When you were a kid, you used to assume that adults were exaggerating when they said they would always remember exactly what they were doing when a world-changing event occurred, regardless of how long ago it was. After all, a lot of them could barely remember what they had for breakfast two days ago when asked. It seemed ridiculous for them to be able to go into such profound details. Plus, it always seemed like nobody was doing something completely normal when the events happened. No one ever says, “yeah, I was probably just at work when it happened, I don’t know”. Every detail, down to the flavour of coffee they were buying at a local coffee shop, was of the utmost importance. From a young age, you vowed to never allow yourself to become one of those adults.
Now, it seems like you are going to have to break that promise.
As these stories usually start, it was just a typical day of work. You woke up, got dressed, had breakfast, grabbed your phone, almost lost your keys and made your way out of the door; nothing noteworthy there. When you got to the office, you started to work through the regular mountain of paperwork.
Now, if you were telling this story to someone in the distant future, this would probably be the time to make a lame joke about how it was the least significant of the mountains you would be seeing that day. Because, of course your brain would decide that this is a detail important enough to take note of.
Anyways, that brings you to now. Outside of the continual clacking of typing and the fwoop of flipping pages, the office is silent. The phones aren’t even ringing, which seems like a first. It is at times like this that you wish you would remember to bring a pair of headphones with you so you could listen to some music. Going over the Morrison case files isn’t exactly what you would call pleasant, so having something to help keep your mind up in a more positive thinking space would be appreciated.
“Turn on the tv!”
You startle at the sudden shout, causing you to accidentally type a whole bunch of gibberish as your fingers smash at random keys. After you erase that, you spin around in your chair and you see Kyle, the intern who mostly works as a receptionist for the agency, running around like a chicken with its head cut off as he looks for a remote.
From a few desks down, someone irritably asks, “What’s the big deal?”
“Just watch!” With that, Kyle finally manages to switch to the local news channel, turning the volume up high.
“Officials say that this strange civilisation, which refers to itself as ‘the Kingdom of Monsters’, emerged from under Mount Ebott yesterday evening through the help of a local eleven year old child. This child, who allegedly goes by the name of Frisk, has been proclaimed as the monster ambassador to humans. Our sources are currently in search for more information, and more coverage will occur as we find out more about what is going on. Back to you, Je—”
Kyle puts the channel on mute, and chaos spreads through the office. How is it that there’s been a hidden kingdom that nobody knew about just a few kilometers outside of Ebott? And in the place that is an assumed suicide hotspot? The reporter mentioned that the people called themselves monsters. Does that mean monsters monsters, like Halloween and scary stories, or does monster mean something else in the language used by the civilisation? Some of the other wording would imply monsters monsters, such as the fact that this Frisk kid is supposed to be the ambassador to humans.
Speaking of Frisk, why does that name sound familiar? It’s not like Frisk is a name that you see a lot, like Emma or Will. In fact, you doubt you’ve ever actually met someone by the name of Frisk. The closest you can think of is Fritz, and that was the name of an exchange student in high school. You have a feeling that this is going to bug you for the rest of the day or until you figure it out, whatever comes first.
The rest of the day, the tv stays on so that nobody can miss out on what’s happening. People coordinate breaks to check social media so that everyone can stay on top of stuff. #Ebott, #Mt Ebott and #monsters, among other tags, are taking over the internet. Kyle agrees to take notes of important details for those who have to leave on house visits or to go to court. In fact, this is the most cooperative everyone has ever been. You should bring that up to the next meeting when they ask for suggestions on how to help the agency run more smoothly as a community of workers: monsters escaping from under a mountain seems to do wonders. You would wish them the best of luck in replicating that scenario.
By the time you make your way home, you have an absurd amount of texts and messages on social media. It seems like anyone outside of Ebott that has ever met you wants you to give them the full scoop on what’s happening. One former classmate even asks you if you’ve gotten to meet any monsters yet. During supper, you end up copy-pasting the same response to almost everyone.
“Hi, it’s nice to hear from you again.” As if any of them would have bothered checking in on you today if it weren’t for the fact that they think you somehow have insider knowledge to the situation.
“I was at work when I found out about it, so I can’t say that I know much.” Honestly, if it weren’t for Kyle, you probably wouldn’t have found out until you received the texts from everyone and their dog.
“All I know is that it’s been confirmed that monsters are real and they have been trapped under Mt Ebott. A local kid was involved in freeing them and is now the ambassador.” Even though you don’t know how they did it, or if they will be allowed to actually serve as a diplomat. Child labour laws are a thing for a reason.
“If you want any more details, try online or with the news.” Because that’s definitely where you got your information and how you confirmed everything that you sent. There are trashy, internationally-based viral content sites that know more than you about the whole situation.
“I’ll try and let you know if I find out anything else.” Most likely not, for most of them. Not only because some of these people haven’t bothered contacting you in years, but also since you simply won’t have the time to give individual updates. You are not going to spend all your free time responding to questions that could be just as easily googled.
With that all taken care of, you disable notifications and get ready for bed. Tomorrow is going to be a long day, and that doesn’t even include the fact that you have at least three home visits to conduct. With all the excitement over what’s happening at the mountain, you know you are going to be drawn into it eventually.
It’s just a matter of when it happens.