Button | Teen Ink


December 17, 2007
By Anonymous

Bob awoke in what appeared to be an empty office hallway. It was an extremely long hallway with no discernable doors or windows. Bob had an eerie sense that he had been here before, recognized the dull lighting and dull walls. He began to walk down the hallway, picking up speed until he was in a dead run when suddenly he saw the end of the hall that had two huge signs on it. The signs were plastic and backlight to show the letters on them more clearly. One sign was of 101 and one reasons not to press a certain button. The reasons consisted of,
1. We will release the hounds on you if you fail to adhere to the golden rule of button pressing.
2. There will be pain if you fail to adhere to the button rule
3. There will be shame if you fail to adhere to the button rule
4. Fingers will be broken if you fail to adhere to the….

Well you get the idea, and so did Bob. He did not want to press the button after taking the time to read through all 101 reasons not to press said button. But next to the enormous poster of the reasons not to press the butter, there was a poster with one reason on it why you should press the button.

Only Reason to Press Button = you will receive cake…..

Bob puzzled over this, what kind of cake? Would it be moist cake? Who would he eat cake with? Would he get milk? Cause cake is almost worthless to Bob without a good glass of milk to down it with. Then Bob started asking less serious questions of himself, like what the button would do if he pressed it. All of the bad reasons seemed to be outweighed and nonexistent compared to the cake reason.

The reality was, this was all a test by the Human Research of Odd Happenings Corporation. Bob was their only test subject for all of their Odd Happenings and they always used the same test site of the long hallway in an office building. Bob was particularly average and being so was the best test subject they could find do work out all of their observations on.

Back to Bob. Bob continued along the hallway only to find another set of posters about 50 yards after taking a sharp right from the first set of posters. The hallway only lead one way as to keep Bob from making to many choices of his own. These second set of posters showed two very different things. The first, as you may expect, showed a stick figure, a frowning stick figure, standing by a big red button and not pressing it. The second picture, as expected again, showed a smiling face stick figure, pressing the button, then a smiling stick figure sitting down and enjoying a piece of cake…. No milk though.

Bob was again, thouroughly confused by these pictures. He wondered more deeply what the button would do and became obsessed with finding the truth out as he continued down the hall in almost a blind rage yelling and screaming, “ WHAT DOES THE BUTTON DOOOOOOOOOO?” As he came to the next turn in the hall, the answer to the button was finally there. There was a third set of posters, the first, as expected, showing the button not press in, and the Earth sitting in space. The second, as expected, showed the button pressed in, and a mushroom cloud where the Earth was in the first picture.

This troubled Bob entirely, he could only come to the conclusion that if he pressed the button, the world would explode…. But he would get cake! On the other hand, he would kill everyone he knew, wait a minute… he didn’t know anyone. Well anyway still he would kill everyone he could meet and care about. And if he pressed it , bad things like pain and shame would happen to him, although he thought these just might be a scare tactic and would not actually come into passing.

Bob took the last turn as he troubled over what he would ultimately do if he came into contact with the big red button and as soon as he rounded the last corner he saw it. The hallway opened open into a sort of bigger square area with the button in the middle and a small one person table over to the right side with a chair neatly pushed into it.

Bob stared at the button for hours considering what he would do. He wanted cake, but he didn’t want to be responsible for the ending of the world. But what did it matter to him if the world ended, he would still be in this office building assuming it was in space or something. But if he did blow up the world and he was still on the world he wouldn’t get cake.. cause the world would be blowed up. This entirely dissatisfied Bob and made him feel dirty and cheated. Unless this office was in space, thought Bob, there was no way I was ever going to get cake no matter what I did.

Bob grew angry and wanted to throw things but could find nothing to throw. He finally came to a conclusion. There was no mention of him ever getting out of this place, so he was never going to get out. There was only the option of not pressing or pressing the button. Nothing else existed for him. He decided to take his chances for cake and risk the world and his own life.

Bob in a lurch of passion struck the button down where it clicked and stuck. A loud noise eminated from above as Bob covered his head and ears. Oh no, he thought, what have I done, how could I kill all those people. Then streamers flew down from the ceiling and a cold metallic robot voice said, “congratulations, here’s your cake. You won”

Bob started as he looked back at the table and cake dropped from a hole in the ceiling he forgot to mention to you. He ran over to the cake and ate it. It was delicious. As he finished the last bite he felt sleepy and fell asleep on the table.

Bob awoke in what appeared to be an empty office hallway. It was an extremely long hallway with no discernable doors or windows. Bob had an eerie sense that he had been here before, recognized the dull lighting and dull walls.

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