Today, Mr. Smithereens is my guest writer! He has agreed to step in to help in my crazy project, a ghost story written as a blog relay.
Across the hall another door opened. Slowly, and a triangle of fresh, white light landed at my feet. A voice called, “Hurry up, get in here!”
I stepped forward and saw Angel Urreta with a small, ugly barking dog, in a room no bigger than a walk-in closet.
Angel Urreta was our new HR Director, arrived from Argentina a few weeks before. I couldn’t believe he’d called me. He had always avoided talking to me before, since I was neither a director nor a man. But tonight, he was talking as if we were colleagues and friends – as if his life depended on it.
– These lazy people wouldn’t finish the refitting of the offices on time and refused to work in the evening. I offered overtime pay! No good. Always talking about ghosts. Blah blah blah. What an excuse! So I told them : in my country, to make sure you have no ghost in a house, you leave a dog inside with a lot of food. If the dog eats everything, there is no ghost. You’ll see! So I took my sons’ dog with me. I asked my wife to cook a very good Argentinean pâté to make sure he would eat it. See how cute he is!
I knew better than to disagree, but he seemed to me more a beast than a dog. He barked non-stop, alternatively growling and howling, making it difficult for me to concentrate on his master’s chatter. I didn’t want to stay so close to these two. I briefly wondered where the pâté was.
– And what happened to your dog ? I asked.
– As soon as we arrived to the office, he jumped out of my arms and ran to the stairs. I ran after it and all the workers laughed at me and left the building. The dog discovered a part of the building which is not in the map. See how clever he is! He wouldn’t hear me and stopped in front of these rooms. He started barking in front of the doors but refused to get in.
– Have you looked inside ?
– Yes, but nobody looked at me even though the dog barked so loudly. How impolite of them! You know what? Let’s ignore them, we go back together to our office. We’ll get an explanation for this crazy behavior tomorrow.
It was certainly easier said than done. But I didn’t like his idea of a “we”. I don’t know why but something in the way he looked at me or in the plaintive sound of his dog’s voice made me aware of a danger. I said:
– I have a better idea : just stay here while I look for help.
And I ran away as far as possible.
The next chapter will be written by Emily!