Inspiration for my stories can come from anywhere. Whilst on holiday recently I was chatting to a young lady, apprehensive about her upcoming final exams. Her Father wasn’t helping matters by continuing to play loud band music when she was trying to study. Hopefully someone in a similar situation might decide on a different course of action. 😀
It was a nice house and at first the Master was friendly. I’d taken the job as a maid on the understanding I would be free every evening to study for my accountancy exams and he’d agreed. The other maid was supposed to take over at six, although unlike me she didn’t live in.
Everything was fine for a few months until the day before my final exam. As it was the feast he was throwing a party for friends and neighbours, and hiring a brass band to provide the entertainment.
It was agreed that at 5.30 in the afternoon he would cook me an omelette while I finished setting the tables for his guests, then the other maid Amy would take over. After I had eaten my meal I would be able to retire to my room to rest before my big day.
From the start everything went wrong. The people who were meant to be delivering the food in the morning phoned to say their van had broken down, and they wouldn’t be able to get there until mid-afternoon. That meant there would be a last minute panic cooking for the party.
One of the cleaners hired to help prepare the house didn’t turn up, and when I phoned her she said she was sick and wouldn’t be able to come. With all the extra work I would have no chance for some last minute revision.
I was rushed off my feet all day and couldn’t wait for 5.30 to be able to eat, but the time came and went and still the other maid hadn’t arrived to replace me. Eventually I went into the kitchen only to discover Amy finishing off my omelette. I was tired, hungry and upset but got no sympathy from the Master, who nonchalantly told me I should have come in earlier to eat.
It didn’t matter to him that I had been working single-handedly and non-stop to make sure everything was ready for his party. Exasperated I let him have a piece of my mind, but stopped in my tracks when he picked up a small gun with a long barrel and pointed it towards me. Scared I went off to my room but I was too upset to study. Hungry, apprehensive about my forthcoming exam, and worried about my boss’s reaction I tried to sleep.
No such luck. I was just drifting off when I was awoken by the sound of a drum beat. At first I thought I was imagining it, but soon that sound was joined by the musicians from the rest of the brass band until the walls actually shook with the vibrations.
It was still going strong at 2 a.m. and when I dragged myself out of bed the next morning to take my final exams I was a total wreck. It was as much as I could do to keep my eyes open, let alone understand or try to answer the questions.
Wearily I dragged myself home, feeling dispirited and as if my whole life had been destroyed. Stopping off at the hardware store I bought a packet of poison to deal with the rat problem we had discovered in the cellar. I felt so dispirited I was almost tempted to take it myself.
Going up to my room to get changed before I started work that evening, I stopped off in the kitchen to make myself a quick sandwich. On the table was a huge, open box of chocolates, presumably a gift from someone to the host for his hospitality the previous evening. The boss always found chocolates irresistible and would never share them with anyone; it was his one passion.
Just as I started work clearing up the aftermath of the party I heard him calling me. As I entered the room he picked up the gun he had brandished at me the previous day. My revenge would be short-lived as he smilingly pulled the trigger, and I really believed my time had come. As I started praying and begging for forgiveness he held the flame to his cigarette, and I realised it was just a very realistic lighter.
Relief flooded through me until I remembered. One of the questions in my exam had involved using formulae to calculate a specific result of probability. I had used the principles to conceal exactly 45.7% of the contents of the rat poison in the chocolates. If my analysis was correct it would result in a bad stomach upset. If I was wrong not only would I fail my exam, but my new career as an accountant would be in jeopardy.
The results would be the most important of my life, in more ways than one.
If you enjoy my short stories please check out my two published books available on Amazon;
Changes by Voinks
ABC Destiny by Voinks