This week, Kerrie has asked us to do a separate story for one of the lesser characters from one of the three stories that have taken place so far. I chose Charley, one of the operators from the last game.
It is 1100 words, so I will understand if you don’t want to read it.
Charley hated her job. Secretary to an abusive slob who would grope her every time he passed and then apologised saying the aisles were too small. Well maybe if the butterball lost some lard they wouldn’t be! She thought to herself. She could see him walking towards her with that leer on his face again, and rubbing his hands. She picked up a pair of scissors from her desk and gripped them as she would a dagger. As she prepared to spin around and confront him, a man appeared between them. “BB!” he exclaimed, slapping the man on his shoulders. “It’s been too long. How are you, Bibs? It’s me, Jed. You remember me don’t you?”
“My name is not BB, and it is certainly not Bibs! It is Jason!” the man spluttered furiously. He tried to look past this Jed at the object of his desire. He was sure he could force her into the cupboard today, but this OAF spoiled any chance of that. Now he needed to rethink his plan. He wanted her, and he wanted her today. She was young and shapely, just how he liked them. She lasted longer than all the rest so far, and for sure, he could have shoved her in there and then shoved himself in her.
“Listen Bibs … sorry, Jason. I really need Charley here. See, I work for the CIA now, and I need this girl for a mission. You understand, don’t you BB?” he winked at Jason and gently slid the scissors from her hand. “Come on Charley,” he whispered and lifted her to her feet then guided her out of the door.
“YOU CAN’T DO THIS!” were the words that assailed him as they made their way down the corridor to the exit. He looked over his shoulder and almost expected to see Jason explode into a gooey mess all over the floor, his face was that red. A huge grin spread over Jed’s face as he started moving faster and pushing Charley in front.
“Who are you, and where are we going?” she asked him, glancing behind her and almost expecting to see Jason’s groping hands right behind her. “Don’t worry, you’re going to be safe for a while now” Jed said glancing down to her. His six foot four height towered above Charley’s five foot two stature. “I don’t actually work for the CIA, but I do need your help with something. I think homeless people are going missing, and I want your skills”
A week later, Jed settled Charley into her new position. Her new manager, Sam Snyder, told her that she had to recruit people who would be willing to join a game show. The idea of the show is that the people start with nothing, including clothes, and then have to fight each other to win. Snyder explained that they trialled it with homeless people and it worked fine. Now, they wanted people who knew what they were doing.
“Don’t worry your pretty little head, no one dies,” Snyder lied to her. “The people who win get the chance to come back and defend their title. The others are just injured but get treated so there is nothing to worry about.” Charley remained unconvinced and looked to Jed for guidance. He nodded to her and she started looking through the database at the possible candidates.
“How do you know who is eligible, and who comes up with the names?” she called over as Snyder walked through his door. “Don’t worry about that”, he called as a reply and slammed the door behind him. Charley could see her and Snyder having a falling out over this very soon.
After two months in this position, Charley only liked some aspects of her job. She did not know what happened to the contestants who seemed badly injured, even though she tried to find the infirmary. As she crept through the corridors, she heard footsteps from around the corner, so slid into a doorway until he passed. She breathed a sigh of relief and turned the handle to open the door, when a hand gripped her across the chest and mouth, pulling her backwards. She tried crying out and pushing back, but her attacker had a greater strength, and so she relented and relaxed. Then she heard Jed’s voice next to her ear “Ssshhhh. You don’t want them to know we are down here,” and ran a gloved hand down the side of her face. Closing her eyes, Charley feared she was about to be assaulted in some way but Jed pushed her away, stammering, “S-s-sorry, I shouldn’t have done that with your face”. Turning to face him, she saw his face bright red. She giggled at the sight of this giant blushing.
“What are you doing down here?” she asked him. “Are you following me?” He shook his head. “No, I came down to look for the infirmary as well. This room was the only one I found, and you may not like it.” He motioned for her to follow and led her out the back of the long room and through a pair of double doors. There were rows of gurneys, about thirty in total, all with sheets. The furthest eight had something lying on the beds, and her heart sank as her eyes confirmed what her eyes already suspected. Each so called injured participant lay on a gurney each. All had their faces covered by sheets and when pulled back, revealed a body with autopsy Y shaped cuts as well as the marks from the injuries sustained in the game.
Charley’s knees gave out and she collapsed to the floor, sobbing. Working for Butterball did not sound too bad any more. She wondered if she could get her old job back. Jed squatted down in front of her with his hands on her legs, and said, “Listen”, and quickly pulled his hands away when he realised where they were. She giggled and reached for his hands and held them in hers. He smiled and repeated, “Listen. We can’t help these, but we can do something about it happening again. I know someone who knows someone who knows someone who, I think, knows someone. If I can pretend I am CIA again, I may be able to convince him to give me the name of an FBI agent or someone related to a Fed, and you could leave a paper trail for them to follow.” He removed his hand from hers and dried her eyes. He lifted her chin and kissed her, saying “come on. We need to stop Snyder. If he can do this to them, God only knows what he would do to us.”
Three days later, on Monday morning, Charley knew she should have stayed in bed with Jed. She knew it was going to be a bad day …
Now read the compilation story here