DB McNicol, Author

I have ten minutes to spare. This is for today’s quick of “The Raise” and yes, I did write more than 10 minutes. The whole tale just grew under my fingertips and I had fashioned a hard time stopping. Jocelyn stood with her to the entrance way back, hoping against hope that he hadn’t heard her enter.

Times were tough and she wished to hold off the bad news so long as she could. Her shoulder blades drooped. “Yes, I’m going to be directly into see you quickly,” she replied to her young brother, the one who lay unwell during intercourse, all because of her. She couldn’t turn back time and change things so she, they, had to live with the consequences.

Letting out the breath she hadn’t noticed she was keeping, she dumped her purse from the desk. 14.33. That was it. All of it. Without the raise she acquired thought she was getting, their food wouldn’t last through the month. Without the job that she got fired from, they wouldn’t make it through the week. What were they going to do? She could endure on the streets but her little sibling Willem wouldn’t last one particular date in the cold.

She took three slices of bread out of the loaf she snatched on the way home, slathered them with just a little butter, and topped them off with a slim slice of parmesan cheese for her and a heavy slice for Willem. She then neatly chopped up an apple and put it on the plate along with his sandwich. She quickly downed her cut of breads and cheese before carrying the rest into the bedroom.

He took a large bite of his sandwich, slowly nibbling as if it were his last meal. Jocelyn’s heart clenched in her chest, feeling as if someone had thrust a knife in it. He looked from his rapidly disappearing apple up. He reached over to hug her, toppling what was left of his meager dinner almost. She righted the tray and squeezed him, fighting the tears.

No, she wouldn’t tell him tonight, that would be implying too. Day maybe Tomorrow or another. They may be kept by her in bread, cheese, and apples from the carts and use the tiny money she had for milk. Two more times to find a working job. Two days later and no ongoing work found, Jocelyn knew she was going to have to do something desperate but what that might be, she had no idea.

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Once again she stood with her back again to the door wishing Willem hadn’t heard her get into. Taking silent breaths to calm herself, she stood readied and tall herself to tell him. She short stopped, realizing there was a conversation going on in Willem’s bedroom. One voice was definitely her brothers but the other she didn’t identify. Alarmed, she grabbed the closest weapon, a broom, and burst into the bedroom. Startled both looked up and she found herself staring into the bluest eyes of the very handsomest man she’d ever seen.

She got in the fancy dress outfits clothes and simultaneously straightened her clothes and put the broom in the corner. Her tone of voice trembled just a little but it was apparent he was a gentleman of means, and had the energy to toss her into jail on a whim. Jocelyn stopped her brother’s monologue with her hands and considered Sir Randley with a curtsy. She inventoried their meager food source and hoped he dropped quickly.

Jocelyn steeled herself for what she knew was arriving, an eviction. She owed five weeks back again lease to the Luckletters and that personal debt was now owed to Sir Randley. It had been Sir Randley who held up his hands now, “Please, sit back. We have things to discuss.” She perched on the feces beside Willem’s bed, viewing Sir Randley speed, arms crossed behind his back again.

The hand once more stilled her. Jocelyn sat there stunned. Did he know she was jobless? Could there really be a silver coating to the cloud over their life lately? Her mum experienced always told her things occurred for a reason. Maybe there were grounds she hadn’t gotten that raise.