“Bathing In Velvet”

Pete glanced over at the switchboard, leaned over with one hand — balancing a sandwich in his mouth with the other — and hit the yellow flashing button, calming its insistent peripheral noise. “Do you really think it takes that long to learn the work here?”

Malcolm shrugged. “I picked it up in about a month. It won’t take you long.”

Attending to the next flashing button, and then peering through the thick plastic casing into the darkness inside the tank, Pete could see movement, clearly, but got no sense of what was moving inside. It seemed to be a kind of viscous black fluid. “Tell me now.”

“About what’s in there?” Malcolm grabbed the other half of the sandwich.

“Yeah. I’ve been here a week and a half, and no one will tell me what we’re sitting here looking after.”

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, Pete.”

Pete sniffed and took another bite. With his mouth full he said, “I actually would.”

Malcolm pointed toward the glass. “Those are spiders, dude.”

“What the fuck?”

“I know, man. Those are little spiders. I mean it. There are millions of them.”

Pete shook his head in such disgust that it became more of a shudder. “It pays well. But we don’t need ever think about that again.”

“Yeah, Pete. No question. No one ever talks about it.”

“Never?”

Malcolm bit into his half of the sandwich and nodded while chewing. “It’s simple, dude. Just don’t hit the flashing yellow button. That’ll open the tank right on us, buddy. But other than that, there’s never anything to worry about. And besides, we’d get another warning light if that were about to happen.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *