Friday, April 2, 2010

Washing the Lions

Terrance rubbed his chin absentmindedly; shocked at the spiky stubble he discovered sprouting from his face. Not the image he had carefully groomed for the last five years at the department.  The pale reflection from his screen betrayed his haggard visage. He flicked his calendar open on the screen, relieved to see he had the morning booked in non contact duties. This would give him time to go to the corner store and procure disposable shaving gear allowing his image to be upheld for the afternoons staff meeting.
He quickly dealt with his normal array of emails and enquiries, though his mind was far from the mundane bleatings of overpaid public servants. Instead, he searched for any out of the ordinary query or combinations of secret names hidden in the text from unknown clients. Relieved, but concerned he’d found nothing out of the normal Monday morning backlog, Terrance raked his long fingers through his hair and wondered when or how he would be contacted as retribution for his indiscretions during the weekend.
The high council would not take it lightly that he had, in the throws of passion, nay lust, he had revealed ceremonial secrets. He curled his lip in disgust.  He knew she’d been too good to be true.  Helena must have been a plant all along; urging him with those swollen lips and full breasts to divulge what he knew. She was so clever. Laughing at him; teasing him and pretending that she didn’t know what he was talking about. Urging him with her hips to share things that only a few within the sacred hearth knew or practiced.
With grim satisfaction, Terrance rejected a batch of requests, sending them further documentation to complete before their enquiries could be re-considered or answered. He was certain his identity was safe deep inside the I.T department; though he fleetingly considered resigning and escaping to something completely different, when he looked about his tiny office, strewn with motherboards and circuitry; he dispelled it. The Weaponmaster of the Order of Neit was made of stronger stuff than that.
This early in the day, Terrance did not expect any support calls from the corporate behemoth above him, so decided against flicking his answerphone on before he left.
After a quick look down the dank corridor which lead to his freedom, the carpark and the corner shop beyond; Terrance slipped out of his work station to tidy his looks and centre his focus back to his job and away from the mistakes of the bedroom.  
Once his cheeks had been relieved of their growth and a can of peppy guarana based liquid downed, Terrance gathered his usual control and stared back at the clean cut face in the mens washroom mirrors. He’d do a search on Helena and see who she really was. Perhaps his growing paranoia was masking his judgement. Maybe she was just a girl who worked at the sandwich shop and not a spy for the high council, nor an agent for those sappy Birog Faery worshipers. Terrance worked some gel into his hands and raked it through his hair; setting it perfectly and smiled at the reflection. Only his pale eyes betrayed the menacing depth Terrance contained. He’d find out one way of another if Helena posed a threat and would deal with his options then. His hands exploded in a flurry of movements millimetres from the mirrors surface; each with the the potential of shattering inch thick concrete, but positioned with minute precision and distancing. Even if he had been betrayed, the Order would be foolish to strip him of his position.  In this modern age, there were few individuals so focused on both martial arts and in a variety of weaponry as he. Terrance took particular pride in fulfilling the ceremonial position of Weaponmaster; despite the Order had not declared an open war for centuries.  Let the Faery worshipers prance around in their synthetic robes and their fabricated ceremonies. Only the truest of hearts and minds endured time with the Order. Only the steadfast could meld the ancient - but much translated - texts and guidelines and modern life. With more time and support, Terrance was certain he could influence the sacred hearth in reverting more of their modern ways toward a more simple or pure lifestyle.
Calmer now with his corporate face firmly in place, Terrance strode back to his office. A yellow sticky note on his screen fluttered with the force of the door opening. Terrance slowly unpeeled it, the words dripping with blood and searing his hand as he re-read them.
“The high wizard would let it be known that you have failed in your duties and have broken the sacred trust. You understand the consequences.”
A cold sharp finger of horror raked from the base of his neck downward to his trembling thighs. The high council not only knew where he worked but had called upon the foundation vows for retribution. Terrance breathed in slowly. He needed to know if these were the exact words of the message; if there was anything left out.  Gripping the stickynote, he burst into the tea room and glared at the gathered office gaggle.
“Who took this message?” Terrance waved the offending note in the air; his eyes glittering and voice near to cracking in fury.
Tea cups froze half way to lips; chatter and giggles silenced in the wave of anger emanating from the figure in the doorway. Like timid rabbits; all froze under the intensity of his glare.
Terrance cleared his throat and swept the room in his death-ray glance. “If  I‘m getting death threats then I want to know who the f*ck took this message and what exactly was said. So I repeat. Who took this message?”
Jules from accounting clattered her teacup down to the table and fumbled with a small book the group around her had been looking at. 
“Its a joke Terrance. We chose it at random - see page 89.” She tried to flick to the page, but the out of character language and outburst from Terrance had shocked her into incompetence. With a desperate glance at her co-conspirators, she stuttered, “ I guess we should have used page 58 instead. The pregnant sister-in-law who has just found out that the baby is yours…...might have gone over a bit better.?”
Terrance stared at the group incredulously unable to grasp the coincidental factors which had brought that message to him; especially after last weekend. 
“Umm Terrance? Happy April Fools??”


Prompt from Write Anythings Fiction Friday - "An April Fools Day Joke gone too Far"


Adam Byatt said...

You created an intriguing alternative world to set this scene. An April Fool's Day joke works wherever/whenever. A good laugh.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Wow, that really IS an April Fool gone wrong!! Lovely flash.