I materialized in a brightly lit foyer. It was warm. I chose a hallway ahead of me and proceeded along its grey length. Closed doors were lined at regular intervals as my moccasined feet negotiated the smooth carpet. About four down on my right was an open door. I paused when I got to it. Two men dressed in white shirts and dark blue slacks sat at a long table and looked up at me. Their ties were the same blue as their slacks. I smiled. They smiled back.
I put a hand in my pocket and touched the crystal there for reassurance.
“You must be Heimlich,” said the man to my left.
I maneuvered into the room and stood, uncertain of how to proceed.
“No, I am just passing by.”
“Did Heimlich send you? We are supposed to have a meeting about the operating system.”
“You have an operating system?”
“Yes, of course. We are UNIX.”
I looked out the windows. Fog clung to everything.
“I’m sorry. You don’t have the appearance of eunuchs.”
The looked at each other with expressions somewhere between amused and alarmed. Just then, a man appeared in the doorway.
“Let’s get started,” he said briskly.
He looked at me with an aggressive question in his eyes.
“And you are…?”
“Gone,” I said and squeezed the crystal until I heard the familiar rush of time.