Tale Number Eighty-Six – My Command

My Command

prompt:  relatively painless


“That wasn’t so bad, now was it?”

Laurel glanced over at Brian’s smug expression and returned her attention to packing her messenger bag.

“I’m going home,” she said.  “Stick a fork in me.  I am officially done.”

“Don’t be such a baby,” said Brian.  “Any meeting you can walk away from is a good meeting.”

Laurel stuffed the last file into her bag, plopped into her chair, and let her forehead thunk onto the desk before her.  She understood Brian’s point but thought his view was more than a bit simplistic.  After all, there was walking away and walking away unscathed.  Those were two very different things.

“Walking away is the easy part,” she answered, her voice flat and muffled thanks to her nose being mashed against the desktop.  She lifted her head so her chin now rested on the surface.  “The trick is getting away without seventeen more tasks added to my To-Do list.”

“Here’s the thing,” Brian said, sitting in the chair across from her.  “The work has to be done.  We all see that.  We need a promotional event put together in just three months.  It’s not going to get done unless someone cobbles together some sort of organization around here.”  He leaned back and crossed his arms over his chest.  “You, my dear, are a natural organizer.”

“I don’t want to be a natural organizer anymore,” said Laurel.  She closed her eyes, wearily.  “I want it to be someone else’s turn now.  Someone else needs to step up and organize while I, uh, I don’t know.  While I go have a manicure and a nap.”

Brian looked at her with affectionate sympathy.  This was not the first time they’d had this conversation.  He had long ago determined that Laurel was a victim of her own best impulses.  She had an undeniable talent for pulling together the scattered troops and making an idea a reality.  She was the sort of leader who never sent her people anywhere she wouldn’t go, herself, and she encouraged creative, cooperative problem-solving.  People emerged from her projects equipped with new skills and ideas they never knew they had in themselves.  The negative side of this amazing talent was that every project of any size fell on Laurel, usually after the proverbial ball had been dropped, kicked, lost in a bush, and retrieved by a mischievous puppy before finally landing, drooly and punctured, in her hands for her to make the game-saving play.

“I know, Laurel.  It’s a dirty business.”  Brian raised an eyebrow.  “But someone has to do it.”

Laurel groaned and pulled herself up out of her chair.  She hoisted her overstuffed messenger bag to her shoulder and headed for the door.

“I’m putting you in charge of finding the venue and making you site director for the evening,” she said.

Brian winced but he didn’t argue.  He stood and followed her into the hallway.

“Your wish is my command,” he replied.

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