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Fiction: Morning Routine (582 words)

I was so tired. I didn’t want to get up at all. But all I could see with my eyes closed was the list of things that had to get done today. So begrudgingly I opened my eyes and pulled myself up into a sitting position.

“Morning, sleepy head.” I turned and saw my husband sitting up against his pillows, playing with his phone.  Today was his day off, he could stay in bed as long as he wanted today—and when he did get out of bed, it would just be to move to the couch to play Xbox until it was time for him to make dinner because his only responsibility was to make our dinner tonight. And I kind of hated him a little bit for that. I told him as much.

“Aw, you’re my little go-getter. You’ll be perfectly fine today.” He smiled and blew me a kiss.

“I’m exhausted,” I countered, crossing to the outfit hanging on our closet door. “I’m fatigued. I’m burned out. I’m run down. Do you get it or do I need to keep going?”

“I’m thinking you might not have slept well.” He answered, putting down his phone, watching me start to get dressed. “Are you going to be okay driving?”

“Yes, I slept well enough that I’m not a danger to society.”

“Okay, just checking.” He crossed the room and wrapped his arms around me, preventing me from finishing the whole dressing process. “I don’t want you to run into a pole on the way to work.  That would absolutely ruin my day off.”

“Well, glad you’re so concerned.” I groaned. I half-heartedly tried to get away from him, before sighing and leaning against him. “I don’t want to go to work.”

“I know,” he answered softly, kissing me gently on the head, “But someone has to go make the big bucks, and that’s not me. This is what you get for getting that fancy college degree and working at the fancy desk job, and then marrying a lowly security guard.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I griped.

“But I cook for you. And I am quite the impressive chef. So—that counts for something?” He added hopefully.

“Yes, yes, that counts for a lot,” I had to ease his worry before he spent the whole day wondering if he really wasn’t good enough for me. “But right now, you have to let me go because if I fall asleep against your chest there will be no waking me up for work again.”

He made a ‘Mmm’ sound that I felt through his chest, while he considered making me fall back asleep, convincing me to call out of work sick and enjoy a day home together. But he knew that in the long run, I would feel guilty that I didn’t go in and work on all my projects, and if later down the road I needed that sick day and didn’t have it, I would irrationally blame him for it. So, he just kissed me on the head and let his hands fall to his sides.

“Tacos for dinner?” He asked, stepping away long enough for me to finish getting dressed.

“Sounds lovely.” I let him kiss me again, without holding me. If he held me again, we’d just be stuck in a cycle of embracing and letting go and embracing again, and I’d end up late for work.

“Stay safe out there,” he told me, crawling back into bed again.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2017 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Legal Theft Project–The Tips are Great (505 words)

The Ninth Circle Club opened at eight, but no one of any consequence arrived before eleven. The women always came in dressed to the nines, wearing heels that made Cecily’s ankles hurt just looking at them. But she greeted them all with a smile, and they were all kind to her. After all, Tammy was quick to toss any woman out on her ass if they weren’t good to Tammy’s employees. No one was going to risk not being able to attend the Ninth Circle Events just for the fun of picking on “the help.”

Around eleven, when the best of the best were starting to show up, Cecily knew the real work began.  Food orders and drink orders and making sure the band had everything they needed and keeping everyone happy as the night dwindled on. It wasn’t until Tammy decided it was time to close and the lights started to come up that Cecily had a second to have an original thought to herself.

That was when Cecily started to notice who exactly showed up on any given night. The women filed out past her, all looking tired but happy with their nights, some now carrying their heels in in their hands, other’s still walking along like their heels were as comfortable as bare feet. Cecily watched in awe with the woman with the still perfect hair after several hours of dancing, or the ones she knew had slipped away to the bathroom not alone, but still had perfectly aligned makeup. She dreamed of one day being the kind of woman who could pull off being a part of the Ninth Circle Club–but it was a fantasy. A waitress here was the closest she would ever get, and Cecily was grateful for every last moment of it.

Then, the doors would shut. Tammy would fall into a chair with a dramatic sigh and insist that Cecily and the other four girls who worked throughout the club sat down and relaxed too. Only after everyone had at least three solid minutes of sitting quietly, then they would all get back up and start the cleaning up process of the night.

And as everything was totaled up, cleaned, and restocked for the night, Tammy came around to each of them to ask how their night went, to make sure there wasn’t anyone who needed to be “spoken to” by the owner and to make sure there was nothing that Tammy could change the policy on to make their lives easier. And Cecily always felt she could be honest to Tammy. It wasn’t the stilted “everything is great” that Cecily would have given to other bosses, but an honest opinion on the night or any troubles that Cecily might have noticed.

And at the end of the night, they all got their cuts of the cover, and said goodnight, seeing each other at seven the next night that the club opened–because doors opened at eight, but no one of consequence showed up until at least eleven.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2017 in Legal Theft Project, Stories

 

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Fiction: Heartbroken [Part 4/4] (99 words)

He is gone. And I know that I can’t know he was a he, because ten weeks is too early to know, but he’s gone. It’s why they advised us not to tell anyone until after the twelve-week mark, because of the higher chance. My husband is right—this was only our first try and we’re young and healthy, and we can always try again. But that doesn’t change the fact that this one is gone. He’s gone, and I have never felt so empty in my entire life.  I don’t know how I’m going to get past this.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2017 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Friends [Part 3/4] (99 words)

She’s not coming. Again. I’m starting to get seriously fed up with all these canceled plans. I mean, she is clearly having a bad go of it this last while, but we’re just trying to get her out of her own head and to have a little fun, but she won’t stick to a plan anymore.  Maybe it’s that husband of hers—but they’ve been married a year now? Maybe he’s just starting to show his true colors?  I don’t know. But if she keeps canceling on us—well, then there is no point in inviting her, is there?

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2017 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Co-Worker [Part 2/4] (99 words)

Oh. My. God. She didn’t even look sick when she was here the other day, she just looked tired. She’s probably out partying every night, and too hungover to come into work.  Why should have I have to pick up all this extra work just because she’s got to sleep it off? No, Thank you. She can deal with it when she gets back to work. And if she can’t handle it, then perhaps she shouldn’t have called out. We all come when we’re sick to get stuff done. She can just suck it up. Not. My. Problem.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2017 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Boss [Part 1/4] (99 Words)

Perhaps I should be more sympathetic, but no. If I start looking weak now, then everyone will try to walk all over me. She’s called out at the last minute too many times in a row. The work must get done, and it is her job to do it. If she can’t get here to get it done—then I suppose we’ll have to discuss letting her go. I feel bad that she doesn’t feel well, but I should think about my company first, right? After all, in the end, it’s every man for themselves.  This is my line.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2017 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Legal Theft–Good, Bad Plan (632 words)

“I don’t like you going to this,” Ellie sat at the foot of the bed, while Jameson wandered around the room, gathering the things he needed for the trip. “I don’t believe for one second that he actually wants to talk peace with you. He swore himself your enemy for life, and that’s not something that people tend to just get over one day.”

“You’re right—I’m confident he has no interest in peace with me, but if I don’t go, then he gets to point at me and call me the bad guy because he tried to make peace and I wouldn’t accept it. That is not a hassle I want to deal with.  Besides, he’s got one of the best chefs in the world working for him, so at least I’ll get quite the dinner.”

“And what if he kills you before dinner? You’ve gone that whole way, you’re dead, and you didn’t even get to eat?”

Jameson stopped packing for a moment to consider that. “He probably won’t actually kill me until after dinner,” he responded

“Really, that’s what you’re going with? He probably won’t kill you until you eat?” Ellie countered.

“Well, yeah,” Jameson started packing his things again. “The whole point of this invitation is so that he can be seen as the better man—making things right with me. There will be photo ops and speeches, I’m betting. And What makes for a better picture than two former enemies eating dinner together as happy as can be?”

“So—he probably actually won’t kill you until after dinner,” Ellie conceded. “But what about after dinner?”

Jameson tied the top of his bag off and sank down onto the bed next to Ellie. “Well, he’ll have to have an outside source if he wants to kill me on this visit. If one of his own men kills me, or more accurately tries to kill me, then all hopes of peace fall through in an instant. If he wants to keep that public perception he’s going for, then he’ll have to look like an external source attacked me, something he can swear to defeat, and then set up a ‘defeat’ of them.” Jameson stroked his chin thoughtfully. “It’s a pretty good plan, actually, if it went the way he wanted. He gets rid of me permanently, and gets to look like the good guy for ending the person or people who ‘killed me.’”

“No, no, no.” Ellie wrapped her arms tightly around Jameson’s chest. “Stop, please, I don’t want to talk about you dying anymore. I don’t like thinking about it.” She buried her face in the front of his shirt.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Jameson hugged her back, “Sometimes I forget that you didn’t grow up with this kind of thing.  I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Ellie sat up a little in his embrace, “I’m trying to get better about it.  I don’t live in constant fear of you being attacked anymore, really? This one is just so real, it’s so likely that you’ll be attacked—I’m losing my mind a little.”

“Hey now, I’ve never unsuccessfully fought off an attack, have I? I’ll be alright.” Jameson tried to squeeze her tighter in reassurance.

“That’s the thing, Jay, you only have to fail once. Fail once, and you’re gone forever.”

“I’m good, Ellie. I’m always good. I promise I will come home no worse for the wear.” Jameson promised, letting her go. “If I even have a scratch on me when I come back, I will do whatever you want to make it up to you.”

“I’m going to hold you to that.” Ellie insisted, standing up, and swinging Jameson’s bag over his shoulder. “Now, let’s get you on the road before I start to panic again.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2017 in Legal Theft Project, Stories

 

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