Like the Goats

by Brenda Bishop Blakey

It was love. She knew it was.

It was love crouching under the influence of revulsion. Oh how she loathed him for his pompous ways. The smooth tilt of his head, the smug way he watched her as she approached him, eyes with the spark of stars capsizing against eyelids each time they shut. What was the vow she made? Never fall for someone at work. Never go to bed with anyone you work with. Well, he was certainly the tester.

Too late, she decided to make a test of her own.

She went to his office and sat at his massive oak desk. She lit one of his Cuban cigars and began smoking. Her imagination took over and she devised a scheme to un-fall in love. She would become unduly belligerent and he would grow increasingly annoyed. The flow between them would bog down and she would comply with his new, more sterile, commands. A genial plan, even if it was hers.

He returned to his office and stared at her. He sat in the chair opposite her and simply stared.

She lounged with her feet propped up on his desk, warm plumes of smoke lingered around her like feathers on a peacock. A bit of nausea nipped at her stomach and her feet began to feel numb from being elevated.

He smiled, lit a cigar, and continued to stare. His smoke formed arrows which aimed toward her now dissolving wings. Though he did not speak, he understood.

She felt mesmerized like one of those goats that drop dead from fear. Yes, it was love. She knew it was. Oh, he would suffer for this. So would she, if she didn't drop dead first.