Dr. Alex Process woke up with a start to find himself slumped over his desk in his office.
What had he gotten up to last night? He collected himself and tried to get a read on the situation.
His desk was covered in empty coffee mugs, but that had become the norm for him a long time ago. There were a few pill bottles strewn across his desk, and he had the echoes of what felt like a hangover, but it didn’t look like there were any signs of one of his truly brain-breaking benders. He just had a shitty headache.
He moved from his desk to the middle of the room, putting his glasses back on along the way, and took a glance at the rest of his office just to make sure absolutely nothing was amiss. Everything looked fine…
That was when he saw the door was open.
You see, Alex had been trapped in his office for a very long time.
He couldn't remember how long it had been since it started. He couldn't even remember how it started. As far as he was concerned, he might as well have always lived this way.
It didn’t stop him from his job – patients were free to visit him, occasionally accompanied by staff from the lower floors. It didn’t stop him from the bare minimum of self-care, either: he could order food to his room, he had a bathroom to wash in and a balcony to brood on, and he still got a steady paycheck. He just couldn’t leave.
When it first began, sometimes he would wait for visitors to leave, and then make up a reason to follow behind them. But some sort of horrible fear would always strike him, and he would find himself frozen in place, powerless to stop them from closing the door behind them.
There were a few amusing attempts at escape, though they always went nowhere fast. He had once spent one day creating an increasingly elaborate scheme involving rope, only to remember that there was absolutely no rope in his office. Another incident involved his coffee maker, and it had left him horribly injured.
It was actually the increasing absurdity of his situation that had wore him down to the nothing he was today, where living out of his office was just a fact of his life as much as that the sky was gray and filled with smog. He just lived here. There was no way around that.
But now the door was open.
Wide open! He could see the dumb motivational poster in the hall that he always wanted to get rid of. There was a big comfortable couch to sit on, with fresh flowers to sniff. And now he could! All of those things! If he could just bring himself to…