Last night, as I typed, I only barely noticed it. Most of my attention, of course, was directed at the computer screen, so what I glimpsed was simply a shadow. It seemed to be a part of the ceiling. Had Elizabeth still been in the office, it would have fallen directly on top of her innocent head.
A good thing she had already gone because I can't stand to hear a woman scream. Not, at least, the kind of scream that this fall would have elicited.
After finishing my work, I decided to investigate. I stood from my chair, walked the few short steps around to Elizabeth's desk, and inspected the floor.
There was nothing present, nothing obvious to be seen. I stood there, searching, baffled. Baffled because I was certain: Whatever it was that had hit the ground was large. This was no piece of dust, no small particle of drop ceiling. It should have been plain as day. It should have been right there on the floor, waiting for me. Waiting for me. But: nothing. How could a piece of the ceiling hide like this? How could a piece of the ceiling just run away?
Perhaps, after all, it wasn't a piece of the ceiling.
Just as the thought shook through my bones, I sensed movement. I looked up from the floor to the white laminate of Elizabeth's desk, and watched as it scurried off. I watched, dumbly, as it did its awful little tap-dance into the dark corners of thesauruses, template guides, and back issues.
With disgust and contempt, I groaned. I groaned. I groaned. From our quiet ceiling, an enormous and evil cockroach had, like a paratrooper, like a ninja, like an angel of darkness, dropped into our comfort and changed everything forever and ever.