So here I am in a brand new year and one of my many resolves for 2008 is to do something free-form creative here on a daily basis. Good? Long? Bad? Short? First person? Third? Doesn’t matter. What matters is that my imagination muscles get themselves some sort of regular exercise, though perhaps at your expense. But enough of the preambling, let me yank this first rabbit outta my hat before I chicken out. Let’s call it…

Taking Steps

With several hunched-shouldered and purposeful strides down the hallway toward me, Barnes had closed the distance not unlike the way a linebacker might close on an unprotected quarterback, or a raging bull upon a matador.

In the tight corridor I had two choices: fight or flight. Either face him or turn tail and retreat for the stairwell. I hadn’t quite made up my mind when I heard him yell over his shoulder tohis assistant after passing her cubicle.

“Tess, you better call the paramedics,” he said entirely too calm. “And the police.” As an afterthought he added, “Better type up my letter of resignation, too.”

Tess responded by leaning out beyond the partition and looking at me. From the frightened and quizical look on her face I posited that it was probably not unlike the one possessing my own. As if sensing her hesitance, Barnes barked out with his angry eyes locked entirely on mine.

“By the time I’m through with Simpson, he’ll either be dead or in need of an ER room. Either way, I’ll be out of a job and in need of arrest. So hop to it!”

I saw Tess nod in a mix of confusion and concern before disappearing and in a few more of Barnes’ angry strides, he had gotten close enough for me to get a good clean look into his eyes and what I saw wasn’t pretty. In fact it was pretty scary. I wanted to explain why he was getting ready to physicalize his fury on the wrong person. How it wasn’t my fault — at least not entirely. But clearly that would have to be at another time and place. Or at the very least a minimum safe distance.

My decision was made. I ran.