The meeting

Evan warily watched the vaguely man-shaped shadow writhe and undulate in the corner of the room. No one else in the meeting seemed to notice it, but that wasn’t unusual, since Evan regularly saw things no one else did. He worried about that, sometimes, especially times like right now.

With only half his attention on the meeting, Evan missed the details of his boss’ new plan for sales growth. He missed the first three times his boss called his name, too.

“Sorry, Stan, I missed all that,” Evan said. “Guess I’m having a rough day today.”

The tall, lanky man at the head of the table sighed, “It’s fine, Evan. I’ll just email all the pertinents to you later today. Why don’t you head home, now?”

“Hmmm?” Evan’s attention wandered back to the corner of the room, where the shadow was now tugging at something that appeared to be stuck on the other side of the wall.

Stan sighed once again, signaling the others in the room to leave him alone with the distracted man.

Evan had eyes only for the shadow. He didn’t even notice when his employer sat down on the conference table beside him. The long-fingered hand on his shoulder managed to gain only half his attention.

“Evan,” Stan whispered, “what do you see?”

“There’s a shadow-man, in the corner.”

Stan turned his deep, emerald eyes to gaze into the empty corner. “And what is he doing?”

Evan giggled, a slightly hysterical sound, and said, “He’s a she, I think. And her handbag is stuck, I  suppose, on the other side of the corner. It’s pretty funny, actually.”

Evan’s attention once again wavered, pulled to the dark shape and its struggle. He never heard the muttered intonations that fell from his colleague’s mouth. He did, however, see the shadow become clearer, the image of a woman struggling, her handbag now clearly restraints of some kind.

“Help me!”

Evan heard her clearly, her sobbing voice full of misery and panic. Amazed, Evan turned toward Stan, but all he saw was a shadowy figure, striding past office chairs, moving toward a gaping, black portal.

While his attention was on the shadow, Evan didn’t notice the rubbery, ropy tentacles whipping their way toward him. The death-chill from the vines wrapping themselves around his arms only gained half his attention.

“Stan,” he begged, “help me….” But the shadow of his former boss faded from view.


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