As he pulled up to the gate of the fancy mansion at 35 Boulevard Drive, Redman rolled down the window so that he could speak to the little box, as if he were outside of a fast-food restaurant.
“State your business,” came a voice from the small box.
“Uh, I’m here to see one of the commercial plumbers based around Melbourne who should be doing work at this location today.”
“Oh really?” asked the box. “What do you need to see the plumber for?”
A wave of panic rocked through Redman. He hadn’t expected a follow-up question. What was he supposed to say to that?
He was silent for a moment, gathering his thoughts and thinking about all the plumbing jobs his father had done over the years – professional drain cleaning, drain camera inspections, sewer repair…
“You see,” said Redman, “I need to talk to the plumber. I’ve personally had him recommended as the best commercial gas plumber near me, but he’s so dang busy that I can never catch him in his office. His receptionist told me to try visiting him while he’s on the job, so that’s why I’m here.”
There was a pause, followed by the box several seconds later informing him that they had to confirm that the story checked out. Redman waited anxiously for several minutes, begging whatever cosmic forces were out there that this would go smoothly. He began to sweat, even though the car’s air conditioner was on.
Eventually, the voice returned. “You may proceed. Stay on the path. The plumber will meet you out the front of the mansion.”
The gate slowly pulled open and Redman continued his drive, sticking to the path as the voice had suggested. When he reached the front of the mansion, however, there was nobody to be seen.
Redman narrowed his eyes and gazed around, looking for a plumber. It wasn’t long before a man in a grey jumpsuit rounded the corner of the building, running towards Redman’s car like an army of devils were chasing after him.