The Walls Always Talk

wall and door sketch

“Psst. Did you see Frank earlier? With Sue?”

“Urgh, I know. Poor girl. Don’t know why they put up with it.”

“Don’t seem to have a lot of choice,” the kitchen wall replied with a sigh.

“They could file a report and have him sacked,” the kitchen door insisted.

“Not that easy,” the fridge piped up. “He’s sleeping with Freda from HR. She’d conveniently misplace any reports that were filed on him.”

“One lass tried a few years ago,” the wall agreed. “She heard nothing for months, then she was sacked. She’d muddled up some files, or something – nothing that would usually call for a firing, but the perfect excuse to get rid of her.”

“I didn’t know about that,” the door said with a gasp.

“It was before your time. In fact, that’s why they installed you – the lass who was sacked gave the previous door a swift kick on her way out, put a hole right through him.”

“I never liked her anyway,” the microwave butted in. “She heated up tuna pasta bake in me three times a week. Who in their right mind microwaves fish in a shared kitchen?”

“Only the most terrible people,” the door concurred.

“That doesn’t mean she deserved to be sacked when she told someone she was felt up by the office perv.”

The room fell silent, thinking of all the times they’d witnessed Frank overstep the mark when it came to charming the ladies. In fact, he’d overstepped the mark so far that he was totally out of charming territory and right into the groping region.

“Why doesn’t anyone go straight to the boss?” the door asked. “Surely he’d sort it.”

“Frank is the company’s best salesman. The boss would turn a blind eye to anything if it protected his turnover. And everyone who works here knows it.”

“They should all go on strike, then. Just walk out.”

“And there’d be, what, a couple of months of inconvenience while they replaced everybody? The boss sees everyone as disposable, except Frank, so he’d just hire a new bunch of pretty young women and we’d be back where we started, only with plenty of fresh meat for Frank to get his hands on. Nothing would change, Door. I promise you.”

The door seethed quietly, understanding now that the problem ran deeper than just a single, handsy salesman. “Next time he comes in here I’m gonna cut his fingers off.”

The four of them fell silent when Sue scuttled into the kitchen and flicked the kettle on. She grabbed a tea bag from the caddy beside the kettle, grabbed a clean teaspoon from the dish drainer, then opened a cupboard in search of a mug. They were on the top shelf and she stretched up on tiptoes in an attempt to grab one. Her jumper rode up her torso as she did so, revealing a thin strip of bare midriff.

“You certainly know how to get hearts racing, eh Sue?” Frank was stood in the doorway. He propped himself up against the frame, blocking Sue’s escape route, his fingers tapping on the door’s metal hinge.

Susie ignored him and focused her gaze on the steam which rose from the kettle’s spout.

It was only a matter of seconds before Frank would make his move. The door took his chance and slammed.

Screams echoed out around the office.

There was a fortnight of respite while Frank’s fingers recovered, then everything went back to normal.

This short story was inspired by prompt no. 316 from “Come to Life: Imagine ordinary objects have come to life. Write about what they do and say.”

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