The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Bailey Hunter
“…I understand, but this is a limited time offer, ma’am. I just don’t want you to miss out…”
The line went dead. Another hang-up.
Charlie threw his headset down on the desk and rubbed his temples. He was behind quota and the deadline loomed. He couldn’t afford not to make the quota tonight. He scanned the other cubes full of pallid faces, and fake cheery voices that surrounded him. Each one striving to meet the days goals.
The new boss was a serious hardass. He wanted everyone to call him Herman, as if somehow calling him by his first name would make him more approachable or something. It did not. Working in a call centre is not easy, chasing down leads, and cold calling takes a special kind of talent. Working for Herman took that tough job to a whole new level though.
He was always hovering, and the numbers they had to reach kept getting higher. Most of the staff hadn’t been home in weeks. Charlie couldn’t even remember the last time he’d slept.
His cube mate Davis didn’t make quota last week and was called in by Herman. That was last time anyone saw Davis in person. Instead they saw him every day at the beginning of a shift that never seemed to end. Herman played back Davis’ firing for the staff as some sort of warped motivation.
They were forced to watch as Davis stood before Herman, the Overseer, to listen to Davis’ screams as his body was engulfed in flames, to see his skin bubble and pop, turning red then black as the fire consumed him. All the while Herman stared, relentless, unblinking, only turning his great eye to the room at the end when nothing was left but charred bits of ash and bone.
Charlie swallowed the last of his cold coffee, took a deep breath, picked up the headset and put it back on. He had to make quota. He couldn’t quit, and being fired simply wasn’t an option.
Fiction © Copyright Bailey Hunter
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Bailey Hunter:
Bailey is a publisher with Dark Recesses Press.
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