When Grenshaw walked out the doors of GCF computers, he found he was facing an alley. He paused and looked down the length of the dark dead end. Funny, he didn’t remember an alley being there. He double-checked that the GCF shop front was indeed the front; maybe he’d walked out the back door.
But no. Everything was as it usually was. Except now here was an alley leading nowhere. He was about to shrug it off and head toward his bike when a small flash of light – like a reflection off a wristwatch – caught his eye. He squinted into the darkness.
There they were. The eyes. They were smaller than he remembered them, but they seemed to be growing bigger. Maybe he was simply adjusting to the darkness.
“How’s it goin’, chief.” Grenshaw jumped at the sound of the voice; standing next to him was the chef from the Marigold. “Did I scare you?”
“No,” Grenshaw lied.
“Just lookin’ down an alley, then?”
“Look, I might be going crazy, but I see a pair of glowing eyes. Do you see it?”
“Glowing eyes, eh?” The chef followed Grenshaw’s line of vision. “Yeah, I see “˜em.”
“Yeah. That’s you, chief.”
“What do you mean?” Grenshaw said.
“That’s you. You’re lookin’ at a mirror, chief.”
Grenshaw turned back to the alley, incredulous. The eyes were glowing and they had tripled in size. He heard a growl, and then the darkness lunged at him.
He woke with a start and sat in bed breathing heavily. His clock read 10:20; it took him a minute to understand that he’d been dreaming. It took another minute to figure out that it was the morning and that he’d slept in four hours. “Damn it!” he shouted.
He phoned the office. Mary picked up. “Mary! I’m sorry I’m late. I don’t know what happened.”
“Listen, I’m on my way. I’ll be there in 20 minutes.”
“No need to worry, sir. I’ve delayed all your meetings till afternoon.”
“Yes, sir. You asked me to do so.”
“I asked you to do so?”
“Yes, sir. Yesterday, you phoned and said you’d be coming into the office at noon today.”
“Oh.” Grenshaw walked over to the mirror. He stared at his reflection, trying to discern within the depths of his own eyes where the past twelve hours of his life had gone.
“Is everything alright, sir?”
“Uh, yes. Thank you, Mary. I’ll be in at noon.” He hung up the phone and said to his reflection, “What am I doing?”
to be continued . . .