Daily Prompt – Newspaper 4-11-2016

Newspaper

 

“Holy mother of all crustaceans!”  I threw my hat down onto my desk, slumped into my squeaking chair.

“What now?” Maria asked from the doorway of my office.

“Stinking newspapers!”

“Coffee?”

“Yeah, thanks.”  I wiped my hands roughly over my face as if to scrub away my irritation.  Newspapers!  Couldn’t live with them, couldn’t shoot the editors. Bane of my existence.

Wouldn’t be bad if they’s print the honest-to-god truth, but I’d never met a reporter yet who had even a flirting relationship with honesty.

Maria brought in the coffee, cleared off a spot on my desk for the cup. Black like the interior of my soul. Had a girlfriend tell me that once. The only thing left of that relationship was the quote.

She perched on my client chair, hands on her lap.  Some mistakenly called her prissy.

“What are you going to do?”

“Since the newspapers lay an entire conspiracy that doesn’t exist at my doorstep?  Hell, I don’t know.”

We sat in silence for a time.  I sipped coffee; burned my tongue. I hated when that happened and yet…. it might just have given me the impetus of an idea.

“What?” she asked, knowing the look on my face.

“They want to burn me, I’ll burn them right back.” My eyes met hers.

“What do I need to do?”

 

 

Can’t Stand Me

Daily Post – Can’t Stand Me

What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?

 

Can’t Stand Me

It wouldn’t have made any difference.  Video or Recording?  She hated them both. Matter of fact, today she hated everything. Herself. Her life. Mostly, she hated him for making her want to cry. Actual tears would have been worse, but wanting to was bad enough. He didn’t deserve her tears.  He wasn’t worth them.

She clicked the DVD back to life, cringing as she watched her alien self on the small screen. She longed to look away, but she couldn’t, because really, who was she, that woman? Some weird doppelganger looking like her on the surface but, like a movie set, fallow behind?

Clicking off the DVD, she rose, gathering her coat and purse.  She could hear his voice across the office and just the sound of it brought back all her earlier anger.

At the door, she glanced back, eyes drawn to the sound of his laugh.  His back was to her, head bent, listening intently to one of the other women in the office.  She’d never noticed how his hair brushed the top of his collar… and why would she?

Better her than me, she told herself.  Better her than me.

Stepping out into the dark, she headed for home.

 

 

 

 

Daily Post – Reason to Believe

Reason to Believe

“Well, Jane,” he said, walking into the break room in that salmon pullover I hated.  “What do you believe?”

“My name is not Jane and what do I believe about what?”

He cocked his head, almost smile tugging his lips. I hated that look; it made something inside me burn. He had a thing, a thing I didn’t understand, an I-can’t-stand-this-thing-but-I-don’t-even-know-what-it-is-thing. Yeah, that’s what he had.

Seemingly totally unconcerned with my glare, he moved to pour himself a cup of coffee. Moved is actually a thousand miles from what he did.  He stalked.  He prowled.  He glided. And all the time, watching me from the corner of his eye,  laughing.

I wanted to throw up my hands and have a fit.  I hated how he always got to me!  How the hell did he always get to me?

“Well,” I said slowly.  He never let me get away without answering.  “I believe you are an arrogant son of a bitch with no morals and no scruples and no…. concern for anybody else.”

He laughed, leaning back against the counter, long legs crossed at the ankles, body fit into his clothes as if they had been made on him. Off the rack, my ass.

“Morals and scruples,” he mused, watching me over the rim of his mug. “And no concern.  Pretty ugly.”

“As are you. And let me add, arrogant,”

“You said that one…”

“…a sexist pig, a prig, a conceited, egotistical bastard…and….”

“Keep on, Jane,” he  goaded.  “Don’t hold back.”

His words had the opposite affect; they shut me up.  I felt like crying but I didn’t know why.

He looked at me for a long moment, something unfamiliar in his eyes, and then he set down his mug.  “Thanks for the chat, Jane.  We’ll never speak of it again.”

Turning, he walked out the door.

Why did I want to cry?  Why did I want to pick up his mug and just hold it because it had touched some part of him?

The dullness was like a razor across his skin. He’d promised to make her hate him and he had. She hated him.  And now, she was safe.