A Short Story by Jeremy Benjamin
Written using the suggestion ""You will be no friend of mine" "calling" "shadow" "distance" "future" "deep""
Originally featured on 08-05-2009
As part of our series "Stories Written for Mel Favara’s “1,000 Words” Reading Series"

The store clerk said, “Are you enjoying your day?” Mary stuffed the two bottles of spring water compactly into her purse as she said, “No.  But I will be in an hour or so.” Mary was incorrect. In her car, she repeated to herself what she had been saying to herself since breakfast.  “Every moment that I’m there, I will give a hundred and ten percent.  And I am committed to being there as little as possible.” Upon arrival, she had already consumed both bottles of water and was still thirsty.  The swivel door made inside air blend with outside air almost seamlessly.  It tickled deep in her abdomen. Bill stood behind her chair.  She hated people who loomed.  It showed insecurity, power, or something in between, and every human quality in between was disgusting. Bill shook his head.  His shadow dampened the web browser on her left monitor.  She minimized it, said to Bill’s shadow, “Do you mind?” Bill had been calling her from a short distance across the room, not intending rudeness. Mary stood up.  She was taller than Bill.  For that reason, he disliked it when she stood up.  She said, “If you attempt to interfere with my work again, you will be no friend of mine.” Bill lowered his head.  Instantly Mary felt regret.  Bill had the power to make one feel regret.  Or maybe it was insecurity.  Her future with the company was a matter to be discussed over food and drink.  She was still thirsty.


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