Spiral Down

This is a re-post from r/WritingPrompts.

This wasn't how I planned on spending this evening. I didn't expect to take this job had Larry not sold me on it.

He told me this pipe-repair job would've been a straightforward one. The clients are nice too. I took this job as a favor to Larry.

Two hours in and I'm still nowhere near the pipe. I need to learn to stop being so trusting.

Larry did tell me something about the peculiarity with this household but jumbled this information as part of his verbal diarrhea of a pre-job briefing to me.

Before I got started the client showed me the door to the basement. There's nothing outstanding about it but she told me to remember two things:

First, don't stop at a step of the staircase for more than three seconds.

Second, don't step back up.

My immediate thought was: "How are the pipes designed around here? What unusual configuration am I dealing with here?"

Residents tend to not know their pipes as well as they should and end up with bursting pipes they never knew was there.

So I took my gears and started my way down the basement. It is pitch dark, my torch can only see so far.

I kept going down the staircase. It gets tired every now and then but as soon as I stop, the step cracks and I have to keep going.

I thought of turning back and go up but that against the client's advice. I've been down here so long it would be awkward go back up and tell her I spent all these time achieving nothing.

I keep stepping downward but this is getting on my nerve.

I've been doing exactly what I've been told. I just wanna do a good job, have people be happy with me and then I'll be happy that they are happy with me.

What I get is repeatedly finding myself in situations like this.

I'm getting tired. This is going nowhere. If I stop caring for a second, what would happen? Since I can't go up, so what I go down real fast?

That's it, let's stop giving a shit for a change. I drop my gears and slide down the staircase.

It hurts my butt at first but I gradually learn to do it pretty well. I dunno where this destination ends or will it ever end.

But I started to realize one thing: this journey sucks. It sucks real bad, so much worse than I should have put up with.

Next thing I know I have stopped sliding. I've reached the bottom.

Indeed the pipes are leaking all around me. There's someone there to greet me: "Welcome back to Hell."