Fisher Cat

Ray frowned at the young man at the conference table who was occupied with that bubble-wrap-bursting app. The other five were studying Ray. He was eight months out of work. The fluorescent lights beamed into him and the stares made him think, stupidly, of science fiction films, that moment when the aliens bellow, “Silence, earthling!” and zap the unfortunate space traveler. His phone vibrated; probably Carin with another update about their thirty-two-year-old daughter, Lily’s, latest trauma—though, granted, this was a gigantic one, global-stage level. This time had just plain taken the cake.

An older young woman in a tam-o’-shanter—was it still called that?—gripped her hands and shook them as if about to pitch dice toward him while saying, “Mr. Torres. What makes you a good fit with Hamilton and Lowe? We do publicity for politicians, and your specialty has been—” she fanned out some papers and got whisked into the profoundest depths of her own thoughts.

Bubble-wrap boy looked up and said, “Did you say Torres? That rings a bell.”

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