“How long’s that door been there?” asked Jim popping his head round the door and beaming his affable smile
“What! You didn’t half make me jump, boss, oh that door?” replied Sarah, looking up from her keyboard with a relieved smile. “Don’t you remember the carpenter took it down when you had the front office knocked through?”
“That door wasn’t there before!” He insisted.
“It’s been there over a week now, a couple of us propped it against the wall as a joke.” said Norman from across the room. “You went off sick just before that.”
Jim Marsh owned a small graphic design company called Marsh Visual he was a jovial employer and well-liked by his tiny workforce. “Yes, of course, that’ll be it.” He replied. “I was just passing by so I thought I’d pop in and see how my favourite design team were doing.”
“Everything’s fine Jim, the Everfresh job is nearly complete and Shopsave have asked for a quote.” said Martin, his young principal designer. “We’re coping alright without you really.” He grinned. “Now go back home you old man you look decidedly peaky.”
“After my job eh you young whippersnapper?” Jim laughed at the man’s cheeky familiarity. “Maybe you’re right Martin, I was going to go upstairs to see the lads… but give them my regards anyway… goodbye, it’s been great working with you all.”
He went back into the corridor and through the window in the door Sarah saw something strange. “The boss just opened that door that’s leaned up against the wall and walked through it.”
“Don’t be daft, he’s probably just gone to the toilet.” said Martin.
“That was a strange comment he made as he left.” remarked Sarah.
“Well he is getting a bit absent minded.” said Norman.
They waited for five minutes. “He’s not come out yet, do you think he’s alright?” ventured Martin.
“I told you, I saw him walk through that old door.” reiterated Sarah.
“It was just an optical illusion through the glass you silly sod.” said Norman.
Martin had returned from checking the toilet. “He’s not there?”
“Maybe he went upstairs after all?’ suggested Norman.
“The door at the end of the corridor can’t be opened, the lock needs fixing remember? The only way he could have got have got to the first floor was to come back in our office then through to reception.” replied the young designer.
“I told you he went through there!” insisted the girl.
The two men moved the door to one side just in case Jim had hidden himself behind it somehow, of course, he was not there. “Well I’ll be blowed.” said Norman.
“Are you sure he was here in the first place, did we just have some kind of group hallucination?” Sarah was an avid reader of the Fortean Times and other similar periodicals.
“The most obvious explanation is that he walked straight past when we weren’t looking.”
“That’s rubbish Norman, I’m going to see Evelyn he must have walked past her on the way in.” announced Martin.
“You know, Jim, came out of the corridor in the first place?” recalled Sarah.
Martin walked in to the front office as Evelyn, the receptionist, was putting the phone down.
“Martin.” she said in a tremulous voice. “That was Jim’s wife Helen, he died this morning.”
Originally inspired by Eric’s Wednesday Writing Prompt