Late Night Assignment

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There wasn’t a sound to be heard as he stepped into the room. The light had faded from a rosy cheer to the violet of dusk. The air was musty and had overtones of fear lingering all about. He was hating this more than he ever could have imagined, and the hyperbole was sickening. His stomach turned as he slowly crept over the decrepit remains of ottomans and wooden folding chairs. The birds had stopped their overture without him noticing earlier, but now the silence was practically smothering.

He had been picked for this assignment, and he was starting to wonder why. Terry had better equipment than he did, Frank was far more experienced, and Jacqueline had volunteered to go. No, this was just his dumb luck, having to come out here and snoop around for something that the Old Crank hadn’t cared to describe in any detail. The way Lady Luck was acting today, he could even be looking for Jimmy Hoffa’s left shoe.

He was contemplating this when he heard a small creak behind him. Whirling around he lost his balance and came face to face with one of the vilest creatures he had ever seen. His throat let loose with all its power, and before he could stop it, the squirrel had likewise screamed and darted back to the safety of the shadows. Regaining his composure and thanking the powers that be that no one from the office had seen him, he resumed the task of trying to figure out what the heck he was looking for.

The floor squeaked once more, and this time he vowed not to let any more squirrels catch him off guard. Turning on his radar, he discovered that the room was swarming with the little critters. Feeling safer he continued his quest for Mr. Hoffa’s left shoe. He ignored his rising panic as he sidestepped another derelict chair, wondering what could have caused all this destruction. The squirrels started chattering nervously around him, and he had to stop and pause as entire families scurried across his path.

With all of the noise from the squirrels he failed to notice the bigger sounds that were approaching from his left flank. A slow and steady thumping had started moments before the squirrels began their panicked rearranging. Even as it grew closer he couldn’t hear it over the beating of his own heart. Glancing down at his radar he finally saw the unusually large dot that had suddenly appeared next to his own. He slowly turned to face what would be the greatest site of his life.

Two days later Henry Claremont’s body was found amidst a pile of rubble in the former Downtown Furniture Service Building. After a week investigations were called off, though no one ever did find Mr. Claremont’s pelvis and legs.





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