by Ryan Everett Felton
The place even felt like death, Heck Daniels thought – or at least some form of limbo. The office stood smack in the middle of an otherwise-abandoned strip mall, so desolate that Heck had seen an actual tumbleweed bounce past when he arrived.
And like purgatory, the office was unfurnished and smelled of eggs. Nothing but a picnic table with a crate on either side greeted Heck upon arrival for his scheduled appointment. He sat on a Borden’s carton sweating in the absence of central air, checking his watch until the makeshift sliding door (really a curtain) on the far end of the office opened, and through it came the woman called Gladys.
Through strained breaths she said, “Sorry, sweetie. Time just runs away from me back there.” Dressed for a day at the casino in a tracksuit and visor, she dropped a purse full of what Heck assumed were bricks onto the table, which buckled and creaked with the weight. “I’m Gladys,” she said. “You’re Hector. This, we know. Now – to business.” Continue reading