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Hector Vs Fixing

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Sylvia calls the Obsoleteum and the phone rings out to voicemail. She calls again, wondering if Hector isn’t picking up because he’s ignoring her or if there’s something else going on. She keeps phoning and after maybe the fourth call she gives up. If he’s not going to answer after repeated ringing then he’s not going to answer today. Maybe he’s gone away, decided to give her a huge amount of space. She gets on with mayoral stuff, signing the things put in front of her not reading them properly. She doesn’t normally read them, she’s usually kept very busy, but now she’s not reading the proposals because her mind is elsewhere.

She phones the Obsoleteum the next day. If Hector still isn’t there, then maybe George will answer the phone and she can speak to him. Again no one answers. She leaves copious voicemails, asking Hector to call her, and sometimes just her number. It doesn’t work and again she doesn’t hear from Hector.

The day after that she phones a couple of times and then leaves her office and goes to the Obsoleteum. She’s stopped the building from being levelled by demolition crews, paused the attempts until she can speak to Hector. The doors open easily, and there’s no sign of life anywhere. She looks at some of the posters and books in the atrium, thinking that if she’s here long enough someone might appear. It doesn’t work, and she goes through to where she assumes some exhibits might be. There aren’t any signs.

She wanders for ages. Far longer than she’d have thought possible just looking from the outside of the museum. She finds her way to the back of the building, to where the signs say ‘employees only’, and assumes that if Hector is anywhere he’ll be behind here.

It’s dark when she opens the heavy door, and the first thing she spots when she finds a light switch is the copious empty bottles littering the floor. The second is the body with a turnkey protruding from the chest slumped in one corner. She hopes she’s not too late to reanimate him.

The key turns easily, clicking and shifting, and Sylvia’s not sure if she’s turning the right way. She turns the key anticlockwise and it’s harder to twist. Hector’s chest starts rising and falling and his eyelids start moving. He doesn’t suddenly say something, but he’s alive.