67: Or Something Worse

Michael Frearson has written a follow-up to his last installment...

The Boss is humming to herself. Quite audibly. Sometimes the humming gives way to words, which gradually dismantle themselves and become humming once more.
‘Dancing Queen, young and free and the tambourine…dancing queen, you can da daa da hmm hmm hmmmm.’

‘Oh god,’ says Linda, ‘is she delirious?’

‘Deliriouuuussss’ sings The Boss. ‘616.8’ she says.

‘I don’t know,’ says Mike. ‘Part of her is certainly still functioning. Maybe a cup of tea will sharpen her up.’

‘I think she might need something a bit stiffer than that,’ says Linda.

‘Stiffer’ says The Boss. She sighs. ‘Belle comma Monica’

‘Oh my god that’s the Black Lace she’s on about. We need to hurry, Mike; she’s definitely not well.’

The commotion in the staff area below suddenly gains substance on the penultimate staircase. Linda and Mike look at each other in horror.

‘Oh no,’ he says.

‘We must have run out of customer feedback slips,’ says Linda.

‘Or something worse,’ says The Boss, still smiling. ‘Something Much Worse.’

The trio hears the growl in unison as they descend the final staircase; it sounds a bit like a man. A man being strangled. They press on in trepidation.
The disheveled silhouette of John is gradually revealed with each downward step. He is holding aloft something large and yellow. Beyond him The Borrowers are swarming towards them like angry daytime TV chefs, but John barely seems to be aware of them.
The growl becomes a roar.

The lift chimes as the doors open.