Short Story Sunday – “Lawyers”

22 Mar


They were utterly inane.

When Rose had first been hired for the Carter and Company law firm, she had been excited. True, she was only a secretary, but it was the closest she would get to the thrilling cases that she had always seen on television. High class thefts, bruising assaults, gruesome murders… Rose wanted in on them without having to be near any blood or dead bodies. She had schooled herself not to outright ask those that walked into the office what they wanted to be defended against, but she was at least privy to all the reports and requests. It was all fascinating to her, so much so that this was one of her first jobs that she didn’t mind waking up to go to.

At first, she didn’t even mind the coffee runs that she had been assigned to. Hey, she was a secretary. Coffee was one of those things that she was supposed to go get, she imagined. Running to the local office supply store also wasn’t an out of the ordinary request. She could also water the office plants, tidy up the waiting room, and even clean the public bathroom.

But to become a waitress?

“Mr. Carter, you can’t be serious,” Rose blurted out when her boss had made the request. “That is not in my job description at all. Or is this a roundabout way to fire me?”

The dark-haired man stuttered out, “W-well, no–”

“I just don’t understand,” Rose continued. “I’ve done nothing but exemplary work, or so I thought, maybe you never agreed, in which case you should have spoken up much sooner than this. Otherwise, why would you want me to go and take a job as a waitress? At a Spanish restaurant, no less, I can’t speak a lick of Spanish–”

“Rose, listen!” Mr. Carter slammed a hand on her desk, making her jump and clamp her mouth shut. Her boss, apparently as flustered as she was from her outburst, took a deep breath and spoke in a softer tone. “Look… You’re not fired. I just… It’s this current case. My client was a chef at Laguna and is accused of poisoning a patron. A waitress position is open, and we need someone on the inside… The owner knows my assistants and me, but they don’t know you.”

Mr. Carter paused a moment before slumping down in one of the waiting area’s chairs. “It’s a huge favor to ask, I know, and it’s totally your decision… We’re just running low on leads. We’re not getting too much information from the rest of the staff at the restaurant, and we were hoping that, if any of the other employees are hiding something, they wouldn’t be as careful about what they say in front of a new waitress.”

Rose leaned back in her chair. “Wouldn’t an officer be better suited for an undercover position?”

“The police believe my client did it,” Mr. Carter said. “Why would they investigate further when all of the evidence they have point to the chef?”

“You don’t believe the chef did it?” Rose asked.

“That’s not my job.” Mr. Carter gave her a quirked smile, one that did not quite reach his eyes. “My job is to defend my client, whether or not what I believe.”

Rose looked down at her desk, pondering over the situation. After a moment, Mr. Carter stood back up and gave her desk a gentle tap.

“Go home,” her boss said. “Leave whatever you have left to do here and I’ll take care of it. Go home, get some rest, and give me an answer tomorrow, okay?”

She watched as he turned around and returned to his office. Ignoring the whispered conversation between Mr. Carter and his assistants, one that revolved around her and her reaction to the favor, no doubt, Rose grabbed her coat and purse to flee from the office.

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Posted by on March 22, 2015 in Scribbles


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