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Excerpt from Just Another Day, by Chantal Boudreau:
There was a crash from down below, somewhere in the basement. Margot rolled her eyes and moaned. It sounded like something had broken, but she would not be able to investigate. No one in their right mind would go down there without a suit of armour and a flamethrower to clear the path. She could just picture herself tripping over something in the dark, left haphazardly on the stairs, and falling to her doom. She did not have the time for that. She did not have the time for anything other than getting ready for work.
Finally, her gaze did settle on her briefcase. She drew it out and tossed it on top of the table, along with her travel mug and granola bar. Margot needed one last thing before she left the house, and...
The unusual smell in the air, beyond the typical odours, reminded her of another task that required completion before she headed for her train. She was so fatigued and rushed that it had almost slipped her mind. Margot spun quickly on her heel and eyed the three brown paper bags on the counter. She always ate lunch at the hospital cafeteria but she could not let Roy and the boys go hungry, and preparing their meals had become a regular part of her morning rituals - so had distributing those meals.
She stared anxiously at her watch again. Did she have enough time? She did not want to miss her train and have to taxi it to work again. That seemed to be becoming a bad habit, and an expensive one at that. She wanted to consider setting her alarm a few minutes early, but she was already running on empty with the little amount of sleep that she got. She was not sure if she could physically function on anything less.
With a restrained whine, Margot approached the counter where the bags sat. That was when she noticed that she had left the plastic container open with the remnants of that day’s meal. She glanced in without thinking or pausing to hold her breath, and the stench of it gave her the dry heaves, like rancid rotting meat. Trying not to look at the greyish gelatinous mass inside, she hastily popped the cover on top and securing it with an exaggerated push, swept the container off the counter and hurriedly shoved it onto the middle shelf of the refrigerator, placing it in between two other containers with similar proportions and quivering gray contents. One of the other containers still bore a medical biological waste sticker that Margot had forgotten to remove. She rotated the container clockwise, turning the side with the sticker towards the wall of the fridge and away from view.