Broken Shadow

“Uh. Did you notice your shadow is broken?” I asked. I hesitated at the office door, unsure what mood I’d find Michael in.

“No, Ceri,” Michael replied, spinning in his desk chair to face me. “I somehow failed to notice that a vital part of my spirit was lying fragmented on the floor. How terribly unobservant of me.”

Oh, good, sarcastic. That meant he couldn’t be too pissed off. “Mind if I asked what happened?” I asked.

Michael rolled his eyes and spun towards the window. The lamplight cast his shadow into crazed spirals on the wall, cracks and blemishes easily visible from across the room. “You know, the usual. Got sniped by some sixth-level punks waiting in an alley. Could have happened to anyone. It’s not like I have a supposedly world-class security force that’s supposed to be following me or anything. After all, who could predict that Serpent City was dangerous?”

I kept the small, polite smile plastered to my face. “Do you want me to check into what happened, sir?” It never hurt to stack on an extra bit of formality at times like this.

“Only if it’s no bother,” Michael said, downing the rest of a glass of whiskey. “Such a minor thing. Don’t feel like you need to press Barton about it. I survived, right?”

I nodded and walked away before he got nasty.