Sunday, 10 May 2009

MULTIPLY Writers Block #59 The Rival

I tried to kill her many times; strangling with a telephone wire, poisoning her morning coffee, pushing her over a computer cable lying on the floor and as a drastic means, a clean shot through the heart. Ok, now everyone stay calm, this was in my imagination, I just could not get the courage to do it properly at the time. Perhaps I should tell it from the beginning to put you all in the picture.

I was busy at work doing the job I had been paid to do for at least twenty-five years. Of course, when I started I did not really have a clue, but time makes perfect. I had been the longest in the department and there was not very much I did not know. Even the boss was glad. You cannot expect a boss to know everything, they give the orders, we have to carry them out. Things were just running well for everyone. If you did not know the answer, just ask me. The essence of being good at the job is that even if you make mistakes, no-one notices. Someone might ask something where you are at a loss with a good answer. The best thing to say is “I will have a look” and hope that the matter is forgotten, which is usually the case. If the question is remembered some time later, the problem has probably solved itself by then. So this is the cosy state of affairs. No problems, you know the answers and no-one asks silly questions. Then one fine day she arrived on the scene. Someone new was needed, I cannot really remember why. Was it a colleague that got herself in the family way, someone that found a better job, or just a marriage to someone so rich she did not have to work any more? Take your choice, but we had to have someone new. It is strange but when she arrived, little Miss Know It All, I just knew that my nice cushy safe position as alpha animal was going to be endangered.

Did she get the job – of course. One friendly smile from those baby blue eyes at the boss and the right answers to the questions, she got the job on a plate. When she started, it all seemed so harmless. Me being the helpful friendly type showed her what was expected. Then I just settled down into my nice little corner in the office and carried on as usual. First danger sign was when I heard something about further training for our new star. She had been in some foreign country for half a year to learn the language and now the idea was to give her the chance to learn even more. I had done enough of this further education myself, a little bit here and a little bit there, but she was sent on a course for a professional super top secretary with all the trimmings. The company were paying and it seemed to be quite a gold plated exercise that she was doing. Three hours a week for a year in a top school and when she passed the examination she was destined for a good position which sounded vaguely even better than mine.

Of course I was wrong. One fine day the boss called us all into the conference room for news. He was taking on more work and needed someone to take over the department. Not that I wanted the job, I had enough to do. I do not know what devil had ridden my boss at that time, but he decided little Miss Know It All would be his substitute. I did not really take this news as seriously as I should have, thinking my work is not involved, she will have her own headaches to manage. How wrong can you be? In the process of a month she had taken over all the important jobs I had and I was left with the routine stuff. I did not even have to think any more. She did the thinking and gave out the instructions. I was known as being a friendly helpful person, always ready with some helpful advice. At the end of this month I only spoke when spoken to and helped only one person, myself. I had been stamped into the floor like an ant; one of those that you do not even notice when you tread on them. I think this was when I decided to put my murderous ideas into practice and enrolled for a shooting course. I organised a licence for a gun and was soon one of the best in the course. I had a target before my eyes and decided it was now or never. I could always plead insane after the crime and life on a happy farm could not be worse than where I was working. Perhaps irrational thoughts but at the time I found them quite sensible.

I did try to save myself by asking my ex-boss for a transfer to another department. He even helped, but the director found I was in the best place for my qualifications. Life went on and the day was approaching when I would use Miss Know It All as the suitable victim for my black thoughts, but things are never as you plan.

It seemed that the chief secretary in the company was leaving and a replacement had to be found. Who could be more suitable than our brilliant spark that was giving me orders what to do and I really hoped for her (and me) that she would get the job. Of course, she applied and then the day came when the decision was made. Now this job was for the director and that was even one step higher to heaven than my ex-boss. Unknown to our leading lady, there was someone else in the narrow choice, the director’s daughter that had just finished her university education and was even more perfect that our star. Who got the job? That was clear, it was the director’s daughter. This was where things got a little mixed up. The day that it was announced who would be in the top floor of the company was the day I had decided to shoot Miss Know It All. I had progressed so well in my shooting lessons that I decided I was ready and had my pistol in my handbag ready for use.

What I did not know was that on the evening before, our aspiring director’s assistant had arrived home to find her boyfriend had left her for her best friend. She was annoyed, very annoyed, so decided to bring things in order and paid a visit to the boyfriend and his new partner and shot them both. The next morning she arrived in the office and received the news that the director’s new assistant would be his daughter. After lunch she came into the office with a gun. Of course, no-one was expecting this, but I could feel her emotions, after all I was planning to shoot her myself on that day. She walked into our office and shot the ex-boss. At least there was a lot of blood, but I could not really tell if he was still alive or not. Then she turned and looked at me. There is a saying “if looks could kill” and this would have suited the moment exactly. She raised the gun, but must have been a bit nervous as she narrowly missed me, although my computer was no longer usable. I pretended to be unconscious. She lost interest in my condition and walked on in a direct line to the director’s office where he was showing his daughter around. I decided to follow – after all the fun was just beginning. I walked past my ex-boss who was moaning on the floor, so he was still alive. My one time work colleague and woman in charge was just about to shoot the director and his daughter, when I gave her a push (she was not expecting me to appear). She fell and I jumped on her. There was a fight and somewhere in the fight a shot was released from the gun. There was deathly silence, lots of blood, but I was relieved to find it was not mine.

Little Miss Know It All had a quiet funeral. She had no family (it seemed her parents were killed in a mysterious fire at their house some years before). I attended just out of curiosity and my boss insisted on coming as well. I pushed him in his wheelchair.

Of course, I was the heroine of the day saving everyone’s life from our colleague that had decided to go on a shooting spree. My company decided to award me an early retirement with a very good pension. My boss never did recover, but now and again I take him for a walk in the park in his wheelchair. Sometimes things just do not turn out as you expect.

Writers Block: Challenge #59: The Rival

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