09. File Fight

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Something poked me in the eye, hard, and I staggered back. I almost fell onto my rear end but managed to grab the edge of my desk and stay upright. Bright lights flashed across my field of vision. I blinked furiously. When I could finally see again, I discovered a tiny metal cylinder lying on my desk. Apparently, it had shot out of the hole in the wall and right into my eye. The hole in the wall that was separating my office from that of Mr Rikkard Ambrose. I knew where that cylinder came from.

Furious, I grabbed the thing and marched towards the door separating my office from his.

'Hey!'

No answer.

'Hey, I want to know why you tried to poke my eye out!'

Still no answer. I banged on the door with the hand holding the metal cylinder, and as I did, it fell out of my hand and onto the floor, breaking apart in the process. It was hollow!

Curious, I leaned forward and saw that there was a tiny piece of paper rolled up in the cylinder. Taking it out, I unrolled it, revealing a few hand-written words in a clear, precise, no-nonsense hand.

Mr Linton,

Bring me file 227B

Rikkard Ambrose.

Bring me file 227B? Just 'Bring me file 227B'? That was all? No please, no thank you. God, why did he even feel the need to sign it? No one else I know would write a message that cold, curt and discourteous. Well, maybe my uncle. But discourtesy from family didn't count.

And... 'Mr Linton'? He couldn't even acknowledge the fact that I was a female when there was nobody else around? I had been afraid he was a chauvinist. I had been wrong. He was the king of chauvinists.

But he was also the man who wrote my pay cheques. So I swallowed the adjectives I would have liked to throw at him and instead demanded of the closed door: 'Why are we communicating via tiny paper rolls? And what is file 227B?'

No answer – though he must have heard me through the door. The man didn't say a single word. But shortly after, a plink noise came from behind me, and I turned around only to see another missive from my master shooting out of the hole in the wall.

Stomping over to the desk, I grabbed it and read:

Mr Linton,

We are communicating via tiny paper rolls because this is the most efficient system of communication. And you should be able to find a file on your own if you want to keep your position.

Rikkard Ambrose

Most efficient form of communication my foot! The cash-carrying bit-faker just didn't want to talk to me and be reminded that he suffered from the shame of having a girl as his secretary! Well, two could play at that game.

I started to rummage through my desk, opening and shutting drawers at a prodigious rate. Finally, I found what I was looking for: in the bottom drawer was a bowl full of metal cylinders and another one full of little bits of paper. I took both out, grabbed the fountain pen that was lying on the desk and began to scribble.

Dear Mr Ambrose,

May I ask with all due politeness what kind of devilish invention this is you are forcing me to use?

Thoughtfully, I tapped my lower lip with the pen. Then I closed the message with:

I remain

Sincerely Yours

Miss Lilly Linton

Yes! Show him that a proper girl can be courteous even if a stinking rich man cannot!

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