Out of Order: Chapter 2

Out of Order

It became a joyful routine for Zac. Every evening, when the others had gone to sleep, he pocketed his key, and journeyed to the basement employee lounge, to spend the evening with Tally.
That the situation was unexplainable didn’t bother either of them. They were children. It was magic. They were enchanted and delighting in every moment of it.
It wasn’t until several nights had passed that Zac began to notice.
“Tally?” He had his feet up on the face of the machine, idly wondering what housekeeping would think of the bootmarks on the plexiglas.
“Yeah Zac?”
“How come you sound like that?”
“Like what?”
“Well…” He paused, wondering how to word it. “Out of breath sort of. Like talking makes you tired.”
She paused, longer than he was comfortable with. He’d begun to wonder if she was gone, when she finally answered. “Zac, I’m tired a little bit. But it’s no big deal. How are things going on that end? Everyone in your family still down?”
He thought about it, surprised to find that he didn’t know. What was his family doing? How were they? He couldn’t remember.

Out of Order: Chapter 1

Out of Order

“Out of order… perfect.” Sighing, he headed back to the elevator. Figured. Well, there was always the next floor down.
By the time he’d reached the lobby, Zac began to suspect that someone was messing around with him. How could every single coke machine be out of order? There were 42 of them in the hotel. And as far as he could tell, at least 39 of them were out of order.
He hadn’t tried the top three floors yet, preferring to go as far away from germ central as he could. Scowling, he headed for the lobby.