The Dark Room

The two large men led me down a long hallway in a part of the building I had never been to before. Though, that wasn't very surprising. It was a big building and I hadn't ever taken time to explore it. I wasn't nosy or adventurous. Nope. Not me.

The man walked to an elevator door and pushed a key card against a small metal plate. It dinged and opened.

He turned to me with a look of contempt.

"You chose the wrong day to be patriotic, Mr. Leuger." He growled motioning me into the elevator.

"I do love my country, sir." I said carefully, "Though, what I've done today hasn't been especially American persay. Other than the pursuit."

"The pursuit?" The second man asked.

"You know. The pursuit of The Dream. Capital T, capital D." I said with a shrug. Though, my dream at the moment was for this to all just go away. I felt Epic coming for me, and I didn't know how I was going to avoid it.

"Well your pursuit has just put our nation in some hot water." The first one growled leaving me even more confused.

The elevator ride passed in awkward silence as I tried to wrap my mind around what could possibly be going on. After a carefully crafted life of monotony, it was hard understand how this could possibly make sense. My head just could not comprehend the bizarre.

When the elevator opened with a small woosh they lead me to another door and opened it. Behind the door was an interrogation room. I mean, I haven't ever been in an interrogation room, but I had seen them on TV enough to know it. It was all concrete floors and grey walls and a two-way mirror with a metal table and metal chairs.

I briefly wondered what a regular old corporation would be doing with an interrogation room, but it wasn't my place to question things like this. These were the big questions for the top dogs. The CEO's and the CFO's and the UFOs or whatever other initialism out there that meant power. I had none of that.

I was Mike with the three bedroom apartment and a stable job in data entry. I stepped into the concrete room and sat down. The two men closed the door behind me and I was alone again. The cold of the room was dense, but the tweed jacket did a fine job of keeping me warm.

I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing; how would an average person react in this situation?

'Average people don't end up in this situation.' A dark voice in the back of my head whispered, but I shook it off.

Anyone could have a ninja commit suicide right in front of them for no reason. Nothing about my situation was remarkable. Nope.

The door opened and a man walked in pushing a TV on a cart.

He didn't make eye contact with me while he set it up and turned it on. He left and all that was left was a grainy image of black and white. It was Adam. Stabbing himself and blood spraying onto me. The loop started with him climbing out of the ceiling and recorded every moment up to when I walked out shouting about barbecue sauce, though there was no sound.

I felt my stomach sink. Watching it out of context; without sound looked pretty amazing...

'But it wasn't!' I told myself for the thousandth time.

The loop played continuously for about half an hour before the door opened again. A man with black hair and glasses walked in. He looked at the TV and made a surprised face as if he was appalled by the image on the screen.

"You've mucked everything up. Mr. Leuger." He said as he sat down across from me.

I didn't know how to respond. I opened my mouth to say something, thought better of it, and closed it again.

"I mean if that even is your real name." He shrugged. He set a briefcase on the table and clicked it open. He pulled out two files and set them on the table.

I felt a twinge of excitement. Files are bland and boring. I loved files.

He opened the first one and my heart skipped. The first page was an 8x10 photo of Adam.

"Do you know this man, Mr. Leuger?"

"Uh, we've...uh...met." I said carefully.

"You and Adam Olsen met, eh?" He said.

'Holy Crap! His name actually was Adam!' I thought.

"Well, you might know him as something else." He said, "I mean, Adam Olsen is just the name he gave us. It's probably something like Lee Wong for all we know."

I shot him a dark look and mumbled. "That's racist."

"We actually knew quite a bit about Mr. Olsen to be frank." He said with a frown. "Quite a bit indeed. Agent Layne had him wrapped around her finger and she was milking him for more information than he ever could've gotten from her. Or us."

Well, seeing as the more this man talked, the more confused I became, I felt the need to cut in. "I don't know anything about milk or lanes or Adam Olsen or Lee Chin or anyone. I work in data entry."

He smiled. "So you say."

"So it is!" I insisted.

He opened the second file which had a picture of me on it. While there was a thick stack of papers stuffed inside Adam's file, mine was nearly empty. I saw the word 'Harmless' scrawled across one of the pages in my file.

"You are a confusing man, Mr Leuger." He said, "I have so many questions and no time for answers."

"I bet I have more." I said dejectedly. "But I have enough courtesy not to pry. I mean, you haven't even told me your name."

"Special Agent Westerly." He said matter-of-factly. "My turn. How did you get Olsen to kill himself? What did you say to him?"

"I asked him about the weather." I said leaning forward. "I didn't think he would go off the handle about stuff. But man....he must hate the rain or something. Is it raining? I forget."

Westerly ran his fingers through his hair and pinched his lips shut. "So we're playing this game?"

"I don't much like games." I said with a shrug.

"What do you like, Mike?" he asked.

"Tweed." I replied.

He raised an eyebrow. "Tweed?"

"Yes, tweed. Like this jacket. Those darn hipsters are saying tweed if fashionable if you where it sarcastically, but I like it. Durable, warm, and bland. Just like me. Great word too. Tweed. Tweedle Dee. Tweedle Dum."

He closed his eyes. "Is this what you did to Mr. Olsen? Did you bore him to death about tweed?"

"Nope." I said. "I don't think we ever mentioned tweed. Though, we had an interesting conversation about katanas."

"Oh, really? What about?"

"Well, he told me he was a ninja. And I told him that if he was a ninja, he would have a katana. Lo' and behold. Katana. Right there." I said with a self-satisfied air. I pointed at the TV where it conveniently was playing the part where Adam drew the katana from the ceiling.

"Who do you work for you piece of garbage!" He suddenly shouted and lunged across the table grabbing the lapels of my jacket. He started shaking me vigorously and I didn't know what to do.

"See?" I managed as my head bobbled around like a ragdoll.  "A normal jacket would've ripped or something...Tweed."

He threw me back into my chair with disgust as a small knock from the mirror drew our attention. Westerly straightened his tie and shot me a look.

"One moment." He said and was gone.

The End

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