Friday, 29 March 2013

#FridayFlash - Click Your Heels Together

Mr Shuttleworth ushered Della into his office and pointed at the seat opposite his desk. She perched on the edge of the chair, a leather wing-backed seat at odds with the dilapidated office chair at her desk. Mr Shuttleworth eased his bulk into the vast reclining chair across his own desk, a walnut behemoth covered in executive toys, and folded his hands across his stomach.

"You've never been in my office, have you?"

Della shook her head and tried not to stare. The room was light and airy, with a view over the park across the street. Reproduction Impressionist paintings hung on the beige walls, and a fish tank burbled in the corner. The room didn't match the messy office space next door, with its narrow windows and flickering strip lights.

"Relax, Della. You're not being fired. No, we've got a new initiative going on here and I wanted you to be part of it. You see, it's all about the demographics," said Mr Shuttleworth.

He launched into a speech about 'the youth', 'generation X' and other terms that Della thought were outdated five years ago. As he talked, Della looked down at her feet, her toes hidden by the desk. Red glitter coated her new shoes, glinting as the metallic flakes caught the late morning sunlight. Her boss droned on, and she caught phrases such as "team building" and "unique selling point". Della didn't really care; she was more interested in the play of light across her shoes.

"Della, are you listening to me?"

She looked up, eyes wide. She nodded, praying Mr Shuttleworth wouldn't ask her to repeat the last things he'd said. That always caught her out.

"This is an important time for the company, Della. You do want to be part of that, don't you?"

"Of course I do, Mr Shuttleworth."

Della didn't care one jot about the company but Mr Shuttleworth didn't need to know that, just like he didn't need to know about the amount of time she spent at the window in the kitchenette, finding mythical creatures in cloud formations when she was supposed to be filing invoices. Whenever the photocopier started banging and whining, she imagined the sounds of battle. The hiss of the old lift became that of a grumpy dragon, intent on swallowing her whole.

"Good. Now, as I was saying..."

Mr Shuttleworth launched into another monologue about focus groups and annual targets. Della nodded a few times to look interested but her mind wandered back to her shoes. They'd arrived that morning from an eBay seller in Basingstoke, listed as 'used - like new'. Apparently their previous owner needed to move house and was selling things they didn't need. Della couldn't imagine not needing such beautiful shoes.

She looked up at Mr Shuttleworth. He'd swivelled his chair to the side, and was gazing into the middle distance while he babbled on about whatever jargon he'd found on the internet that morning. There would be no stopping him now.

Della slid her feet together, pressing the toes against each other. She clicked the heels together and stifled a giggle. She sneaked another glance at Mr Shuttleworth and found him deep in conversation with himself. Thinking hard of her little flat, with its secondhand furniture and deep blue walls, and she closed her eyes and clicked her heels together again.

She counted to three, opened her eyes, and smiled.

17 comments:

Katherine Hajer said...

All I can think is, WHO WAS THE EBAY SELLER AND DO THEY HAVE ANY PAIRS IN SIZE 42???

John Fluevog needs to get right on this.

Sulci Collective said...

when I worked in the record shop, I found filing the records very theraputic, and you could lose yourself in a zen like state doing it. One needed to, to blot out the awful BPM & subbase of the dance records wannabe DJs brought up to the desk to listen to. bad times the late 80s/early 90s, musically speaking

marc nash

Chris Hewson said...

Damn you're a good writer! I'm still rubbish at describing most things in my stories! Anyone reading my stories definitely need total 100 percent imagination to know what my characters look like! haha!

Larry Kollar said...

Love the imagery here. The pointy-haired boss, the disinterested employee, and the YES! TELEPORT SHOES! I'd wear red sparkly shoes if they took me where I wanted to go, and I wouldn't care if they matched the rest of my clothes. :-P

Eric J. Krause said...

Somehow I don't think these ruby slippers sent her home. Excellent story!

Peter Newman said...

There's a nice stark scene here and I think you're playing to the crowd with magical escapes from the drudge.

Beverly Fox said...

Totally captured the moment here, exactly. And I related to Della way too well, but I never had such wonderful shoes to distract me! Great job!

Tony Noland said...

Reading this, I can only think about all the times I've been in meetings like this. At least now I have an idea why people click their heels so much when they sit across from my desk.

inkyheels said...

Oh man, I want to click my heels right now and be away from work too. Will it work for chunky heeled boots? Enjoyed this and related to Della oh so much. Is there going to be more?

ganymeder said...

Hmmmm, with shoes like that you wouldn't even need to hitchhike! :)

ganymeder said...

Hmmmm, with shoes like that you wouldn't even need to hitchhike! :)

ganymeder said...

Hmmmm, with shoes like that you wouldn't even need to hitchhike! :)

modscheherzade said...

Sounds like Della hit the jackpot on ebay :)

Helen said...

Aww Della's a modern aged Dorothy 'theres no place like home."

Loved it! ^_^

Icy Sedgwick said...

Glad everyone enjoyed it!

brainhaze said...

Brilliant story Icy - I loved it. I too wouldnt mind finding this ebay seller - I'd order a pair without question

Richard Bon said...

If not for imagination, we'd all go crazy at our day jobs (for those of us who have day jobs). Cheers to Della for putting hers to good use.

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