Ten annoying things successful people do before breakfast

Apparently the one writing the list doesn’t have kids… Or if he does he leaves his wife to tend to them. Just saying.

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

Did anyone see the recent article outlining 10 things successful people do before breakfast? You can probably guess it wasn’t sleep like normal people. It was the sort of thing that exposes your own grappling with the morning gloom, having overslept again, as less than satisfactory. As if you needed reminding.

The main thrust was ‘do you aspire to have the pizzazz (whatever that is) of Heidi Klum? The inventive streak of Martha Stewart? The $US3.1 billion net worth of Starbucks head honcho Howard Schultz?’ Well, it turns out that waking up a few hours earlier could be the secret. To be honest I’d rather have another hour’s sleep, but that isn’t what thrusted the western world from darkness into the industrial age.

The thing is, it’s about the pursuit of wealth, and pizzazz of course. But what’s wealth if it can’t buy an extra hour in bed? Everyone is obsessed with money…

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Just a one shot…

A writing prompt on FWAR lead to this:

Caught

”No! Don’t touch her,” the young man screamed and then cried out in agony as a heavy fist made contact with his jaw. He tasted copper on his tongue, and spat blood onto the deck. He hung his head and opened his eyes just enough to see the new red stain joining the others on the wet wood. The strong hands gripping his tied arms were the only thing still keeping him standing.

“You forget your place, boy,” the captain spat at him. The girl cried silently as the captain held her still. She was a pitiful sight with her hair glued to her face, her soaking wet dress stuck to her figure and her tears blending with the rain running down her cheeks.

“And you.” The captain turned the girl’s face towards him. “You know what is expected of you. Lord Bytes will be here bright and early, and he expects his fiancée to be waiting. Pure and pretty.” He growled the last words and shook his head in disdain. “But no. You could not obey the Lord’s wishes… You are a slut, just like your mother.” The girl’s shoulders shook with fought back sobs.

“Don’t you dare talk to her like that,” the young man intervened, but was only rewarded with a swift kick to the stomach by one of the captain’s thugs holding him still.

The captain took a few quick steps, and grabbed the young man by his hair and twisted his face up against the pelting rain. “Get it into your thick head, boy. You don’t tell me what to do.” The captain said, grinding out the words between his teeth, and then he nodded at the thug holding the young man standing.

The girl whimpered as she watched her lover be dragged across the deck and then unceremoniously thrown into the raging sea.

“No!” She cried and rushed to the railing, but the unforgiving waves showed no sign of the young man.

The captain stood beside her and watched her despair.

“Enough.” He ordered. “Get inside, and clean yourself up for Lord Bytes. And you better pray that he will still make you his wife.” The captain’s eyes were black as a coal as he stared her down. But she did not cower, nor did she turn her gaze away as defiance flared within her.

“I will not.” The girl said and looked up at the captain. “Lord Bytes may come as he pleases, but he will never have me as his wife.”

She grabbed the hem of her drenched skirt, and stepped to the edge, not hesitating for a second. “Because I will follow my heart.”

With those words, she plunged herself into the darkness.

‘Tis the season…

…To be sick. Yup. Nothing jolly about a cactus stuck down your throat. But I’m fighting it. I’ve loaded up on vitamins C and D – and ibuprofen, now writing this as I’m waiting for my tea with honey to cool a bit.

So not to worry, I’ve got this covered!

Last year this time I was posting daily updates to a story. This year… Well nada, niente, zilch. The writing bug is still avoiding me like the plague. But hey, at least it’s not November anymore so I don’t have to worry about not taking part in NaNoWriMo. Yay. -__-

Keeping it short this time. Got tea to drink and a flu to beat.

Falalalala la la la laaa…..

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Okay…?

Got into my typical weekend funk it seems. Regardless of the amount of coffee, I just haven’t got into gear today. But hey, slouching around in your PJ’s all day is not a bad for a Saturday, right?

Do you ever get that feeling when you look around your house and go, oh crap. Yup. One of those days, definitely. It seems certain things won’t ever end. Cleaning and laundry… Cooking, doing dishes… Picking up Legos… Ad nauseam.

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Although, I do feel quite proud about myself as I managed to filet a salmon. Okay, Gordon Ramsey would have died laughing and then thrown me out of his kitchen, but hey, I got that fish (somewhat) nicely into three pieces. So salmon soup on the menu tomorrow.

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Now, I don’t know where you guys and gals are at, but over here winter has descended upon us. And not in the nice snowy way, but in the dark, darker, wet, rainy and generally blaaaah way. Mark my words, I want snow! Then at least there would be some light out. Because now it’s just dark. It’s dark when I go to work, it’s dark when I get back. And you know what? People need light. Ugh.

Anyhow… Got to go get my beauty sleep (baahahahahaha – like there would be hope left) so that I can drag myself to a Futsal game at 9 am on a Sunday… The life of a soccer-mom.

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Stuck, busy and exhausted

That just about sums it up, really. I can’t get anything written, the infamous writer’s block has struck – well, that, or my imagination has gone AWOL. Either way, I hope it’s only temporary.

I know, I know. I should take my time, and it will come back when the time is right, but still, I can’t help the guilt that spikes every time I get a notification for a new follower, a new review or a PM on FF. People are waiting for me to write (which is still mind-boggling BTW) and each day that goes by without a single word typed just makes me feel like I’m letting people down. I’m sorry, okay? Bear with me.

So as you might have guessed, NaNoWriMo, is so not happening for me this year. I’m seriously starting to doubt that I ever will manage to participate.

For the last x months I’ve been waiting for things to calm down. Real life has slowed a bit, but work is still really busy. My bad, I know. No one forced me to take on the projects, I wanted to do them. So I don’t have a right to complain. Right? I come home, my head buzzing with work-related stuff and even when the buzzing finally subsides and I sit down to write, it just doesn’t happen. My muse (or whatever) has packed her bags and left an ‘I might not be back’ sign on the door.

Then to my other permanent issue…Weight-loss. Ha! What a joke. I can’t get my head on straight, how am I supposed to keep track on losing weight? Trying to ignore the whole issue at the moment. Which really isn’t helpful. But stress and dieting (yeah yeah yeah, dieting doesn’t work anyway) aren’t really the best of friends.

Can you tell I’m in a foul mood tonight? Just waiting for the weekend so I can catch up on sleeping. Here’s to hoping I’ll manage without a headache this week. Stay strong, it’s soon Thursday.

A Strange Dinner – Chapter 4

I untangle myself from the sweet, rose-scented body of Anastasia and shiver as a cool breeze sweeps over us. Spent and sedated, I feast my eyes on her delicious figure. The pale skin of her heaving bosom, is covered with my marks, my fingerprints on her skin, bite marks on her neck. I fight the urge to bang my chest like some fucking mountain gorilla staking claim.

She looks up, licks away a dark red pearl of blood that has appeared on her lip, and her eyes flash with contentment as her lips curl into a smile.

“Rough. Just the way I like it.” She gives me a copper tasting kiss, gets up, and walks naked into the narrow hallway. The thick fog flooding down the walls makes her feet and the ground beneath her invisible. “Come on, Big Boy is waiting.” Her voice echoes through the air, bouncing against the thick stone walls.

I gather my torn clothes from the floor, and barely manage to make myself decent as I stumble after her. The air gets cooler, and there’s something very familiar with the way the roots are creeping their way across the walls.

I follow her scent, the fog now too thick to see through. The floor that was hard beneath my feet has become squishy and then muddy. My foot hits something hard and I stumble face first into the putrid soil. I grab the first thing that my hand lands on, just to realize that it’s a human skull.

The ground swallows me whole, and for a brief moment I’m surrounded by an awful stench, engulfed in a darkness darker than the darkness of the darkest pits of hell. Then in a flash the world around me is rebooted, and I land with a thud on a cold concrete floor.

“Oh fuck, that hurt.” I groan as I crawl onto my hands and knees. The smell of decaying corpses evaporates and gives way to the sweet rosy scent of Anastasia’s skin.

“Sorry, I should have told you that the landing might be a bit rough.” She smiles as she brushes my hair off my forehead. “But you could’ve used the door.”

A familiar fur soon blocks my view, a hard tail wags against the side of my head as I fumble up from the floor.

“Hey Beast,” I pet the huge wolfhound. He growls at me, and bares his teeth.

“Big Boy. Behave,” Anastasia quips. The dog sits next to her and ignores me for the time being.

“He doesn’t like to be called beast, Grey. Being stuck within you really brought out the worst in him. Big Boy is such a sweet puppy.”

Enough about the fucking beast already, he’s no sweet puppy, I’ll tell you that. I’ve felt the way rage flooded through the both of us during the full moons, I think, but bite my tongue not to say it out loud.

“Where are we anyway?” I change the subject.

“The rage of his ancestors, not him,” Anastasia replies to my unspoken rant. Fuck. I forgot she could read my mind. “Don’t you recognize your father’s castle?”

“This is Grey tower?” I take in my surroundings and bits and pieces start to fall into place. The stones on the walls, the stench of unspeakable cruelties, and the fucking cold. It’s all starting to make sense somehow. “Are we…? When are we?”

“2015 of course, good to have you back, son.” Carrick’s voice booms through the air, and a flock of bats fly across the room.

I turn and see him standing by the door in the end of the room.

“So you survived? I figured you would.” He grins, showing off his two razor sharp teeth. “Did you get what you went for?”

“Yes.” I hesitate in my answer, because I’ve just realized I’m alone in the room with Carrick. Anastasia and the Beas…Big Boy have vanished into thin air.

“Good, because that means you owe me.” His eyes are like two pieces of coal, glowing red in the dark.

My heart becomes cold as stone. An IOU to Carrick is usually not much short of a life sentence in hell. In silence, I follow him up the labyrinth of dusty stairs. The cobwebs stick to my hair, and I have to kick away a rat or three on the way to his tower overlooking the everlasting darkness of the grounds of Grey castle.

“I need a few things from the forest.” He finally speaks.

“What things?” It sounds a bit too easy to set my mind at ease. “And which fucking forest?”

“Oh, just a few souls.” He says it like it’s no big deal.

“Um… Does Mother know about this?” I ask and take a few steps around the new coffin that Grace bought for him, placed in the middle of the room. The black silk is only slightly crumpled in the middle. It really is the Lincoln of coffins.

Carrick’s eyes flash yellow.

“No. And we better keep it that way.” He turns; his cape swooshes through the air, blowing out one of the few candles placed by the window. “I lost a poker game with… Well, you’re better off not knowing his name. Long story short, he took Mia and…” He pauses, and I hear his knuckles cracking. “That boyfriend of hers.” Carrick hisses the last words.

“The one in the wall?” I ask, trying to remember if we walked past the place where that poor bastard was embedded in the concrete.

“No. Not him. Ethan.” Carrick spits the name as if it was lethal.

“So, did I get this straight? Someone or something took Mia and Ethan, and you want me to go get them back? From a forest?”

“Yes. But not just any forest, son. The forest.” He waves towards the northern window.

A chill goes through my body, when I understand what he means. The Magic Forest, the lost and found of miserable souls, where the trees are made of people, and the people are made of wooden stone. It’s the place people forbid their children to visit, the place the people try their damndest to avoid as adults. At night, the forest is filled with cries of agony and despair as vile creatures go to collect firewood, breaking off arms and limbs of the poor fuckers stuck in rotting timber. Fuck. I haven’t been there in fifteen full moons. Last time, I barely made it out. Going there now, without the Beast in me, the odds for surviving are slim at best. Anorexic even.

Resigned, I grab a coat from Carrick’s closet and head towards the north gate. Desperate to see Anastasia again, I sniff the air for roses, but I smell none. I hope she wasn’t just a fabrication of my delirious mind; after all, I was under the influence of Carrick’s poison, not to mention the moonshine I had at the tavern, if that even happened.

Carrick’s spies, the annoying as hell group of bats, fly over my head and swirl against the dark sky, but even they are smart enough not to follow me when I push past the wall of weeping spruces. Chickenshit flying rats. I watch them do a half circle and return towards the castle.

The ground creaks beneath my feet and the wind carries the whispered tales of wretched destinies.

“Mia?” I holler and the forest becomes all too quiet around me. The whispers fall silent, the eyes and ears hidden between branches alerted by the sudden intrusion.

On gut instinct, I walk through the thickest of bushes. I try not to step on anyone, but that’s definitely easier said than done. The roots are everywhere, and in each, a soul is trapped. These bodies have long since become one with the trees holding them captive.

A familiar scent lingers in the air, and hope returns. Roses. Anastasia’s here, somewhere. Thank fuck.

A howl in the distance makes my skin tingle. I’d know that sound anywhere. That’s Big Boy. Stumbling over the rugged ground I search for any trace of her. Mia and her boyfriend are now a vague memory on my list of priorities.

“Help… Us… Please…” Three whispered words carried by the wind reach my ears. The hair in the back of my neck stands on edge; I’d fucking know that squeaky voice anywhere. That’s Mia.

“Where are you?” I whisper. The creatures around me are listening, and I don’t want to give them any more clues to where I am.

“Over… Here…” The words echo, and there’s no way to tell where they’re coming from.

I run tree to tree, and press my ear against the stems, until my lungs ache and my feet are giving way. I’m about to give up, when my gaze lands on two trees tangled together. The longer I stare at the trees, the more parts of Mia I manage to make out. A teardrop, or sap – who the fuck knows – is rolling down her cheek, but because she’s bound by strong branches she cannot wipe it away.

“I’ll get you out. Don’t worry.” I wipe the hardened cheek of my little sister and pure rage takes over. I grab hold of the bark, pull and twist, tear and beat the tree until branch by branch it starts letting go of her.

As soon as her hands get free, she joins me in freeing what I can only assume to be Ethan, from his wooden prison. All bits and pieces seem to be accounted for. I make a mental note of asking Gail to whip up brain bleach when I get back. Seeing my sister’s boyfriend’s johnson, on the first time meeting him, is by far more than I care to remember.

As the last vines are torn from their bodies, I feel a sharp sting in my back. I fall to the ground and see pure horror in both Mia’s and Ethan’s eyes.

“Go. Run.” I urge them to leave. The coldness is creeping through my limbs, and I know there’s no hope left for me. “I’ll be fine,” I lie.

My heart beats, and then it doesn’t. The colors of the forest fade into fifty fucking shades of grey, as I lie on the ground watching Mia and Ethan run to safety. I can’t move, I can’t breathe, but I’m still there. The hours turn to days, maybe weeks, I can’t really tell, and I don’t really care. I can smell roses, and it makes my mind at ease.

Days come, and days go, as I lay on the ground. The insects are getting a little bit too familiar with my body, and the foxes and ravens have been circling me for days. Something chews on my toes, and I suppose I’m going to be their next dinner. But I don’t care. I don’t feel anything. I just exist, or maybe I don’t even do that anymore.

A pack of wolves chase away the smaller animals that were planning their Halloween brunch. The wolves’ noses are cold and wet as they sniff me all over, their fur soft and thick as it brushes against my cold skin. The wolves inspect me all over, and then howl, before laying down by my body. The warmth of their bodies is comforting. And since they don’t seem to be interested in eating me, I relax.

The wolves stay, lying next to me and on top of me. And for the first time in days, I sleep.

I wake up to soft lips pressed to mine. A bitter liquid poured into my mouth follows. I nearly choke before my brain finally reconnects the synapses controlling my body. My heart starts beating, and my lungs are filled with fresh air. I open my eyes and my heart fucking soars.

The sun is high in the blue sky, and the forest has been filled with roses. But what really takes my breath away is the beautiful woman kneeling by my body.

“Anastasia.” I croak.

“Rise and shine handsome.” She kisses me anew, and I taste strawberries on her tongue. My muscles snap and crack, as life finally returns to my limbs, every single one of them.


And they lived happily ever after. Or did they?

With time travel, vampires, werewolves and witches running around, who knows?!


This was chapter four of my crazy Halloween fanfic. Writing it has been a fun exercise in stretching the limits of my imagination, hope you liked reading it too! You can find all the chapters here or over there.

A flash fiction story again…

I’m having a hard time finding my muse for writing fiction, romance, or whatever with the current state of the world. The news are flooded with refugees, and idiotic politicians that are just making people more divided.

Picture from http://www.sat7usa.org/war-robs-children-of-schooling
Picture from http://www.sat7usa.org/war-robs-children-of-schooling

To keep my head together I decided to write a submission to the FWAR Flashers prompt that was in its simplicity “Escape” and here’s what I came up with.

I titled it “Running for safety” but I’m not quite feeling it.

One night the building across the street was crushed by dropped bomb. The window in the living room tumbled down shattering into a million pieces as the dust cloud swept in over the furniture. The girl cried in her mother’s arms as they lied awake in the tiny room furthest from the windows, and listened to the nightmare going on around them. They both prayed that they would survive the night.

As the dawn came, they were even more silent than usual. They sat in the kitchen and ate breakfast, both still shaken to the core by the night’s events.

“Today we leave,” the mother said.

The girl just nodded and continued nibbling away on her piece of bread. She didn’t quite understand where they would go. Her father and uncle had died or been imprisoned, no one really knew for sure. Her grandparents and their farm had been casualties of war a long ago.

Although she couldn’t imagine where they would go, she knew not to question her mother’s decision. There was no future for them here. The only thing left was fear and destruction. The fear was so overwhelming that she had started to become numb to it.

“You can take one toy only, and a set of clothes,” her mother said as she gave the girl a pink backpack. It was the backpack she was supposed to use when she got back to school. But now, there was no school left to go to. That building had been destroyed a month back.

The girl packed her favorite teddy bear in the bag. She took out the photo of her family from its frame, and hid the picture in the back pocket of the bag. She packed her second favorite shirt too, the one her father had given her for her birthday, even though it was more than she was allowed to take.

Hand in hand they walked the narrow alleys until they came to the edge of the deserted market square.

She squeezed her mother’s hand as fear gripped her. It was here her cousin had been shot by snipers hiding in the abandoned buildings.

“Quickly,” her mother tugged her arm as they ran across the square.

“Mama… Ow… You’re hurting my arm,” she whined but not loud enough for her mother to hear.

They breathed of relief as they reached the buildings on the other side. The fighting wasn’t as bad here anymore. The ruined buildings stood as reminders that the war was still going on just around the corner.

The sound of an approaching helicopter made them vary. People around them stood and looked at the sky.

“It dropped a bomb!” Someone yelled and a mere second later they heard the explosion. A pillar of smoke rose from the direction of their home.

“Hurry.” The men around them urged them on. The girl and her mother climbed into the back of a car and held each other close as they drove through the city.

“Where are we going?” She asked her mother.

“We’re leaving Syria.” The mother said, stroking the girl’s hair. “We are going somewhere where you can sleep without fear, in a beautiful bed fit for a princess.”

A few days on the road had already worn them out. But they kept going because they knew tonight would be different. As darkness descended upon them they stood on a beach, waiting for their turn to board the already overcrowded rubber dinghy.

Safety was waiting across the stretch of water, they were told. They only had to survive the rest of the journey.

  • This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Just checking in…

I haven’t quite fallen off the face of the earth, although I seem to be in a social media rut at the moment. Either it’s really quiet or Facebook has once again changed something and no one’s posts are popping up.

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On the writing side of life, it’s been quiet as well. Or semi-quiet at least. I sent a submission to the Drabble and they posted it – yay!

If you want to read it, it’s here -> Waiting for Life by Henrika Frost

I posted a reply to the FWAR Flashers prompt as well, and I think I shouldn’t have done it… Because now Yvonne (the protagonist) has taken on a life of her own inside my head. And by the looks of it I won’t have any time to write it down in the next few days – unless I skip sleeping. Sigh. It’s just so typical.

August has also brought on another try at dieting. I’m starving striving to follow the FMD 28 day challenge, but honestly, I’m happy as long as I manage to keep myself from eating sweets (and junk food in general). So far so good. But it’s been like five days, so that’s not saying much. Let’s just say, I’m being realistic and not getting my hopes up.

Have a great weekend y’all!

Wordless (or Writing Prompt) Wednesday

Cool late summer air brushes against my face as I walk the sandy road. I take a deep breath and smell the salty air blowing from the sea. The dry leaves crackle beneath my sandals, reminding me that ever so soon, the luscious greens will become an array of orange, yellow and red. I pick a lone flower from the roadside and smile. Grandma will like it for sure. The shadows grow longer the further down the road I get. By the time I reach Grandma’s cabin, it’s basking in the evening sun. Birds are singing, sharing our joy in the last rays of sun before the darkness wins the fight.

Quoth The Wordsmith

Take part in this exercise if you choose, or simply take a few moments to enjoy a pretty picture, the choice is yours.

If you’d like to participate, share how this picture makes you feel, what stories might take place in it, or even just list a few adjectives that it inspires in you to practice some descriptive writing.

This Wednesday, I’d like to share some personal nostalgia with you instead of a description. This picture takes me back to visiting my grandparent’s house as a child. Their farmhouse boasts about 150 years and was built by my great-grandfather’s very own hands. It can only be reached by driving down a long avenue of towering old trees. Trees that have seen horses change into cars and children change into bones. Those trees made the world seem like a fairy tale when I was small, as they dappled my skin in…

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Another day, another prompt

So again, as usual, I took part in the Flash Fiction prompt on FWAR. This time the prompt was to go to Fortune Cookie Quotes – and then pick one fortune for inspiration. I picked the one that said You learn from your mistakes… You will learn a lot today. Because that just had so much potential. But squeezing all the ideas rampaging through my head into less than 600 words was the hard part – I managed, just barely.

My only goal was to keep it light this time, since most of my prompts lately have been sad or tragic.


Lessons Learned

The evening sun is sinking towards the horizon, making the shadows of the trees in the park seem like they go on forever. Laura waits for the bus, a cardboard box filled with her stuff from the office beside her on the bench, observing the hustle of the city that passes her by.

She shakes her head, as she looks the note that was hidden inside her fortune cookie. “Well, no shit, Sherlock.” She says to no-one in particular as she reads it again. You learn from your mistakes… You will learn a lot today.

Everything started from one tiny error, one press of the wrong button. A message from the office manager, a very close friend of Laura’s, came, and she couldn’t resist replying to it with a funny, although very inappropriate picture that she had found on Google. She snickered at her little joke, as the email was sent. Only when the replies started pouring in, did she find out that something had gone wrong.

A big lump lodged itself in her throat as she realized that she had pressed reply to all, and sent the picture of the very much naked guy to everyone in the company. That meant all 250 employees, including the management.

Cold sweat broke, as she looked at the name blinking on her phone. This can’t be good, she thought as she picked up the phone. And good it wasn’t. The order was to be in the boss’ office by four PM.

She continued working, trying to ignore the various replies arriving to her email. With a quick glance it seemed that many took it with humor. The single ladies saw nothing wrong with it. The guy from IT, commented something – and basically outed himself to her at the same time. The up-tight lady from the development department stormed into Laura’s office and – lectured her on office etiquette and manners. Throw in a few disgruntled customers, and her day was officially dandy.

By four, Laura gathered her courage as she climbed the stairs to Mr. Bosman’s office. She knocked on the hardwood door and heard his rumbling voice telling her to come in.

She pushed the door open and for a moment she was confused. The room was dark, the curtains drawn and the only light came from a set of candles flickering on the desk.

“Mr. Bosman?” She asked, and jumped as the door clicked shut behind her.

“Laura, Laura, Laura…” his voice came from somewhere in the dark. She didn’t reply, as all words had deserted her by the door. “So I got that email you sent.” He continued. “That was quite the image you had there…”

Laura rolled her eyes and prayed for this strange interaction to be over soon. She heard him tut tutting behind her.

“Turn around Ms. Feigle. I’m talking to you.” His sound came from much closer now. “Besides, I think you need a real man, not one of those metrosexuals.”

Laura turned around and dropped her jaw. There he stood, in all his glory, his stocky five foot three body bare naked. She fought herself not to glance at his family jewels hanging beneath the hair covered barrel that was his belly.

“What the…?” Was as far she got, before she totally lost it. She laughed so hard she almost peed her pants.

Needless to say, Mr. Bosman didn’t take her reaction that well, and he would’ve probably fired her – if she hadn’t already quit on the spot.

Many lessons learned, she thought, as she carried her box onto the bus.