Ambrose pulled the front door open and went inside.
All of the lights were off.
The daylight that should have been pouring through the windows was magically blocked.
No one was around.
Silence buzzed inside his ears.
“Sammy? Hello?” There was, unfortunately, no dramatic echo.
He stumbled over to Barbara’s desk and slumped to the floor. He leaned back against the desk’s rippled front. Why would he demand that I come now when there’s clearly no one here? I really hope this isn’t an initiation thing. I would have to smash this desk in half if that were the case.
So, why did he tell me to come here? He’s in trouble. If so, idiot. Why didn’t he just say that he was in trouble?
So, why am I here?
Something crept into the lobby.
He held still and listened.
It was something large. Its heavy footsteps gave that information away.
Ambrose carefully tucked his feet under his body, ready to spring up and run if necessary.
Ambrose held his breath.
A figure darker than the darkness appeared in the far corner of the lobby. Its glowing gold eyes focused on him. “Ambrossse.”
He scrambled up to his feet.
Another one appeared on the other side of the room. “Ambrosssse.”
And another one. “Ambrosssssse.”
Something scrabbled on the other side of Barbara’s desk. Her chair squeaked as something stepped on it.
Ambrose looked at the three creatures before him. They weren’t moving. They stood still, watching. What will happen if I turn my back on them? But if I don’t, the thing behind me—
Sharp claws clattered onto Barbara’s work space, across her computer’s keyboard. “Ambrosssse.”
I have to take a chance.
It stopped behind him.
It whispered, “Ambrossssse.” in his ear. Its breath smelled like old potatoes and bad dirt.
He reached back and grabbed its neck.
It shot thick quills into his hands.
He roared in pain and slunk back down.
It jumped off the desk and looked at him.
He quickly pulled the quills out with his teeth.
Fire grew inside its mouth.
I can’t grab it.
I can’t bite it.
How am I supposed to fight it?
He ran to the other side of the desk and grabbed the first dangerous looking thing he could find – a letter opener shaped like a dagger.
The desk burst into flames.
All four creatures stood before him.