by Abby Gayle
A certain chair that was off-limits became too tempting
“No, Kelsey, you can't go in there,” Mom would say.
“Little girls who go in the Office get time-outs,” Daddy always threatened. When I got older, he changed his phrase a little. It became, “Girls who go into the Office get grounded.” Which wasn't exactly any better.
I was always curious as to what was so secret that they didn't even want me in the room. In fact, when I was young, I thought that “off-limits” meant “chair” or “room”. One day when I was thirteen, I couldn't take it anymore. I decided to go in and see what could be so bad about the chair.
I closed the door after I went in, cringing at every creak it made. I gazed around the room. I was barely ever allowed in this room at all, but when I was, I was never allowed on the chair.
Mom or Dad could find me in here any minute, I reminded myself.
I dashed over to the chair, which was at a desk full of paperwork. I didn't really look over it, although I did notice something about a villain, or something. I wondered why my parents would have fictional books at a place of work. That's what Dad always called it, anyway. “A place of work.”
I sat down in the chair, surprised at once by its comfort. It felt so good, I felt like I couldn't get up. I wondered if this was how my parents felt, and if that's why they always stayed in the room for so long. I couldn't help but spin in it. It was something I had wanted to do for years now, anyway. I felt the wind rush around me. I closed my eyes, savoring the chair.
When I opened my eyes after the chair stopped spinning, I found myself in a well-lit hallway with metal walls and strange, futuristic designs on the shiny walls. I heard a voice coming from all around me, although I saw no loudspeakers or anything.
“Welcome, Anderson,” the female voice said.
“Who's there?” I called out.
A thin woman strode down the hallway toward me, although I hadn't seen her a moment ago. She had brown hair and clothes that looked like different parts of it were constantly flickering between a black dress and a white one.
“You're not Mr. Anderson, and you're too young to be Mrs. Anderson,” the woman reasoned, “Who are you?”
“I'm Kelsey, Kelsey Anderson,” I said, “Where am I?”
“Do you not know? You are at the Official Spy Training and Employment Company. OSTEC, for short.”
“How did I get here?” I asked.
“Did you not hear about the OSTEC Company Chairs? Perhaps your parents told you?”
“No. I was just spinning in a chair,” I said, confused.
“Ah, you accidentally activated an OSTEC Company Chair. By the way, my name is Olivia Smith, but you can call me the Tech Mistress, just like your parents do.”
“Um, Ms. Smith, what's with your dress?” I asked.
“I'm inventing a property about it that lets it appear to be any color or style of dress that I want. It's, uh, still in the testing phase. And please, call me the Tech Mistress. I'll show you around while Dawn calls your parents to come get you.”
Later that very day, I was signed up for spy classes. I thought it would be like being a ninja, and, I mean, how hard could it be? All the cartoons make it look so exciting. Turns out, it's a whole lot harder than I thought it would be. Now, please excuse me for a moment, I need to hide the chair so my parents can't make me go back for my second week.