A sandbag was lifted off a fellow’s face. Beads of sweat and eyes of alarm constituted the human face. A lamp was turned on. Its beam aimed at a wall so that the room would not benefit from full illumination. A chair scraped across the floor and a dark, hidden figure sat with the front of his body facing the back of his chair. And the man with the sweaty face muttered with a frantic calm, “Who are you?”
A door opened. “Can you turn on the A/C? It’s hot as fuck in here!”
The body of darkness revealed itself to be a young kid with slick black hair slicked back. And a smile for no reason descending on the man with the sweaty face.
“Wouldn’t you agree, Noel? That it’s hot as fuck in here?”
“How do you know my name?” asked Noel. The dark figure who sat reverse cowgirl snickered, then coughed. And he followed the cough with a flick of a lighter and a drag of a cigarette. It was as if that was the universally prescribed method for ridding oneself of a cough.
“Listen here, man. We,” said the man with black hair, pointing at himself and his acquaintance, “are from Stanford. We hail from Stanford. We learned and now teach at Stanford. My friend here, Andy, teaches in the Digital Arts department, and I teach Creative Writing. I wrote the Derma, you may’ve heard of it.”
“Oh, Lord. You’re Jose! Jose Munoz!”
“That’s right,” said Jose.
The man sitting now stood. And made himself parallel to Noel. The rattle of metal, that sound. The sound of cuffs struck by an earthquake clashed with the room’s spontaneous quiet.
“Well, what do you want with me?” asked Noel when he was done with his struggle.
Jose lit a cigarette of his own. And exhaled cooly, like in the movies, “Nothing.”
Andy shot Noel in the head.