You’ve been cubicle-mates with a woman named Louise for the past 12 years. Your relationship has been polite, not too personal. You’ve shared some gossip, occasionally you’ve gotten irritated with her, but for the most part she’s just been Louise, the coworker who sits at the adjacent desk.
Today you’re going to find out it’s all been lies.
You’ll know something’s wrong when you hear some noise at the reception area. Someone’s shouting out there. You’ll see Louise tense up. She’ll stand up from her chair to peer over the cubicle wall.
Just then a chair from the lobby will crash through the glass door and a woman will burst onto the floor. She’ll be bedraggled, covered in dirt and dust, but she’ll look exactly like Louise. And she’ll march right to your cubicle.
“Hey Louise,” you’ll say to your cubicle mate. “She looks just like you!”
Louise will open her mouth and a whirring, high-pitched grinding sound will come out. It won’t quite be a scream, but it will be unpleasant, like when something gets caught in an engine.
The bedraggled woman will arrive at your cubicle. She’ll shout, “I’m the real Louise!” Then she’ll grab a three-hole-punch on your desk and start bashing it into your cubicle mate’s head.
Instead of bleeding and falling unconscious, your cubicle-mate will start twitching and fluttering. The skin will peel from her head to reveal a metal casing underneath. Eventually, the metal will crack and an intricate circuitry of cables and microchips will be exposed. All the while, your cubicle-mate will release noises that sound more like they should come out of a piece of factory equipment than a human.
When your cubicle-mate is finally still, the bedraggled woman will reveal that the Louise you thought was your cubicle-mate was a robot that abducted the real Louise about six years ago. The robot adopted her appearance, and then kept her hostage while the robot lived out her life, until the real Louise finally escaped. The real Louise has no idea what the robot’s goal was in all of this.
“But you’re free now,” you’ll say after they drag the robot away to the garbage. “What are you going to do?”
“Finish these spreadsheets I guess,” the real Louise will say, noting that robot Louise was halfway through a project when she was destroyed.
The real Louise will sink herself into her workload and she’ll finish out the day without any further incident. On Friday your office will throw her a welcome back party.
Happy The Real Louise Day!