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Bwog » Deantini’s Mysterious Office(s)

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Deantini’s Mysterious Office(s)

Just one of the many offices of Deantini..

Just one of the many offices of Deantini..

Does Deantini have two offices? Is he moonlighting as the chair of the Chemistry Department? Is something spooky afoot? Bwog sent Senior Sleuth Maddie Stearn to investigate the situation, but no one was prepared for the consequences.

James Valentini. Deantini. Former chair of the Chemistry Department, current Dean of Columbia College, and occasionally lost tourist. This man of many identities resides in the Office of the Dean, located on the second floor of Hamilton—the very first office you’ll see as you enter the building. The door is even fancier than one might expect, with gold lettering across the wood, a matching plaque to the side, and marble carvings around the frame.

Despite all of this grandeur, is it possible that Deantini yearns for his former life? Does he dream of the good old days, when life as an administrator still included the joys of chemistry? Perhaps this is the reason that Deantini’s name remains in Havemeyer. Walking toward the Chemistry Department administrative offices, you can even find a mailbox labeled “Professor Valentini,” number 3120. A nearby light flickers ominously.

But there’s something else. In Havemeyer’s grand entrance, among the names of current faculty, an office number sits next to James Valentini’s name. 528H. That’s strange, I think, wondering why no one has bothered to remove this vestige of a bygone era. Unless…unless the office is still there.

The flickering light follows me down the hall, a warning. You don’t know what you’re doing, it seems to be saying with every clink of its dying bulb. I walk faster and quickly hit the elevator call button at the end of the hall. Admittedly, I jump when the doors open with a loud beep.

I exit on the fifth floor and carefully check the office numbers until I arrive at 528. If the size of the door is any indication, the interior of the office must be large. I look back at the plaque, and notice that it is conspicuously blank. Why hasn’t this space been reassigned? If Havemeyer isn’t housing a shrine to James Valentini, chemistry professor, then why are these artifacts still here?

The locked office door isn’t giving me answers, but as I turn to leave I am stopped by another door. And another. Large, wood doors rise up on all sides around me, each with blank plaques that grow in size until they look like black holes. My ears ache with the deafening sound of wind, and I don’t realize that I’m screaming until I feel a sharp pain in my throat. I continue to scream through the pain, crouched on the ground with my hands over my ears.

I’m awake. My cheek is pressed to the ground and all I can see is linoleum. Linoleum for miles and miles. Hell feels very institutional, I think to myself. How appropriate. I lift my head and see that I am simply lying on the ground on the 5th floor of Havemeyer. Embarrassed, I quickly stand and get ready to leave.

“You know you can’t come back here,” a deep voice says behind me. I turn around quickly, naively assuming that Public Safety is telling me to scram. But no, there’s the shadow of a person on the wall in front of me, just not attached to anyone. I stare.

“He’s watching,” the voice says.

“Who?” I yell hoarsely. All of the screaming from earlier makes it difficult to talk. “Who is watching?” I ask again, losing more volume with every word.

“You can’t know what happens here,” the voice responds.

“That’s not an answer,” I hiss, my voice an angry whisper now.

I don’t hear the voice again. I keep shouting (wheezing), but my voice eventually disappears entirely and I’m forced to go back downstairs.

The flickering light mocks me as I try to leave the building. I notice something shine out of the corner of my eye and realize it’s the board listing the faculty offices. I walk over and look for James Valentini’s name again. Still there. I check the office number and suddenly feel like the air has been knocked out of me. The number has changed, but this time there’s no snooping to be done. I know immediately that office number 528H does not exist.

528

Tread carefully.


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