Author: The Ink Slinger

Chapter 1
[1 of 9]

Blair didn't feel particularly calm, nor did she feel any inkling of joy at the obviously gloomy day outside her office window. She had been considerably lazy in her dealings with work, allowing mountains of paper to pile upon the edges of her desk and dog-eared photographs pinned haphazardly against an old cork board. Blair cupped her chin in the palm of one hand and used the other to flick carefully through one of the smaller piles of paper. A frustrated sigh fled from her lips as she sat back, lifting a manicured hand to comb through her midnight curls. It was with disdain that she rose, moving slowly toward the window to peer unhappily out at the gloomy grey afternoon beyond the thin pane of rain-flecked glass, ignoring the first soft knock on the thin oak door that kept her shoebox office cut off from the rest of the magazine's staff.

“Come in,” Blair called. As the door began to open, Blair turned, setting her eyes on the skinny young woman who stepped calmly through the thin door. A smile lit the young woman's face revealing two rows of pearly teeth. “Gabby, how can I help you?”

“Sorry to disrupt you, Blair.” Gabby murmured, stepping further into Blair's office. Blair offered her a faint smile as she turned more fully, her eyes dancing along the young journalist. “I was hoping you'd be able to look over my latest piece... I know, I know. I should have asked earlier, but, well... I was thinking of submitting it for publishing, maybe. It's a short story... five thousand words. I checked and... well, you're the only editor I know, and you're good, you'd have to be... it's your job... do you mind, Blair? Only if you're not too busy... I know The Buzz takes up a lot of your time... it's a popular magazine...”

“I'll see what I can do, Gabby.” Blair replied calmly, taking several steps toward the skinny woman. Gabby beamed and held out a pale green folder, decorated in the same way a high school student might have decorated her folder. Blair eyed it with something akin to disgust as she set it on her desk, trying to decide how best to get through the rest of her work as well as the extra load she'd just taken on. “Go home, Gabby. Everyone else has left, so you might as well too. I'll see you tomorrow.”

Blair waited patiently, holding her breath, until Gabby had closed the door behind her. It was then that she turned, eyeing the gloomy world outside, and felt the smile she'd summoned for the young woman fade. It was like watching water slide down the sink after doing the dishes. One minute, foam and water had combined and swirled into the hole, the next there was nothing but sparkling silver. She sighed as she crossed to the window, reaching out a finger to prod a drop of rain on the opposing side of the glass with the tip of one French-manicured nail.


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