Thursday, May 1, 2014

Short story project: Unidentified Flying Object, Part 14

I set my gaze straight ahead and walked toward the open sidewalk.
“Claire?” Jason voice sounded uncertain, almost choked.
I paused and pivoted, hands on my hips. “Yeah?”
I shrugged. “Don’t mention it.” I turned and walked swiftly so he couldn’t interrupt me again, disrupt my resolve to get this job over and done with.
When I reached the mouth of the alley I stopped, and peaked over my shoulder. If Jason was still there, he’d hidden himself well. I rounded the corner of the tower and breathed deeply, trying to keep my heart rate under control—innocent people weren’t flushed and out of breath when they showed up at the office late on a Friday night. I would have loved a cigarette, but I left them at home.
The walk to the entrance of the Sears Tower lasted long enough for me to blink. Despite my efforts, by the time I rested my hand on the cross bar of the revolving doors I was near hyperventilation. I took another long, slow inhalation, lifted my chin parallel to the ground, and strode through. If you acted like you were supposed to be somewhere you weren’t, people would be less suspicious of you.
The elevators were on the opposite side of the lobby, straight across from the main doors. As I crossed the cavernous lobby, my heels clacked against the marble floors, making such a racket I wouldn’t have been surprised if a security guard would pop up out of nowhere and arrest me. I reached the elevators unscathed and jabbed the call button. A moment later the elevator arrived. Selecting the twenty-second floor the doors slid closed and I was on my way up.
Like the walk to the front doors, the elevator ride was alarmingly short. When the doors swooshed open I was able to take one stride before I froze.
“Good evening.” A man dressed in a khaki shirt and pants blocked my way to the Homian office door, which I could see behind him. He looked like a security guard, but he also could have been the man I saw fire on Jason that night a week ago—I wasn’t sure. I hadn’t gotten a good look at him, and hopefully he hadn’t gotten a good look at me either.

“Good evening.” I said, stepping again, bringing myself within arm’s reach of the guard. “You scared me.” I smiled broadly, and fluttered my eyelids for good measure.
To be continued...look for new content on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014.

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