As he stared at the words written on the page in front of him, it seemed as though the letters were sliding down the paper and beginning to pool on the floor in front of him. Matt rubbed his eyes to find his single, unfinished sentence staring solidly back at him, taunting him. It had been a long time since he had written, and he was clearly out of practice. His mind wandered to other things as he tried to form his thoughts into coherent sentences. He thought of his current client; mostly, Matt wondered why he had been selected for the job. The last time he had done any writing was in the 7th grade; he decided it was much more enjoyable to pay his classmates a few dollars to write his papers for him while he played video games.
Matt took a glance around his office. He still had some work to do before he left for the night, and maybe stepping away would clear his mind of the fuzziness he was feeling. He grabbed his mop and bucket and made his way into the hallway. His office was situated at the end of the only hallway; after tidying the dozen or so offices that pockmarked the corridor, he would methodically mop the floor, beginning with the northeast corner and working his way across the width of the hall, taking exactly ten strokes to reach the other wall. In this way, he would work his way down the entire length of the hallway, taking exactly forty-two minutes to complete the work; he would normally taking his things with him, stash his mop in the closet by the entrance, and make his way home for the night. On this night, however, he wouldn’t be going home, not right away at least.
As he made his way down the hall, he began to hear footsteps echoing behind him. He turned to see his client making his way down the hall to where he stood, mop in hand. “Nobody will believe this, not in a million years,” Matt thought bitterly.
As the figure approached, he was able to make out his features. A strong jaw, not delicate yet not brutish; Matt could see the cords of muscle outlined beneath the sharp grey suit, shifting as he continued to walk down the corridor. He slowed as he reached Matt, and gave him a beaming smile.
“How is your work coming along? Still on schedule, I hope?”
His client, much to his initial shock, was none other than Achilles, the famed demigod himself. He had approached Matt a month prior, and petitioned him to write his biography. Matt had no idea how this man could even exist, but considering his heritage, he didn’t attempt to pry any further into the matter. Why he had chosen Matt, Achilles could not explain; the only justification he could give was that Matt was the right man for the job, and he would not allow anyone else to tell his story.
“I’ve made some progress, yeah. I was just taking a step away to clear my head.”
“Great, I look forward to reading it. I can barely contain my excitement! In three short weeks I’ll have the true story of Achilles, penned by none other than the infamous Matt Grayson. Finally, the world will truly understand my tale, and they will cease looking down on me for my supposed defeat.”
Matt still couldn’t believe it, no matter how hard he tried. He had to, of course, because failing the task given to him by Achilles was not an option; if he didn’t finish the story to the god’s liking, he would be struck down on the spot, head cleanly hewn from his neck. Matt wasn’t looking forward to finding out of it was a bluff or not. He turned back to his mop, splashed it into the bucket, wrung it slowly and slapped it against the linoleum tiles. As he looked up, he found himself alone in the hall, Achilles having disappeared as quickly as he had appeared. Matt let out a long sigh, and turned himself back to his task. He was not looking forward to what he knew would be long, sleepless nights.