A Presentation to Remember

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This short story uses the prompt: She walked up to the manager, heart hammering and knees trembling.

She walked up to the manager, heart hammering and knees trembling. Surely he could hear the pounding inside her rib-cage. Michelle held her breath and said, “Jack, did you like my presentation?”

Jack looked up, his hands gathering the paper on his desk into a pile. She quailed at the steely eyes raking her face. “You made a fool of me with that piece of junk.” He spat the words out with a hiss.

She gasped. Nothing prepared her for this response. “Uh, what didn’t you like about it?” She pressed on against her better judgment.

“Everything,” his lips curled into a venomous sneer.

“Oh,” She breathed out like a slowly deflating ball. If she had a tail, she would have tucked it between her legs.

As she slunk out of Jack’s office, his administrative assistant waved at her. “Sheryl wants to see you right now.”

What did the vice president of her department want with her? Coming on the heels of the dressing-down that she just received, Michelle felt sick to her stomach. She hunched her shoulders and quickened her pace towards the VP’s office.

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“Well, if it isn’t my star presenter in the flesh,” Sheryl’s eyes crinkled when Michelle knocked on the open door.

Words tumbled out of Michelle’s mouth. “I’m sorry that the presentation went so badly. I’ll resign if you want me to.”

“Resign? Have you gone mad? Did you not hear what I just said? Our biggest client wants you to lead their campaign. If anyone is leaving, it’s Jack. I just fired his sorry ass.”

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