Well Met

They sat cloistered around a central coffee table – four professors, an advisor and their focal point, the student. A final project is being discussed. The student is excused from the small room for ten minutes while his submission is discussed. After ten minutes, he is invited back into the room.

He sits down, but the energy in the room is wrong. His vision hazes over as the professors puke on his work.

“…failure to address parameters…introspective…what is the project…we were informed to expect something else…where is the project…emaciated example…we will have to meet again…”

A half-eaten bowl of snack mix rises from the coffee table and smashes itself against the wall, nearly crashing into someone’s face. No one notices. The student stammers, working hard to collect his raging heart.

“This has been a misunderstanding,” he pleads, to no effect. “Wait, don’t leave!”

The committee of professors agree to meet again, later in the season, to discuss what new material the student might offer. They file out of the room, politely wishing him “good luck”. The chairs they were sitting in moments before burst into flames. Finally, the student is alone in the room.

He hopes to suffocate in the billowing black smoke, or be licked raw by fire, but finds that his lungs have come to prefer carbon and his skin is cooled in the inferno.

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