Saturday already, but with Lockdown 3.0 underway, all the days seem to merge into one.
To get you back on track, you can see from the post title, it’s Saturday and time for another part in the serial horror story, Nancy Please.
Last time, the woman she met, AMY, shared some gruesome tales of her past and was trying to get Nancy to open up bout her own past, but Nancy is initially resistant. This week, Nancy begins to tell her story.
Read the previous posts HERE, but now, on to part #4…
I’m sitting in my office. Out the single pane window, I can see the shop floor spread out below me. I’ve got the radio on. Something classical. I can almost close my eyes and be transported to somewhere in Italy. Somewhere with sun and water. I can imagine men on gondolas singing. I’m not sure if they do that or not, but it’s my imagination, and in my imagination, they sing. I say almost, because the noise from beyond my office makes it impossible for me to transport myself there; I can hear inane chatter and hyena-like laughter floating up from the women below. Some muttered words, followed by a ripple of laughter; probably a joke, and one at my expense probably.
To grind the point home, the PA system crackles into life. “Nancy, please could you bring this month’s sales figures to Mr Belshaw’s office?” I’ve got a fucking phone. It’s sitting on the edge of my desk. If I reach out my arms, I can touch it without even sitting forwards in my seat. It had worked earlier that day. I see no reason it wouldn’t be working now. Why Belshaw insists on using the bloody PA system is beyond me. It was out of date when I was a girl; half the time, I can’t hear what’s being said because of the crackling, some of the words get missed out, leaving me guessing to fill in the blanks, and the words that do come out sound like they are being spoken into a drainpipe.
“Nancy, please could –”
“I’m coming!” I don’t need to hear the rest of the announcement. I’ve heard it too many times before, and if I’ve missed it, the girls on the floor will no doubt let me know. I set the chair spinning as I stand up and pull the door open harder than I would like, slamming it against the frame, and rattling the glass. Suddenly I can hear everyone of my footsteps as I walk along the raised walkway towards Belshaw’s office. The machinery hums ominously in the silence.
Not like I hadn’t expected it, but from below, I can hear someone whisper “Narn-See Please.” A round of schoolgirl tittering follows it. I grab a hold of the handrail that runs along the length of the walkway and squeeze it till my knuckles turn white. Everyone is looking up at me. Whoever had spoken was now silent, as is the rest of the floor. I hold their stare for thirty seconds or more before I walk away from them. I can still hear my shoes clanging on the metal walkway.
“Narn-See please.” Louder this time, and more laughter.
I’m not turning around, as it will serve no purpose. I know exactly what I’ll find: a bunch of vapid faces staring up at me. There’d be no laughter; not even a smile. I’ll see Belshaw.
“Mark, can you not do that?” He doesn’t like it when I call him Mark. ‘Mr Belshaw’ is his preferred address. Do I care? No. I flop down into the seat across from him.
“Did you get those figures for me?” He barely glances up at me as I sit down. Mr Belshaw, Mark, is a big man, favourite food: McDonalds. How his heart has not given up on him yet, I’ll never know. He’s in his thirties, but the weight on him makes him look older, perhaps in his fifties. His ruddy cheeks are cobwebbed with blood vessels, and the buttons on his striped shirt are doing entirely too much work. Just as I wonder if he realises I’m sitting at his desk, he looks up. “Not do what?”
Well at least he listened to that. “Call me on the PA. I hate that. I’ve got an office with a phone.”
Belshaw knows well enough that I have a phone. I think he just does it on purpose because he knows it antagonises me. Like I said, creep. “How was I to know you were in your office? You could have been on the shop floor.” For a moment I registered his gaze dropping to my legs. I’m wearing a reasonable length skirt. Knee-length, but sitting down has made it ride up a bit. Not much, but I imagine his brain has filled in the blanks.
“You know I’m only going down there if I have to.” He knows this. I’ve made several complaints about the bitches on the shop floor. He’s still looking at my legs, which is becoming a bit uncomfortable. I grab the hem of my skirt and pull it back towards my knees. “Did you even try the phone? Do you think you could try that first next time? Is that fair?”
Belshaw dragged his eyes back up to my face. “How do you feel about dinner? With me.” He added after an awkward silence.
That’s all for today, folks! come back next week for more of Nancy’s story.