Rory bought a new suit just for the presentation. It was the single most expensive purchase in his life. It cost more than his car. Rory rationalized it as a form of insurance. He needed all the help he could get. Failure was not an option.
The waiting room was posh and imposing. An original Turner hung on the wall. The furniture was better than his own. Rory settled into an overstuffed chair and waited. The combination of late nights and weird dreams were no match for the comfort of the chair.
Rory stirred at the sound of a steam whistle. He looked around the room. A steam clock stood in the corner. Turner was in the room, painting a picture. The receptionist sat at a mahogany desk working on an Underwood typewriter. She was wearing full Victorian costume. Rory checked his watch. A wheel on his wrist was rotated by a tiny mouse.
“Psst,” said the receptionist. She motioned to him.
Rory realized he was wearing something on his forehead. He pulled the red tinted goggles over his eyes. He could now see a message on the door. ‘Don’t eat the cheese’. Rory stood up to investigate. The door swung open. Inside was a boardroom filled with cats wearing bowler hats. Turner stopped his painting and turned to Rory.
“Be careful. They want your watch,” he said.
Rory grabbed at his wrist. He was overwhelmed with panic.
Things went fuzzy. When his mind cleared, Rory found himself on the roof. Dirigibles were floating wistfully in the sky. He was standing on a platform as a steam locomotive was boarding passengers. Rory got on and sat down. He checked his wrist. The wheel and mouse were still safe.
As the train lifted off, a robot entered his compartment. It reached for his mouse. Rory leaped from the train and started falling.
“Excuse me. Sir, they’ll see you now,” said the receptionist as she nudged Rory back to consciousness.
Rory checked his watch. “Oh, sorry,” he said, embarrassed. “I was meditating.”