We’ve got two awesome entries in response to the prompt – you know what that means! Time to put up Gloria’s fate to a vote 🙂
Stacy Overby – @dontpanic2011
Gloria ducked into a co-worker’s cubicle. Crawling beneath the desk, she realized it was Frank’s.
Thank all that’s good I made it to Frank’s cubicle. He’s careless enough to leave his desk unlocked and lazy enough to leave materials in his desk.
Gloria eased the drawer closest to her open and rummaged around, praying all the while Harvey wouldn’t hear her. She pulled out the first container and pried it open. Peanuts. Literally. No help there. The next container revealed potato chips. Then chocolate-covered raisins.
Really, Frank? Do you really need this much junk food?
Moving on to the next drawer, Gloria first pulled out a box of paperclips. Better, but not overly helpful yet. At least not unless she wanted to keep Harvey close to her. Pencils and one dried out highlighter were next. Then, in the back of the drawer Gloria found a small wooden box. She rolled it over several times, but in the dim lighting she couldn’t find the opening.
Footsteps came down the row. Gloria slid the drawer shut and squeezed under the desk. She whispered a few words to coax the shadows around her further, trying not to breathe.
“Gloria! I know you’re here somewhere!” Harvey’s sharp, nasal voice was a whisper in the still room, “Come out, Gloria! You know we need to talk!”
He stopped outside of Frank’s cubicle. Gloria mouthed several more words and drew three tiny symbols on the floor near her feet. Harvey’s head turned. He started off, his footsteps quick and loud on the polished cement.
Gloria counted to ten and then crept out from under Frank’s desk. She peeked around the edges of the cubicle, convinced no one would be looking for her head so near the floor. Seeing no one, she stood up and hurried toward the far door.
Gloria walked into Harvey, smacking her nose into his thin shoulder.
“Gloria! There you are. You need to come with me.”
She stood there a moment, blinking, unmoving.
“Well? What is it?”
“Nothing. I just- “
“You just what?”
“I was surprised to see you. I was just on my way out to grab lunch and then I was coming to see you,” Gloria begged the powers that were to lend her words enough false charm to get Harvey to swallow them.
“No such luck. My office. Now.”
Gloria’s heart sank. She was in for it now.
Renee Tennis-McKinley – @2old2tap
Gloria backed out of the room never taking her eyes off Harvey’s back. With nowhere else to go, she returned to the supply closet. She ducked inside and pulled the door shut.
She kept one ear to the door as she lit one of the candles she’d just collected. “I don’t know what’s going on,” she whispered to the flickering taper, “but if Harvey thinks he can ‘take care’ of me, he’s got another thing coming.!”
Squinting in the restless light, Gloria scanned the overflowing shelves. “Ah ha!” she grabbed a small pouch tucked neatly between two jars.
“Won’t be quite as powerful without my wand, but it’ll have to do.”
She poured just a pinch of silver powder from the pouch into the palm of her hand. After reciting a short incantation, Gloria blew the shimmering dust into the air; then walked beneath it.
She exited the closet again, shutting the door with a firm hand. Gloria walked back to the office to see Harvey expectantly awaiting her, having heard the door close.
“There you are, Glo.” Harvey smiled, “I thought I’d catch you before you went on break, get this over with.”
Gloria smiled back, the candles clutched in her hand. “Sure, Harvey. What’s this meeting about anyhow?”
“Oh, just some security measures we need to go over.”
Gloria kept smiling. “Okay, your office?”
“Yeah, that’s perfect!” Harvey grinned as he gestured for her to precede him.
Harvey and his companion exited the office and strolled down the narrow hallway past the supply closet and turned the next corner.
A few minutes after they passed, the closet door opened a sliver; then wider as Gloria stepped out. She ran quickly to her desk and snatched her wand and a book of basic spells. Her pocket bulged with what she hoped would be the most useful ingredients to find out what the two men and her sleazy supervisor were up to.
She also carried a shimmering invisibility shawl. Before she left the office again, she threw it over her shoulders. As soon as Harvey figured out the ‘Gloria’ he was escorting to his office was actually the janitor’s dust mop, he’d be back.
What does fate have in store for Gloria? There are two very different ways this can go and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Thank you to all participants! You guys have no idea how awesome it is to see people get excited over this prompt series. And you tell the best stories 🙂
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As always, think happy thoughts!