O – Overtime (A short fiction)

My eyes were paining, and I was feeling extremely tired. Working as a software engineer has it’s own perks, but it has it’s own downsides too. For eg. Working with tired eyes and tired body in front of a monitor for extended hours, can really make one frustrated.

It was an important issue, we had to fix the bug and give to the customer, before the customer sues us. It was that critical. Seems, that the customer was losing money. That’s why it was critical for him. Even I understood that, but the only problem was I wasn’t able to concentrate.

“Ok, enough is enough. Let’s get a short break and get back to work.” I thought and left the place.

By the time, I returned to mydesk I felt better. I wasn’t as tired as before. Then I worked for 2 more hours straight to fix the bug and sent the patch to the customer. Luckily, for that day, the problem got solved. I even got an appreciation email from my lead who was at onsite.


It was amazing to get some appreciation even after so much tiredness. It was time to leave home, but I thought since it was already 3.00 AM, I would sleep in the office itself and probably go home by 7.00 AM, wake up, go home and sleep for 4-5 hours and then come back again. . I was too tired to even go to the dormitory to sleep, I just started getting lazy and started sleeping on my chair. I just dozed off, I was that tired.

After a while, “Ding. Ding. Ding” I heard sounds from the notification of my office chat messenger. I thought, there might be some other issue.

There was one message from Overtime Master. “What? Who was that?” I thought.

I clicked the person to see the messages in my chat window.

“Hello there, I know you are pretty tired and feeling sleepy. It’s all because you are working overtime.

If you click on the link below, I promise you, you never have to work overtime again.

Just click this link . “ and there was a shortened website link.

I got curious. But it seemed strange, because who was the Overtime Master who pinged in office messenger. I checked the office outlook contacts, there was no such person. I was feeling sleepy too, so I couldn’t think much, but I was curious. At first, I chose to ignore, because it was an unknown contact. And I didn’t even know if I am supposed to chat with unknown contacts, according to the company policy.

But curiosity got the better of me. So, I clicked the link to check out what it was. It mentioned some formula with which, I would get never to work overtime again in my life. But I had to pay Rs. 10000/- to get that kit. I had seen several such selling pages in my life, I thought it was some scam. But how did I get a message about it from the office messenger? I couldn’t get an answer to that one.

Then, all of a sudden, the website displayed “Put on your headphones.”

I was curious and put on my headphones.

“Boom.” A loud music played, with which I nearly got a headache.

A mysterious man appeared in a black mask and started speaking.

“Hello Deepak.” I started wondering how did he know my name.

“You don’t have to wonder how I know your name. I also know your home address. I also know your bank balance. I also know your first girlfriend’s name.”

“What? How come did he know that I ever had a girlfriend? I haven’t even told about her to anyone” I thought.

“Ok, you want to know the formula for not working overtime. Don’t you? So I have sent an OTP to your mobile number. Enter it in the box below. You will be deducted Rs. 10000/- and you will get the kit.”

I thought he was just joking. But I got an sms, mentioning my One Time Password (OTP).

I got afraid. What’s all this and started to wonder if some hacker has hacked into my system and trying to extort money.

“What are you waiting for? Just do it, man. It’s for your own good.” he said.

I tried to close the website, but it didn’t allow me to.

“How dare you try to close the website?” the mystery man said. “If you don’t pay now, I will come and kill you.”

I tried switching off the laptop power switch, it didn’t switch off. Finally I just closed the monitor and ran off my place, my heart was beating so fast that I didn’t know what else to do.

I decided that I won’t go to my place, instead I would roam outside. There was a tea shop just outside our building, there would be a few people around all the time. Besides, there was no one in the floor except me. And I wouldn’t want to go to my place until morning.

When I was about to put the access card on the exit door, it didn’t work. It beeped for long indicating that access is denied. “Oh shit. What happened?”

Then I heard footsteps approaching me. I turned back to see who was it. It was the same man I saw in video wearing that black mask. He was completely covered in black dress.

“Oh my God.” I started sweating and my heart was beating extremely fast. As he came nearby, it seemed as though I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move an inch, maybe due to fear. I started gasping for breath. He approached me, he had a knife in his hand. He almost neared me. I didn’t know what to do. He lifted his knife.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.” I shouted and closed my eyes..

I opened my eyes, Next moment, I was sitting at my desk, with the monitor switched off. That’s when I realized that the entire thing was a dream. Oh my God, such a nightmare, I thought. I was still gasping for breath. It was such a terrible experience, that’s the point of a dream. It appears so real until we wake up. But I was glad that it was just a dream.

I slowly became relaxed and logged into my computer, relieved. I thought of watching some funny videos just to get out of that fear. Immediately when I logged in, I got a “Ding. Ding. Ding.” message.

I was afraid for a moment. Then I checked to see who it was. It was my lead from onsite, and he was pinging me to check why I haven’t slept and why I am still available, as shown in the chat status.

I was relieved to know that it wasn’t the Overtime Master.

Working overtime had got the better of me, my health, my mental balance and everything. And me watching lot of horror and thriller movies, didn’t help either. All together combined, resulted me in becoming almost insane. I got the lucky break through this dream. Because, this was the last day I worked Overtime.

The End.


Dear readers, please feel free to comment/critique my stories. It would be of immense help.  In case you already don’t know, I am writing this as part of the A to Z short story challenge

Here are the other stories that I have written as part of this challenge :

A – Addiction (A short fiction)

B – Bookmark (A short fiction)

C – Critic (A short fiction)

D – Drip (A short fiction)

E – Escort (A short fiction)

F – Frock (A short fiction)

G – Greed (A short fiction)

H – Hero (A short fiction)

I – Insomnia (A short fiction)

J – Jigsaw (A short fiction)

K – Kick

L – Landline (A short fiction)

M – Minute (A short fiction)

N – Novel (A short fiction)

O – Overtime (A short fiction)

P – Proposal (A short fiction)

Q – Quarter (A short fiction)

R – Revenge (A short fiction)

S – Sunlight (A short fiction)

T – Typewriter (A short fiction)

U – Useless (A short fiction)

V – Vendetta (A short story)

W – Wild (A short fiction)

X – Xylophone (A short fiction)

Y – Yogurt (A short fiction)

Z – Zoo (A short fiction)

Please do take your time to read and drop in your comments.  Thanks.


    1. Hey, by the way, I do have a common question. Could you predict the ending in most of my stories? How would you rate the predictability of my stories?

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