Copyright © 2013 by James Hampton
All rights reserved.
To say that Lester M. Baines liked working nights would have been a gross understatement. He adored working nights. Though Lester plied his trade as a collator of surveillance data indoors, and the rows of cubicles of the windowless, gray-walled room in which he worked looked the same under its fluorescent lights no matter what time of day, he was somehow happier, more at peace, knowing that the outside world was dark, quiet, and cool.
A few minutes after three o’clock in the morning, with his shift having come to an end, Lester—a short and slightly overweight gent, fair of hair and soft of chin—ambled out of the three-storied concrete building into the parking lot, where his vehicle was waiting for him in the designated “Employee of the Month” space. He had two days left to put his car there, after which someone else would be awarded the high honor—you couldn’t be Employee of the Month for two consecutive months—but Lester was not bothered by this policy in the least. Pretty soon, as long as he played his cards right, he expected to have the “Shift Supervisor” post. Why not? The higher-ups knew him by name now; knew that he was a quality employee. Lester, though he never said so publicly, believed he was well on his way to getting somewhere in the agency.