“Your shift started at 6:00”

Janice threw her shapeless messenger bag on the staffroom floor.  “I know, the bus driver died so I got in a few minutes late.”

“Again?  You said the same thing last Thursday, and the one before that…It’s no excuse.”

“How is that no excuse?  The driver died, we crashed into a Smoothie King, red goo everywhere, people screaming and crying, but I crawled out of the wreckage.  I told myself, ‘Daniel will throw a fit if I’m late again’ so I walked.”

“It’s unlikely that your bus driver would die three times in three weeks.”

Janice shrugged and pinned her name-tag in its customary place.  “I don’t know what you want me to say.”

“That you killed him.”

“Killed who?”

“The driver.”

She frowned and pulled her shirt straight.  “Ok, fine, I killed the driver.  Can I go?  Sharon needs me on the register.”

Daniel pulled his phone out of his back pocket.  It was more like a small tablet, so wide it wouldn’t fit into his front pocket.  “I’ll have to report you.”

Janice took a deep breath and steadied herself against the back wall.  “Up to you boss.  But it might be bad for your health.”

“Threaten me again.”  He tapped in a number and wiped his nose.

Janice leered from across the dingy room.

Daniel wiped his nose again, his hand came away red.  It dripped, spattered, streamed onto his shoes.

He fell.

Janice stepped gingerly around the growing pool of blood and locked the door behind her.

“No one ever listens.”


One thought on “Tardiness

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