Character Portraits, Flash Fiction

Miss Representation

She sits on a leather-bound chair, stilettos clicking in tune with her fingers as they danced across her keyboard, sipping espressos by the minute and leaving lipstick stains on the rim of her white mug, decorated with names of writers only the educated could recognize: Beckett, Pinter, Bellow and Pynchon.

Soft knock on her door.

“Come in,” she barks, authority marked clearly on her voice.

A meek first year comes in, hunched over in his backpack, dishevelled hair and confused eyebrows bunched together in a face that screamed irretrievable disorientation.

“Miss?” his voice quivered, barely resembling a question.

“Yes?” she snapped impatiently.

“Will it be okay if I hand in my assignment late?”

“NO!” she cried out, making the first year’s head snap back into his neck like a turtle. “When I was in first year, I ALWAYS handed in my assignments on time! I didn’t even dream about asking for an extension, or making some goddamn lie about a dead grandmother! You went into this university and by doing so, you entered into an agreement – A PROFESSIONAL ONE – that you will abide by the holiness of the deadline and nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, should ever differentiate from that! Have you no shame?! Have you no integrity?! If I give YOU an extension, then I’d have to give EVERYBODY an extension! Do you think that’s fair for me?! Marking until the dawn of September just because you goddamn froshies can’t get it together enough to write a dog-simple essay?! My ass can write your 1,000 word essay in one goddamn minute! You do your essay! YOU GO DO YOUR ESSAY RIGHT NOW!”

The first year managed to peek out of his neck long enough to offer a meek nod, and in doing so, nudged a donut out of his pocket.

“WHAT IS THAT”

“It’s a donut, ma’am,” he said, tears forming at the corner of his eyes, regretting the second he decided to line up at Tim Horton’s before gathering the courage to knock at his professor’s door.

“YOU GET THAT GODDAMN DONUT OUT OF HERE AND DO YOUR GODDAMN DOG-SIMPLE ESSAY!”

And with that, the first year ducked out of her office, heart pounding, crushed donut balled in with his clenched fists. Another first year was waiting outside the door, shocked at all the commotion that occurred inside.

He glanced at the trembling freshman up and down before asking, “So, did you get an extension?”

“Hell no,” he replied, “but man, she had some nice tits.”

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