“Come on, kid! Keep up! We got a lot of rooms to see yet, and I gotta make rounds soon.”

“Sorry, Mr. Terrapene. I accidentally stepped on some of those hollow Cheerio-shaped things and they gave under my weight. I can pay for ’em out of my first paycheck if you want.”

“Ah, don’t worry about that, kid. They reappear as soon as you leave the screen. Nothin’ to get your exoskeleton in a twist about. Just try to be more careful—we lost the last night shift guy to something careless like that.”

“Really? What happened?”

“He was a young fella like you, horsin’ around the main lobby. I think he was buffing the Thwomp hallway and listening to music or some nonsense. Before he knew it, he was flatter than a cape feather. They found him stuck to the ceiling a week later.”

“Yeesh. So why does the boss keep all this equipment running while we’re working?”

“You gotta understand, kid, Mr. Lemmy is real paranoid. You didn’t hear it from me, but I heard his old man’s got a thing for magma and pointy things. All his siblings try and outdo each other in macabre interior design to try to impress him. The whole family’s a mess. Real Manson-like.”

“I didn’t know after-hours custodial work could be so hazardous. What have I gotten myself into?”

“Oh, you have no idea. And it ain’t just tidying up anymore. No, sirree. Since the break-in last month, Mr. Lemmy has started having us sharpen the buzzsaws, stock the question blocks, fill the lava vats… It never ends around here.”

“Is that what all these signs on the floor are about?”

“Yeah, but I don’t know why I bother with it. The moving platform just knocks them into the lava as soon as you get on. By the time you read it, it’s usually too late anyway. But that’s why the boss likes ’em, I guess. Plus, molten rock really cuts down on the heating bill.”

“Huh? What’s that siren?”

“Looks like they’ve spotted an intruder, kid. It’s probably nothing. Just jump up on this chain-link fence and move back and forth like I do.”

“Like this, Mr. Terrapene?”

“Hey, watch that rotating panel, kid! I just polished that!”

The Floor is Lava at BustedTees