Writing Assignment – Angela’s First Day

This is the version I rewrote after deciding against an earlier story (posted previously on here).  It’s almost flash fiction, and I tried to throw in a double-twist at the end.

Angela’s First Day

Angela perched on the polyester-covered office chair and studied her desk. It was sparse and ill-considered; a drab keyboard, an RSI-inducing mouse, and an ancient telephone that had some extension numbers scrawled in red biro on the insert. Unfolding a piece of A4, she tapped the enclosed credentials into the computer, changed her password as instructed, then frowned at the error message.

“That’ll happen,” said a voice behind her, “if your password isn’t long enough.”  She turned around to see an immaculately-dressed executive leaning nonchalantly against the partition of her cubicle. “Just put 123 after whatever password you want, that should do the trick.”  He shrugged casually.  “That’s what I do.”

She nodded mutely and tried again. This time, the computer logged her into a screen filled with icons, then waited patiently for further orders.  “Thank you,” she murmured as she turned back to the man, then after a moment’s hesitation, extended a delicate manicured hand.  “My name is Angela.”

“I know,” the man replied, taking her hand respectfully, “I setup your payroll details this morning.  I am Barry.  Welcome to P&M Industries.”

“Pleased to meet you.  Have you worked here long?”

“Started as an electrical apprentice 31 years ago. Now I’m HR Director.”  He fiddled with his bright yellow tie.  “If you cut me through the middle, you’d find the P&M logo.”

“That’s nice,” said Angela, smiling slightly.  “Job security is hard to find.”

“So, what about you?  Where did you work before coming here?”

She fidgeted slightly.  “I worked for the government.  I was in… relations.”

“Relations?  That must have been interesting.”

“It depends.”  She paused, then decided against giving an explanation.

“Oh,” said Barry after a few awkward seconds, “Well, I was wondering if you fancy a drink after work?”  Angela smiled at him but didn’t reply.  “I’ll take that as a no,” he said, “No worries.  See you soon.”  He made to leave.

“Wait,” whispered Angela.  Barry looked over his shoulder, unsure whether he had heard anything.  “Do you really want to know what I did in my last job?”

He turned back and resumed his leaning posture.  “Sure.  Go ahead.”

“OK.  Well, I met up with people who were… of interest to the government.”  Her face contorted as she struggled for appropriate words.  “I met with them, and changed their impression of the world.”

“Changed?  How so?”

She smiled sadly.  “I changed them from having a living outlook of the world, to having a dead outlook of the world.”

“You killed them?!”

“Yes.  I murdered people for our government.  That’s what my last job was, and now I am working here as a PA.”  She slumped back, resigned.  “Strange how things turn out.”

Barry was numb with shock. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Last month, I met up with an oil tycoon who was threatening to cash in her investments, which would cause chaos globally.  So I met with her, slept with her – “

“You slept with… her?  Just because the government asked you to?”

“No-one asked me to – I found it was the easiest way to get close to my targets, male or female.  Anyway,” she continued, “just as she climaxed, I wrapped some piano wire around her throat and choked her to death.”  She snapped her slender fingers.  “Just like that.  Life was meaningless to me.  As her lifeless body flopped off of me, I couldn’t do it anymore.  I ran.”

“Wow.”  Barry breathed, taking in the fragile-looking ex-assassin in front of him.  “You certainly don’t look like a killer.”

She stood suddenly and grabbed Barry’s arm, drawing him closer into her.  A sweet perfume filled his nose, and he felt the heat of her ample breasts pressing against his chest.  She cupped one side of his face and stroked it slowly, almost lovingly.  “Now that you know my secret, I must now tell you something extremely important.”  He nodded, unable to say anything.   Licking her lips, she breathed into his ear.  “April Fools.”

Barry looked at her in bewilderment.  “What?”

“Mr Reynolds said you’d try to smooth your way in here as soon as you caught a glimpse of ‘new skirt’, so he gave me my first task; to wind you up.”  She sat back onto her chair and studied her nails.  “I was fantastic, wouldn’t you agree?”  He nodded, his cheeks reddening, then mumbled his excuses and slunk away.

Angela laughed, then made a cat’s cradle with a piece of piano wire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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