The Department of Never had left a Notice on Neil’s door.
He ignored it the first day, tired from work and grocery shopping, foot-sore and soul-tired. The second day, there was a a second Notice stapled above the first.
His eyes glossed over it, found it pink, and ignored it again.
The notice the next day was a slightly darker shade of rose, with larger letters. Neil had a late-night poker game with his friends, and ignored it. If the Department, the Nonesuch, the Agency of No really wanted to talk to him, they could come in and talk to him like normal people (not that they were normal. Not that, if rumor were true, they were people at all).
The days passed. Neil had a busy work-life and almost as busy a home-life (not that it happened at home. Usually; his home-life happened at other people’s homes, in their man-caves, in their dens. Or in bars, including the Nevermore and the North Pole, and quiet seedy clubs)); he ignored quite a bit, not just the Notices from Never but the menus from Number One Chinese and Mark’s Pizzeria, the angry notes from his landlord about why he never attended the floor events, and, sometimes, phone calls from his mother.
(Bills were paid automatically, so that he didn’t ignore those).
On the ninth day, the Notice on his door was red, and Neil finally read it.
For a moment, he thought that was all it said. He squinted at the letters, black on bright red text.
The Non-Division wishes to inform you that there has been a change in the scheduling of this sector, 9-5-9-8, subsector 9. As of the Ninth of November, Yr 99, we are cancelling nighttime.
Neil looked at his watch, which told him the day was the eight of November. He looked at his scheduler, which told him that he had plans for the next nine nights, most of which were, to put it succinctly, night-life sorts of plans.
He sat down in front of his door. “No. No.”
The Department found him there when the sun rose for the last time, still nattering on, no, no, no.
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