Saturday, January 16, 2016

Flash Fiction from Valerie Brundage

What Happens at Work

I wasn't aware of any internal company strife, but when the head of operations invited us for an emergency HR meeting, I couldn't say no.

Ms. Parker had us meet at the Rustler across the street in the mall.  Chet, Brad and Joanna were all there and we sat in the back corner away from the dancers, over martinis.  The place wasn't very full.

But it was getting louder--alcohol had a way of doing that.  Ms. Parker said Joanna had complained we'd been taking advantage of her in the hallway outside the copier.  Chet denied it but he'd trapped me once or twice there, too.  I knew the truth.

The tapas and the second round came.  Brad was loud.  You could tell he'd already started when it got close to quitting time.

This was supposed to be a safe-place non-judgmental meeting.  I had my other shoes and Chet and me danced when the strippers started.

Brad had heard rumblings about a new overtime policy.  Ms. Parker promised the boardroom machinations wouldn't affect us on the lower levels.

Then Joanna joined us on the dance floor.  One of the strippers was sweating and he sprayed sweat on my shoulder--it was pink and I realized it was mixed with the bodypaint he had on his skin.  Brad yelled at Ms. Parker and she threatened him with suspension.

Dessert was cancelled.

We had to get back to work.  It was, after all, almost lunchtime.

Valerie Brundage began writing about her secret desires and repressed fantasies after the divorce.  Turns out if she had lived them out earlier, none of that previous noise might have happened.  Her novel, "365," will be released this summer by Extasy Books.

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