I stab a fork into the side of my brain to try and stop the voice, and it goes right in the soft spot that showed up a couple of nights ago after the binge drinking of an entire bottle of RonRico with lime wedges. There's a moment of blind panic when I realize this, but it is over like a brief flash as the thought Hey, cool comes over me, and I start twanging the handle end of the fork. It makes a sound in my head like the Apollo 13 equivalent of RubberBand Man by the Spinners.
I make a spitball out of a Post-it note and twang it off the end of the fork. It sails over the cube wall and hits Steve the Program Manager in the eye, a muffled curse letting me know I scored a bulls-eye. He rounds the corner, but stops dead in his tracks when he sees the fork sticking out of the side of my head. I decide to play it up and start making ga-ga-ga noises and let a tiny bit of drool dribble out of the corner of my mouth.
Steve screams like a little girl and runs into the back, I suppose to get the first-aid kit. I pull the fork out, which makes a soft sucking sound, and the wound closes up with nary a mark. Matt pops his head up over the cube wall like a gopher. I just look up at him and shrug.
When Steve gets back, I'm busily typing away at the latest equivalent version of the TPS report. He stands in my cube door with the first-aid kit in his hand, looking stunned. "What's up?" I say to him.
"Fork. You had a fork stuck in your head." His face is pale, like the moon on a cold night.
"I had a what stuck in my what?"
"Fork. Head." Steve starts to shake visibly.
"Are you okay, Steve? Maybe you better go sit down."
He stares at me for a full minute, mouth moving as if trying to say something, then his eyes go dull and he wanders back to his cube.
I start playing with the soft spot again, testing it. It looks to be about the size of a coffee cup, and I can actually push my finger into it up to the third knuckle. The skin stretches around it like a balloon full of molasses, and it feels really weird. I try a second finger, and that goes in, too. I realize that I'm on my way to the first ever reported case of brainal fisting when I feel something that I'm pretty sure shouldn't be in there. I manage to get a hold of it between my fingers and start to pull, and I can feel it sliding around as it starts to move.
The skin stretches around it, and it finally breaks through the surface. I wipe the goo off of it and look: it's an antique skeleton key, looks like it's made of bronze, with the head of some sort of rodent (squirrel? rabbit?) intricately carved into the handle.
I stare at the key for a few minutes, turning it over and over in my fingers. I don't know what to do. Obviously it's a key to something, but the only thing that I can think of that has a lock that this key would fit is an old dresser, and that's been unlocked since I can remember.
I hang the key on the lanyard that holds my ID badge. It's warm.
And then the phone rings.