Author: The Ink Slinger

Chapter 5
[5 of 9]

Blair rubbed at her eyes as she stepped into her office, feeling her chest tighten as she closed the door. It was hard to imagine feeling safe here, even with all the noise going on beyond the thin window that did little but reflect upon how horrendous the world beyond had come. Tall, sinister buildings of thick grey with tinted windows rose all around her. Cars moved by on the streets below and people, as small as her the nail upon her little finger, milled about like ants looking for scraps. She combed a hand through her hair, wincing at the feel of it. It was somewhat greasy, although it looked perfectly fine. She had, while applying her make-up, noticed the starting of dark rings beneath her eyes.

There was a faint knock on the door, followed by the twist of the handle, and in came the clicking of heels on the hardwood floor. Blair turned, eyeing Gabby as she approached. The younger woman smiled warmly as she hurried in, closing the door quietly behind her.

“Morning, Blair.” She beamed. Blair felt a surge of jealousy as she looked at the young woman, the young woman who felt safe and secure, not at all worried by letters or people with sick obsessions. Blair glared at her for a moment before she turned her back. Gabby cleared her throat uncomfortably as she stared at her boss' back. “Is everything alright, Blair?”

“Just peachy.” Blair snapped, scowling out the window. She sighed and mumbled something as she considered the pros and cons of informing Gabby about the letters she had received. She shook her head and crossed her arms over her chest, shivering as she thought of them. What, after all, could Gabby do if she told her of them? Laugh, she supposed. Gabby would make fun of her, point out that everyone thought she was a lesbian – and whether it were true or not wasn't the point. “How can I help you, Gabby?”

“I just wanted to thank you, that's all. Remember when you helped me, it was ages ago now, but you edited my short story. A couple of months ago. I got a letter yesterday.” By the tone of her voice, Gabby was clearly excited. “It's being published. Can you believe it, Blair?”

“That's splendid.” Blair turned, offering a loose smile as she looked at the happy woman. At times, with how easily pleased and considerably childish she could be, Gabby reminded Blair of a child. So, Blair mused, perhaps Gabby wasn't the person to tell. But if not Gabby, who? “Congratulations.”

“Are you sure everything is okay, Blair? You don't look good. You look a little pale.” Gabby frowned. “Have you been sleeping enough? Eating right? Blair, you know you can talk to me, right? I'm sorry. You probably want to be alone. But I'll be out there,” she nodded at the door, “should you need me. I'm sorry for interrupting you... I know how busy you are... see you after, Blair.”


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