The Graveyard Shift

There’s only half an hour left of the graveyard shift, and I’m flagging. It’s not exhaustion caused by excessive work, but rather exhaustion from lack of work. The graveyard shift does little to stimulate the mind, and when the mind shuts down the body goes with it.

Not a single guest has checked in during my five hours behind the desk. A couple stumbled through the door earlier – one at 1:13am and another at 1:32 – but they were simply returning to their rooms after a night on the town. Both swayed from side to side as they walked and had rosy cheeks and dumb grins. Boozing businessmen – that’s who I usually face during graveyard shifts. But that’s fine by me; they tend to greet me with a goofy smile and head straight for the lift, eager to get to the safety of their bedroom where they can close their eyes and stop the world from spinning. Continue reading “The Graveyard Shift”

The Debate

“Felines and canines, rodents and birds, please welcome your 2017 international presidential candidates, Rex and Pusskin.”

Howls and screeches and squawks went up from the crowd as the candidates made their appearance on stage. Pusskin sashayed towards her podium, eyes narrow, tail swishing gently from left to right to showcase her cool, calm composure. Rex was her polar opposite; he bounded across the stage and back again, tail wagging furiously, tongue lolling from his mouth as he let the crowd absorb his enthusiasm.
Continue reading “The Debate”

The Vampire

“You’re the only one who will not judge me when I tell you this story.”

“Oo, now I’m intrigued. Does it have anything to do with the date you went on last night?”

“Yep.” Faye bit her lip and wondered whether sharing the tale would do her any favours. But she’d already mentioned it now; if she didn’t spill all, Dan would only pester her and pester her until she cracked. Continue reading “The Vampire”

The Intern: Part 4

“Floor 3 today?”

RAPL’s receptionist looked up into Claire’s face with the same look that she would give had she stepped in something brown and noxious. Claire was different today. Her meek, mouse-like appearance had given way to self-confidence. Her chin was raised, and there was not a hint of a stutter in her voice. And that didn’t do at all. Continue reading “The Intern: Part 4”

I’m a Dog Person

It would be a dog. It had to be. I’d always been a dog person, and dogs loved me. Whenever I took a walk through the park they flocked to me, tales wagging, mouths wide and smiley, desperate for me to throw them a stick or a ball or give them a tickle behind the ear. I’d never come across a dog I didn’t like, or who didn’t like me. I was 99.9% sure I was going to matched with a dog. Continue reading “I’m a Dog Person”

The Intern: Part 3

“Hi.”

RAPL’s receptionist looked up with her eyebrows raised expectantly.

“Um. I’m Claire. The Intern?”

“I know,” the receptionist said coldly.

Claire nodded. “Just wondering where I need to be today.”

“Floor two. Take the lift. Ask for Leslie.” Continue reading “The Intern: Part 3”

The ABCs of Lissy and the Tree

Around the corner from Lissy’s home was a funny little park that featured a single tree, a single swing, and a single bench.

Being a loner, Lissy loved the park since few other children ever seemed to play there. Children, after all, tended to roam her local streets in small packs, and this particular park appeared to be set up for the introverts of the world. Continue reading “The ABCs of Lissy and the Tree”

The Intern: Part 2

“Hi, I’m Claire? The intern?”

RAPL’s receptionist looked up at the worried face before her and replied, “I know, we established that yesterday.”

Claire turned pink. “I… I just want to know where I’m supposed to be today.”

The receptionist sighed and pointed at elevator doors on the wall to Claire’s left. “First floor. Ask for Bob.” Continue reading “The Intern: Part 2”

Mirror, Mirror

One pair of trousers, that’s all June required. She repeated it over and over in her mind as she hurried down the high street – “one pair of trousers, one pair of trousers, one pair of trousers”. The mantra fell in time with her footsteps – “one pair” with the left foot, “of trousers” with the right. It wound in her mind so quickly and so often that it became white noise and eventually she found herself completely forgetting that one pair of trousers was all she needed. Continue reading “Mirror, Mirror”

The Intern: Part 1

“Hello, I’m Claire.”

RAPL’s jaded receptionist looked up at the slim hand that was stretched out toward her, then traced her eyes up further to the beaming, nervous face to which it belonged.

The receptionist didn’t take the hand. Instead, she looked back down at her monitor and barked, “Surname?” Continue reading “The Intern: Part 1”