Photo by J.R. Blackwell

Dr. Mercury walked up to my small desk and put both hands down on the laminate, leaning over my pencil sharpener and digital clock like a dragon. She smelled like the beach, of salt and sunlight. I heard myself speak.

“Are you here to see Mr. Smith?” I asked. My voice had come out in a whisper, so soft that I could hardly hear it. Dr. Mercury  didn’t seem to have any trouble understanding me. She shook her head and leaned closer.

“No, my darling,” she said, her breath smelled like wet paint. “I’m here to see you.”

“Me?” I squeaked, feeling suddenly dizzy.

“You.” she said, stand up straight and pointing at me. “I’d like to take you to lunch.”

I swallowed. “Lunch?” I whispered. I thought suddenly of bank tellers, and how, if they were getting robbed, they could press a button under their desks and call for help. I felt my fingers tap the underside of my desk as if I could will one into existence.

“It is noon, isn’t it?” She waved a pale hand.  “Lunchtime. This is when people go to lunch, isn’t it?”

“Yes?” I said, now unsure.

“Darling,” said Dr. Mercury, leaning very close. “I’ve done a lot of research, and I’ve gone through a lot of candidates, and I’ve decided that you, sweet one, are going to be my girlfriend.”

I passed out.

-Excerpt from my most recent Dr. Mercury story.