Monday, February 25, 2013

Chapter 24

Chapter 24

"You'll never get away with this," Regan shouted up from bottom of the well, trying to ignore the sensation of ice cold water flowing down the inside of her boots.  Nine hundred eighty six dollar and ninety seven cent boots, to be precise, not that the additional expense did anything to help keep her feet dry when they were submerged.

Jermiah Book, Master of the Library of the Straits smiled down at her. "Oh, but I already have," he answered with a grin.  "And there's no meddling kids with their dog to stop me."  He knelt down as though he were not a good fifteen feet above her.  "Just be glad that I still need you, dear Miss Fairchild.  It's the only reason I'm covering this and sparing you the noonday sun."

"I'm not helping you," she spat back defiantely.

"Such a curious thing to say in your position, girl," Jeremiah shot back.  "After all, I could also leave this uncovered and allow you to aquire quite the tan by midday.  I would think that someone in your position would be a bit more compliant."

"You haven't given me a good cost-benefit analysis to compare it with."  Regan paused.  "Have you considered that, really, as it applies to you?  Surely you could use an objective pair of eyes to review the accounts on the library.  I would wager that with your operation you're probably bleeding about thirty  forty percent of your gross revenues, which if you were able to harness them I could reinvest and leverage for a fifteen percent margin benefit.  Then when you consider the misappropriation of material resources in procuring and managing those margins you will probably find a gross improvement of twelve percent across all of your accounts."  She could feel the power of the words coursing through her as she talked, projecting confusion and compliance upwards as she had done with others.  To her surprise  Jeremiah only smiled back down at her.

"Well said, bookkeeper.  But, sadly, I'm afraid I've been around long enough that those powers have little effect on me now, at least by someone your age.  I admire your effort but now am forced to bid you good evening."

And with that one of the stone servants of the library covered the hole, sealing Regan in the darkness.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chapter 23

Chapter 23

Regan paced the short length of her kitchen waiting.  She had a nervous energy, unsure what to do, but unwilling to start anything significant only to have it interrupted.  A few times she started to work on some files for her one of her clients.  Summers were terribly slow, the exception being a law firm that had shifted its fiscal calendar to end on September first.  She found her tablet computer and started to sift through some of the records, trying to keep her mind busy, leaning over the kitchen counter.

Yet again she found herself forced into the role of the servant.  Go get this.  Go get that.  Do this because I command it.  Do not do this because we forbid it.  Smile.  Dance.  Laugh.  Cry.  Obey.  Obey.  Obey.

Her fist came down with the kind of finality that only vampiric strength could provide, breaking through the glass of the tablet’s screen and sending shards flying in an upward spray.  She swore as she stood again, and swept the destroyed gadget off of the counter and into the trash.  She was going through computers at a faster rate than she had budgeted for and out of continued frustration send two jars, one containing uncooked noodles and the other dry lentils, smashing into the wall as well.  She stood a few moments and looked over her miniature tempest of destruction, her blood spread in wide swatches across the granite backsplash.  It was then that the pain in her hand began to register and she forced calm upon herself while she began to pick the shards from her tablet out of her hand.