Like a Good Neighbor

“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”

Agent Miller can’t see anything. Everything is pitch black.

“Hello?! Is anybody there?,” he shouts.

He hears a rustle and a groan to the side of him.

“Who is that?” Miller asks.

“Miller? Is that you? OH THANK GOD! I’ve been so scared,” a voice says.

“Charlie?? Where have you been?” Miller asks.

“I. DON’T. KNOW.” Charlie says, “I heard the jingle and I transported here. I don’t know how long it’s been”

“One day. You disappeared yesterday after lunch. WHAT’S HAPPENING TO US???”

Time passes.

“HELLO!!!! WHERE ARE WE??? ANSWER ME!!!” Miller says.

“It’s no use. Nobody ever answers. We’re going to die here,” Charlie says.

Time passes.

The agents are sleeping.

“Hello gentlemen” a voice says.

The agents are bathed in a blinding white light. Charlie and Miller are in two separate cages approximately 20 feet away from each other. There is a bowl of thin broth and a small glass of brown water in each cage. The agents scramble for the food.

“What do you want with us?” Miller asks.

“In due time, Agent Miller. In due time,” the voice says.

The lights go out.

Time passes.

“Hello gentlemen,” the voice says.

Again the agents are bathed in a blinding white light. The cages haven’t changed. Again, there is a bowl of thin broth and a small glass of water. The agents are haggard. Their clothes are soiled. They rush to the food.

“Please… why are you doing this?” MIller asks.

The lights go out.

Time passes.

“Hello gentlemen,” the voice says.

This time there is no light. The agents crawl on their bellies towards the spot where the food was. They find it.

“Like a good neighbor… State Farm is there…” Charlie sings.

“Come now, Agent Johnson, you know that won’t work. Only I can sing the jingle,” the voice says.

Charlie, Agent Johnson, begins to cry.

“You must be wondering why I have brought you here. You must be asking yourself, who would do this to you? You must be wondering if I’m a customer, a former coworker, a link between you two,” the voice says, “Well, the reason is simple. I’m nobody. There is no reason. I’m doing this… because I can.”

Agent Miller begins to cry.

Time passes.

“Hello gentlemen,” the voice says.

Again, there is no light. The agents crawl to the food spot. There is no food. Both men wail.

Time passes.

“Hello gentlemen,” the voice says.

Agent Miller lifts his head. Another trick. There’s no food.

A small spotlight illuminates a large bowl of beef stew, croissants, butter, wine and water on a table set with find china and silver, outside of the cages. Both agents groan.

The spotlight stays on. Soon rats devour the entire meal.

Time passes.

“Hello gentlemen,” the voice says.

Neither man moves.

“Ah, now we’re ready to play,” the voice says, “I will be singing the jingle today. I promise that you will be going back to your office.”

“Please… sing it now,” Agent Miller says.

“What’s the fun in that?” the voice says.

Miller begins to cry.

“Welcome to the game, gentlemen,” the voice says.

Light fills the room. The agents are still in two cages separated by 20 feet. A small table is situated directly between the two cages. A large hunting knife sits on the table.

“I think you know what to do,” the voice says.

“NOOOOOO,” screams Miller.
“OHMYGOD,” screams Charlie.

The cages begin to lift. The lights go out.

Scuffling.

Screams.

Liquid.

Time passes.

The lights turn on. Agent Miller is cradling Agent Johnson in his lap. Miller is weeping and convulsing. Johnson is gasping.

“I’m so sorry… I’m so sorry,” Miller cries, over and over.

Johnson stops moving.

Agent Miller lifts the knife to his own throat.

“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”

Soft light surrounds Agent Miller and Agent Johnson.

Coworkers gasp.

Somebody vomits.

The police are called.

Agent Miller weeps.

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