“Press 1 if you’d like to begin your adventure now … ma’am.” The man’s deep but tinny voice sounded like it was traveling across string stretched between two cans.
Darla covered the phone receiver and looked around the office, eyes darting from cubicle to cubicle. No one seemed to be paying attention to her. She leaned forward and let her hair fall around her face, a personal veil of privacy.
“What did you say your name was?” she whispered.
“This is Shane from Western Adventures ‘N’ Discovery, ma’am. We have your journey ready to go … press 1 if you want to start now.”
Darla’s pulse quickened, and she wasn’t sure if it was from excitement or panic. Sure, she had visited the Western Adventures ‘N’ Discovery — W.A.N.D. — website the night before, but she was only there for a few seconds.
And for the life of her, she couldn’t remember how she got there.
“Ma’am, I’m afraid this is a limited offer.” The line popped with static, and something else popped in the background. Was that … gunfire? “The adventure is beginning now.”
A horse whinnied loud enough to hurt Darla’s ears, and her hair fluttered in the hot breath of an animal she couldn’t see.
Darla inhaled sharply and sat up straight. “This is crazy,” she said. Voices murmured in the work areas around her, and she could hear people standing from their chairs.
“What was that?” one of them asked.
Her phone crackled. “Ma’am, press 1 now if you want to begin your adventure. This call will end in five seconds.”
A footstep fell outside her office space … she had to decide.
“Is that coming from Darla’s cubicle?” someone asked.
“I don’t think so,” said a young man, peeping his head over her wall. “She’s not even here. Her phone’s off the hook, though.”