Cubicle Fantasy: Phoenix
We find ourselves in that blink of a moment after she says the word “unacceptable” and before she adds the sentence “I quit.”
It is now that she burns to ash before Joe’s eyes. The surreal finality of it struck him before the tiny sliver of a redhead stood before him again. Feathers cascade from her in lazy semi-circles to the floor.
It might have been that fiery, smoky smell he associated with camping out, but he wanted to pull her to him and bury his face in her hair, right near where her neck met her shoulder.
“What just happened?” he muttered, his reaction faster than her plan.
He crossed to her, taking her face in his hands, trying now to read her.
Her blood boils at it all — the hollow promises, sorrowless apologies…
“I quit,” she intones. Her flames engulf him.
Cubicle Fantasy: Straight Jacket
She can’t speak for herself and he won’t speak for her. She knows it’s bad because the normally calm inner voice has found a megaphone. The words it says to her now echo “Killing in the Name of.” She didn’t care that she wasn’t invited. She had something to say and only knew one way to make them listen.
Joe was in the Ops meeting, not stopping anyone from assigning her work. Her competency killed her as much as his complacency.
She bangs her head against the door and Joe answers it, $7,500 an hour of salaries turn their heads. She walks in, head erect, mouth sealed by a custom-made straight jacket that buckles from the waist to her mouth. It took her a patient hour to don it.
She sits in the corner and stares at him, rocking back and forth, defying him with the madness he brought to her wrapped in golden promises.
He approaches her, appreciating the fine curve of her slim waist with her arms out of the way, crossed directly under her breasts.
“Jane?” he chews his lower lip as he unbuckles hers.
It’s not as much of a cubicle as a hallway and not as much of a desk as it is a strange conglomeration of flat surfaces and chairs that overflow with printed data. Her eyes are dull with numbers, her mind is crushed with deadlines. She’s wearing a suit she shouldn’t be able to afford but has to wear.
She can’t remember how to spell vacation, much less request it. She’d just be told she couldn’t…not yet…no one knew what she did…
She flips the CD from a lighthearted mix of punk music to Rage Against the Machine, mouthing the words as she turns off the computer and begins to pack boxes.
She carries them to the car. No one really notices because they try to ignore her.
She sits at her desk and takes out a sheet of paper, hoping that her hand can remember how to write five letters and a space after holding up so many egos.
We find ourselves in that space, right as she understands “I.”