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Before I could reply, a man’s voice came to us. “Come in, please. You’re the last to arrive.”

“Is that your boss?” Susan asked nervously as we started over the threshold.

“No. No idea who it is.”


Our eyes adjusted to the interior, which looked pretty much like an empty foyer with a long hallway stretching off in front of us. Before us and in front of the hallway was a tall man in an old-fashioned suit. He had slicked-back dark hair, a well-trimmed beard that ran along his jaw line, and a slim moustache that connected to the beard down the sides of his mouth. He gave us a warm smile. “Ah, finally. I’m your Guide. Please follow me.”

As we did, Susan whispered to me, “The way he said it makes it sound like a title, like King or Duke or something.”

“He’s just formal,” I replied in kind, though she was right. “Relax. Fun, remember?”

We followed him down the hallway. There was nothing on the walls but white paint, or on the floor but dark tiles. The Guide didn’t speak, but his footsteps seemed louder than ours somehow.

“Creepier and creepier,” Susan muttered to me. I thought about giving a reply but figured it wouldn’t help.

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