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The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Satire: A security guard’s mysterious disappearence during unpaid overtime suggests either a crime or civil dispute. Either way OSHA won’t be happy.

Art by Miina McCown

Liam Gibler/The Broadside

The CorpCorporation warehouse was never the kind of building that a person would want to just sit and look at. In the best of times it was known to make children cry, and the ever present skeletons and scarecrows only made sense around halloween. Even the atmosphere seemed to change as you got near it, air heavy with a kind of bad you couldn’t put your finger on. Knowing the warehouse was like knowing you had an itch in a place you don’t ought to be itching. The feeling of a countryside that took a sharp inhale; waiting for a sneeze that would never come.

Of the workers who called ‘CorpCorp’ their own personal damnation, only one man managed to keep a cheery attitude. If you’d have asked him how he did it, day in and day out, he would’ve said he learned long ago to make friends with the ghosts.

“Belief in a disingenuous supernatural, much like belief in a disingenuous thesaurus, is safer than to one day run into the real deal and not know what to say.”

Now, writing this, I wonder if he was right. When he went missing two days ago; did it matter what he believed?

It was a dark and stormy night when Alister Henry disappeared. So dark and so stormy that at first nobody noticed his sudden disappearance, and once they had, it was too loud outside to talk about it. Initially some speculated he had come down with one of his all too famous stomach bugs, and one individual (who chose to remain anonymous) was even in the process of purchasing an additional air freshener. While others citing his pending divorce, figured he was off speaking to a lawyer, or crying in a field somewhere.

What none of them suspected, though maybe closest to the truth, was that Alister had vanished in a midnight fog. That that night, he wouldn’t be coming back at all. Gone on a day that will live in infamy, as the day of the paycut/possible murder/supernatural abduction. It played out something like this:

10pm: Alister Henry comes in for the night shift like any other day, he has his cup of coffee, (joe as witnesses called it) and joins the others in the staff room for their daily meeting. 

11pm: Hairy ‘Jerry’ Mandell, distributes nameplates and gives the word from management. Overtime pay is cut indefinitely, bad news for a team that regularly works ten to fifteen hours over.

11:30pm: Alister and Hairy exchange heated words and a flustered Alister storms out. A bloody message appears on the wall, this is a regular occurrence, the team ignores it.

12:45am: Alister doesn’t come back from patrol at the expected time.

1:03am: Other security staff make jokes about IBS.

1:04am: One guy pipes up and says not to make fun of a man going through a divorce. 

1:05am: The whole department now knows he’s going through a divorce.

1:06am: Another guy jokes that it’s probably because of his Crohn’s disease. They all laugh.

2:30am: The police are called in but sent away by CorpCorp, who label the issue a labor dispute, and decide to investigate independently. Below is the official statement from their investigation:

“We are deeply saddened by Mr.Henry’s lack of commitment to his job. He was not murdered. He was not abducted under supernatural circumstances. And if he was hypothetically abducted or murdered, it wasn’t on our property. Any ectoplasm is purely coincidental and should be treated as such. Any threats of violence made by Mr. Mandell were in good fun. None of our employees have anything to report about conditions here. They have plenty of food in the trough, and sufficient breaks to use the pissing corner. Finally; rumors of ghosts on the premises are unfounded, all of our employee suicide notes are MLA formatted, and the ominous feeling you get when you look at the warehouse is not the product of witchcraft.”

More than forty eight hours after his initial disappearance a lot remains unclear. What happened that night to Alister Henry? Was he taken? Killed? Killed by ghosts? Killed by witches and/or ghosts? Or did he leave of his own accord? Unable to answer any of these questions until the story further develops, live from The Broadside this is Liam Gibler signing off.

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