Friday, 26 December 2008

Apocalypse? Now?

The light traffic was a welcome change. A shorter signal than usual even raised his spirits despite the miserable and dank Edinburgh weather. It was a fine start to his Monday. Quite a rarity. The campus looked curiously empty - devoid of the usual, annoying clusters of unyielding undergraduates who refused to budge from the path of incoming bicycle traffic as if it was their sworn duty to do so. "This is indeed going to be a very good day," he thought. Then things began to change. The bicycle shed had less than a third of the number of bikes one would usually find on a Monday morning, he actually had to key in his personal code when a swipe of the card would have usually sufficed and the mail room was actually locked. Perhaps this was not going to be the good day he thought he was having. Something was not right, he thought, as he climbed the stairs to his office. Something was positively wrong when he saw that his office was locked. He could get in - that was not the problem. The problem was that the office was empty. He had never seen an office meant for Ph.D. students empty - ever! Fear struck him then. The heaters were off. It was as if he was the last surviving person in the world. He did his work in solitude and without lunch and when it became dark at 4, he decided to leave. The campus was bleak and lifeless as he cycled away nervously. Yes, the holiday season had begun.

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