Quiet action, p.1
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       Quiet Action, p.1

           Darius Powell
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Quiet Action

  Quiet Action

  Copyright ? 2017

  Fairy tales hardly ever come true for quiet girls. That's what Elsie's older girl cousins used to tell her at the staid family get togethers of her youth. She really never understood what they were talking about back then but as the years passed, the true meaning of their taunts became as clear as day.

  Her older sister had become a rebel and the bane of her parents' existence and all of her girl cousins were now gone. Some were married, some were in prison, and one was dead; strangled by the hands of a jilted lover.

  With males in queue, the family elders turned to Elsie to take over the McCracken-Young business empire and continue the legacy. Although grateful for the largess, Elsie felt that everything about her had been planned without any thoughts about what she might want.

  Was it her fault that all of the older girls in her family were fuck-ups? She often opined that the numerous years of boarding school, piano lessons, ballet recitals, and forced labor within the company's back offices had stolen the adventure and excitement of her childhood even though she was only fifteen. It was true, she thought. She was too quiet after all and had she spent way too much of her time doing the right things and pleasing everybody else.

  Elsie felt that she was nothing more than an insignificant gear in the operation but at her core, she fiercely desired to be more of an engine that powered her own world. As her mental fibers churned away, she considered various plots to change the narrative.

  "Do you really think we can pull this off?" said Alex, as she crossed her legs and reclined in a cushy leather chair.

  "Of course we can," said Elsie, talking to her friend and pacing around the marble lined floor of her father's office. She was still wearing her riding outfit and held a whip behind her back with both hands as if she were a member of Hitler's SS.

  "I don't know Elsie. A lot of things have to go our way."

  "You worry too much Alex. Just do your part and I'll do mine." Elsie noticed that her other friend, Charley, who was sitting across the room in front of the fireplace, didn't seem to be paying attention.

  "Charley, what do you think?"

  Charley snapped back into consciousness, obviously startled by Elsie's voice. "I think this place is like a museum. How old is that painting right there? Isn't that your great-grandfather?" said Charlotte as she pointed to a portrait behind Elsie.

  "Have you heard anything I've said?" Elsie snarled. She and Alex both looked at as if confused. Soon after, they laughed because they were used to it. They both thought that Charley did a bad job of shedding the stereotype of a dumb jock.

  "Yes I have. I have been listening. I can do two things at the same time you know. It's just that I've never been in here. I thought this room was off limits anyways and I thought only your father had the key."

  "I'll tell you about all of that later, Charley. Now back to the plan; what have we talked about so far?" Elsie turned around rapidly and pointed the whip at Charley.

  "You guys need me for my muscles, right?" Charley flexed both of her arms to show off her junior biceps.

  "Yes, something like that." Elsie smiled and shook her head. Only Charley, she thought. "So this means you're in?" Elsie felt a little optimism.

  "Yes, I'm in. I'd do anything for you Elsie and it sounds like it will fun." Charley giggled.

  "This is no laughing matter Charley. If something goes wrong we could be in big trouble," said Alex, as she sat up straight.

  "Will you stop it Alex. Gosh! We are going to be able to count on you; aren't we?" said Elsie as she crossed her arms like a conquering general and resumed her pacing.

  Alex was hesitant in her response. "Yes, you can count on me but how can you be so confident that this will work Elsie?"

  "It's this simple, Alex. I've already taken care of things at the hotel. As long as you do your part everything should work out fine and oh, I have a nice surprise for all of us."

  "Surprise?what is it?" said Charley, hopping around on her stool and smiling more.

  "That's why it's called a surprise," said Alex sharply; noticeably irritated with Charley's naivet?.

  Alex stood up and walked face-to-face with Elsie. "How are we going to get there? The hotel is twenty miles from here and none of us drive."

  Elsie could see that Alex thought she had found a vital hole in their scheme because after she made her point she even snuck in a tiny grin as if to say gotcha.

  "I've got that handled too, Alex. Just make sure that you can hack the hotel's computer system. You have all of the daily codes, remember? The ones that I supplied. Are you sure your father won't miss his new gizmo?"

  "I'm certain. He's in his lab right now working on another one and believe me; once he goes down there we usually don't see him for a few weeks."

  "What about your new mom?" asked Charley.

  "I figured you'd bring that up, Charley, but there's no need for concern. Dotty won't be a problem. Need I remind you, she's an airhead that wouldn't know an electric circuit from a credit card. Plus when dad does his disappearing act, she does too. She pays no attention to me anyways so she won't care where I am."

  Elsie finally took a seat at her father's desk. It felt weird to her since it was the first time she'd done this not sitting on his lap. Its weathered appearance caused her to wonder about its years of service to her family. She thought about the generations of her family that had sat in this very chair, in this very meticulously manicured show place, in this very hallowed house.

  She was tired of being the chosen one and equally tired of being teased at school and called a member of the lucky sperm club. "Yep, things have to change," she said to herself.

  "Elsie?is everything all right?" asked Alex, again sounding nervous.

  Elsie looked at both of her friends. She was thinking about what to say but wanted them to know that she was present. "So there it is. Our plan is set. My parents should be home in the next few hours, so I'm going to need the two of you to go home, do what you need to do, and get back here ASAP."

  "Okay, Elsie," said Charley.

  "What about our cover story?"

  Elsie smiled at her friends. "Alex, that's why I love you; you don't forget anything. Charley, are we good? Is your father gone like you told us he'd be?"

  "Um hum," mumbled Charley as she stood up and shook her head.

  "Does that um hum mean that you understood the question or that your father is gone?" Alex quipped.

  "He's gone, Alex. He's traveling this week." Charley was finally showing some attitude as if she was irritated with Alex's insinuations.

  "Girls, girls, it's okay. It's all right. We're on the same team. Come on now?group hug," said Elsie, as they all converged and gave each other hugs.

  "Is she okay to drive, Elsie?" asked Alex. The three friends walked down the long winding driveway towards the car waiting for them.

  "Who, Mika? Yes, she's fine; I mean normally she's just an asshole but she's not crazy or anything," said Elsie as her and her two friends jammed into the back seat of her parent's car.

  "Where do I have to take you little shits this time?" said Mika as she turned towards the back seat and slumped her arms over the parking break. She looked like she'd just returned from a drinking binge and didn't do much to hide it.

  "We're going to the big hotel. I told you that earlier," said Elsie sharply. Elsie viewed her older sister as a scab that wouldn't go away and hated her for being the main reason she had to become the family's savior.

  "That's right, I remember now; little girls' night out at the family hotel. Do enjoy."

  "We will," said Elsie.

  "You know; the bars in Crafton Springs don't sell milk and cookies."
Mika started to laugh.

  "Shut up, Mika," said Elsie. She frowned and crossed her arms.

  "How'd you get her to drive for us anyway?" said Alex, trying to whisper to Elsie.

  "I caught her and her jail bird boyfriend in my parent's bedroom. We have a restraining order against him, so in a way you can say I bribed her."

  "I can hear you, Elsie," Mika said with a loud disapproving tone.

  "That's good to know, Mika, just drive, please. We're going to be late."

  "For your information, Claude is not a jail bird. He's just misunderstood," said Mika as she continued to drive.

  "Whatever," said Elsie.
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