Angry Red Serge
By: Janice R. Sager

Part 71/95

A warehouse in the heart of downtown Chicago wasn't exactly the sort of
place that Marilyn was used to working in. The small back-office was
certainly clean and tidy enough, and the heavy machinery in the outer area was all off and silent despite this being the middle of a work week. Yet, when she'd hired on to do an internal audit for Nash International Transport, she'd never envisioned herself picking her way between mountains of wooden crates and across a debris-ridden cement floor or sitting hunched in her heavy wool coat in a more than chilly little office as she poured over the concern's financial books for the quarter. She wanted only to get this particular job finished and head back to her hotel.

She jumped violently as a sudden, loud crash from above resounded through the small space.

"God-damned, son-of-a-bitch!" The words were hardly muffled at all by the non-existent insulation. "What the fuck do you mean they're not paying? They mother fucking have to pay!"

Another loud crash resounded over head. The man who'd met her at the
airport, and who'd been assigned to escort her around the various Chicago locations she'd been told to check up on, frowned up at the ceiling of the small office as well. "Boss's friend," the otherwise silent behemoth told her quietly. "Ignore him."

Yet another barrage of noise - sounding very much as if someone had picked up a filing cabinet and tossed it across the room upstairs - had Marilyn jumping from her chair. She'd worked in some pretty scary places before, even visiting Sarajevo and Herzegovina in Bosnia, but she wasn't used to hearing people trash the room directly above her!

She'd had bad feelings about taking this job from the beginning. Nash
International Transport had a number of offices worldwide. Her job was to audit the books at each location and point out any discrepancies to the on-site accountants. It had seemed like a peach of a job, but she was beginning to suspect she was only seeing the "public" books, the ones that had already been doctored. She couldn't prove anything. Mr. Lloyd P. Nash's accountants were good and apparently most of his business was quite legitimate, but the whole set up was making her more than a little uncomfortable. Thank goodness this was the last location she had to check. She wasn't signing on for another round next quarter, she didn't care how much he was paying her!

"David? This is David's god-damned fault?" the angry voice from above asked the air, making Marilyn cringe. "Of all the stupid, incompetent, fucked up... " Yet another crash echoed through the small office. "Best part of that son of a bitch ran down his mother's leg!"

"My God!" Marilyn protested in a horrified hiss. "He's going to kill
someone. We have to call the police!" She suited action to words by reaching for the phone.

Her escort - who quite frankly resembled a bouncer far more than a business man - promptly grabbed her wrist and prevented her from lifting the receiver. "I said, 'Ignore it,'" he repeated quietly.

"I can't ignore that!" Marilyn whispered urgently.

Whoever was upstairs stomped across the ceiling and kicked something. "If the god-damned bastard wasn't already dead, I'd hunt him down and break every fucking bone in his god-damn body!"

"The boss says ignore him, we ignore him," the man with her replied. He
offered Marilyn a smile and reached for her purse. "Come on, it's late, you can finish tomorrow."

Marilyn frowned at the telephone even as the man began to guide her toward the door.

"He's all alone up there. Just blowing off steam," he commented.

"But-" She was interrupted by yet another loud crash.

"It's his stuff, his business. You ain't heard nothing here but a bunch of cussing and I'm sure you don't want to hear any more of it." He held the door for her. "Ain't no crime in that. Come on. You missed dinner. The Manilow Suites are just up the way. They have a great little restaurant on the ground level."


End of this section.


The entire story “Angry Red Serge”, a part of the Janice's “Red Serge” series, may be found on Janice Sager’s page – there’s a link on The Moo’s links page.

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