(But it came out more like Bigfoot.)
“I’m not saying names have power,” Gregor Von Climpten said, terrifying horn rims perched ominously on his nose, “but let’s put it to a vote, shall we?” The room shuddered in unholy silence. “All in favor, please say ‘Aye’.” Silence there and nothing more*. “All opposed?” Still more silence. Silence like a thick, dark pudding long past its sell-by date. And maybe left out in the sun for a bit too long. “Yes. Yes. I see.” That second yes had been drawn out a little too long for just about anyone’s comfort. There were some who’d quite forgotten when the meeting had started. Others who were no longer sure when it was set to end. At least three glanced mutinously at wristwatches that were no longer there, having been replaced by the silenced phones in their pockets or satchels. “Clive.” Clive shuddered and spilled cold coffee on his tie. “Clive.” Gregor seemed to relish saying that name, the power it invoked over Clive, who had somehow managed to spill more coffee on his tie while mopping up the first. “Would you please read the minutes from the previous meeting?” Clive stammered a bit and knocked his glasses off his nose. As he fumbled for them, he said, “But I just read them–at the start of the meeting, I mean. Like we normally do. Don’t we?” he squeaked at the end. “Clive. Clive, Clive, Clive. I think you’ll find you’re wrong about that.” Gregor smiled, if you could call it that**. Clive read the minutes again.
* I know, I know. Geeze, we all sometimes indulge our worst impulses. Sometimes.
** You couldn’t.