerald acknowledged as he turned around, hobbling around some of the glass before placing his phone on the edge of a nearby coffee table, turning it to speaker, and turned around, taking a good look. Other than the glass on the floor and his knocked over chair, there was absolutely NOTHING in the room. His computer was still on, open to his emails like they had been before the window burst open and…
Wait a minute.
He hobbled over to the desk, wincing in pain the entire time as he leaned in closer to the screen, taking a look.
“I hadn’t opened that e-mail,” he muttered to himself. “I was typing a reply to Mum when the window burst open, and I hadn’t exited off it when I went over to the email, so how…why is this one open?”
“What was that, Gerald?” Swab called out over the phone. “You dipped out, is everything okay?”
“Guys,” Gerald said as he turned around towards the coffee table, “there’s something strange with my e-mai-“
His phone wasn’t on the coffee table.
“Guys!” Gerald shouted, trying to see where the phone was.
He jumped. It came from right beside him.
Looking to his desk, he found the phone lying there next to the keyboard.
I didn’t put it there…
Looking around the room, his eyes settled on the glass, that had been lying in shatters on the ground. Except now, it was arranged rather neatly in…in the form of…
His blood ran cold when he read what it said. No…no, that was only a theory…
A sharp pain suddenly cut through his throat.
And everything went dark.
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