Benjamin Gray's latest update for The Wolf in the Woods

Oct 8, 2017

"It’s time for a Hail Mary," the woman behind the desk says. "I don’t follow sports, but I believe that is an American Football metaphor."

You nod politely. The woman has her back to you, but you can see that the top of her head is covered in white, short hair. You cannot see anything outside of the windows she is facing except for white light. You do not where you are, or the woman’s name, or why she is talking to you. The only thing on her desk is a copy of a book called "The Wolf in the Woods."

"Release ’Of Sand,’ she says. "It’s the longest story in the book. One chapter a day. Eighteen chapters total."

You balk at this. In the fog of your mind, you do feel vaguely like standing before this woman is part of your job, as is balking at her bold orders, but it feels like a dream insisting upon this information. She sound like every powerful woman you have ever feared combined into a singular voice. She does not have many voices speaking in unison; her voice is the voice of unity.

"Is that wise?" you ask, impertinently. "Doesn’t the Department want these stories suppressed?"

The woman chuckles, but it is not mirthful. It chills you.

"Sometimes we must burn a line in the Earth to keep the fire in its place," she says. "Besides, you are an Unevent. This office is an Unevent. This conversation is an Unevent. An Unevent does not exist; it only has the audacity to pretend."

"Will this not encourage people to purchase the book? Will it not win the contest?" you ask. You begin to understand that it is your job to ask these probing questions, like you are a professional hole-poker. In the moment, it suits you.

"They will purchase it. Then, they will see its absurdity," she says.

"One every day?" you ask a final time.

"One every day," she confirms. "It’s nearly novella length. They’ll have plenty to read."