A Demontorium short story
Copyright 2011 by Naima Haviland
Blinding light gave way to a widening slit of darkness. Sunlight slanted off the glossy metal surface of the opening door. John's big face, big glasses and big grin appeared around the edge.
"Is Annie Frances here?" I pulled off a woolen cap and sunglasses as I entered. My nipples shrank inside my bra. "God, it's cold in here, John. It's cold enough outside." AC hummed full blast in a window beneath the lowered shade. My eyes adjusted to a thrift store interior of wood laminate and mismatched plaid. "Is –" I nearly bumped into him when he returned from closing the front door. "Is Annie Frances here?"
"Not yet," he said, moving around me. Dim light hid the lines of approaching middle age and turned his dull blonde hair to brown. "S'cuse the mess. I've been working on my project …"
"How's that coming?"
He beamed. "Coming along great. Better be, deadline's almost here."
"That it is," I agreed with a smile. "I have to admit I'm curious. You've been very hush-hush."
"Oh, it's a best kept secret."
"Sure you don't have any questions?" All the other students in my continuing ed night class had asked for my help. Advising budding entrepreneurs was my favorite part of the job. "You know, in the past, some of these projects have spun off into extremely successful businesses."