after-hours

Dreaming

Mr. Chim stubs his toe on a mail cart in the middle of the night 

“GAH!” he swears before shooting it a glare. 

His gaze drifts around the darkened mailroom. There was no one up at this hour. Everyone went home. To their friends. To their families. And here sat Mr. Chim. Alone, stubbing his tiny  teensy toes on sleeping mimicry. Why was he even awake?  Just wandering, like he liked to do.

He’d peek into Chartreuse and check to see if the drink locks were tight. He’d poke around Orange for a left-over snack. He’d wander up to Blue to watch a monitor or two, and stave his anxiety that he wasn’t the only one here. 

…Nope, all clear, as usual. 

He’d peek at the door to Indigo, and flutter through Amber. He thought Amberose stayed late, as he office door always hummed with a musical touch, but he was never sure. 

And then to Vermilion, where’d put on a small show, just to tickle that long lost producer inside of him. Maybe just a solo or two, before he was off to the chutes, or elevators again. Which ever was closer. 

Green owned an  hour or two of his. He’d sit on a bench, and watch the stars. He was never sure if the sunroof was real or magical, and never dared to challenge the illusion. 

And soon, before he’d know it, the elevator would ding, and he’d be back home in his Yellow department. He’d flutter over cubicles, and weave between chairs, before he’d find his way back to the mailroom. And like any other night, the imp took a moment to stop. The notes on the wall. The sleeping mimics lining the floor. The mail pile, ready to be sorted with the rising sun. It was quiet as always, (barring the snoring from cart number 5) and just as alone as any other night.

In all of his years. Hundreds upon thousands, in all of his years, he’d never really had a home. A handler. An Owner. A master with a cage. A tower. A dungeon. An alley for it’s range. But never before, never once before Yellowneous took that contract, had he had a place to call home. Even though it was strange, and tousled, and prone to explosions here and there, REM’s mailroom was the first place the imp could settle down and know that his worries of the day were safe to melt away until the rising sun of the next day to come. 

The pink imp snorted. There he went again, getting sentimental over a stinky ol’ mailroom. How many times is he going to do this before it gets old? More importantly, how many times is Padge going to leave his cart in the middle of the room? With a flick of his tail, the old curmudgeon sent the cart wheeling off to its resting place, and set off to the locked door labeled “Mr. Chim”. He squirmed his way under the crack below the door, since the key had been long since gone, and POP-ed into his office. The oversized desk. The awkward shrine. And his little teapot home.  As usual, he had only a few hours before the others came onto their shifts, but he figured it was time for a rest. So the tiny imp fluttered his way to the kettle, popping its top, and pulling the string to his lamp. 

Goodnight, REM. 

The maiden, who was exceptionally dainty and pretty and had, to a vampire, the most exquisite feature of all, a particularly long and delicate column of a neck, was looking up at him soulfully. It was nice to see that she was short. Damon didn’t care that much for tall girls because he wasn’t very tall himself. She also had, you couldn’t help but notice, extraordinarily large eyes in her small heart-shaped face, giving her the appearance of a kitten. They were clear brown eyes, with a dark ring at the outer rim of the iris, then a very light brown ring, as if light were shining through them in the middle, and then another dark ring around the pupil. Her hair was the color of a strawberry and curled softly all over her head in a way that made you think ‘pixie’.
Altogether, she was a lovely little ornament, with fine blue veins in naturally translucent skin.
—  After Hours, Damon about Bonnie