CHAPTER 1 – IT’S MY JOB
Soul crushing. That’s what this was. Emily finally figured out the right word for it. That’s what her job was. Soul crushing. She worked in the drab and bland cubicle number thirty-six on the boring floor twenty two of the blank glass office building. In fact the only thing exciting about her job was that she got to ride on an elevator for twenty one floors. One could imagine how much fun that really is.
Yet here she was again. The elevator just passed floor four. Two men got on, adding to the already cramped-ness of the elevator. Emily groaned and shuffled further back into the corner. She was already squished between an enormous accountant woman and a loud mouthed manager woman. It was mildly lucky she was so thin and small, but that really just added to how squished she was. A young woman of twenty four, Emily had lengthy blonde hair that was tied into a tight bun and an almost curve-free body.
Floor seven they stopped again. Two business men got off. One large fat man replaced them. No relief yet.
Emily groaned and adjusted the briefcase in her hands. The large fat woman pressed against her very uncomfortably. Emily tried fruitlessly to push back and adjust herself into a comfortable position. Wasn’t there supposed to be some sort of limit on these elevators? Whatever it was, she was sure they were over it.
Floor twelve. A half-dozen people got off. They had some breathing room. The fat lady didn’t move at all.
Her life had gone like most normal lives. She had been a child, then a student and then her parents urged her to go to college. Unfortunately, her mother’s type of urging was to sign her up for the entrance exam, pay the fee and then use that as reason to guilt her into it.
Floor sixteen. More people got off. The fat lady stepped a few feet away and Emily took a deep breath.
Emily never had an issue with college, but she wanted to go for Aquatic Sea life studies. Become a scientist who swam and explored the oceans. But that was a pipe dream. Her mother signed her up for the classes she thought she could take. Mathematics. Computers. Accounting. In the year 1995, computers were becoming more and more mainstream. They were being used in banks and accounting firms.
Floor twenty. All but the fat lady got off. Two floors to go.
Her mother, Janice Heart, had insisted that this field of studies would ensure her a steady job and the chance to find a man to marry. That was her mother’s true goal. To make Emily look appealing to prospective men by giving her an education and money. Emily had long since seen through her mother’s ploys. But it never stopped Janice from calling her every week with the name of one rich or powerful man for her to go on a date with.
Floor twenty-two. Emily stepped towards the door. She stopped in the doorway and looked down at her shoes. She always imagined she would live much of her life barefoot, just swimming in the vast ocean, searching and observing the amazing sea life. Instead she wore shiny black clogs that hurt her feet and made her angry.
“Are you getting off dear?” The fat lady asked as the elevator tried to close but stopped when it bumped Emily’s suitcase.
“What? Oh yes…I suppose.” Emily sighed, stepping forward.
She walked slowly from the elevator.
“Emily! Good, you’re on time today. Here are some TPS reports that I need you to fill out on the work you did yesterday. You didn’t do them. Be sure to use the new cover sheets.” Her floor manager said, stuffing an alarming stack of papers into her arms.
“But sir, I did these yesterday.” Emily said, looking at the stack of papers held in her arms.
“Well I’m sure you did, but management down up floor thirty didn’t receive them. So you’ve got to do them again.” The manager said.
Emily was about to say something when she just turned and walked away. Shuffling down the long, bleak hallway between the cubicles, she reached number thirty six in the middle on the far side. They weren’t allowed any personal effects in the cubicle save for a personal Calender. Erin had one with fish that her mother had bought her. She dropped the load of papers down on the desk and sat down in front of her computer. She slipped her shoes off under the desk and sighed. She wore a clean dark blue business suit with a skirt and matching tie. More than once she had considered just hooking her tie in a light fixture and kicking the chair away.
“Hey Emily. Could I have a word?” A voice said behind her.
This particular voice ma her want to take her heavy computer and hurl it across the room. It was, what management called, her day supervisor. A greasy, disgusting man who took entirely too much ‘liberty’ with his position. He was assigned to make sure the employees on floor twenty-two stayed on task and did their work efficiently.
“Yes Sloan?” Emily said, gritting her teeth as she turned around.
“I heard you were having an issue filling out your TPS reports for your work yesterday. Management casino şirketleri really needs those. They have to know what work is getting done.” Sloan said, grinning, “Are you not wearing your shoes? You know that is thoroughly against dress code. I may have to report you. Unless…of course…you want to break the dress code in another manner.”
The way he said that last sentence made Emily’s skin feel like it had a million bugs crawling around just under the surface. She reluctantly put her shoes back on and looked up at him.
“Fine.” He grunted, “Just get those TPS reports done or you’ll be talking to management about it.”
“Okay, Sloan.” She said with bile creeping up her throat.
Sloan rubbed a hand over his pencil-thin oily mustache and walked away. Emily turned back to her computer and fought the urge to gag. That man took every single chance he could to make a move on any woman on the floor. He was sickening and stupid, but he was also the son of the CEO and he knew that his father would take his side over any woman.
Her head felt like it was going to explode already. She dug in her briefcase, found her bottle of aspirin and quickly swallowed two of them before getting to work.
Work went how she expected it to. Soul-Crushingly boring. A noisy and packed subway trip home and she stood in front of her dirty apartment building on the south side of New York. There was upsides and downsides to living in New York. She knew that there was. She just hadn’t figured out the upsides yet. Her mother lived in Brooklyn but insisted that her daughter move here to try and get better work. Sure the work was better, but the apartment cost a fortune and she had to live in a town with millions of people.
Walking inside, she headed over to the elevator and clicked the button. The elevator dinged and nothing happened.
“Sorry hon, it’s out of order.” The janitor said, walking over to stick a paper on the elevator door.
“Oh. Thanks.” Emily sighed.
She stepped over to the stairs and started to climb. She lived on the tenth floor. At least she didn’t have to stand in the elevator. That’s always just felt like she was back at work.
Her feet were killing her. The shoes that came with the suit were terrible and had no support in them. The salesman had assured her they would loosen up…six months ago.
She never understood those comics when she was a child that portrayed the man coming home from work tired and aggravated. She always thought work would be fun and she would make money at it.
But the money was always gone before she got the chance to have any fun. The work was empty and boring. Nothing about her life was turning out how she wanted. She always thought if she went to college and got the good job, at least she would make a lot of money. Well at this point that was a fiscal impossibility.
Almost home. She walked out the door and down the bland linoleum hall. Everything was bland in here life. Everything was boring and empty. No man was ever interested in her like her mother had thought would happen. It was so bad that, at night, Emily couldn’t even bring herself to masturbate. Masturbation, when she had been a teenager, had been a pleasant escape on reality for a little while. But now her life was so smashed under her work and bills that even her imagination could bring forth a pleasing thought.
Door number one thousand twenty two.
That always reminded her of work. She hated it and always considered pulling the numbers off the door so she didn’t have to look at them. It wasn’t like she had any friends to come visit her or anything that needed to know her address. But as always, she just walked inside and dropped her briefcase on the counter and kicked her shoes off on the edge of the worn old carpet. Digging in the fridge, she pulled out a beer and sighed. At least she had a cold beer waiting for her here. But she wasn’t an excessive drinker at all. Unless you consider ‘going out on Friday night and getting so fucked up that you’re always surprised Saturday morning that you actually got hone’ to be excessive.
Flopping down on her couch, she groaned and lifted the beer to her lips.
There was a knock at the door and she yelled angrily the door.
“Oh come on! I haven’t even managed to take a drink of my beer yet. God damn it!” Emily yelled loudly as she got to her feet.
She pulled the door open with one hand and took a long pull from her beer in the other. She was still drinking when the man at the door said something.
“Papers.” The man said.
“Ahhh. What? Oh.” Emily said, finally looking at him.
He was an old man with his face hidden by a low-pulled baseball cap. Frizzled graying blond hair stuck out from the hat in long wavy strands. His skin was well tanned and he wore shorts and an old T-shirt. He didn’t look like any delivery man.
“What are they?” Emily asked as she took another casino firmaları drink.
“A Will.” The man said, quickly handing them to her.
“Not my mom is it? I’d be so broken if she were hit by a fucking bus or something.” Emily said as she took another drink and looked at the brown envelope he handed her.
“There may be hope for you yet.” The man said with a smirk as he walked away.
“What?” Emily asked, looking up, “Hey! What did you mean by that?”
The man was already through the door and jogging down the stairs. Emily grunted and took another drink. As she closed the door, she realized her beer was pitifully empty and so she crushed the can and tossed it in the garbage. Tossing the packet on the counter, she pulled another beer out of her fridge and set it on the counter.
“So who died.” Emily said with a sigh.
She ripped the top of the envelope open and dumped it out on the counter. A key jingled across the counter and fell on the floor. A half-dozen papers slid out and Emily reached down and got the key off the floor. It was a small black key that looked like it belonged to a locker of some sort. It had a fob that read ‘J-21’.
Taking a drink of beer, she flipped through the papers.
“Uncle Leo Mcanally. I haven’t talked to him since I was a little girl. Why am I getting his will? Mom is the next of kin.” Emily sighed.
She flipped through the will and stopped.
“I nearby leave all my beach front property on Isle De Margarita to my over-worked niece Emily Siren Heart.” Emily read out loud, “As well as my plane, my sail boat, all my possessions and the contents of locker ‘J-21’ in the New York International airport.”
Emily was dumbfounded. For some reason her uncle decided to leave her his beach front property, his boat and his plane. That was the part she didn’t understand. Why did he leave her his plane? Where was his plane anyway?
“Well simplest part, I might as well go see what’s in this locker.” Emily sighed, taking another drink.
Walking into her small bedroom, she stripped to her panties. Digging through her closet, she grabbed much more comfortable clothes. Sweat pants, a T-shirt and sneakers. She laid her suit on the bed to make sure it didn’t get wrinkled too bad. She didn’t need to give Sloan another reason to even talk to her.
Emily walked down the wall of lockers at the airport. She found the J section and located locker 21. Unlocking it with the small key, she looked inside. There we some clothes folded in the bottom with a hat on top of them. She pulled out the hat and looked at it. It was a soft, tan bucket hat with a couple of fishing flies stuck in it. She put it on her head and looked back in the locker. Under the hat was a pair of sunglasses sitting on a plane ticket. She pulled them out and looked at the ticket. It was a one way ticket to Key West, Florida scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at 2 pm.
“What is this?” Emily said, looking at the ticket, “Well…now I could use a vacation.”
She pocketed the ticket and then pulled out the shirt. It was an awfully bright Hawaiian print shirt with flamboyant orange and yellow flowers across a cool red. She tossed it over her shoulder and looked in the locker. There was nothing else in there.
Walking away, she looked at the ticket. Written inside was ‘Escape To Paradise’. She grinned and pocketed the ticket again. She was definitely going to escape. If she didn’t, someone at work was going to die a bloody death. The problem was that she had no vacation time at all. Her work only gave about two weeks of paid sick days per year and pretty much no vacation time for anyone who made less than a hundred thousand a year.
It was there, a nice hat on here head and a ticket to freedom in her pocket, that the sudden realization hit her. What the fuck was she doing? It was causing her sickening amounts of stress to stay at that job. She should just quit and move to Florida. What’s the worst that would happen? She ends up working at a fast food restaurant and living in a smaller house than she is now? It would be worth it to get away from this life.
And so Emily headed home and started to pack. She looked around at the ratty old furniture in the apartment and her eyes fell on the Will. That’s how she would do it. She would sell the plane she inherited. Planes were worth a lot of money. She would sell that and live on the sail boat her uncle left her. Sailing shouldn’t be that hard. She knew how to swim and she loved to fish. Surly someone in Key West could teach her how to sail.
She grabbed the will and stuffed it in the suitcase with her other clothes. She looked down at the suit that laid on here bed. An evil grin spread across her face and she grabbed it up in here arms. Shoes included, she threw it all into the metal trash can that sat in the corner of her kitchen. Opening her freezer, she pulled out the bottle of Vodka she had stashed in there. Turning to the trash can, she opened the bottle and stopped.
“Maybe…this güvenilir casino should wait until I leave.” Emily said, looking at the open bottle of vodka.
She set it on the counter and want back to packing. She filled the suitcase with her belongings and then grabbed a backpack out of the closet. She packed some more precious things in there along with the shirt, hat and glasses that her uncle left her. Putting it all away in a corner, she fell over on the bed and sighed. Freedom was within her reach. Tomorrow she would quit her job and leave this life behind.
Just then her cell phone rang. Emily grabbed it off the bed side stand and clicked a button.
“Hello?” She asked.
“Hello honey. It’s mom. Did you get anything in the mail today?” Janice asked without pause.
“Um, yea mom. How did you know?” Emily said, biting her lip.
“I got some papers about my brother. Uncle Leo. He died. So did you get his will? Because he left me something very strange.” Janice said.
“Uhh, yea I did. He left me his boat, his plane and his beach property on some island.” Emily mumbled.
“Oh god he didn’t. Emily don’t fall for it. Your uncle didn’t have any of those things. He was a lazy beach bum that wasted his life drinking beers and fishing.” Janice said worriedly.
“Well beer and fishing kinda sounds good right now.” Emily said, her face pressed into a pillow and muffled, “He also left me a plane ticket to Key West, Florida. I think I’m gonna go on vacation.”
“Janice, don’t you dare. That man threw away his life. I don’t want to see you do the same. You’ve got something good going. You have a home and a job.” Janice said, “And I found you a date for this Friday.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me. Mom I’m tired of you trying to set me up on these dates with these stuffy old perverts.” Emily said in annoyance, “I’ve told you before to stop.”
“Perverts? Honey, these are some of the finest men in New York. If you were to marry one your future would be assured. You wouldn’t have to work. You could just live your life as a mother and a wife.” Janice said hurriedly.
“Mom I don’t want that kind of life. My future would only be assured as a doll and in a jail cell.” Emily said sharply.
“You are not going to get on that plane. I want my daughter to have a good life! I want you to succeed!” Janice yelled, “And you will listen to me!”
“You’re a bitch.” Emily said flatly and she hung up the phone.
She immediately turned the phone off, knowing that her mother was bound to try and call her back numerous times. She tossed it in here backpack and stripped her clothes off, falling over in bed. Her mother was another reason she wanted to flee this life. She was pretty much Emily’s puppeteer and she loved nothing more than to control every aspect of Emily’s life. But soon that will be long behind here. She fell asleep thinking of what she would look like with a nice tan. Bland body, small breasts and thin hips. But maybe, just maybe, with a nice golden tan, she could see herself beautiful.
Emily jerked awake at her alarm at seven in the morning. She got up and started her usual morning routine. Just as she was about to pour herself a cup of coffee, she realized what she was doing.
“Fuck this!” She screamed, hurling the full coffee pot at the kitchen wall where it shattered and splattered coffee all voter the place.
She stomped back to her bedroom and got dressed in slacks, the red Hawaiian shirt and some soft leather sandals. She put her hat on her head, her sunglasses on her nose and her backpack on her back. She grabbed her suitcase and started towards the door. At the door she looked sideways at the bottle of vodka that was still sitting the counter. She took a long pull from it and emptied the rest over her suit in the trash can and dropped a lit match in it. The garbage can burst with fire and a wave of heat pushed Emily back a few steps. She laughed and grabbed a chisel marker off the counter before hurrying out the door.
Closing the door, she wrote ‘Fuck You!’ in huge letters on the door.
“Hey now that’s not very nice.” The man from one thousand twenty four across the way said as she walked away.
“Buildings on fire.” Emily warned as she tossed the pen over her shoulder walked out the fire escape door.
She hurried down the stairs as the fire alarm went off. She headed out the front door and towards the subway.
At the building she worked at, she walked through the lobby and to the elevator. It was empty when she got on and so she clicked number thirty. Kneeling down, she calmly unzipped her suitcase and pulled out the rather large butcher knife she had packed. She didn’t plan to murder anyone, just keep the elevator empty.
Sure enough at the third floor, they stopped and a group of about four people started to get on. Emily raised the knife and grinned evilly as they stepped towards her. The man in front stumbled and backpedaled away from her, pushing the others back as she started to step forward. They screamed and she pressed the close doors button. The elevator continued.
This continued every couple of floors until floor twenty two when Sloan tried to get on with a cart full of papers.