*Bhrmmmm* *Bhrmmmm* buzzed the phone. Carol kept glancing at its screen to see if Miss Ziegenbusch had picked up yet.
She even knew where the woman lived, as Carol also did the job of Payroll Clerk and Human Resources Department. She did everything except attend pointless meetings, glad-hand clients, and look pretty at the front desk.
Hiring the current secretary, the woman she was now trying to reach, had not actually been Carol’s decision. Nor had retaining her.
“Hello?” said the phone. Carol’s car wobbled in its lane as she fumbled to answer.
“Hello?” –What was her name again?– “Um, Shelly?”
“It’s Cindy. Who’s this?”
“Cindy.” Right. “This is Carol Carter. Um, from work.”
…. “Oh.” …. “Uh, this isn’t the best time right now, Carol-”
For some reason, Carol felt she needed to be completely honest. “I’m being chased by something!”
She heard a gasp, then, “You are? Wait -is it that werewolf thing?”
Carol took a turn gasping. “How did you know?”
“Out of curiosity,” Cindy asked, “Has your radio also been playing songs based on what’s happening?”
Carol felt she was seeing herself from far away. Someone else was driving her car at dangerous speeds down the highway. Someone else was holding a cell phone with a grip like a vise. Someone else, surely, was doing all of these things at …she checked the clock on the dash…
At midnight. It was now Halloween.
“Carol?” Cindy’s voice called from the phone.
“I- I’m here,” Carol answered, pressing her phone closer to her ear.
Cindy sighed. “I thought so. Hey, I’m sorry for any bad feelings between us; but I really need to tell you something -something big.”
Carol wasn’t sure what Cindy could define as ‘big’ after her other revelations. “O…kay?”
“Um,” Cindy began. “You know that werewolf thing?”
As if on cue, Carol heard the tell-tale, Owooooooooo! She realized it had come through the phone, from Cindy’s end. “Cindy?!” she asked, in a panic.
“Oh shit.” Cindy said. “Um, sorry for swearing. I gotta go. …Basement…”
“Yeah…?” Her breathing was more rapid. Carol could hear a door slam and hard steps on echoing stairs.
“What was the ‘big’ thing about the werewolf?”
Cindy paused. A cupboard from her end creaked, then Carol heard the unmistakable sound of a large gun being cocked. “Carol,” Cindy said, “That werewolf is Carl C. Carter. Your husband. I gotta go.”
And Carol was left alone, with the dead sound of a disconnected phone.