No, not the Muse song. The new story I’m working on! With class dialing down and with a semester that I’ve spent mostly writing-free behind me to recharge my resentment batteries, not to mention another story of mine getting published to boost morale, I’m trying this whole “writing” thing again. It’s been too long! Please share and enjoy this new taste of my (everyone’s?) favorite fast casual restaurant:
Clarissa watched Clarence trot back into the office with a smirk on his face as she stood in back getting a drink. She’d heard the proceedings and knew that Clarence had won, the Cleaners had lost. With their defeat, Clarissa felt the mantle land on her shoulders, the feeling that most people only feel in a ninth inning, a fourth quarter, or when everyone else has been shot in Counter-Strike.
“It’s all up to me,” Clarissa mumbled.
“Get back to work!” Clarence called out from the office.
Clarissa carefully set her cup of Diet Pepsi down and shuffled back up. It truly was up to her. The Cleaners would behave now for fear of their jobs. The teenagers that worked nights wouldn’t care, the kitchen crew wouldn’t notice, Denise didn’t question the authority of males, and Twinkie, well, Twinkie was obsessed with ornithology this week. That might sound impressive, but it was only an offshoot of his obsession with dinosaurs last week. Clarissa would have to be the hero. There was just one problem.
“I know you don’t like me,” Clarence had said when he called Clarissa into the office the day after his promotion. “You think I’m cruel. You think I’m downright evil.”
He’d started pacing across the office with his hands clasped behind his back at this point, and Clarissa dropped her face into her hand.
“That will change. You’ll come to understand my methods. You’ll even embrace them.”
He paused and looked at her. Clarissa sighed loudly and threw up her hands. “No, never,” she shrugged out.
“Oh, yes, and sooner than you think. I’m going to drive you crazy the same way I was driven mad,” Clarence said.
Since then, Clarissa’s morale had been sapped daily by her new job. She felt another little piece of her grey matter flake away as she pushed the button on the headset.
“Thank you for choosing Cliff’s, how can I help you?”