Fancy shoes

Ki-klack-ki-klack-ki-klack …

As each ear-slapping, floor-shaking echo of a stiletto heel bounced off the concrete floor, the employees’ sphincters tightened a little more. That tell-tale cadence could only mean one thing: Sheila was here.

Most of the Glomoclom employees only knew this red sole-wearing, no soul-bearing woman as The Grim Reaper. Sheila knew her nickname but she didn’t care. It was her job to help these employees realize their full potential–elsewhere.

Between her morning triple espresso and her 3PM hand-delivered ginger shot, Sheila had single-handedly made four men over forty cry, inspired one woman to vomit and–by ducking just in time to replace her face with the brick wall behind her–broken the wrist of a raged-out tatted-up twenty-year-old. She looked at the list of remaining soon-to-be ex-employees and giggled.

Thirteen was her lucky number.

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Five more minutes

Her alarm went off for the fourth time. She knew that if she hit snooze again, he’d say something. She also knew that if she rustled around a little, kicking off the covers and shifting her weight on the mattress, she could enjoy at least five extra minutes of sleep before he’d realize she hadn’t actually gotten out of bed.

At this point, her only “punishment” would be a face covered in kisses and the promise of freshly brewed coffee: the perfect motivational speech for rough mornings like these.

She nuzzled into the edge of her pillow and drifted off again.

Thirty minutes later she looked at her phone and shot out of bed in a panic.

“Baby, why didn’t you wake me up?!” she yelled into the kitchen. “Did you start the cof—”

She stopped mid-sentence. Her aching eyes filled and, both embarrassed and exhausted, she curled up on the bedroom floor in a fragile, defeated heap.

Although it’d been months since he’d left our world, she was sure he’d ever be gone from hers.