It was Mike’s birthday. We had a special budget for such matters and our department’s assistant bought a present. By the shape of the package one could easily deduct that the gift was of literary nature. My boss called me and together we took the package to Mike’s office.
“Happy Birthday, all the best!” the boss shook Mike’s hand. “And here you have the gift from our department.”
Mike thanked him, very ashamed – because he was a timid man and nobody really liked him – and removed the wrapping. Hidden beneath colorful paper there was a novel, an action thriller by an American author. “The second episode in the suspenseful series,” said the blurb.
“Wow,” Mike said and read the title of the book aloud. “The Hostage.”
We stood in silence for some time. Then we went out of Mike’s office.
“It was a beautiful celebration,” the boss said.
I started to laugh. I had never laughed like that before. I got afraid and wanted to stop, but I couldn’t. I choked myself, tears rolled down my face. And I knew that it was an evil laugh, a laugh unstoppable and eternal and one that could make you die.
On my way home, in a tram, instead of humans’ I kept seeing faces of animals.