“Ummm, really Jamethy? Ith that what you’re really going to call me?”
I didn’t reply to the criticism, she was obviously mad from the pain and confusion. She deserved some answers, and I intended to get them for her.
My rage focused my sight. Like a terminator, my eyes locked onto my target: a short, dangling, dickhead doctor with a dick drawing stapled to his dumb face. I ran over to him, fists clenched, raised, and ready.
“I think our time is up, doc. What did you do to her? What did you do to my friend?”
With great effort, the man pulled himself into a sitting position on the floor, making his Armani noose looser. When he finally caught his breath, he spoke in a thick, German accent.
“Vhat do you mean, vhat did I do to her? I improfed her, do you nacht see zat?”
Once my mind was done translating his cartoonish words, I couldn’t believe my ears. “Improved her? Improved her? How can you possibly say that?! You’ve turned her into a monster!”
“I’m thitting right here you know, Jamethy,” aLizardbeth piped in from the corner. The rest of the scales on her face began to turn an angry red color. I nodded, acknowledging her words. Yes, yes she was indeed sitting there. All because of this man, this man who was the real monster. That’s who she was mad at, and so I was mad at him too. Real mad.
I glowered down at the man, using every bit of strength I had to keep myself from punching him until I felt better. Instead of glowering back, the man met my eyes and smiled. Not in a threatening way, not in an overtly friendly way either. Just in a casual way, like we were just passing each other on the street. Like I was just someone standing next to him in a line for coffee, instead of me being someone who stapled him, slapped him, and let my friend attach an eerily detailed drawing of a wang to his face.
“Vell now,” he said, his smile revealing two rows of glimmering white teeth. He paused a moment to reach out for his glasses. The tight tie around his neck stopped him short, causing him to struggle to reach them, his fingertips lightly fluttering against his fallen rims. I walked over and kicked them over to Beej, who picked them up and held them out of reach. The doctor sighed.
“Vell, now she has ze ability to klimb valls, to khange kolors, undt has 360-degree fision. Vould you nacht konsider zat an improfement?”
After he was finished with his statement, he smiled again, quite smugly. He was looking too smug for a guy with a scribbled schlong on his face, so I figured he must have something up his sleeve.
The frightened call was from Beej, who was staring intently out the door, worry etched into the edges of his features. “I’m kind of in the middle of something here, Beej.”
“I know, just come look at this. Now.”
I heard the urgency in his voice and sauntered over to where my friend stood. As I peeked out the into the hall, I saw dozens of the doors that lined the hallway begin to open. Slithering, shimmering, crawling, sprawling shapes all began to crowd out of the openings and convalesce into a shadowy mess in the open hall. I gulped audibly.
“BJ, quick, close the door!” BJ tried to, but the door no longer fit flush in its frame. It hung crooked and the lock wouldn’t latch. The window in the door, shattered all over the interior of the office, also lent no aid in this situation.
“Dang it Beej, why did you break the door?”
“Why did I break the door?!”
I saw by the look of confusion and anger on his face that he didn’t think that it was his fault. That was fine, there was no time for arguing anyway. I turned my attention back to the doctor, who was still sitting on the floor, smiling calmly. I grabbed him ruffly by his pressed collar, causing the smile to falter for the first time since it appeared on his face.
“How do we get out of here? Is there another way out?”
The smug smile slowly resurfaced on the man’s face. “But uff kourse,” he said thickly, “zere iss always anozzer vay, nein?”
I savagely ripped his tie free from the desk, leaving the staples and a few chunks of cloth behind. I wrapped the tie around my fist and I half lifted and half dragged the man behind me, using his tattered tie like a leash. I dragged him over to aLizardbeth and forced him down at her feet.
“First, you apologize to her. Then, we go.”
The man looked up at me blankly, amusement subtly playing in his eyes. “Nein,” he said.
“Nein?!” I shouted back, “does that mean no?”
“Yes,” he replied smoothly.
“Wait, so it means yes?”
“Nein,” he said again, shaking his head no. I was confused; confused and afraid. I clutched the tie tighter in my hand, raising my free hand and forming a fist with it right in front of his face.
“So does it mean yes or no? Tell me before I lose it!” My fist was shaking with rage.
“He wath thaying yeth that he meant no,” aLizardbeth started, but I raised a hand to cut her off. “I’m sorry,” I said, “but I can’t listen to two silly voices right now, there’s too much going on.” I turned my attention back to the doctor. “If you aren’t going to apologize now, that’s fine. I’ll just beat it out of you later. You said there was another way out. Show us, and show us right now. It’s time for us to go.”
The doctor nodded his acquiescence and cleared his throat before nodding slightly to the tie gripped firmly in my hand. I released him, but didn’t back away. He smiled again, and led us towards the back of the office. He reached a hand out to BJ, gesturing for his glasses, but instead of handing them over, BJ put them down the crotch of his pants. “Your move,” Beej said, the dare apparent in his voice. The doctor shrugged and walked on.
As Beej and I trailed a few steps behind, aLizardbeth scaled the wall and followed along from the ceiling above. The doctor led us to a smaller door, one that was obscured by more big, leafy plants. The door said Employees Only. Below that, printed in big block letters, BATHROOM.
“When I said we had to go, this isn’t what I meant,” I protested, but the smile on the doctors face silenced my opposition. He pulled from his pocket a small square, which looked to be solid gold. It glinted in the overhead lights as he swiped it through the card reader imbedded in the doorway. It opened with a beep and a click. The doctor held an arm aloft, like a model at a car show, beckoning us onwards.
“Vell? Vat are ve vaitingkt for?”