BILL is standing behind a podium at the front of a large meeting room. Before him is a roomful of folding chairs, all of them reserved for the bloggers of Nano Poblano 2017.
Bill is about to call the meeting to order.
Bill: Before we begin… where IS everybody?
Two people sitting in the room look around at dozens of other people sitting in folding chairs.
Woman: You don’t know?
Man: How many people do you think we’re missing?
Bill: Count the empty chairs.
The two people look at each other, then slowly, at Bill.
Bill: Why are you looking at ME like that?
From the back of the room, a voice speaks.
Voice: Ummm… Bill…?
Bill (looking for the voice): Who’s that?
Voice: It’s ME, Bill.
Bill (under his breath): Shit.
Voice: Shit is right, Bill.
The person who is The Voice stands up, and begins walking to where Bill is standing at the front of the room.
Voice: Have you looked in a mirror lately, Bill?
Bill: Huh? What does that even mean?
The Voice reaches the podium. He stands in front of Bill, looking at him with a face of knowing expectation.
Voice: Don’t you see what everyone else sees?
Bill: I see what I see.
Bill looks out at a roomful of empty chairs. Only the two people sitting in those chairs are the two from the beginning of the meeting.
Voice: Look again, Bill.
Bill looks at The Voice, then back at the room full of empty chairs. Each chair has someone sitting in it. Bill is looking at a roomful of people.
Bill (to The Voice): You look a lot like someone I know.
Voice: A lot like someone in a mirror?
Bill: I haven’t seen that guy in a long time.
Voice: Since the first of November?
Bill: About then.
Voice: He’ll be back.
Bill: You mean it?
Voice: Yeah, Bill. You mean it, too.
And The Voice disappears.
The original two people look at each other, then back at Bill, then at each other again. They seem confused, and a little bit like maybe they’ve seen a ghost.
Bill (to everyone in the room): Hello, Peppers. I’m Bill.
Peppers (in unison): HI, BILL!
Bill: Only ten days to go. You all hangin’ in there?
Nano Poblano ends November 30th. If you believe in ghosts, you might want to avoid mirrors until December 1st. But hang in there. Between you, me, and the voice in your head, everything’s going to be okay.
© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday