A Quick Break. Short Story.

Still sick. I seem to be on the mend at least, which is something.
I’m thinking of doing a dry run of my Halloween costume in the next few days, if I do I’ll put pictures on my twitter and link it from here in one of the next few posts. I figure if I’m feeling all gross and disgusting on the inside, I might as well make my appearance match!

_________________________________________________________

Jessica rubbed her eyes, then took a deep breath. She needed to focus. She had work to do, lots and lots of work. She glanced at the pile of paper on her desk, then clicked over to her email. After a few seconds she turned away from the computer. She needed a break, that was all, a quick cup of coffee to invigorate her, help her get through all this junk. She stood from her desk, maybe she could do it. No one would know. No. She couldn’t. She promised herself she wouldn’t do something like that to get ahead. She would earn her place in life. She wouldn’t rely on her name or her connections to get through it. Jessica turned her back on the computer and paper and walked out of her office.

She weaved her way through the office, stopping and chatting to people here and there, knowing she was just delaying the inevitable. Finally she reached the small kitchen and poured herself a cup of coffee. She took a sip, it was hot and fresh and so good. Jessica sighed and closed her eyes.

“Tough day?”
“Huh? Oh. Yeah. It’s being a real bitch.”
“Tell me about it. I don’t know why they couldn’t have given up a heads up on the workload that was coming.”
“That would just make things too easy for us, wouldn’t it.”
Bob laughed, Jessica tried not to wince. It was one of those overly loud laughs, the ones that echoed through the room and your brain. She hated that laugh. She forced herself to relax her shoulders as she could feel herself starting to tense up. She just had to relax, things didn’t end well when she got too tense.

“So how’s your day going? Anything to report?”
“No, not really, just mountains of paperwork. Everyone seems to be getting through it ok though.”
“That’s good.”
“Oh. We had an incident with one of the interns earlier. She burst into tears.”
“Was she ok?”
“Yeah, something to do with her personal life, I’m not sure. I think her boyfriend was cheating on her or something.”
“Oh, that’s awful.”
“Yeah. Really is, but she should keep it at home.”

Jessica shrugged, “It happens. Once it didn’t cause any problems.”
“Nah, not really. A few of the girls took her to lunch a bit early and she was fine when they came back. Probably just that time of the month eh?” Bob laughed again. It clawed at her brain, digging deep furrows through her sense of calm. Jessica unclenched her jaw.
“Probably shouldn’t say stuff like that, right? HR wouldn’t be too impressed.”
“Uh huh.”
Bob seemed oblivious to the change in Jessica’s tone.
“Next time it happens I’ll just throw a bar of chocolate her way. That ought to sort it out eh?” He laughed again, then elbowed her lightly in the side.
It was building and she wasn’t sure if she could stop it.
“Hey Bob, you’re married right?”
“Yeah, ten years.”
“Ah that’s right, I remember now, you’re wife is Emily, right?”
“Yeah, that’s her. I’m a lucky guy, I still don’t know how I managed to trick her into marrying me, but the important thing is she hasn’t figured it out yet either!” He guffawed.

“Do you’ve any kids?”
“No, not yet, we’re trying though. We wanted to wait until we were a bit more stable before bringing kids into it.”
“Are you sure that’s the reason why?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I mean, she’s attractive. Could have any guy she wants, but she settled for you. Kids would trap her. Ruin her body. Now she could drop you at a moments notice and find a warm body to take your place in seconds. With kids, that isn’t as likely.”
“But she wouldn’t-”

“Why wouldn’t she? You said it yourself, you don’t know why she married you. There are lots of reasons, money, a house. She can still go get her fun on the side. Nothing stopping her.”

“But…”

“I didn’t want to say. But there were rumours.”
“Rumours?”
“After the Christmas party.”
“Oh?”
“Yeah. I heard from some of the guys that she was in the bathroom, letting anyone who wanted have a swing at her. It sounded messed up. Honestly, I don’t even know how she managed to get cleaned up afterwards from the sounds of things. Jake said he wanted to throw up after he saw you kissing her. Specially when he’d seen what was in her mouth only a few minutes before.”
“What?”
“Yeah. Totally messed up. Don’t know how she could do that to you.”
Jessica shivered, god that felt so good. Like scratching an itch that had been building for months.
“I…I have to go.”
“Ok Bob, I’ll talk to you later. Don’t forget those reports I was telling you about.”
“No. I…I won’t.”
She smiled as he left the room, looking a little dazed. It was so nice to let it out. Jessica took another sip from her coffee. She didn’t know what Bob would do, nor did she care, it would take him a long, long time to remember that Emily had spent the twenty minutes she was at the office party with him, before she had to leave because she was sick. No one could fake that kind of sickness either. Jessica had seen it herself, she didn’t know a woman so tiny could hold so much vomit. Still, Bob would remember what she said. Oh he wouldn’t know who said it, or where the idea came from, but he’d remember. What he did with those thoughts was up to him entirely. The goods ones might seek therapy or just dismiss them. Bob had never really struck her as one of the good ones though, not once everything was peeled back.
Jessica stretched, she did feel so much better after that break. She walked back to her office, smiling. She’d fly through that work that was there in no time, make something nice for dinner, maybe have a bubble bath.

When she sat in her chair she started to feel a little bad. She had promised herself she wouldn’t do it anymore, but sometimes it just became a little much and she had to blow off steam. She hoped Bob would be ok. She couldn’t take back what she did and she knew that trying to fix it would only make things worse. She had learned that the hard way.

Sometimes being the daughter of the devil was good, like her penthouse apartment, unlimited funds, other times it sucked, like doing what she did to Bob. Jessica rubbed her temples, thankfully she was only a daughter and not the son so she wasn’t expected to do stuff like that full time. Jessica had never really paid that much attention to her fathers speeches about prophesies and what ever else he was droning on about. She took a gulp of her coffee, then got back to work. No point worrying over Bob, what ever happened there would happen, that was nothing she could do to stop it now, all she could do was try to be better in the future.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
This entry was posted in Horror, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Quick Break. Short Story.

  1. Pingback: A Quick Break. Short Story. | Shaktiki Sharma

  2. nice piece. pressed it.

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