A WORK OF NO RETURN | Horror | Stories By Ima Udott
PC: Mental Floss


Intro: Have you ever been so desperate for something that you see yourself practically walking into the most terrifying den to get it? Read this horror filled story and learn.


         A WORK OF NO RETURN


You know that excitement that surrounds you when you finally accomplish what had seemed impossible to accomplish?
That is exactly how I felt after a call woke me up, few minutes ago.
I had been haunting for a job for the past three years, after my National Youth Service program, since I wasn't among the lucky ones to get a lasting job, while serving.
I had been to several companies for job interviews, but they had all told me a similar thing, “We will get back to you, if you're qualified” but they never did, and it was so frustrating.
Today, I was actually qualified for a job! I wasn't called for any interview, I didn't have to go through any procedure, I just got the job. From the call, it seemed I was overqualified!
I quickly rushed to my bathroom, took my shower, wore my best outfit and was soon out, looking for a cab to get to the address. It was a publishing company.
On getting to the entrance of the building, the gate man welcomed me as though he had seen me before. He was very friendly.
In fact, everyone I met in the company was so friendly to me that I wondered if they had met me before.
The manager was even more surprising. He held my hand, hugged me briefly, before introducing me to my co-workers who shook my hands as a way of welcoming me to the company.
After then, the manager showed me to my magnificent office. It was already set up with beautiful paintings, a fridge loaded with different kinds of drinks and bottled water, two big flower vase with beautiful dried artificial flowers, exactly how I had always pictured my office to be. Whoever set up this office must've read my mind so well.
“Get settled for the meantime. We have a meeting in ten minutes time, at the general office, third floor, don't be late. Ring the front desk if you need anything. Good luck,” the manager told me, before he left.
I sank on the chair, brought out my phone and dialled Praise, my best friend, to tell her the good news.
“Finally! Congratulations babe, but it happened so fast. Just yesterday, you were jobless and today, you have a big office to yourself. What is the name of the company and where is it located?” she asked.
When I was about to tell her, the telephone rang and I had to end my call with Praise, with a promise that I'd tell her everything, later.
“Ma, the meeting is about to commence,” a voice said through the telephone.
Though I didn't know exactly who it was, but I thanked her and hurried to the third floor.
On approaching the general office, I noticed a lady following me. I thought she was also going to attend the meeting, so I decided to walk with her, possibly make friends with her.
“Hi, I'm Ima. It's nice to meet you,” I said to her, stretching my right hand.
She looked at me, ignoring my hanging hand.
She wasn't friendly to me, like every other worker and I wondered why. I dropped my hand and waited for her to enter the general office, but instead, she stood, facing me.
She opened her mouth to talk, but on sighting the manager who opened the door, she quickly walked past me and I didn't see her again.
“We are waiting for you,” the manager said.
As soon as I entered the general office, all the workers stood up to welcome me with smile on their faces. They were so many that I felt like a queen in the midst of her subjects.
Before the commencement of the meeting, the manager gave me a hand sanitizer and a basin of water to wash my hands, with an update on the ongoing death as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that the country had been battling for some time now.
A lot of things were discussed at the meeting and I was briefed on what my work required. After the meeting, I noticed that all the workers lingered around the general office, but refused to include me in their conversations, even though they were friendly to me.
I believed they'd get used to me, with time. Since there was nothing more to discuss, I left them and went back to my office. My new found job was still like a dream to me. This was what I had been longing for, all my life.
I needed to celebrate this! I walked to the fridge, brought out a bottle of wine and was about to open it when someone tapped my shoulder.
Startled, the bottle fell from my hand, but was caught, just in time by the lady who tapped me. She dropped it back in the fridge and closed it.
I turned and looked at her. She wasn't at the meeting, in fact, I hadn't seen her before since I arrived. She was the most beautiful lady I had ever seen. She was dressed in a black suit. But then, how did she get into my office without my knowledge? I wondered.
“You shouldn't touch what doesn't belong to you,” the lady said.
I was taken aback. This was my office, for goodness sake and everything in it, according to the manager, was mine, so why was she telling me this?
“Who are you and what are you doing in my office?” I asked her.
For a reply, she walked majestically, her heels responding noisily to the tiled floor and lowered herself, comfortably on my chair, then crossed her legs and began to spin left and right.
“My name is Vera and this is my office,” she replied.
This wasn't making any sense. The manager didn't tell me I was going to share my office with anyone. The setting of the office was obviously for only one occupant. I was confused.
I quickly dialled the front desk, but there was no response, so I decided to go back to the general office to meet with the manager, so he could come explain this to me.
“We will sort this out. I'll be back,” I told her before I left the office.
When I got to the general office, I opened the door abruptly, only to find the manager sharing a glass of soapy drink that looked like water, to all the workers to drink. They were seated round the big table, each with his/her glass.
For a moment, I was speechless. I thought the meeting was over. We were told the meeting was over, so I wondered what they were all still doing there and drinking.
I swallowed hard and walked up to the manager, telling him I needed to see him. When he stepped outside with me, I asked him who Vera was and what she was doing in my office.
“Oh, don't mind her. She's mentally unstable. Go back and tell her I command her to leave the office for you,” he said.
I went back to my office, but Vera wasn't there anymore, so I locked the door because I didn't want her to come back and disturb me anymore.
Just when I was about to sit, someone tapped me again on my shoulder. It was the same lady; Vera.
“Why do you want to sit on a chair that doesn't belong to you?” she asked me.
I could swear with my life that I locked the door. So how on earth did she get inside? I thought.
“I believe you were hiding somewhere in here, waiting for me to come back. The manager said you should leave this office, immediately,”
“You mean my office?” She sat down again and crossed her legs, “Maybe if you had patiently made inquiries about this company, you wouldn't be here, struggling my office with me,”
She had a point. I should have inquired first before accepting this job. It dawned on me that I didn't even apply for a job in this company. So I started to wonder how they got my details and gave me a job without any form of interview.
I quickly brought out my phone, turned on my data and googled about the company.
"A WORK OF NO RETURN" was the only thing that came up when I searched the name of the company. I opened the related images and saw a lot of pictures of people, but they were all tagged dead.
I scrolled down and started to see some of the workers who I earlier saw at the meeting, including the manager, but they were also tagged dead, many years ago.
Just when I thought I had had enough of the hallucinations, a picture that looked exactly like Vera popped up. She was also tagged dead.
My hands started to shake as I was about to dial Praise’s number, but Vera snatched the phone from me.
I didn't wait to see what she'd do next, I quickly ran to the door and tried opening it, but the door was locked and the key wasn't in the hole.
“It wouldn't be a bad idea if we share the office, at least, you are now one of us,” Vera said, walking up to me...
THE END


A WORK OF NO RETURN.
©Ima Udott (2021).