[WP] A spy on a mission must infiltrate enemy administration without letting anyone find out that he's a duck.

You never truly realize just how routine life can be until it's too late. One day you sort of just... wake up. You realize that for the last twenty years you've done nothing with your life besides sit at a cubicle, behind a monitor, listening to the sound of printers and keyboards all day. Occasionally you talk. Occasionally you, listen. Other than that it's just more late nights. More coffee. More typing.

I retired yesterday. Today is the first Monday in 20 years I've woken up past 6:45am. It's quiet in my house. No clicking or printer error beeping. No conversation with John in the break room about our bosses passing down their reports for their many "important" government contracts to us. So important they don't mind letting all their lower level employees see all the money exchanging hands behind the scenes. How many dollars did I save expense accounts over the years? How many agencies are getting funds from sources that eventually lead to taxpayer money? What are all those account numbers? PINS? Signatures? Who are the important people in their game?

I never kept track. We weren't supposed to anyways. Some other agency, or god forbid the media, get their hands on those kinds of documents they could shut off the income of entire government divisions. All they'd have to know is the "Who" and the "Where" when it come to those types of transactions. It's all behind me now. Like a good employee I kept my head down and my ears shut for 20 years, and now I get to live out the rest of my days with money in my pocket and a carefree demeanor.

Never did get my briefcase from the office. Grabbed all my pictures and posters from my desk, but that briefcase I never found. It's funny actually. All my documents, every single physical piece of paper relevant to my work I kept in that one briefcase for 20 years and on my last day, it's gone. The documents were all just copies of what's in our databases of course, but if it was a big project I would sometimes take my work home with me, to go over the number more. Just like the last project they gave me. One final middle finger from my bosses I suppose. it was huge, and they made me work it alone. "No one else can know" they reminded me every day the last month. Like I have anyone to tell.

Still, I suppose i'm not upset over the loss of the briefcase but just that it was the one report I never got to shred. I had always been a model employee. No paper trail for their precious contracts from me. Eventually everything in that briefcase was shredded. All except for the final drafts of that very last report. I had to pull one last all-nighter to finish them when I found out the briefcase was gone. I never got what was wrong with that last report either, but it seemed too...perfect. All the funds for this "Missile" project just seemed to magically appear in random accounts, and it always seemed to be exactly enough. Must have been NASA or something I figured. Can't imagine what important missile project they'd pass down to a guy they'd never hear from again.

Part of my routine was lunchtime. For me and my friends. Probably the only ones who care enough to be happy to see me after 20 years. It's a beautiful day today. Maybe it seemed better because I was finally doing this in my own time, instead my one-hour lunch break. Every day I come to this same park bench, just a short walk from my now old office, with a half loaf of bread and eat lunch with my friends. I tell them about my day, my bosses, sometimes I'll even drone on about my more confusing reports when it's just me and them in the park. Today I'm telling them about my briefcase. The last place I remember having it was, funny enough, here on this park bench. I guess when you're stuck in a routine it's just easy to forget specifics.

Speaking of specifics, I'm either going crazy or one of my friends is gone. Every day for 20 years now I have sat at this same park bench feeding a half loaf of bread to these same ducks. I never figured they'd live this long, so seeing them every day I've been able to distinguish each and every one of them. Today however, I'm one short. One of the Mallards is gone. Gone, just like my briefcase.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread