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  • Writer's picturecarolemarples

She Who Laughs Last

This was my entry into a competition, He who Laughs Last, Laughs Loudest.

I hadn’t planned to pull his head off. I bent and searched for body parts under the desk.

“You’re an Action Man, for plastics sake,” I told him. “You’re supposed to hold it together.”

I was still on my knees when Mr Krypton returned to his office.

“Much as I approve of the attitude. What are you doing down there, Miss Light?”

“It’s Bright, sir. One of your soldier dolls fell off the shelf.”

“Not dolls. They’re valuable collectibles.”

Yeah, right. Whatever. Krypton had a whole wall of them. Not what you’d expect from a mid-level manager.

“He’s out on manoeuvres, sir. No. Found him.” I positioned the doll on the desk. I’d rammed his head on the wrong way round. Aren’t soldiers supposed to have eyes in the back of their heads?

“Well, Miss Suzie Light. You’ve been with us for two months now.”

“Sally Bright, sir. Yes, I’m loving it.”

“A Pity. We’re going to have to let you go.”

I crumpled my face. “But, sir, my line manager says I’m doing well.”

“I make the decisions. You’re going. Leaving. Sacked. Do I make myself clear, Miss Light?”

I nodded and rose.

“Sit down. I haven’t finished yet. How important is this job to you?”

“It means everything, sir.”

“I could be persuaded.” Krypton caressed thin lips with a meaty tongue.

I widened my eyes.

He stood and hooked both thumbs through his belt. “How nice can you be?”

When I didn’t react, he thrust his hips forwards and back. His belly rippled to a tune of its own.

“If you’re asking me for sexual favours, sir, the answer is no.”

Krypton stopped jiggling and sank back into his chair. Tiny beads of sweat perforated his brow.

“You’ll be sorry you said that.” He reached into a drawer.

I gasped as he aimed the gun at my breast. Although primed, shock waves of fear seared through my body. The gun popped and he laughed. A cloth with a message unfurled from the barrel. ‘You’re fired,’ it said.

“Tell anyone and I’ll hunt you down with a real gun.” He returned his toy to the drawer. “Dismissed. Leave the premises and speak to no-one.”

I stood to attention. “You don’t scare me. I intend to report your behaviour.”

Krypton laughed long and hard. I feared for his epiglottis.

“My word against yours. Who’d believe a chit like you?”

“They will when they see the video.” I scooped up my soldier and we marched to the door. “A cannonball’s coming your way, Mr Krypton. Take care.”

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