Someone pulled the fire alarm.
Joey rushed out of the building with everyone else. She stood in the parking lot among her grumbling co-workers. Red danced along the rims of their eyes as they wrapped their arms around themselves to ward off the chill of early wakefulness.
“Haven’t even had my coffee yet,” Sean said.
“Me neither,” Joey said.
Everyone else agreed.
“Machine was broken,” Sean said.
Echoes trembled through the group. Broken? Broken. Broken!
Someone burst from the office building. They held something above their head as they ran.
The coffee machine.
They threw it on the ground and the machine shattered.
Wailing, alarms, wandering chaos. Joey got swept into a tide of despair as she and her coworkers glimpsed the full horror of their situation. There was no fire. The alarm had been pulled because of this machine, the coffee maker now lying in a thousand hopeless pieces in the parking lot.