Saturday, June 03, 2017

Excerpt 3 from "Red Hot Sinner Man"

Excerpt 3 from Red Hot Sinner Man
By Stephen B. Bagley

Alex wasn't what she'd been looking for. Abby hadn't been looking for a guy at all. She had joined Gallant and Sons to build a resume. She needed to rise above the rank and file and she needed to do it yesterday.

She hadn't been able to finish college. She applied for grants and loans and worked two part-time jobs, but the money wasn't enough to pay for school and to take care of her younger brother and sister. So she quit school and worked days at the local Taco King and weekends at Gilbert's Git-N-Git-Going convenience store. In what time she had left, she tried to be mom and dad to her siblings. It wasn't enough, but after a rough two years, Davie was making better grades and Alissa had stopped crying over every disappointment as if her heart had broken.

It would have been easier if her parents had siblings or any close relatives, but their only living relative was a cousin who moldered in a nursing home and another cousin who lived halfway across the country. At eighteen, Abby became the head of their little family. A couple welfare workers had scared her by talking of taking Davie or maybe little Alissa, but Abby's fierce protectiveness and the fact the workers had too many children they had to rescue from abusive homes to worry about two orphans who were clean and well-fed. Occasionally someone would drop in and check on them, but the kids knew the drill.

Last year the insurance company finally settled the suit from her parents' accident. Enough money to allow her to quit the Get-N-Go and look around for a better job. One that might let her earn more money and be a way to an even better job.

Her official title was Customer satisfaction Representative. From 8:30 to 5:00, she took phone calls and answered questions from The Gallant's customers. Some of those calls she handled; others had to be bumped on up. It hadn't taken her long to realize that the number of calls dropped some each month as the Internet help system became more sophisticated. Soon management would look around to make cuts, and as the newest CSP, she had only job insecurity.

So during her breaks, she had taken to wandering the halls, trying to find a place that she could move to. She smiled and said hi and networked, networked, networked. She made copies and ran errands for other departments. She had a ton of "If I hear of anything, I'll buzz you immediately" and lots of "I wish they had hired you to do that job instead of (whoever)."

That's what she had been doing when Alex threw up on her shoes.

(Copyright 2017 by Stephen B. Bagley. All rights reserved. Thank you for reading.)

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