Empathy Thyme sat at her desk, filling out forms. Every once in a while, she would glance up at the people around her. None of them looked at her. You didn't need to have Empathy's power to tell that they hated her. No one wanted her around. Who would? Anybody who could tell what you were truly feeling was a person to be avoided. A door slammed open, and Empathy looked up as Marcus Shrewd stalked past her desk.
"Hello Mr Shrewd," she ventured. "Nice day today, isn't it?" Shrewd grunted and stormed out of the room, glowering at some point ahead of him. Anger. His emotion flooded her senses, and she gripped her pen so tightly that it cracked. She tossed it in the garbage can and pulled out another. She looked down at her papers again.
"Oh, Ms. Thyme?" said Shrewd, who had at some point stopped walking. "We have someone for you to interrogate. Room 249. Ms. Grief."
"Yes, Mr Shrewd." Empathy grabbed a few papers and a pen, and hurried over to room 249. There were no Cleavers to be seen, and she hesitated before entering the room.
A knife blade pressed against her throat.
"Hello," came a voice. "I'm going to need you to sit in that chair over there and not make a noise. I need to step out for a moment, but the thing is, nobody can know. Understand? And don't nod, it might end badly."
"I understand." Empathy croaked. There was something about this person. They weren't feeling anger as one might feel while threatening another. They didn't even seem to want to hurt her. There was definite frustration and impatience, but there was also something else.
"Alright then. Let's just step on over here, and if you try anything at all..." The knife pressed more firmly against her throat.
Empathy and her captor made their way over to the chair, where Empathy sat, careful not to swallow too deeply. The knife was drawn away from her throat, but the cold metal pressed against her back.
"What's your name? And who are you?" said the voice, which Empathy recognized as female.
"M-my name's Empathy. Empathy Thyme. And I was supposed to come in here to interrogate Ms. Grief." Empathy had a sudden realization. "That's you, isn't it?"
"Yes. But that's going to be our little secret, alright?"
Worry. That was it. Worry about something or someone. That was what Ms. Grief was feeling.
"Yes. Of course. I'll be quiet."
"Good. I'm merely going out for a second, so just wait here for me, and we can finish this lovely conversation."
The knife drew away from her back. Empathy heard soft footsteps and saw the door open, but there was no one standing there. It was as if a ghost had threatened her. The door closed, and Empathy sat there alone. She opened her mouth to yell for someone, but was stopped by the memory of that overwhelming worry. She closed her mouth.