The Hall of Rain

The associate found himself in a vast, windowless room. Torches shed faint and flickering light over long desks that stretched into the distance. Empty coffee cups and half-eaten breakfast foods were littered about. There were moldering documents everywhere, covering the tables, heaped on the floor and piled against the walls. A few huge piles looked to be on the verge of collapse. In the rafters hung row upon row of ancient pairs of slacks—trophies from vanquished foes.

Far off in the gloom, the associate thought he saw a dais. Moving toward it, he made out a mahogany desk, more ornate than the others, and behind it an overstuffed leather chair with its back toward him. As he crept closer, the chair slowly turned, revealing a decrepit figure.

“How is your…bandwidth?” the ghoul hissed, barely audible. The associate shrank away. “P-pretty j-jammed at the moment, sir, but maybe I can c-circle back to you next week?” he stammered unconvincingly. “Do you see those… closing volumes?” A desiccated finger pointed to a particularly unstable stack of documents reaching nearly to the moth-eaten pants above. “One of them contains a…precedent agreement of… particular use to me. Find it and I shall… reward you.”

The associate took a deep breath and walked over to the stack. He noticed one of those colored tab things that marks an important page and gingerly pulled at it. The pile began to shake ominously. The associate turned to run, but the agreements toppled onto him. Pinned under tons of documents, he tried to scream but the paper muffled all sound.

The associate awoke, soaked in sweat, in his studio apartment and checked his phone to make sure he hadn’t missed any urgent new emails. He had missed several.