A Muddled, Befuddled Night-In
(The following events took place between 11:50 pm – 12:00 am, on the 15th floor of the World Financial Center (WFC)).
11:50 pm – 11:51 pm, Room 15-208
She laid her head in her hands with a slow inhale of breath and a slight groan.
The clock above the wall read 11:50 pm, a few short minutes and she would cease to be alone.
Concentrating hard, with her brow furrowed, she whispered silently, “An ode to Halloween, it won’t be much fun if I can’t bewitch you. Just for tonight, reveal the unseen.”
11:52 pm – 11:53 pm, Room 15-204
On the opposite the wall, the cat drawing stirred. With a swift flick of its paw, a riddle was slurred: “In other worlds, let’s not take our words for granted, but instead, stand at a tension and watch as the times plan it.” Another lazy flick of its paw and the wall parted, a ghostly hand seemed to hover but for a moment, “Oh, dearly, dearly departed…”.
11:54 pm, Room 15-208
She thought she felt a slight breeze. The hairs on her neck stood up, and she thought she saw a hand disappear as if it were in quicksand.
With a shudder, she shifted her focus. Much too soon, an email with requests and one bold demand appeared in her inbox: Leave her work unfinished, stand up from her seat looking ahead, and slowly make her way backwards, and into the arms of the undead.
11:55 pm Room 15-208
With a surprise jolt, she felt herself being drawn, her outline slowly fading away.
What little color she had was waning, and she was becoming another addition to the office painting. As the wall slowly came alive, she regretted having not called in sick, like she did every Thursday.
Time was playing a cruel game on her, and she held her breath as she prepared herself for what she knew was coming.
11:56 pm – 11:57 pm In-between Room 15-204 and 15-208
“Oh, dearly, dearly departed, at last we meet. Come hither, will you, for a little treat. A dalliance with you, for a minute, maybe more. Alas, my love, all my waiting, my words on the walls, you did ignore”.
The cold hand closed around her. A skeleton though he was, he wanted her for guts, not her clothes.
Calling upon her memory, her words did spew: Was not = “in other worlds” but “in other words” true?
11:58 – 11:59 pm Outside Room 15-208
Her manager returned, having left her house key on the conference table. Cautiously stopping to swipe her card, she saw the fog flowing around the room.
Venturing inside, she heard not one but two voices arguing, a tussle, a fuss, a fracas, not close to midnight. What could that mean?
With each step, her outline vanished, her color drained, her vision doubled, with her last breath she longed to be free.
The walls slowly came alive, she regretted having not called in sick, like she did every Thursday.
11: 59 pm – 12:00 am
She awoke with a start, having drooled on her desk. It was time to pack up and head home, since there was a long journey ahead.
Gathering her belongings, her feeble mind pondered, could she have dreamt it all? She could not say.
Hand on the door, a slow voice broke into song, ‘… Let’s not take our words for granted, but instead, stand at a tension and watch as the times plan.’ Stock-still, she planted her feet firmly on the ground, and a hand appeared to glide through the wall. Scurrying away, she left in fright, but not before she caught a glimpse of a pair of keys left on the conference table, and the cat on the wall purring in delight, “…And on goes the fable”.
Written by: Judith Mwai