Hell in a Handcart – Chapter three

Chapter three: Bad workers always blame their tools

The time came for their first progress meeting, where they would individually discuss the internship with Ivan Beastly and he would give them feedback. At this point, Mae was getting quite frustrated with his behaviour towards the interns. Sanne, Monique and Elyse had already had theirs and Mae was the last to go in.

     “It’s never fun to go last,” Left-Angel said.

No it isn’t. But Mae steeled herself and thought to give him a piece of her mind, professionally. But boy, she had no idea that would have been so hard.

     “Yeah, I remember that meeting. Could’ve been a lot worse,” Right-Devil said. “For him.”

Mae told him that she thought he was being quite unprofessional and used the examples of chapter two to illustrate her points. Let’s just say Beastly didn’t take that too well. In fact, he was being quite beastly about it.

    “Ha! Now I get why you called him Beastly!” Right-Devil said, grinning.

He started to directly insult Mae, even though she’d been nothing but polite to him. He called her arrogant for giving him ‘useless feedback he didn’t ask for’, although that was a normal part of the meeting. He told her she didn’t know how to talk to and act towards her superiors. But the worst thing was that he flat-out called her a liar.

     “Bad move. Very bad move,” Left-Angel said.

You see, Mae always prided herself on being truthful. That was her shtick. So to be called a liar, to her face, while both parties knew that she was telling the truth about what he’d promised the interns and didn’t deliver, she snapped. And her imagination went into overdrive.

#

Now Mae was never someone to physically hurt people: she’d just fantasize about it.

     “Very vividly. She gets that from me,” Right-Devil interjected.

And right then and there, she was suddenly fantasizing about challenging him to a sword master’s duel: Fantasy style. It went a little something like this:

Mae looked up as her opponent arrived. He wore bad-fitting armour, even though a duel was supposed to be fought without any. “I said only swords,” she told the Beast. “Have you no honour?”

     “I care not for honour,” the Beast growled. “Only for profit and your suffering!”

     “It will be you who suffers,” Mae said as she stood, nodding at the three frightened maidens on her right. “If I draw first blood, you will leave me and the maidens alone.”

The Beast roared with laughter as he said, “You shall have to kill me first!”

Mae grinned. “Fine by me.”

They readied themselves and waited for the brown-haired maiden to release her handkerchief on the wind. As it fell to the ground, both duellists drew their swords. But Beastly, though ghastly huge and broad as he was, wasn’t quick enough.

Mae sheathed her sword as the head of her opponent rolled through the grass. She kicked the head away and saw the body fall.

     “Fiend! You shall never cause trouble for anyone, not any more,” she said as she strode away, the setting sun at her back.

#

     “A tale after my own heart,” Right-Devil said.

And after Mae’s. But she clenched her jaw and said nothing as she left the meeting.

     “And that’s something after my own heart,” Left-Angel said.

But Mae wasn’t just going to let this man, this beast of man, walk all over her. She contacted her supervisor again, to let him know what was going on, and secretly made a list of all the things Beastly did or didn’t do. She wasn’t going to let him get away with that.

#

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