“THE SPIRITS OF THE DEAD WILL RISE AND TAKE VENGEANCE.”
The woman’s eyes glow green and stare into nothing. Her voice, though barely more than a whisper, fills the room, far deeper than it was a moment ago.
“THEY AVENGE THEIR DEATHS AT THE HAND OF MAN.” Her face is set like a skull. “THEIR PLAGUES NUMBER SEVEN, THEN SEVENTY-TIMES-SEVEN.”
“MANX PIGS TITHE THE SO-CALLED ISLE OF MAN. MASTODONS FLOOD NORTH AMERICA WHILE PASSENGER PIGEONS CHOKE THE HEAVENS.” The fluorescent lights overhead flicker. The woman’s eyes glow brighter.
“XERCES BLUE BUTTERFLIES BLIND THE EYE AS TASMANIAN TIGERS STRIKE FROM BELOW. WOE TO THOSE WHO FLEE, FOR THEY WILL DROWN IN A RAIN OF HEREDIA ROBBER FROGS. WOE TO THOSE WHO HIDE, FOR THEY WILL BE DEVOURED BY LAKE PEDDER EARTHWORMS.”
Her voice turns to a deep roar. The tiled floor shakes, and the woman rises several inches above her chair. Her eyes now burn as two green suns.
“THERE IS NO MERCY. THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS.”
The shaking stops suddenly and the woman collapses into her chair, eyes unglowing, face dazed. The room is quiet, save for the computer’s fan and the distant ringing of a phone.
“Sorry, I zoned out for a minute there. What was the question again?” she asks, slightly embarrassed.
I sit stunned for a moment, then force myself to speak. “I — I asked where you saw yourself in five years.”
“Oh! Hopefully working here,” she says brightly. She smiles.
Tygan Shelton lives with his wife and two children. He lives in Wisconsin, the previous home of mastodons and elk-moose.