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**Today’s challenge was to write about your day in the voice of your favorite author. It turned into a long piece but I had a lot of fun doing it. Can you guess the style/voice I was going for? Names changed to protect the guilty.

“In 200 feet, your destination is on the left.” Erica squinted through the windshield and hit the turn signal. There was a motorcycle behind her. She hated motorcycles. She made the turn and the motorcycle shot past her.

Future corpse. Dead man walking, or in this case, dead man riding.

She shook her head, as if to clear the errant thought. Peering at the address on the medical building, she thought she saw the entrance to the office, so she swung the old Honda into a space, grabbed her purse and portfolio and locked the car. She smiled. The building was in a medical office park, with gorgeous landscaping. It looked welcoming – or at least calm and neutral. Ahead of her a man walked out of the building and as the door swung back, Erica saw the stencil on the glass. Suite 100. No! She was going to be late.

Her head was beginning to ache. She cranked the engine on her car. The dashboard clock read 9:23. The appointment was at 9:30. Her cash and her patience was running low; she needed this job.

Late girl interviewing. See what I did there? Late – as in dead? Get it?

“Fuck!” She drove around the building. Suite 200. Suite 204. Erica parked again, took a deep breath and walked calmly into the office.

Suites 200 and 204 occupied the same space. Left side was Suite 200, a general medical practice. The waiting area already had several patients waiting, heads down, pretending to read magazines or playing with their phones. The right side was Suite 204, a general surgery practice. No one was in that waiting area.  Erica walked to the window and gave her name to the clerk.

“Oh, someone will be right with you,” she chirped. Erica smiled and took a seat in the corner, close to the window, so she could watch the receptionist, nurses and staff. They were all wearing dark blue scrubs. Maybe that was the dress code for non-medical staff, too.

Dead girls don’t wear scrubs.

Fucking shut up.

Erica blinked, wondering briefly if she had said that out loud. No one seemed to notice. She placed the portfolio in her lap and dropped her purse on the floor. She watched to nurses for a moment until she finally spotted the only person not in scrubs. Had to be the office manager. Erica fixed a slight smile on her face. If someone looked up at her, she didn’t want to be scowling.

The receptionist slid the window to the side and shoved a clipboard toward Erica. “Fill this out and someone will be right with you.” Erica increased the smile as she accepted the clipboard.

Erica filled out the first page and glanced up as she turned the page. The office manager was still in the front area, conferring with a medical assistant.

…checking you out, she’s checking you out… she’s gonna find out …you can’t hide forever …

Erica completed the application and signed it, then knocked on the receptionist’s window. When she handed it back to the receptionist, Erica took a quick look beyond her but the office manager was gone.

Probably calling the cops. She shoots! She scores! No, wait. She shoots, she goes to jail. Dead girl interviewing.

Shut. The. Fuck. Up. 

Erica bit down on her tongue until tears came to her eyes. Sometimes pain was the only way to make that voice stop. She took a steadying breath and waited. After a few more minutes, the office door opened and the office manager looked at her. “Erica?”

“Yes. Good morning.” She held her hand out for a handshake like a goddamn professional.

“I’m Jessica, nice to meet you. Come on back.”

Jessica led her through the office, past what looked like a small operating room

Oh, this might be a fun job!

to another, smaller room. There was another door on the far wall, two chairs, a sink (what the fuck?) and a shower stall. Jessica gestured at one of the chairs. Erica sank down into it slowly.

“So tell me a little about yourself.”

“Well,” Erica began, “I just moved here in March. My sisters live here and I’ve visited several times but they were always talking about me moving out here. I reached a point in my life

 … hahahaha you mean you did a bad thing, a terrible thing and you ran

that I decided to make a change. I’ve been on the medical insurance side for a long time, but I’ve done some medical billing in the past, so I thought it would be a good place to start.”

“Oh, great! When did you move here?”

She’s not even listening to you! Just like that guy you

“March,” Erica said pleasantly. “It’s such a beautiful area. I take a walk every day or sometimes I get in my car and drive until I get lost and then I have to GPS myself home.”

Did you really just say that? You’re hopeless. And you’re gonna die in prison, all it takes is one mis

“What do you think your greatest strength is?”

“I am willing to learn – and I think I can learn almost anything. Well, maybe not surgery! I’m willing to try new things.”

You don’t think you can learn surgery? I bet I know someone who doesn’t agree!

Jessica’s questions covered strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, goals; it was an uninspiring interview. Erica smiled and answered as best she could, without giving too much away. Her cover story was okay. Her identity was guaranteed to pass muster. She shouldn’t be nervous.

“The hours would be Monday to Friday, 8 to 5. We have all the major holidays off, but since we’re a Christian practice

Oh Jesus Christ!

we traded President’s Day for Good Friday.”

“That’s great.”

“We’re still doing interviews this week and next week we will narrow it down and maybe do second interviews, then we’ll get with the doctors and make a decision.”

Jessica stood and walked to the other door. She opened it and sunshine poured into Erica’s eyes.

“Thanks so much for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.”

Oh, you’ll hear from somebody soon. Dead girl  leaving.

 

 

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