Chapter 3 – Introduction
You settle back in your chair, pour yourself a coffee and help yourself to a biscuit, listening to the rain still lashing down outside. It is, apparently, setting in for a good, long session, and despite everything, you’re quite glad you’ve not thrown Davy out. You got soaked just walking here.
After a while, you realise you haven’t really checked the ground floor properly, so you get your torch and take a tour. From the reception desk, you pass the tables and the drinks machine, rattle the front doors on you way past – you notice that the big pegasus welcome mat is dark and sodden with seeping water – and then through the doors to the office space beyond. You walk around the back of the staircase, and through the other set of doors that come out by the ladies’ toilets.
You’re now behind the reception desk, and also the line of screens set up to hide the office furniture that’s next to be moved out. There’s not much room. You thread your way between tables already wrapped in plastic, and cabinets held closed with plastic tape, to the far corner. There you discover the fire doors, with their push-bar closures, hiding behind some shelving. Presumably, loading up the trucks is easier, taking it out that way.
You check them, and they’re firmly shut. But you’re also squelching. You point your torch at the ground, and the carpet’s damp. The pool of water is seeping along the floor, and has already gone under some of the furniture. It’s not really made to get wet, and you realise you’re probably going to have to move some of it.
You spend a long time manhandling heavy cabinets and unwieldy shelves, dragging tables and pushing chairs. You’ve had to move all the screens in order to find dry pieces of carpet to reposition all the furniture, and what was once a neat foyer now looks like the warehouse of an office supply store, with bits and pieces scattered all over. You don’t even know if you’re going to get thanked for this in the morning, but at least you’ve shown willing.
You check your watch: it’s approaching midnight.