The CEO’s last meeting alive.

This is another excerpt from a story I’m currently developing. This could very well become my first novel.

Kevin nervously entered Clint’s office and saw Oscar already seated in one of the two chairs in front of the desk. Oscar stared straight ahead, not bothering to acknowledge Kevin’s presence. Clint, however, greeted Kevin with a slightly frustrated tone.

“Kevin!” Clint greeted. “Glad you decided to join us. Have a seat.”

Kevin sat down next to Oscar and noticed him sitting still as if afraid to move, his eyes focused on the floor and nothing else, not even a response to Kevin’s arrival.

“Got a small problem, though,” Clint continued. “I asked to see you 15 minutes ago and had the hardest time trying to reach you. I tried calling you but I went straight to your voicemail, which, by the way is full. I tried e-mailing you and got no response. This is completely unacceptable, Kevin. Why were you so hard to reach?”

“I-I was busy,” Kevin stammered.

“Kevin,” Clint replied with his voice rising in anger, “do you know what my job title is? I am the CEO of this hospital, the highest ranking administrator in the building. And when I tell you to do something, you do it without a second thought. When I say I want to see you in my office, I mean NOW and not when you feel like it!”

Clint paused to let his words sink in.

“But that’s not the reason why I called you two in here. You see, I’m a bit disturbed by the events that took place during the last few days. Let’s recap, shall we?

“First, I ordered that Kevin be fired because of his total lack of experience in the computer field. I’m still trying to figure out how he even got the job in the first place despite him having absolutely no work experience.

“The next thing I hear, Oscar re-hired Kevin because of some strange man in a business suit and a black velvet shroud covering his head told him to. That man happens to be a patient who escaped from a psychiatric ward. Oscar, who are you to listen to a mental wacko who has absolutely no say or influence on the operations of this hospital?”

“He was threatening me,” Oscar countered.

“Let me repeat myself,” Clint began to shout, “this man is a mental wacko! And you’re letting him tell you what to do over my direct command to fire Kevin? You defied me, Oscar, and that’s completely unacceptable.”

Oscar could not respond as he was terrified.

“Oscar, Kevin, you’re fired. Both of you. You have one hour to clean out your offices and I want you both out of the building and out of my life.”

Knowing it was useless to argue, Oscar and Kevin both silently rose from their seats and walked slowly out of Clint’s office, closing the door behind them. Clint himself needed a moment to recompose himself as this was the one task he absolutely hated to do.

Suddenly the lights in the office went out, sending the office into darkness.

“Hello, Clint,” said a voice.

“What the hell is going on here?” Clint shouted. “Turn on the lights!”

“As you wish.”

The lights came back on to illuminate the masked man, seated casually in front of Clint’s desk.

“You again!” Clint yelled, reaching for the phone. “I’m calling security.” He listened for a dial tone before dialing but only heard silence. “Why isn’t the phone working!”

“Obviously you haven’t been paying your phone bill,” the man said calmly, pointing to the phone. “I believe your line’s been disconnected.”

Clint looked at the phone line running from his desk to the outlet on the wall and saw that the line had been cut in two. Then he looked up at the man.

“Who the hell are you?” Clint hissed, rising to his feet. “Take off that mask!”

“You don’t like my mask?” the man asked.

“I hate it!”

“Then take it off.”

Clint just stood there in stunned silence.

“Correct me if I’m wrong,” the man said. “But didn’t you just say you were the highest-ranking administrator of this entire hospital? That when you say for someone to do something, they’re expected to obey you without a second thought? A few minutes ago you were sounding like you were on top of the world and now here you are, unsure of yourself? That’s a very startling transformation, if not a frightening one. Are you sure you’re the right man for the job?”

“YOU!” Clint roared, his arm reaching for the man’s mask. The man just sat, making no attempt to move as if to allow all this to happen. Clint grabbed hold of the mask and pulled it off, revealing the man’s horrendous face, a face so horrendous that Clint let out a loud, long scream. Suddenly the lights in the office went out and from the darkness came a deafening explosion that tore through Clint’s body and separated its limbs. Clint was no more.

After a few minutes of silence, the man calmly replaced his mask and casually strolled out of the office. On his way out he passed by the secretary’s desk, pausing briefly to speak.

“Cleanup in the CEO’s office,” the man said. “And tell them to bring trash bags. Lots and lots of trash bags.”

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