Name three things which could make your Monday worse than ever.

First, Rene almost missed the subway to his workplace.

Second, Rene spilled coffee on my team leader’s laptop due to how exhausted he was from the all-nighter he pulled to finish his tasks on time.

Third, Rene received the dreaded letter from the Legion, telling of the reason for his rejection in great detail; but, to summarize, it was because Rene was a summoner, the most useless class due to how little items existed for this specific class. Not to mention powerful summoners were few and far between, definitely incomparable to the countless warriors, mages, rangers and other popular classes climbing in the ranks easily.

Rene stared at the words again and again, his hand quivering slightly. Ultimately, he crumpled the paper and decided to just throw it in the trash. Whatever. Whatever.

“I guess I’ll have to stick with kissing my manager in the ass for the rest of my existence,” he sighed and was about to sort through the rest of his mail, when one in particular caught his eye.

It was a postcard with a stupendous view of Monaco. There was no sender address, no heading, nothing. Rene knitted his eyebrows and flipped it around, expecting to see its body equally blank.

He was wrong.

There were only two words written cursively: press me.

“Press me?” Rene immediately attributed this postcard to some sort of failed prank or scam. He exhaled sharply and tossed it in the trash bin, thinking nothing of it and resuming his previous activity while sipping on his cold coffee. He had to pull another all-nighter after provoking his team leader that morning.

Now, what things could possibly ruin a good Tuesday morning?

Almost getting run over by a car on his way to work. That place was simply cursed with how many near-death experiences he had to go through.

Overhearing some female colleagues joke about his tie. Rene glanced down at it and thought it was a perfectly normal tie.

Having his team leader give dissatisfied shakes of head as he skimmed through Rene’s reports.

Getting home to see another godforsaken postcard with that exactly same picture of Monaco on its back. This time, when Rene flipped it to read its contents, he almost rolled his eyes back into his skull.

Change your tie. Red suits you better.

“For fuck’s sake,” he said through gritted teeth and ripped it to shreds. It wasn’t enough to be ridiculed at work, he had to receive the same treatment at home as well? “I’m getting bullied through mail. That’s just hilarious.”

Except, he was not amused in the slightest. Who would even do such a thing? Not a single one of his colleagues knew his address and, if they did, he was sure they did not even have the time to care about his life and harass him with postcards. Postcards with imagery from Monaco, of all places.

Was it one of the women gossiping at lunch break? The one who shared a knee-slapper about his tie?

Nevertheless, just to spite this individual, he settled on wearing his ugliest tie to work, which was not even red.

Was there any person who had a good Wednesday so far? Because Rene definitely did not.

Once he arrived at his workplace, he bumped straight into the regional manager’s back. It was not his fault she made a sharp turn for some odd reason and collided right into him.

His laptop malfunctioned before he could even save a file, which was incredibly strange, given it was newly bought and expensive, to top it off.

He spilled coffee on the team leader’s laptop again.

And he came home to see another postcard, this time placed on his kitchen table!

Rene was creeped out to say the least. Was it a stalker? How did they have access to his apartment? Did they pick the lock? Made a copy of his keys? Why would they do that only to leave some postcards? His face instantly paled as he considered one possibility.

He rushed in every room to check if anything was stolen. Clothes? Check. Hidden stash of money? Still there. TV and console? Right in their rightful place. He paced around the apartment and examined every inch inside, only to find everything as he had previously left them. Clearly, this was no thief.

That meant… he had a stalker?

Rene’s face darkened as he played with the idea inside his mind. He reached for the postcard and, as expected, there it was, in all its splendor―Monaco. Once was an accident, twice a coincidence, and thrice… a pattern. He flipped it, anticipating another puzzling message, but on it were written those two words again, each letter staring mockingly at his face, as if he was a clown, the main attraction of a circus, or rather the circus itself.

Press me.

Rene dragged a hand over his face. Press what?! There was no button whatsoever in sight! “Enough is enough,” he took the postcard and dumped it inside his suitcase. Right after work the very next day, he would make his way to the police station and show it to every officer there, press it against their faces, push their buttons as he would convince them this was anything but a harmless prank. No matter how idiotic that’d make him look.

Thursday had always been his favorite day.

Well, not anymore.

Work went surprisingly smooth―no coffee spills on any laptops, no embarrassing moments, no female colleagues to give one-liners about his tie, no nothing.

Everything went wrong, however, after he clocked out.

The sudden rainstorm drenched him thoroughly, so much so that when he arrived at the subway station all of his clothes were soaked. He thought he would go to the police station in this state no matter whether he looked pitiful or not, yet when Rene wanted to confirm that the wretched postcard was still inside his suitcase, he could not find it.

He gritted his teeth and patted around the inside for what felt like hours, but it was futile. There was no postcard whatsoever.

Maybe I forgot to bring it with me? Rene massaged his forehead to alleviate his pounding headache. He desperately wished it was still on that kitchen table, because where else could it be?

It was not.

There was no postcard in sight, as if it understood his intentions to present it to the police officers. As if it was hiding from him.

Rene felt like his day was progressively getting worse; why? Was it a ghost that was actually pestering him? Should he call for a priest or something?

“Wait,” he murmured, tracing back his footsteps from the days before. He walked slowly and carefully until he was right before the trash bin. Among the empty aluminum lasagna casseroles, banana peels and pizza boxes was a postcard; it had a strange stain on it, indeed, but Rene picked it up nonetheless and gazed at the Monaco view. Then, he flipped it.

Press me.

Those words were still there to taunt him, to make fun of him, to remind him that no matter how hard he tried, these postcards would still be there like the incessant buzzing of a mosquito―regardless of his attempts to drive away the mosquito, it would fly right back to his ear and continue its torment.

He clenched and unclenched his hand, until he could not control himself anymore and pressed with his finger on those words.


Everything was still the same; perhaps, his stalker put up a camera somewhere in his apartment and was laughing hysterically at his stupidity, yelling with tears in their eyes, he pressed it! He pressed it!

Whatever. Whatever.

Whoever it might be, he was going to discover the culprit, with or without the help of the police. He tossed the postcard back in the trash bin, aching for a long bath and a good night’s sleep. He would deal with it the next day.

Except, he could not move.

Because in front of his face popped up something which resembled a message from those video games he used to play during his teenage years. He blinked once, twice, thrice, but it did not disappear. Was he hallucinating?

Accompanying the floating message was a robotic female voice reading it out loud enthusiastically.

Welcome, dear user! Thank you for using our service! Analyzing the user's status… Please wait. It may take a while.

Rene glanced around frantically, expecting to see a speaker somewhere in his apartment. Otherwise, what could be the reason he was hearing a woman speaking so close to him, yet there was no one in sight?

Status analyzed successfully. Current rank: newbie. Do you still wish to continue with your side quest?

“No! No, no, no!” He shook his head in horror at these words. What side quest??? This was no video game!

I’m sorry, I didn’t understand you. Can you please repeat that?

“No side quest! I don’t want that!” said Rene louder this time.

…because the user didn’t say cancel or continue, the system will automatically commence the side quest. Good luck!

“Goddamn…” he remembered saying before blacking out.


About the author



Log in to comment
Log In