Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ellen Bartelle, Woman of Mystery, Part 7

It was a dark and stormy evening.  The slight misting of the rain helped disguise Ellen's perspiration laden outfit.  What kind of crazy company requires activewear for making business calls, she thought to herself.

It was 8:00 p.m...the perfect time for her break into the accounting department.  Even the most zealous employees were gone by 6:30 p.m. at Fit for Life.  They all had to squeeze in their evening work-out classes before heading home for a meager meal.  Everyone except Frank and herself and the Mayor, that is.  However, those parties didn't worry her, for they were already in on her secret work of espionage.

Ellen discreetly snuck around the building, using the long row of spruces to shield her from public view.  She unlocked the side door, and entered silently.  The hallway was deserted, just as she had anticipated.  She jogged up the stairs with some effort, especially considering the many mile hike her boss had just sent her on today.  Reaching the third floor, Ellen stifled a moan...her thighs were killing her!  She progressed into the hallway, wincing with each painful step.

The lights were out everywhere...including Accounting.  She rapidly unlocked the door, using the key she had pressured off Herman the night janitor two weeks ago.  He had been wonderfully easy to convince, she remembered.  She had smelled the hidden french fries from two doors away.  It hadn't taken much to convince him that a copy of his key wasn't worth the trouble of losing his job for unauthorized carb consumption.  Fit for Life was that type of happy organization.

She entered the Accounting department and chose a computer with a less conspicuous location.  Using her stellar hacking skills, she dodged the login and password, adeptly depositing the accounts on her screen.  It took her only seven minutes to track down the information she needed.  She saved it all to her flash drive, which she safely deposited into her fanny pack.  She shut down the computer and was out of accounting before twelve total minutes had elapsed.  She was a professional.  She crossed the hall and returned the packets to the secretary's desk before retreating again to the stairwell.  The bulk of her operation being done, Ellen took a moment to breathe deeply and massage her aching leg muscles.  She all but skipped down the stairs to the first floor and out the side door.

It was a quick trek home via taxi cab, because she was just that sore from her inordinate amount of exercise.  Once home, she deftly avoided her mother and brother and escaped to her downstairs bedroom retreat.  She was too tired to read and analyze financial data at the moment, so she treated herself to a long bubble bath before sneaking upstairs and making herself a plate full of leftover meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese.  She had spotted the Tupperware bowl full of brussels sprouts, but carbo-loading temptation got the better of her.  She knew the many health benefits of brussels sprouts, because she had just edited an incredibly dull article praising the vegetable for its fiber and vitamins.  Perhaps that was what sealed the deal for the mac and cheese.  Nothing turns your stomach against a green vegetable like dry prose.

Her caloric disregard lasted a feverish eight minutes, even including the licking of grease dribbles from her plate.  Then she was ready for action.  Over the next three hours, she painstakingly reviewed every spreadsheet on the flash drive.  She checked the math and she followed the money trail until she found what she was looking for.  She had her answer.  She knew who was embezzling money from Fit for Life.   But what should her course of action be?  She threw herself onto her bed, trying to make her beleagured brain come up with an answer.  But alas, the exercise of the afternoon followed by the evening's binge had all but made her brain shut down.  Not even the small bowl of ice cream could spawn a clever idea.  She decided to sleep on it.  The long day ended with her snuggled up on her purple polka dot sheets, a chocolate ice cream smear on her top lip, damp fanny pack hanging to dry in the bathtub, and an as yet unread email from Jonathan Miller.  The same man who was interrupting her dreams as she lay tossing and turning that night.

1 comment:

  1. Ellen, Ellen, Ellen . . . those carbs "had me at hello" too!!!!