It was late, very late but she had to go into the office to finish marking the third year papers, as she moved down the corridor to her office she heard a strange rustling ahead, followed by a low chuckle.............
The rounded walls reflected the sound, it almost echoed in the damp and dismal heat of South Wales.
"Hell", she said, you can hear a pin drop in hear, can't you?"
Her assistant, a lanky goggly-eyed sort of person, by the name of Reg, just nodded.
He quietly shoved the tattered and ruined cover of his sacred book under his student's desk, the best the sub-college could afford for a non-professor. He was hoping for a literariship that would allow him to pursue his quest for the throbbing caverns his 'da had spoke of.
Until he had died that horrible death, of course. His father's voice was still then.
It was not unusual for her to be here late, nor was it strange for Reg to be there contemplating his own world and excusing himself on her arrival but something felt odd about the airless evening. It was almost as if the air itself was touching, testing, sampilng the living things within, searching for an unguarded soul.
She bent on down, fumbling in the dark. The palm of her hand gently swept the floor, fingers touching, feeling, seeking out a delicate trace of jewel-studded metal.
Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle. It had rolled somewhere, her ma's hair pin, when it fell from her hair. Or was it teased? Something brushed up beside her. As a shiver ran down her spine an acrid smell filled the already intolerably thick air, something went 'blip', the room lit in a flash of bathyal blue, and she froze, eyes locked on Reg's head. It appeared to be shrinking. Her hands touched on something, wet, cold, sticky; it wasn't the pin. She instantly recoiled. But it was too late ....
She awoke in total darkness. Her groggy brain could not pull the situation into focus and kept trying to formulate a full thought about short term memory and accidents. When her eyes began to adjust, she caught the slightest glimpse of two huge eyes and shuddered. When the eyes finally spoke, the voice was shakey but familiar. "Joan, can you hear me? Are you ... all right?" she nodded slowly and tried to sit. Placing her hands on the floor she again noticed the sticky wetness and wondered if it was blood, her blood. The voice with the huge eyes spoke again with a tremble, "I think there is a water leak near the outlet under your desk, fortunately the circuit breaker tripped." Reg did not come over to her and try to help her stand, he seemed frozen with fear on the verge of panic. "Do, do you remember anything strange happening after you touched the outlet?"
"I lost ma's hair pin....the one with the icon of the great old ones on it.........then I felt a .............something.........touch my arm, there was a shadow......a light......then .........nothing?..." her chin trembled but she pulled herself up like the true daughter of Eireann she was and stood swaying gently in the puddle by her desk. Suddenly.....
Reg reached under his desk, grabbed his sacred book and backed toward the door. "You started screaming then talking to someone in a strange gibberish - it wasn't a monologue". Even in the darkness, his coke bottle bottom lenses magnafied his wide staring, accusing eyes.
In the corner of the now darkened room, a faint green glow seemed to pulse and writhe.
Reginald backed out of the door frame, holding the book like a talisman, fear etched on his gibbous face.
The mist seemed to densen and form into a more solid mass of squirming tentacles, and it began to move towards Joan, prostrate on the floor, her fingers scrabbling at the linoleum.