Wendy Chapter 14: The Pen Is Mightier...

Wendy Chapter 14: The Pen Is Mightier...

A Chapter by SweetNutmeg
"

The pen truly is mightier than the sword

"

Chapter Fourteen: The Pen Is Mightier…

 

The PI, Mr. Huxley, saw me the very next day. He was a reassuring older gentleman in a three piece suit.

 

“My office can investigate this man’s history, looking for things like falsifying his job application, previous employment problems, a criminal record. Things that show he is not to be trusted. Any proof of wrong-doing you can gather would help your case. Is he engaging in theft?”

 

“The b*****d- ” I caught myself and tried again, using lady-like language. “The jerk is stealing my tips but nothing else that I am aware of.”

 

Mr. Huxley concluded our interview with reassurances that if there was dirt to be dug, his office would turn it up.

 

I rushed home from my meeting in time to get a quiche in the oven before Eric showed up for our dinner date.

 

“So you think this PI can help?” Eric asked as he watched me slice the quiche Lorraine.

 

“Yes, but I just wish I could get proof, real proof, not just hearsay that he has been propositioning me.” My mind slipped into the memory of June Harvey and Peter Hetrick interviewing me with the audio recorder. They documented everything they did. If only I could document Dave doing something… But wait. Could I? I flashed on Mr. Hetrick’s tiny audio recorder. I turned over the idea. I’d have to avoid entrapment, but that could be done if I was careful. And if Dave fell for it.

 

My eyes focused when I felt Eric tug the quiche-laden plate out of my hand.

 

“Wendy, what is it?”

 

Eric wouldn’t like this idea at all.

 

“Nothing, just had a thought. I’ll tell you about it later. Right now, we need to give this meal our full attention. I didn’t work this hard for a lukewarm audience.” I placed a sprig of parsley on each plate. “The salad’s on the table.”

 

***

 

The clerk at the spy shop showed me how to toggle the audio recorder into voice activation mode.

 

“Just slide this, and there you go.” She demonstrated, holding the recorder and sliding the clip until it made a minute click.

 

“And it can pick up a conversation even if it’s in my pocket?”

 

“Absolutely.”

 

At home, I removed the disguised audio recorder from its packaging and marveled at how realistic it was. No one would be able to tell it wasn’t a pen.

 

***

 

The next day, Thursday, I dressed in my uniform as usual, but clipped the false pen onto the collar of my uniform top. I hoped it would look as if I had tucked it there for a moment while my hands were busy. Since it was voice activated, I didn’t need to turn it on myself. It just had to be there.

 

I went through my morning as usual, cleaning room after room. At 11:30, when Dave came to my cart to inform me of yet another room that needed to be touched up (timed so as to delay my lunch). I pushed aside the cart blocking the doorway.

 

“307 needs to be cleaned again. There’s dust on the dresser.”  Dave was turning away after this pronouncement when I stepped out from my room and called his name. He turned back with a look of expectation but no pleasure.

 

“Dave,” I began tremulously. This was no act, I was petrified. “I wanted to ask you about maybe doing some overtime. My car needs work and I’m running short on cash.”

 

He glowered at me.

 

I stepped a little closer. “I really need the money, sir.” I stepped even closer. “I’m very motivated to be a team player.”

 

The way he licked his lips made me want to shudder but I contained myself.

 

“I’d do almost anything to make a little extra this pay period.” His look of triumph and lust disgusted me.

 

I gritted my teeth as he drew nearer to me.

 

“I’ll tell you what you can do. Meet me at the Alamo Motel tomorrow night at seven o’clock and get ready to spread those pretty legs of yours.” He was practically breathing down my cleavage, mouth inches from the pen. “You’ll get your overtime pay.”

 

Eric opened the emergency stairwell door as Dave said this. Dave stepped away.

 

“Make sure that houseman doesn’t interfere.” He set off down the corridor, away from Eric, heading for the elevators.

 

When Eric reached my cart, he was positively scary.

 

“What did he do? What did that b*****d do? Did he touch you?”

 

“No, no. It’s fine Eric. It’s ok.” I was urgent to calm him. I didn’t want him making a scene or confronting Dave. “Look, I have something to tell you, but not here. Call me when you get off tonight.”

 

Eric still looked scary, so I went on to reassure him, “It’s good news. About Dave. I’ll talk to you tonight.”

 

When Eric calmed down, I returned to the room I had been cleaning and shut myself in the bathroom. I unclipped the pen and clicked the tiny switch to turn off the voice activation. I was careful to stow it securely in my uniform pants pocket. I finished my current room then went back to 307 to dust. After clocking off for lunch, I practically ran to my car and hid the pen in my glove compartment.

 

I whisked through my rooms after lunch and left work ebullient. The minute I got to my car, I called Mr. Huxley. He instructed me to come into his office for a debriefing right away. I ended up leaving the office with a folder of papers and a light heart. Mr. Huxley’s report contained damning evidence impossible to ignore.  

 

***

 

“I’d like to see Ms. Harvey,” I told the secretary at eight o’clock the next morning. I was asked to wait on the only chair in the waiting room. I could see Ms. Harvey on the phone in her office.

 

Ms. Harvey invited me into her office and I handed her the pen, a USB cord and the folder containing Mr. Huxley’s report.

 

After my explanation, she said, “I’ll need to share this evidence with Mr. Hetrick. I think we should be able to close this investigation shortly.”

 

I was so nervous and giddy, Brenda had to send me back to re-do the streaked mirror in one of my rooms.

 

At eleven o’clock, Sean told me to call down to housekeeping. Brenda delivered the message that Ms. Harvey wanted to see me.

 

I hurried down and appeared at her office out of breath. Mr. Hetrick was there when I entered her office. The papers I’d brought were spread out and the USB cord was connecting the pen to Ms. Harvey’s computer.

 

“Have a seat Ms. Gaff,” Ms. Harvey said. “We have had time to review the information and evidence you provided and it all checks out. Dave Mason didn’t tell us of his job at the Holiday Inn Sunspree in Coral Gables, Florida. As this report states, he worked there and was fired for misconduct and theft. The audio recording you gave us has helped us close this investigation. Thank you, Ms. Gaff. Dave Mason is no longer employed here.”

 

Ms. Harvey gave me the smallest of smiles. “I think it would be strange if you were not awarded a raise by the new executive housekeeper, retroactive from the date of your progress report.”

 

Mr. Hetrick produced some papers of his own.

 

“This is your acknowledgment that the results of our investigation have been explained to you to your satisfaction. Sign here, Ms. Gaff, and you may return to work.”

 

With great delight, I signed on the indicated line.

 

***

 

I worked through my rooms in record time and clocked out early with Brenda’s permission. She looked at me a bit strangely, but I had no attention for that. I was urgent to get to Eric’s apartment to tell him the good news.

 

I ran up the flight of stairs and pounded on Eric’s apartment door. When he opened the door he staggered under the impact of my elated hug.

 

“It worked! He’s gone! I got rid of him!”

 

Eric squeezed me tight, pulled me into the apartment and kicked the door shut with his foot.

 

“You did it! Do you know,” kissing my cheek, “how amazing you are?” More kisses. “You are a marvelous, lovely, strong woman.” He seemed as ecstatic as I was, kissing my face, neck, ear, cheek. I wriggled and laughed until he bent me back in his arms so he could kiss me on the mouth. What started happy and energetic soon turned into a wilderness of pleasure, as if Eric had distilled all of his feelings into this one kiss. It came to an end at last and he pulled me upright, tight against him.

 

He looked into my eyes and said, “Wendy, I love you. I love everything about you.” 

 

Yes, I thought, love. All he had done for me, all we had been through together, his compassion, his good humor, his generosity and gentleness, all his qualities, but even more than that, his essence, the bedrock of Eric, I loved him all.

 

I wanted to say something more eloquent but found I could only say, “I love you, too.” But lovers have the language of the body, and I tried to make myself fully understood in a kiss. And I must have because we delved into a place of complete union.     

 

We stumbled to his bedroom as directly as our kisses allowed, shedding clothes along the way. This time when Eric caressed me there was no flash of Bruce, nothing but Eric, Eric and his loving touch. Our bodies moving together, his scent and taste overwhelming me, he seemed to know how to meet my desires before they had formed. It all flowed together and built to a blinding white paroxysm that illuminated my love for him.

 

***

 

As I drowsily stroked Eric’s chest, my head cushioned on his arm, I said, “I did something yesterday.”

 

“Mm, what did you do?”

 

“I applied to Aiken Community College. I have a meeting with the financial aid office set up for next week.”

 

“Wendy, that’s wonderful!”

 

***

 

I sat under the shade of an oak, admiring the fashion styles of my fellow students as they crossed the quad at Aiken College. Eric appeared around the corner. He turned a few heads as he strode toward me. Tall, dark and handsome, as Uncle Philip would say.


Things had changed with Dave gone, but things had really stayed the same. Brenda was now the executive housekeeper and HQ sent in a guy named Michael to take her place. But I still ruled on third east, Eric still collected dirty linens for us, Patricia still pounced on any gossip that came her way.

 

Dave’s expulsion met with little reaction. He had not been well-liked and no one had any reason to miss him and all the reason to celebrate Brenda’s promotion. I was awarded my retroactive raise by Brenda. Life went on, and here I was, waiting for Eric to meet me for lunch. I rose to greet him and gave him an enthusiastic hug.

 

“I got an A minus in Food Science, and we’re starting butchery in Culinary lab next week.”

 

“Butchery? Like killing pigs?” He looked horrified.

 

“No no, just cutting and trimming to prepare roasts, steaks, stuff like that.”

 

“Steaks sound good to me. When do I get a sample?”

 

“Next week you, Pam, Sean and Uncle Philip will be my guests.”

 

I hooked my arm around his waist and we made our way to the cafeteria, making plans.

 

As cliché as it is, I hope my story ends ‘They lived happily ever after.’ 

  



Jeez, I know this was an awful ending. Any comments or suggestions are welcome.   

  



© 2016 SweetNutmeg


Author's Note

SweetNutmeg
Help! I'm terrible at endings! Any comments, observations, suggestions welcome.

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Featured Review

I wouldn't say it's an awful ending, but it's a bit saccharin sweet. And sometimes that is absolutely fine! Everyone needs that kind of story ending now and then.

This story had me antsy with Wendy, stressing about her job, pissed at Ross ... though I have to admit some of my worry about her uncle was that he'd be offed to give her a happy ending, I am overjoyed that he wasn't.

It did all seem to come to the happy conclusion too quickly, though. It seemed a little rushed once things started to fall into place. I have the same problem at the end of my story, or at least I think I do. And it's not something I'm sure how to fix. But in your story it's not horribly disturbing, just noticeable.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

3 Years Ago

thanks for reading and reviewing. Comments like this are a big help in making sure i don't repeat mi.. read more



Reviews

Love the ending even though I preferred seeing Dave going to Jail and Eric getting married Wendy could have been a dream come true and but I can only imagine things that did happen that way. awesome story.

Posted 11 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

11 Months Ago

Thank you so much for reading this whole story. You are so encouraging. I really appreciate the time.. read more
I wouldn't say it's an awful ending, but it's a bit saccharin sweet. And sometimes that is absolutely fine! Everyone needs that kind of story ending now and then.

This story had me antsy with Wendy, stressing about her job, pissed at Ross ... though I have to admit some of my worry about her uncle was that he'd be offed to give her a happy ending, I am overjoyed that he wasn't.

It did all seem to come to the happy conclusion too quickly, though. It seemed a little rushed once things started to fall into place. I have the same problem at the end of my story, or at least I think I do. And it's not something I'm sure how to fix. But in your story it's not horribly disturbing, just noticeable.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

3 Years Ago

thanks for reading and reviewing. Comments like this are a big help in making sure i don't repeat mi.. read more
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AUU
I've never written an ending. Ever. I've heard all sorts of advice on the matter, I've heard people complain about endings, gush about endings but my experience in writing them is still none.

1. "He turned out to be..." Opposed to what?
2. "Aside from tips...I said so." I think you could get away with having Wendy answer with dialogue.
3. What kind of quiche?
3. The recorder is such a simple resolution. Love it. I'm recalling the detail of Wendy being fascinated with how odd the recorder was.
4. What's entrapment? This is a nitpick. You've detailed numerous times that Wendy was doing research, and in that research I suppose she picked up jargon like "entrapment," knowing that it could damn her, however, I feel as though foreshadowing Dave set up with Wendy learning what entrapment is, would be beneficial for the reader.
5. "Eric tug the quiche..." Guy is a bottomless pit. I want to taste Wendy's cooking :(
6. No Eric wouldn't like it. Such a statement is a testament to her and his character. Great work.
7. The spy shop scene is a little confusing. It wasn't until the final line when I realize that the recorder was the pen.
8. (timed so as to delay my lunch)[.] I pushed.
9. Dave is an idiot. He's under investigation and he still says buries himself? Ugh! I guess he's just been getting away with it for song long he thinks he still can.
10. I see that you spelled "shudder" correctly. Nicely done (totally not jealous).
11. Overall the exchange with Dave is quite creepy, and it was fulfilling to hear him stab himself in the back; however, it still felt a bit too clean to me.
12. "...as he drew nearer to me...within my personal space." I think you can shortened this sentence. Say the same thing in fewer words.
13. "Eric opened the emergency stairwell door at the moment..." "At the moment" reads a little funny.
14.I will admit I had no clue what an "anteroom" was. I had to look it up. Why did you choose that instead of "waiting room?"
15. Redo what on the bathroom floor? What was wrong with it. Just an opportunity for more detail.
16. So I read that you talked with someone to get the wording of HR-talk right, but I feel as though Ms. Harvey is too official. Remember you're writing for the average joe, not HR managers. I'm talking about the "Dave Mason did indeed neglect to record his job at the Holiday Inn..." line.
17. Also about this scene. Where does this information come from? I know Wendy went to see the PI after she secured Dave's VO, but there is not mention of such. If it were me, I'd add an inner monologue line attributing the win to the PI to clear that up.
18. So she junked that pervert and got a raise? NOOOICE.
19.I do like the smallest of smiles. I know I complained about Ms. Harvey being too official, but her smile is a nice recall to Wendy feeling as though Ms. Harey was rooting for her.
20. "But lovers have the language of the body[,] and I tried to make myself fully understood in a kiss." Great line!
21. I am fully convinced this is a fan fiction of Weird Science and that Wendy created Eric on a computer with a floppy disk.
22.What's Aiken Tech? What program?
23. YAY she's going back to school.
24. Happily ever after indeed...
25. Except for Pam!

It is a good ending, it just seemed a bit tidy. I think the resolution to Dave is sound, I just don't think it was earned. There was very little resistance on his part. No final twist, just a neat wrap up for Wendy. I can't help but think of all those awful Law and Order SVU episodes where someone get's shot on the courthouse steps, or the "villain" has one final roar as he's pulled out of a room.

Maybe it's because I have a gutter mind, but when I began reading this, I had all sorts of expectations (I honestly thought that Eric was going to cheat on Wendy with Pam). You surprised me here and there, but overall everything fell into place. I'm actually a bit sad that Pam was involved so little in the ending. The call back to Uncle Philip's description at the end of the chapter was a nice inclusion for him.

As a writing exercise , your experience with Wendy will do wonders. She is a good POV, and I'm still floored how clean your writing it. There's very little fluff.

Thank you for allowing me to read your story. I hope the next turns out even better!



This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

3 Years Ago

Thank you for seeing this all the way through to the end. I agree, it was too bad Pam got lost and w.. read more

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SweetNutmeg
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I am back and returning all reviews of "Phoenix." I'm here to improve my writing. I love critiques that give me critical feedback, as well as praise. (Although, I do like praise. Gotta be honest.) .. more..

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