tagNonHumanFight or Flight Ch. 01

Fight or Flight Ch. 01

byMadtownpoet©

[Hello! This is my first story, so please rate an review. I know it starts out slow, but believe me, it'll pick up. Thanks!]

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"I don't understand it. I work harder than anybody else in the building and they still won't promote me. What am I doing wrong?"

Elizabeth Banner shook her head with a sigh, petting her old hound's head before getting ready for bed. She brushed her teeth, changed into her pajamas, set an alarm and lay in bed. Her brain buzzed with stray thoughts and worries, and as usual it kept sleep at bay.

She had been working at Witfield Inc. for three years now, and in spite of her many applications had never been promoted. She was the main receptionist for the top floor, which encompassed the offices of every higher-up in the company, including the CEO and the owner of the business. In her three years of working there, Elizabeth had never seen either of the two. (She would have seen them if they had been there, of course: she worked nearly 60 hours every week and rarely took a day off.)

Perhaps, she thought, an application put on the desk of the CEO himself would at least get her noticed. She smiled, curled up around her dog, and joined him in sleep.

...

"Witfield Incorporated, this is Elizabeth. How may I direct your call?"

"I'm sorry, ma'am, but Mr. Shepherd is out of the office until the 14th."

"Thank you, and have a nice day. Goodbye."

Every call was pretty much the same. The caller would ask for the CEO, Nathaniel Shepherd. She had been given specific instructions on her first day that if anyone called for him, she must tell the caller that he would be out of town until a week later. She knew better, but she was paid to answer the phones and it seldom caused any issues. It seemed that whoever this man was, he had significant influence and anyone who called seemed almost fearful. She got the feeling that they were almost grateful to have reached a receptionist instead of the man himself.

Elizabeth knew it was wrong, but hell, this was what she was paid for- and she was paid quite a bit. The part of her job that kept her busy for the most part was mediating traffic on the top floor. She intercepted everyone coming out of the elevators and gave a fond farewell to everyone going back in them.

At the end of the day, after Witfield's employee's had all gone home, Elizabeth set the phones to go straight to voicemail and got started on her next application. She filled out the form, attached her resume and added a brief note to the CEO. She tucked this all into an envelope and went to open his office door: locked. Damn. She briefly pondered tucking the document into the folder attached to the door, but thought better of it. After grabbing a spare card from her wallet, she swiped it through the crack in the door and placed it directly on his table.

She glanced around nervously for a moment, wondering about the consequences if she were caught. Did it matter? She could own up to it, chalk it up to ignorance... or she could just quit and get a new job. She would cross that bridge when she came to it. Closing the door (with the lock re-engaged) she grabbed her coat and bag and went home for the night.

Meanwhile, in Nathaniel Shepherd's office, the surveillance camera in the corner blinked knowingly.

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