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“Hey, Jeff, how’s it going?” a coworker called as Jeff Gardner entered the cubicle area for His Hands, the teen magazine he worked for.
“Give me a while,” Jeff replied, walking past, a tired grin on his face. “I need coffee.” Laughter followed him into the tiny area that they called the coffee room. The only problem was that it wasn’t much of a room. It was really a big closet with the door taken off. Jeff poured himself a cup of coffee and moved over to the other end of the little table to stir in his sweetener.
A red-haired lady stepped into the room, staring at a pale yellow sticky note. Jeff recognized her as Samantha McNeal, the writer of the advice column. Her face was pale and her green eyes gazed at the note distractedly.
“Hi,” Jeff greeted her. “Are you okay? You look worried.”
Samantha jumped, her green eyes leaping up to look at his face. At six foot two, Jeff towered over most people, Samantha included. “Sorry,” she squeaked. “I didn’t see you there.”
Jeff grinned. “That doesn’t happen often. Are you okay?”
Samantha gave a half-shrug. “Kinda,” she told him.
“What’s up?” he asked curiously.
She handed him the sticky note reluctantly. “I keep finding these on my desk. They’re not there when I leave, but they’re on my desk when I come in the mornings. Even when I’m the last one to leave and the first one here, there’s still one there.”
Jeff frowned at the small square of paper. The only thing on it was a simple smiley face. “This is all that’s on them?” he asked.
“Well, sometimes there’s a smiley face, and sometimes there’s a frowning face,” Samantha told him.
Jeff brushed his dark brown hair out off his forehead. “That’s weird. You don’t have any idea who’s putting them there?”
Samantha shook her head. “No.”
“Maybe it’s Mr. Edwards,” Jeff suggested. “He could be doing it to get some kind of point across.”
Samantha shrugged. “I don’t know. I asked him about it, just asked if he’d put the sticky notes on my desk, and he didn’t know anything about them. Besides, I got here before him yesterday.” She thought for a minute. “I guess it could be a prank, but I can’t think of anybody who’d want to prank me.”
Jeff nodded absentmindedly, his blue eyes scanning the sticky note intensely. He looked up at Samantha. “Hey, I don’t have anything going on tonight. I could stay after hours and watch your desk, you know, try to catch whoever’s doing it. Kinda like a stakeout.”
Samantha immediately shook her head. “Oh, no, I wouldn’t want you to go to any trouble,” she told him. “It’s not really important, anyway.”
Jeff smiled, his eyes twinkling. “It’s not any trouble! I love mysteries, and I think this would be more fun than sitting at home. This would be interesting.”
“Well, if you really don’t mind,” Samantha agreed reluctantly.
“I don’t,” Jeff assured her. “Besides, I need something for a story for the next issue. This sounds like it might work.”
“You write short fiction, right?” Samantha asked.
“Yeah,” Jeff replied.
“This isn’t really fiction,” she told him, the first hint of a smile crossing her face.
Jeff laughed. “I guess not. But I could change around some characters, maybe add some twists, and,” he shrugged, “who knows? Maybe it’ll work out nicely.” They walked down the hall, laughing.
The day passed by agonizingly slow for Jeff. He was excited about the turn things had taken. Lately, his life had been simply his boring routine: work, go home, and sleep. His curiosity had been aroused, and Jeff had always loved good mysteries. And this one was a good one. The building was always locked up tight after the last person checked out and left. There was no way that anyone could’ve stayed behind in the building. It was pretty baffling.
“Hi, Jeff, how’s the deadline?” A short man with silver hair stepped into Jeff’s cubicle.
Jeff ran his hand through his dark hair. “Pretty good, Mr. Edwards.”
“Good,” Mr. Edwards replied. “Samantha mentioned to me that you’re going to stay after hours to find out who’s leaving those notes on her desk. I’ll go ahead and lock up the building like usual.”
“Thanks,” Jeff replied gratefully.
Finally, the other workers started leaving and packing up. Jeff went and found Samantha. She was at her cubicle, waiting for him.
“Are you ready?” she asked him nervously, pushing her reading glasses up her nose.
Jeff grinned. “Yes. I can’t wait!”
Samantha gave a weak smile. “I decided I’ll stay with you. I think it would be interesting, and I’d kinda like to be there when the mystery gets solved.”
“Well, it may not get solved, you know,” Jeff warned her.
“Yeah, I know,” Samantha replied. She shrugged. “I guess I’m a little intrigued, and I’d like to see what happens.”
Jeff laughed. “Well, I sure hope something happens!”
The two settled down in Samantha’s cubicle. Mr. Edwards came through and locked up the room and the rest of the building the same as usual. A small night light was all that was left to light the small cubicle. Samantha settled down in a safe, cozy spot behind a fake potted plant, while Jeff chose a position behind a tall filing cabinet. It was small and didn’t offer much cover, but it would be easier for Jeff to act from that spot.
The waiting was endless. The only sounds in the room were the two watchers’ breathing and the clock ticking on the wall. Seconds ticked past, then minutes. Jeff’s legs started to feel stiff. He desperately wanted to stretch them, but he didn’t dare move. He glanced at his watch, pressing the light. He groaned softly. It had only been an hour. He couldn’t help thinking that it was going to be a long night.
Jeff woke up with a start. I must have dozed off, he thought sleepily. He glanced at his watch. It was already past midnight. He glanced over at where Samantha was curled up behind the potted plant. She looked like she’d just been awakened, too.
Soft footsteps padded across the carpet towards the cubicle. Jeff’s blue eyes widened, not in fear, but in eager anticipation. A figure came into view. Jeff’s jaw dropped in pure shock. The man was tall, even taller than Jeff. He was wearing a white shirt that almost looked like it was glowing, and a pair of nearly-white blue jeans. His short golden hair looked smooth and silky, and the light glinted off of it like it was real gold. But what was most eye-catching about him was his face. His skin looked soft, and had a glowing appearance. It could easily be described as clear. His piercing blue eyes weren’t cold, and they seemed to be lit from within, their icy clear color holding both Jeff and Samantha’s attention. He pulled a pad of sticky notes out of his pocket, along with a pen, and began using the desk to draw on the top note.
Jeff had been planning to jump out and tackle whoever the culprit was, but he was too in awe of the man to be able to move. Besides, the man looked like he could beat Jeff any day. Finally Jeff mustered the courage, and the strength, to step out from his hiding place. “Stop,” Jeff demanded, not quite as convincingly as he would have liked.
The man glanced casually over his shoulder. “I was wondering when you were going to come out,” he commented.
Jeff froze, his mouth open in fear. “Y-you knew we were here?” he stammered.
The man ripped the sticky note off the top of the pad and placed it on the desk, shoving the pad and pen back in his pocket. He shrugged. “Yeah. You can come out now, Samantha.”
Samantha slunk out of her hiding place, her eyes wide and scared. “Who are you?” she squeaked.
The man smiled. His teeth were a brilliant white. “I’m Phanouel.”
The coworkers were confused. “What?” Samantha asked, baffled.
He grinned again. “Phanouel.”
“Okay,” Samantha said slowly, still looking confused.
Jeff quickly recovered. “What are you doing here? Why are you putting the sticky notes on her desk?”
Phanouel smiled again, his eyes sparkling mischievously. “I’m an angel.”
Jeff’s jaw dropped, and all of the color drained out of Samantha’s face. Phanouel put out a hand to steady her. “W-what?” Jeff yelped.
The smile still shone on Phanouel’s face. He nodded towards a few chairs that Jeff didn’t think were there a couple of seconds before. “Do you want to hear my story?”
Jeff and Samantha sat down on the chairs senselessly. Phanouel sat in the office chair and swiveled around to face them. “Samantha, about a month ago, right before you started finding the sticky notes, you prayed to God asking for help with your anger issues. Well, in case the two of you don’t know yet, God has a sense of humor. He came up with the idea that somebody should put sticky notes on your desk, one with a smiley face if you didn’t have any anger problems, and one with a frowning face on it if you had anger problems. If you had a really big blow up, there was supposed to be a really mad face on it, but you didn’t have that problem.” Phanouel grinned.
“Let me get this straight,” Samantha said slowly. “You were putting the sticky notes on my desk to help me?”
Phanouel laughed. “Yes.”
“Wow, this’ll make a great story!” Jeff exclaimed.
Phanouel grinned. “Well, I can’t wait to read it.”
Jeff laughed awkwardly. “Great.” He still couldn’t believe that he was talking to an angel.
Phanouel laughed. “Well, maybe I’ll see you two around some more. Keep an eye out for more sticky notes, Sammy.” And with that, he disappeared.
Jeff glanced over at Samantha. It seemed like the entire thing had been a dream. A little of the glow Phanouel had was still hanging around. “That was…” Jeff started, his voice trailing off. He was still in awe of the supernatural experience.
Samantha nodded. “I know,” she said slowly. “Well, I’m gonna go home and get some rest, now that we know what everything was about.” She picked up the sticky note off the desk and glanced at it, smiling when she saw the face on it. “Are you going home, too?”
Jeff shook his head. “There’s no way I could sleep after that.” He grinned. “Besides, I have a story to write.”
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11 Jun 2015
Great story! Love how it turned out to be the angel! :D It kind of gives the picture inside a picture effect to, since Jeff is a writer. ;)
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