“I thought there’d be more people,” Phil chuckled to himself when he opened the door to the meeting hall. The dozens of tables and chairs all sported office-appropriate holiday decorations. Red, green, and gold strands of tinsel circled the tables; and, each had a small LED tree placed in the center. “I guess I’m early,” he sighed to himself and shuffled into the room. As far as he knew, it was empty.
“Who the hell is that!?” Sally whispered to her coworker, Carol. The two lizard women, along with the rest of the party pressed themselves against the walls. The elaborate geometric shapes in different shades of green were excellent for hiding against. They were too busy to notice slight changes in depth. She breathed a sigh of relief with the stranger stopped at the first table to sit down and play on his phone. He looked up when she whispered. After a glance around the room, he decided nothing was out of the ordinary and focused on his phone again.
“I don’t know,” Carol replied with an even quieter whisper. Her voice carried obvious amusement. Sally could see why. About 60 of her coworkers were all camouflaged against the walls around the large hall. The stranger that walked in appeared to be in his late 50s or early 60s. He was lean, bordering on frail, with a sparse matting of silver hair atop his head. The few strands he did have were all combed in the same direction; he made an effort to look good in his dark suit.
Lizards were great at hiding, but Sally wouldn’t have wanted to test it against a young human with keen eyes. She was also glad their ability was almost automatic. She felt herself shift into camouflage mode as soon as the door handle clicked, one second before Phil walked in. They scrambled to the walls as quietly as they could.
“Anyone still out there?” Carol whispered the question. Sally’s jade-scaled brows raised up and at the suggestion.
“YES!” She whispered excitedly with a toothy smile. Her friend, Alice, was running late to the party.[Keep your disguise on. – Saly] Sally sent Alice a Whisper using her nanos. [Need help. Human here. -Saly] [LOL! – Alis] Sally felt and heard Alice’s laughter when she got the reply in her ear. [Didn’t I suggest a doorman? – Alis] Sally grumbled. [We obviously didn’t get one. -Saly] [Helping or not? – Saly] [Fine. Omw. – Alis] [Thank you. -Saly] “Alice is coming,” Sally turned and whispered to Carol. The two lizard women spread the message to either side of them to let their coworkers know help was on the way.
After a few minutes, a tall, muscular woman with short yellow-green hair walked into the hall; Sally relaxed at seeing her friend.
“Hi, I don’t think I’ve seen you at the office before. I’m Alice,” she introduced herself with an extended hand. “Are you new?” Phil shook Alice’s hand, gave her a puzzled look, then shook her head.
“No, Ma’am. Been part of the company going on 25 years now.”
“Oh,” Alice said calmly. “Maybe I’m in the wrong place,” she made a show of looking around. “You’d think a room with green walls would be called the “Green room.”
“Huh,” Phil said. He glanced at the time on his phone, then around the seemingly empty room again. “Maybe I’m the one in the wrong place,” he said and stood from his seat. “My office party is in the Brown room. The clerk pointed this direction and I kind of just stopped at the first brown door I saw. But, according to the time, this place should have a lot more humans in it,” he said.
“Why don’t you stay here, because this is probably the Green room, and I’ll go see if I can find the right party.” Phil nodded at Alice with a smile and headed toward the door.
“Merry Christmas to you…,” he said as he pulled the door open. He looked directly at her, then he gave one final glance around the room with a broad smile. “…one and all.”