This week I’d like to give you, my generous Skwib readers, a chance to preview some other parts of my second novel, Marvellous Hairy. You can find all of Chapter 1 here. Chapter 2 is not suitable for this PG-rated blog. (So know you know you want to get your own copy. Details here, or just look for online stores in the right sidebar.) This is the second of three parts. First part here.
Nick sat in a small waiting area in the “public” part of the offices. It was somewhat reminiscent of the kind of waiting area you’d find at a LubeItUp or any car service outlet, without the smell of petrochemicals and stale coffee. There were four uncomfortable seats made of black metal tubing and worn cloth that looked like it was once teal in color. There were no magazines, or any other form of amusement. A large two-way mirror spanned one wall of the waiting room, which allowed the security team to watch people waiting to speak with them. The entrance door was locked, and controlled from a large room that housed security feeds from around the building. The rest of the security department was hidden behind another door that had both a keypad and a biometric lock. In other words, Nick was not able to leave the room, even though it was seriously fucking with his chi. He had his computer with him, but he was too distracted to write anything, sitting there, waiting for security to establish that he wasn’t an eco-terrorist, or plain-old regular terrorist, hoping to de-erect the great big Glass Dick with a pocket full of Semtex.
The room was extremely pink and it caused chi-fuckage.
“Can you guys hear me?” Nick asked, sort of speaking towards the two-way mirror.
There is a moment’s pause, and then a voice said from a speaker: “Yes, we can hear you Mr. Motbot. What is wrong?”
“This room is freaking me out.”
“There’s something wrong with it. It has a bad vibe. It’s not… right.”
“Mr. Motbot, the room is designed to be calming, even though you are essentially our prisoner.”
“Designed?” Nick asked the unseen security guard, ignoring the issue of his imprisonment.
“Yes. We’ve painted the room pink.”
“How is that going to make me calm?” Nick asked. “What if I don’t like pink?”
“Psychological studies show that pink reduces aggression and can have a calming influence.”
“What do psychological studies show about observing someone through a two-way mirror and forcing them to sit on threadbare mid-80s furniture?”
“We’re just checking your references and the government security databases so we can give you clearance,” the voice reassured him.
Nick was not reassured.
“I think you’ve got color wrong.”
Nick put his face right next to the glass, and tried to look through. He could not see anything beyond it, but he noticed that there was a set of light switches near the doors to the rest of the security offices. He turned them off, and then returned to the two-way mirror. He could make out a figure standing next to someone who was clearly sitting in front of a computer screen.
“What are you doing Mr. Motbot?”
“I like to see the people I’m talking with, unless it’s, you know, a dream. Or some kind of trip.”
“Please turn the lights back on, Mr. Motbot. We’ll be done here shortly.”
“I think you’ve got the pink wrong. Instead of the calming pink, I think you’ve painted it the insanity pink.”
Nick could detect a note of panic in the security guard’s voice, and he could see him moving towards the exit of the room behind the two-way mirror.
“Insanity pink. Too much blue and platinum in the mix, so it makes the brain resonate at a lower frequency. Causes grand mal seizures in rhesus monkeys. It was in a study,” Nick said.
“Is that true?”
“Stop looking at me,” the security guard said. “We’re nearly done… Stop looking at me.”