Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Secretary - 285 Words
Kevin Foster

“Janet, could you come to my office for a moment?”

Edwin released the direct-line page button on the telephone that rested amidst the files that cluttered his desk. Turning up the intensity of his lamp with one hand, he pulled his finger eye-level and watched the red tint crawl towards the tip; he had pressed too hard, but he wanted to be sure that this page reached Janet. He had pressed this button with vigor so many times that its dull gray paint had begun to chip away, exposing the tiny light bulb inside that flashed when he received a page from the secretary's desk. He shook his hand as if to extinguish an imaginary fire, but stopped, unaware of his nervousness but deeply affected by it. He clutched at his tie, wondering why he was still wearing it. He knew he had at least fifteen seconds until Janet rounded the hallway's corner and another six or so until the door cracked and her slender face peered in.

Edwin had been staying late at the office with increasing regularity over the past few months. He repeatedly told his wife that the crumbling state of the industry required him to do more to protect his job. This was not a lie, but he took secret pleasure in the quiet of his office at night – the quiet and the darkness. Each night, the shadows that darkened the corner grew and he felt the mystery in the room build, almost palpable anymore; the somberness excited him. He wiped his palms against his slacks, waist-to-knee, twice, as Janet padded down the hallway, her figure opaque through the window by his door becoming more real by the moment.

Shape Shifter - Local Natives

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