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This post is in response to the Blog Challenge by Tilda Swift at her blog, Swift Expression. It is my entry for number 5.

If any of my readers derives inspiration from this post and would like to do something similar on their own blog, please provide full credit to the owner of the original Blog Challenge (as stated above) to abide by copyright laws.

5. Create your nemesis. After you have described your nemesis in detail, describe at least one new thing that you have discovered about your own personality by doing this. 

The Executive

 

5AM – She instantly awakes without the help of an alarm. Her first action of the morning is to press her intercom and scream for a cup of coffee. She reminds the intern on the other end the exact temperature the coffee needs to be; don’t forget 2 sugars, and one teaspoon of imported french creme.

5:15AM – Coffee in hand, she sits down at her dressing table. She glances in the mirror and sees the lights of New York City shimmer in her large bay windows. For the amount she’s paying for the 50th floor, she’s expects no less. The woman in the mirror is a lovely picture. Black curly hair surrounds a heart shaped face before tumbling into her lap. Her brilliant blue eyes are set in a delicate frame. She had the surgeon fix her nose a while back so it has a perfect end. Image is everything, she knows that better than anyone. She peers closer into the mirror and sighs, noticing the wrinkle emerging on her brow.

5:30 AM – After texting her surgeon a list of the imperfections she sees this morning and demanding an answer as to why he didn’t notice them last appointment, she slams the intercom button again. “Send in the gays.”

6 AM – Javier pulls at her hair while Matthew layers makeup on her face. Blake brings in a rack of clothes. “Your preference my lady?” “Something revealing. I’m closing another company today and then having lunch with the girls. Those sluts need to be reminded of their place in the world. One of my little birds said that Martina mentioned that I was… what was the word? Yes, “disagreeable”. She’s just bitter about that whole deal with her husband. She should pay more attention to herself, I hardly see how that was my problem.” Blake nods and picks out a low cut black dress. “Prada then?”

6:30 AM – Breakfast is brought in to her while her transformation is still in full swing. 5 almonds on a bed of seaweed mixed with egg whites. She knows she must keep her lithe physique. Power players have 0% body fat and she has many dreams to crush before the end of today. “Javier!” she snaps. The small man jumps slightly and turns to her. “The car. Make sure my car is ready.”

7:00 AM – She twirls the price tag in her fingers. $7000… a modest sum. She refuses to wear anything under $5000 on principle. That would be like wearing the same thing twice, and everyone knows that’s the mark of desperation. If there was one thing she was, it wasn’t desperate. As she reprimands Blake for not cutting the tag, she admires her reflection. She still sees right through the dress and the makeup to that wrinkle. Damn that doctor.

7:30 AM – Her personal assistant is waiting outside the car with her coat. A pure mink, it slides over her dress. “….. uh, you. Make sure that those documents get to my iCloud.” The assistant starts tapping fiercely on her phone. Pity the girl has almost outlived her station. Nothing about the girl is memorable. Red hair, brown eyes… must have been a failed model at one point. The city is crawling with vermin like her, but they are cheap and willing to please.

8:00 AM – “You. What is the status of my presentation?” “Set up already. Dominic made sure everything was ready last night.” “Good.” The streets are filled with smog and cars. Her black Rolls Royce edges out most of the competition and moves at a decent pace. People seem to avoid her car and her. They are scared of the greatness they will never have. The thought brings a smile to her face that she quickly banishes. She already has one wrinkle to contend with, she doesn’t need two.

8:30 AM – The car stops in front of a tall steel building. Cold and formidable, it serves as her throne. She makes and breaks from the highest office. People come to her to have their dreams created, but most come to face the end. When the door is opened for her, she steps out of the car. Her 6 inch heels click when she places them on the pavement. Her assistant climbs out behind her. It’s a real pity she is so forgettable that even her name is irrelevant, but she passes the disgraced model her mink coat anyway.

9:00 AM – The slapping of her heels on the marble calls her team to attention. She handpicks only the best and the brightest. On the application, the personal essay asks “Name one situation where you did whatever you had to to achieve your own ends.” The most creative and skilled of the bunch were brought to her office to get a pathetic cubicle and the privilege of doing her dirty work. They were ruthless, but they learned from only the best.

9:30 AM – She scrolls through her emails making note of several. One was an appeal to prevent the closing of a small town manufacturing plant. Like she was supposed to care. It’s just business and Taiwan does things cheaper. Her accountant was requesting a meeting, probably to find out how much money he had to hide before taxes were due. Finally, there was one from someone she grew up with saying some teacher from her hometown had died. She writes a curt reply stating that they have the wrong person and buries the memories of home deep inside where even she will forget them.

10:00 AM – Meeting one of the day is going well. Competition is falling thanks to a false but disparaging ad campaign vetted by Mark. She glances his way and gives a slight nod. He’s done well. Stocks will be falling in the morning and a buyout will be easier.

10:30 AM – Meeting two of the day is not going according to plan. There are rumors of lower level lawsuits citing intentional regulations preventing many workers the acquisition of health insurance and vacation benefits. “And what do you think I’m to do about this? Why am I to care? The options are there, all they have to do is work more hours. I’m not physically standing there at sign up, ripping the pens from their  hands and spanking them for being bad. If they want what I pay for, they have to give me their soul just like everyone else. Everyone thinks that they are entitled but I don’t care about anyone’s circumstances besides my own. Perhaps they should buy my book on how to be successful, they might learn something.” The representative stares at her in complete surprise, an incredulous smile pulling at his face. This is not the character of the woman he thought he was seeing. She’d done well with her image. Softening her tone she says “All I’m saying is that I give what I get.”

11:00 AM – “Where are my notes Dominic?” “On the podium.” Next comes the greatest challenge of the day: the smiling. The auditorium is packed with corporate executives all come to worship and learn her business model, like she would ever be so stupid as to actually teach them something.

11:30 AM – Providing superior benefits, morale, warm and fuzzy corporate culture… she could vomit. All this smiling certainly makes her feel like vomiting. The doctor is going to be expensive this afternoon, that much is sure.

12:00 PM – Lunch time with the girls. No one could really afford to have friends in a place like this, but you would have to be a fool to think that you could go it alone. You needed people to do your dirty work, to shine your image, to vouch for your capability and outstanding moral character. As she listened to them chatter about shoes and dresses, she was reminded about the night she spent with Martina’s husband. Hardly her fault, a fact that she reminded Martina with a sweet smile. She spun the most elaborate web of lies in the course of a half hour she allowed herself to feel a little bit proud. “He wasn’t wearing his ring, he said you were separated,  I never would have if I’d have only known…” Lies, every mouthful tasting sweeter and surer than the last.

12:30 PM – Consoling a tearful Martina is disgusting, yet necessary. Hearing her blubber all about how her life is over now that she knows what her husband has actually been doing was tedious and mundane. Someone told her that love was more than a useless four letter word. How cute.

1:00 PM – Charity appearances thrown by bored housewives are a living hell, but at least there is unlimited alcohol. She pledges a few thousand before grabbing a bottle of grey goose and bolting out the fire exit. Staying in a room with a group of goody two shoes is the equivalent of being on trial for tax fraud and extortion.

1:30 PM – Speaking of, the meeting with the accountant is at hand. Earning a profit is nothing compared to hiding it. Thankfully, she has a team for that too. Their productivity is highly encouraged with big bonuses and lavish lunches. The other side is much darker. As a rule, if something is ever discovered by the government, that exact amount of money goes straight into their own bank account. Then a paper trail would appear, damning the poor sot to a lifetime behind bars. And she made sure to always press charges for embezzlement. Just on principle.

2:00 PM – The surgeon is ready with toxins to turn her face beautiful once more, but this is going to take a while. There can be no beauty without an immense amount of pain and sacrifice. As the needles slide into her skin, she remembers a time when she thought that life was going to be different for her. How stupid she’d been… she was born for power.

4:00 PM – She slides into the pew in church. She prays for the wicked to perish, she prays for the just to persevere. She sings of unfailing love and a greater calling to rise above the wealth and power of the world. She prays for the end of all abortion, she condemns the gays and lesbians, she shouts “Amen!” when someone screams to protest the funeral of a soldier killed in action. On her way out, she passes a homeless man passed out in the side alley with a bottle in his hand. Vermin like that shouldn’t be allowed to come near the house of God… what if he stains it with his filth?

5:00 PM – More emails about topics she doesn’t care about. Working conditions are too expensive. Someone a floor down died in a car accident and left behind a family. Are these emails really necessary? She passes the phone to her red haired ghost assistant with sharp commands to respond to them with the sickening sweetness she despises so much.

5:30 PM – As she closes the door to her bedroom, she remembers scenes from a life long ago. She remembers the people who taught her how to be how she is. They told her that she was never worthy, never beautiful, that she would never be good at anything in life. Her quest to prove them wrong has swept her up to the tallest buildings in the city. She’d eaten the finest food and worn the finest dresses… she’d stolen the finest men from the arms of their wives while creating a brilliant image of a philanthropist. She was seen as a powerhouse, the youngest woman ever to claw her way to the top of the business world.

6:00 PM – She screams into the intercom for the gays. Dinner would require fresh coats of makeup, a new dress… new everything. As she watches her curls straighten and fall, she thinks about her day. One company acquired, one on the way out, a seminar completed, money hidden, and church attended. She is everything good come to life, a gift to the world.

11:00 PM – She is wasted. Her makeup is smeared from her tears. She shouldn’t drink this much. It breaks through all of her walls. The thoughts she pushes back all day come spilling out all at once. The verses saying that if she died tonight, she wouldn’t be going anywhere. That email about all those families. The email about Mr. Bradman, one of the only teachers who was nice to her. The threats of investigation, all the people in prison for crimes they didn’t commit, Martina crying in her bedroom as she looks at her wedding pictures. The flashes come slow, then quickly. She claws her way into her bed and sobs herself to sleep. She thinks of Darren, the man who taught her that love was a meaningless four letter word. She imagines the house in the quiet town she could have had, the little kids throwing Cheerios all over the house. They slowly dissolve into blackness. 

5AM – She instantly awakes without the help of an alarm. Her first action of the morning is to press her intercom and scream for a cup of coffee. She reminds the intern on the other end the exact temperature the coffee needs to be; don’t forget 2 sugars, and one teaspoon of imported french creme.

Reflections

Sometimes I’ve thought of just giving up on everything and becoming a person who doesn’t care about anyone or anything, but I feel like that would be a bad choice for obvious reasons. I’d be a hypocrite for one, a judgmental asshole, the antithesis of everything I’ve ever hoped to aspire to, and I’m pretty sure my soul would become a foreign concept. It was actually interesting sitting down and thinking of things that I would never even believe in or do in a million years, just by reason of ethics and basic humanity.

I tried to bring in modern culture references, current socio-political issues, and stage the story in a place familiar to a majority of people. But, as I was writing… I started to feel really bad for my character. I thought about putting in some friends for her, maybe a significant other. But the more I wrote, the more I realized that no one in their right mind would want to be associated with a person like her, and her own very nature would conflict any sympathetic intentions. There is a lot more to the story I’m hoping that some of my readers will pick up and discuss on their own, but I think I made it too layered to discuss in detail here.

All in all, I have come to the realization that I’m very comfortable in who I am and what I believe.  This interests me because I’ve been working towards it for a really long time.

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