I called my boss tonight. He was downstairs, in the lobby, and I was upstairs, next to one of the projectors in the projection booth.

"Hello?" he said.

"Hi, Boss," I said into the phone, looking through one of the viewports at the audience within the auditorium. "I just wanted to tell you that I can't come into work today."

"Huh?" He jerkily replied. "But you're already at work!"

"I know," I answered. "But, you see, there's these voices. They keep telling me things. Strange things."

"...... uhm... what kinds of things?" he asked hesitantly, not sure if he really wanted the answer to that question.

"Well... they tell me that I should go home. And sharpen the knives. I keep telling them that I sharpened the knives this morning, but they're pretty insistent. Especially Bruce. He's a bully."

There was a long pause and then he said, "You haven't had a cigarette today, have you?"

"No," I answered blandly. I thought about mentioning lack of pay, crazy hours and whatnot, but decided against it. We'd already talked about how un-perky this job is and how I must be crazy to be working here, still, after nine months.

"Oh, God," he breathed. "We're doomed." He sounded almost helpless.

"No you're not, Boss." I said cheerily. "Just don't let me downstairs tonight. I might meet some kids. Kids might anger me. They wouldn't like me when I'm angry." It sounded very Bill-Bixby-ish, I thought.

"So what's the worst that could happen if some kids annoy you tonight?"

"Ever seen a slaughter house?" I asked. "Like the ones where they send the cows at meat-packing plants?" There was silence, very thoughtful silence. "Well, it's kinda like that, only messier." More thoughtful silence. I think he was trying to hedge his bets. "That can be avoided, though," I informed him.

"How?" he gulped into his cell phone.

"Send someone up here with a cigarette. Now. I don't care what kind, but I need a smoke soon or the blood will flow out of this theater like a river. Oh, and, Boss?"


"It's not incest if it's an in-law." I like giving friendly advice, even to those who don't necessarily need it.

I never did get that smoke. I wonder if those kids I bumped into on my lunch break will ever be missed?

Oh, BTW, The Transporter rocks. And don't let the critics fool you- Red Dragon is the kittens mittens.