Laura James’s Picture Choice: 2
Title: The Retreat (part 3)
Todd brought up the rear thinking about Mary. He knew she was a hard task master in the work place and figured it was because she believed that she was more intelligent than everyone else. He'd come across this type of person before on several occasions, hard to legitimately terminate from the work place but he had managed in the past. After the little display with the compass, Todd now knew she had faked her way into her position of authority, getting rid of her would be easy. All he would have to do is find a way to expose her flaws. He smiled one down, two to go.
The others would be harder to remove. Both Joan and Frank were excellent at their jobs, proving Mary was a fraud would just cement their standing in the department. He would have to use a different tack. He watched as Frank kept glancing back to Joan, maybe he could exploit the attraction Frank had towards his co-worker. Office affairs were tricky but Todd felt he could manipulate them and turn the whole thing into a disaster causing them to want to leave of their own accord.
They'd been walking for just under an hour when they came across the railway sleepers and the second marker. Frank dropped his backpack to the ground and lent over placing his hands on his knees. Todd was concerned he was going to collapse and approached him "You ok buddy?"
"Not really, chest hurts." Frank spat out between gasps.
Todd crouched beside him and placed his hands on his shoulders, "Take small breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth." He was aware of Mary tutting behind him. I think it might be best if we took a small break, maybe break out a snack or two?"
"Really, stopping now is counter productive. The next instruction is to walk east until we find a small brook? It can't be far I can hear the sounds off water." Todd heard Mary's tone and knew that she was going force them to move whether Frank was up for it or not but before he could say anything Joan was by Frank's side gently helping him to the ground. "We're stopping Mary, deal with it." She said in a quiet voice.
Todd was surprised and pleased, getting Frank and Joan together would be easier than he thought and by Joan standing up for Frank he could continue in his roll of subordinate.
Mary huffed behind him, "I see your all in agreement. Fine we'll stop, but not for long."
Joan smiled at Frank and Todd as she handed them each a fresh peach and sat down biting into her own piece of fruit.
Once they had finished and Todd was satisfied that Frank was ok they set off in the direction of the water noises. Much to Todd’s surprise it didn't take that long at all and Mary crowed with satisfaction that she had been right and that they had wasted valuable time. He wasn't sure how much longer he would be able to cope with her attitude. Maybe he could lag behind when they moved off once more and make his way back to the hotel.
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Based in Dunfermline, Scotland, Laura is obsessed with all things horror and spends her time writing flash fiction which she hopes, on occasion, really scares her readers. Feel free to stalk her on twitter, @lejamez