You shout abuse at the man in the sharp suit as he practically spins you around, bouncing off you as your paths collide. He waves an apology, continuing on his way.
You step to the curb and hail a cab. One pulls up immediately. You are surprised at your luck (a cab, at this time of day, downtown?), but choose not to look the gift horse in the mouth, and dive into the back seat. You cough at the musty air. The driver asks you “where to?” in a heavy Eastern European accent, and you give him the head office address.
You shuffle through your meeting notes. The stakeholders will not be pleased. The letters seem to swim around on the page. You rub your eyes to try and focus. It doesn’t help. You sigh deeply and sit back.
You glance through the glass partition at the driver’s identity card. The picture shows red eyes and short, stubby, horns on her head. How absurd, you think. You catch the driver’s eye in the mirror. You jump up, startled, hitting the roof. Her eyes: red. She turns her head around, grins menacingly at you, and you notice the horns. How did you not see them before? She growls something at you, but you are too paralysed with fear to understand.
You notice that the cab has stopped moving, so you throw yourself out the door and onto the street. You breath deep the fresh air. The cab pulls aways at speed. You notice a small pin on your lapel. You didn’t put that on yourself. That man, before you got into the cab: he put it on you. But why? As you reach gingerly for it, it puffs to ash.
You think you’re in shock. You reach for your hipflask.