He drank his coffee slowly as he watched rain trickle down the windowsill. Dark days like this always made him depressed and often would discourage him from having any desire to go to work. And yet, he almost always went regardless of his mood. He sipped the last drop and put the cup in the kitchen sink. He went into his bedroom and changed into his suit and tie. He grabbed his briefcase, and umbrella, and some loose change for lunch and headed out the door.

He took the elevator down, and walked out of the building into the streets. The streets were filled with people all heading in different directions. He opened his umbrella, and walked down the sidewalk. Rained poured from the sky, filling the streets with water. He walked to the building where he worked, which was a few blocks down the road. His walk always consisted of the same thing every day: he’d walk down Hilgoth Street, ignoring all the people around him, silently until reaching 5th avenue, where he would always see the same homeless lady sitting there begging for change, he would toss her some change and continue his walk. Finally, he’d reach 9th Avenue where his office was. But today was different, this time the lady was not there, nowhere to be seen, but even so, he cared little. It was not his concern, being on time was his concern at that moment.

Arriving at the office, he made himself at home inside his little cubicle. He hung his jacket on a rack and sat down in his chair. He looked at a picture of his parents in the corner of his desk, he wondered how they were doing and if they liked living in Kilter Beach. He promised himself he’d call them tonight if it wasn’t too late, after all they were three hours ahead.

He got to work, he would analyze paperwork and check for any errors done by the people above him. Most of the time there would no mistakes, they were very good at their jobs. Very rarely would they ever make a mistake, maybe only once a year would a mistake be made. And if there was a mistake, it would never really be a big deal.

He’d do the same thing every time: review, recheck, sign at the bottom. Every time, every page. And he got very good at it. By 6 o’clock, he had run through all his paperwork and was finished for the day. He was just about to leave when his boss, walked around the corner of his cubicle.

“Hey Stephen, I really hate to do this to you, but there was a mistake. A large pile of paperwork was misplaced. We found them, but they need to be reviewed and ready by tomorrow. Can you please do them? We’ll pay you extra.”

Stephen, already exhausted let out a sigh of defeat, “Yeah, I’ll handle it.”.

Then he grabbed a cup of coffee, and returned to his work. The pile was big and it took him awhile but he finally finished a little after ten. By then, the entire office was dark, only his cubicle emitted light in the building. Everyone else had gone home.

He packed up his stuff and left, but as he was walking home he walked past the place where the homeless lady usually sat, he wondered where she was. Every day she was there begging, he couldn’t think of a single time he didn’t see her there. Where had she gone? Out of curiosity, he walked down the alley way near where she usually sat. He walked down it, and saw behind a dumpster that was slightly against the side of one of the buildings, leaving enough room to walk comfortable behind the dumpster. Behind it, he saw the lady, who was in a tiny little shelter made up of trash. She sat there, shivering, as pale as fresh snow, she looked quite ill.

“Ma’am, are you feeling alright?”

No answer.

“Alright then, here,” He threw the rest of the money in his pocket, “get yourself to a doctor!”

After that, he began to walk out of the alley but was stopped by a long thundering noise coming from behind him. He quickly turned around, and saw that the dumpster which had concealed the woman’s shelter had been thrown against the side of the building on the other side of the alley. He looked at where the dumpster once was and there was the woman, but she was different.

Stephen let out a gasp, she had turned into some sort of monster. Her teeth were jagged and pointed out of her lips, her eyes were a glowing red, and blood poured from every orifice of her face. Then she let out a loud, terrifying, scream into the night and began to sprint towards him.

He jolted, and turned around, sprinting away into the streets. He was terrified, but only one thing filled his mind: run. And that he did, he ran down the street. He could hear the creature getting closer to him, it was much too fast for him to outrun. It was just about to spring onto him when he heard a loud bang. He ignored it, and kept running. Eventually he had run out of breath, he looked behind him and saw nothing chasing him. He hid in an alley to take a rest when a limo drove up next to him. The back door swung open, revealing a man wearing a very nice suit with a red tie.

“Stephen Galo? We need to talk immediately”. The man said.

Stephen looked behind him to see if the thing was still coming.

“Don’t worry, we took care of that creature for you, but come come, it looks like there’s much to discuss.”

Then without thinking, Stephen got into the limo. And they drove away into the night.


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