Monday, October 22, 2007

The Room

She didn't like being alone in the press room at night. The shadows lurched across the floor menacingly every time she moved her flashlight, and the old building creaked and ached with each fall breeze.

"Stupid boss," the woman muttered, drawing her sweater around her as she scurried through the old factory. "Can't get her stuff done, so others suffer."

She twisted and turned through old barrels, searching for the boxes of old copies.

"Just because she needs to look up an old ad," the woman grumbled, shifting through piles of magazines. "If I had it, I'd give her the money for the ad so I didn't need to be up here. I had dinner ready, and she calls me out to come get her stupid ad."

She emptied one box and went onto another.

"Stupid job," she complained, throwing the magazines onto the floor. "I should quit. I'll start looking tomorrow."

A loud metallic slam caused her to look up. She paused and stood slowly, flashing her light around on the barrels of ink and paper.

"Hello?" she called. "Who's there?"

The only sound was the wind howling at the windowsills. The barrels stood, imposing in the low light. Shivering, she drew her thin sweater closer to her and turned back to the boxes.

"She's going to give me time off for this," the woman muttered, shivering again as she saw her breath. "Dang, the door must have blown open! It's freezing in here now!"

Her fingers began to cramp as she went through stacks and stacks for magazines. Her joints cracked as she forced them to move box after box, flip page after page. After fifteen minutes, her flashlight had began to flicker and her fingernails were turning blue.

"Screw this," she thought. "It ain't worth it." She dropped the box she was holding and knocked the flashlight out of her pocket.

"Crap," she groaned. She leaned down creakily, fumbling for the light. Her fingers brushed against something cold that felt like leather.

"What"-- She grabbed her flashlight and picked it up, shining it in front of her. She saw a pair of boots. A pair of clear, leather boots.

"Oh"-- As she slowly stood, her hand trembling, the dancing light showed a faint outline of the uniform. The bile rose in her throat as she got to where the head should be. Squinting her eyes, she sighed in relief. A hat shaded the apparition's face.

"Who are you?" she whispered, stepping back. "What do you want?"

The ghost pointed to one of the boxes.

"I don't understand."

He pointed again. She shook her head, clutching her trembling arms to her side. "I still don't understand."

The box fell over with a thump, and she muffled a scream. A magazine slid out. Shaking, she carefully kneeled and forced her wooden fingers to flip through the pages. The ad she had been searching for stared up at her. She slowly stood to her feet, trying to see the man's face.

"Thank you very much. I appreciate it."

The ghost nodded stiffly, and disappeared. The woman stood for a moment, staring at where his outline had been. Then, screaming, she turned and ran.

The next Monday, the woman returned to work. As soon as she sat down at her desk, her boss approached her.

"I need you to write a press release," she greeted her, dropping a folder on her desk.

"About what?" the woman asked, trying not to glare at her. She flipped open the folder and cried open in shock.

"Didn't you hear?" the boss popped her gum. "Joe died in the press room on Friday. Got his necklace caught in the press and choked to death."

The woman stared at the folder, where Joe's picture lay looking up at her.

"God, what's your problem?" the woman asked snidely. "You act like you've seen a ghost."

3 comments:

Mom said...

I'm never going in your office building again. Ever. Especially at night.

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