The man wore an immaculate suit of the palest blue. A small cigarette danced up and down like a conductor’s baton when he talked, which so far hadn’t been much. Handcuffed to his wrist was a black leather suitcase. He set the case on the table in between us and carefully unlocked it. When the top sprang open, it hid the contents from view.
His voice was boring and bureacratic, somehow encapsulating the scratching sound of a thousand pens filling out a thousand forms at the same time. “You do not know my name or anything about me. We have never met before this very moment but you are no stranger to me. I can outline your entire life. For example, let me choose a random day, say March nineteenth, nineteen-ninety-six. Do you recall the events of that day?”
My blood went cold and I failed to surpress the shiver that ran through me. I rememered that day vividly, though it was sixteen years ago. The meaning behind that date was only known to two other people and represented massive failures for all three of us.