So Tired…

It wasn’t particularly late, but he was tired. He’d spent all day at work, and then a good part of the evening at the mall. He figured he would just sit for a bit, with a coffee and a cigarette, before heading for home.
He put his bags just slightly under the side of his table, so that he wouldn’t forget them. The food court wasn’t very busy at this time of the evening, just the odd person here and there. At least the coffee wasn’t bad, and there was a clean ashtray on his table.
Looking around at his surroundings, he noticed how utilitarian they were. The tables were small squares of white, with attached seats in “sets” of four. Surrounding this small centre area were various places of business – a coffee place, fish and chips, Chinese food – that sort of thing. The only thing slightly decorative was the the ceiling tiles. It was as if he could see leaves through a window – with the sun glowing from behind them. And look – they were even blowing in a slight wind. Wait a minute. That couldn’t be possible. He must really be tired now. Oh well – he’d leave soon.
People continued to wander through the area, and his fellow customers got up and left. After a short while he was all alone. He glanced up at the tiles again, while contemplating the trip home. Had that one tile above shifted a bit. No. Not possible. He really needed to get some sleep; his eyes were playing tricks on him.
…..
The mall employees came in early the next morning, to clean the food court tables, and to make sure all was ready for the coming day. They picked up the various ashtrays – emptied them, rinsed them and dried them and replaced them on the tables. Old coffee cups were picked up and emptied. And at one table, a shopper seemed to have left in somewhat of a hurry – forgetting bags and a half-smoked cigarette in the ashtray. Fortunately, it had burned itself out. Even the cup of coffee had only been half-drunk.
One of the cleaners thought she noticed a slight movement up above from the corner of her eye. For a moment, she could have sworn there was a bit of vine hanging down from between the tiles, which vanished upwards in a flash. She looked again, but there was nothing there. Although the tiles did seem to slightly twitch. No. It was just her imagination. There couldn’t be anything up there. She really should have had more sleep last night.
It was just another normal day for the police. Another guy had not shown up for work at some office downtown. Nobody knew much about him, and when they did manage to find his address, he wasn’t home. They chalked it up to one more person – just trying to get away from it all.

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