Mean girls

Delores peered down her nose in disbelief. Though she believed Molly to be a good writer, she gave an audible sternutation at Molly’s request that she be given control over consumer communications. Delores was a second-rate writer, and in fact, was barely above mediocre in every way. But consumer communications was under her control. If she were to hand it over to Molly, Molly might be able to prove herself better than Delores, and she simply couldn’t allow that to happen.

So Delores devised a plan to get rid of Molly.

It was a simple plan, really. Molly was an affable person and most everyone in the office who knew Molly, liked her. In fact, many thought she was better at her job than Delores. But there was one person who couldn’t stand Molly’s agreeable way and that was Ivy.

Ivy was an ornery, gloomy person, and even Delores couldn’t stand to deal with her. At face value, Ivy was pleasant enough. But a cursory encounter with her revealed that she was bad-tempered and intimidating to anyone who dared cross her. Ivy had learned to control everyone around her; everyone except Molly. Molly seemed above it all, almost not to notice what a thorny person Ivy was, and that annoyed her. Ivy was used to being the center of focus and did not enjoy sharing the spotlight with anyone, especially a seemingly unaware person like Molly.

Delores decided during her morning coffee that would involve Ivy in her scheme  and during lunch Delores told Ivy about her plot. Ivy, who had been listening to Delores with great intent, began to grow a wicked smile. It was a perfect plan. If they worked swiftly and without compassion, Molly would be gone.

Delores and Ivy would enact their plan tomorrow.

*

“Good morning,” Molly said as she floated to her cubicle. “I brought cookies for anyone who wants some.”

“Did you make them?” Ivy asked ironically. She intended this as a pink, but Molly appeared to have missed it.

“I did. John needed to bring cookies to a work party and I had some leftover, so I brought them to share.” She set the plate at the corner of her desk, turned on her computer and plopped down in her chair.

Ivy, who sat in the cubicle next Molly, turned to avoid revealing her malicious grin.

Delores had been listening to their dialogue, with one eye peeking over the cubicle wall. Ivy saw Delores spying and winked at her. Delores ducked her head quickly and tried to focus on her work. Perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea, she thought. Because of Ivy’s impetuous ways, she realized overnight that getting her involved could ruin the entire plan. But it was too late.

She stood up like a shot and walking past Ivy’s desk, said almost too loudly, “Ivy, let’s go to that meeting.”

Ivy sat befuddled for a moment, but realizing Delores’ point, she hastily followed her down the hall.

*

Delores ducked into an empty conference room and shut the door as soon as Ivy stepped in. She spoke in hushed tones, in case anyone passing by might hear.

“What are you doing?” Delores hissed through her teeth. “She’s going to find out about our plan. You’re being too obvious.”

Ivy rolled her eyes, which was her custom of doing at least twenty times a day. “You’re crazy, Molly’s not that smart. Besides, I thought about it last night and instead of just getting her in trouble, I think we should get rid of her once and for all.”

Delores’ eyes widened. “You mean do something that will get her fired?” She wasn’t sure if she liked this idea. It went way beyond their original plan.

Ivy stared at Delores through narrowed eyes. Boy, this girl is dumb, she thought.

“No, I mean really get rid of her,” Ivy replied obviously.

Delores gasped. Ivy waited for her to respond, but she only stood there, her mouth agape and her face glaucous.

Ivy opened the door to exit, but only before leaving the words trailing behind her, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.” She breezed out of the conference room leaving Delores frozen.

Her mind raced. What did Ivy mean that she’d take care of it? What was she going to do? Delores hadn’t planned on doing anything illegal and certainly nothing that would actually hurt Molly. But now Ivy was going to do something to get rid of Molly and Delores would be in on the whole scheme.

Delores walked stiffly back to her desk. Ivy hadn’t returned to her cubicle and Molly sat in her chair, pleasantly typing. Delores stared at her, boring her eyes into the side of Molly’s perfectly shaped head and long, golden hair.

She reminded herself that this was all Molly’s fault. If she hadn’t tried to push in on Delores’ place and steal her job (which is how Delores was choosing to remember the discussion) things would be fine. Delores decided that whatever Ivy had in mind for Molly, she definitely had it coming.

Delores’s thoughts were interrupted by Molly standing over her desk.

“I brought cookies if you want some,” Molly smiled. Her perfect, white teeth caught a glint of the morning sun through the window.

That’s it, thought Delores. She’s definitely going down.

*

Hours passed and nothing happened. Perhaps Ivy had blenched from her original plan of getting rid of Molly, thought Delores, as she tried to focus on the work she needed to finish before the day’s end.

Ivy had only been back to her desk once, briefly, to pick up a folder and to grab several of the cookies that Molly had left on the corner of her desk. She folded the cookies neatly into a napkin and hid them in her portfolio. Even if Molly had made them, they would make a decent snack during her conference call after lunch.

After gobbling down a sandwich, Ivy strolled confidently into her meeting. She set down her portfolio, pulled up a chair and waited for the others to arrive, while she quietly thought about her plan, which she fully intended to enact before the day was through. She wasn’t nervous; rather, she was filled with a diabolical excitement. Molly would be out of her hair once and for all, along with that stupid, perfect grin and her shiny blonde hair.

The call droned on for over an hour. Ivy was weary of the conversation, so she sipped on her water bottle and pulled out the cookies from her portfolio. She picked at them quietly, not wanting to disturb the others, and ended up eating all three that she had grabbed from Molly’s plate. The meeting ended abruptly, and Ivy gathered her things. She was feeling enormously sleepy.

“Are you alright?” asked Tim, the manager from IT who had led the meeting. “You look like you didn’t get enough sleep last night.”

Ivy was light headed as she stood. “No, I’m fine,” she replied. “Maybe I’m just coming down with something.”

She wandered out of the meeting room to the elevator. Feeling strange, she leaned against railing across from the tenth floor bank of elevators. She really just wanted to get back down to her desk and sit down. Maybe she’d go home a little early.

Bing, bing, bing.

The elevator was taking forever to get to the tenth floor, and Ivy began to sweat. Finally, the doors opened to one of the elevators and Ivy stumbled toward it. She looked inside and it seemed unusually dark, but things were getting darker and darker all around her. She stepped into the cavern.

*

Delores found out about Ivy’s grisly death when she was called out of a meeting to human resources. In a small conference room, she sat, unmoving, in a tiny chair across from the department head and several others, including her manager. She tried to make herself as small as she could. Their voices were muffled, like in a dream.

“Therefore, we have every reason to believe that you were involved in this incident,” said the department head. “We will be sending you home today and you will remain suspended pending an investigation.”

His lips were pursed, his face red. He addressed her in loud, staccato tones. Delores heard him speaking, but wasn’t sure if the words made sense to her. She began to shiver.

He stood up, indicating the discussion was over. “You’ll go back to your desk and get your things. Edward will escort you.” He nodded toward a imposing man in the corner.

Delores stood up slowly. None of this made any sense. Her mind raced. This was a big mistake; she didn’t have anything to do with Ivy falling down the elevator shaft. How could this have happened? Edward waited for Delores to exit the small conference room and he followed her.

At her desk, Delores could feel dozens of eyes peering over the cubicle walls. She robotically grabbed what she needed: her purse, jacket and lunch bag. As a second thought, she grabbed her books and photos from the shelf over her desk and put them in a box.

Molly sat at her own desk, continuing to type, as if unaware of what was happening. The human resources assistant stood at a distance while maintaining a focused eye on every move Delores made.

When Delores finished gathering her things, she picked up the box and made her way past Molly’s desk. She felt like a dead man walking.

Molly continued to type. As she banged on the keyboard she whispered words that only Delores could hear.

“It looks like your plan had a glitch.”

Delores looked back over her shoulder. Molly stopped typing. She looked Delores squarely in the eye, grabbed a cookie from the plate and took a bite.

She chewed the cookie slowly. “Bye, Delores,” she said with a sweet grin, then looked down and continued to type.

fin

Everything on this blog is property of Kathan Lewis and Kathan Ink. 
© Kathan Lewis 2010.

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© Kathan Ink 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kathan Ink, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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