Essie sat in her car outside the building and watched as the others left work. She repeatedly ran through that last moment in the office when she had looked in turn at each of her co-workers. In turn, they stopped laughing-even smiling-and blushed their embarrassment, until she looked at Janet Marie. Janet Marie simply glared back at her, completely unashamed of her actions. With that moment in her mind, Essie nodded. She hadn’t seen Janet Marie leave the building but then remembered that the woman always stayed behind to shred the old office documents. Essie knew it had nothing to do with her love of the plants, but with her intention of seeming indispensable to those in charge. Janet Marie was always coming up with ways to make herself seen by the people in charge, and normally it involved throwing a co-worker under the bus. Essie noticed, however, that the other workers followed along like mindless sheep.
As Essie exited her car, she shook her head. Janet Marie was about to spend a very eventful weekend.
Essie knew from her 10 years at this job in this building that the security camera in the front lobby was the only one that actually functioned. The owners were of the opinion that a credit control company was not a place to really worry about security, so they placed non-functioning camera faces at the various exits and hallway, while having just one camera at the front door that worked. It was connected to a monitor on the security officer’s desk in the lobby so it all looked very imposing. Essie, chuckled again as she made her way to one of the doors in the back of the building.
Since it was now after hours, she used her key to enter. That was another mistake the owners had made-simply issuing normal keys to their employees. It served Essie perfectly for this mission. She slowly opened the door because she knew from experience that opening it quickly would result in a loud screech that would alert anyone in the building. She needed quiet and stealth.
Slowly, Essie made her way up the stairs to the third floor. She moved quickly through the main office area, now deserted and still, until she found the room where the shredder was kept. The machine itself was massive. The company dealt with credit reports and the like for individuals as well as major companies, so all the paperwork was sensitive and could not be kept laying about. That was the point when someone was set the task of shredding all of it. This normally took place after hours on the last Friday of the month. Today was just that day, and to Essie’s delight, Janet Marie had given herself the task.
Essie stopped at the door to the shredding room and peeked in. Janet Marie stood with her back to the door feeding papers in the machine one after the other. There were at least 6 full garbage bags of papers nearby waiting their turn for destruction. Janet Marie had the radio on full volume. Michael Bolton strained his notes to cover the scream of the shredder.
Janet Marie had just a moment to realize someone had entered when Essie grabbed the woman’s hand.
“What are you doing?” Was Janet Marie’s reaction. Essie flashed a vicious smile and shoved the woman’s hand down into the teeth of the shredder. Any normal shredder would have done little if any damage, but this machine was huge. It was far larger than any either woman had seen elsewhere and the teeth were very sensitive. Unfortunately for Janet Marie, the teeth of the machine grabbed onto the three rings she always wore on that hand and began to grind, trying to pull them down along with her hand. As the teeth ground into Janet Marie’s hand, blood began to spurt over her dress front. She was too shocked to scream, apparently, and quickly turned stone white. She was losing blood at an alarming rate as the machine’s teeth tried to eat their way up her hand and wrist. Finally, the woman slumped against the machine, losing consciousness and eventually, her life.
With a smug look in her eye, Essie looked around to be sure she had no blood on her or in her path. She made certain there was no evidence of her presence. When satisfied, she quickly left the building as easily as she had entered. She slipped into her car and drove out the back entrance never seen by anyone but the old black dog who lay at the roadside.