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Foster's Span (standard:Flash, 495 words)
Author: J. NicklausAdded: Oct 15 2003Views/Reads: 2439/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A small profile with perhaps just enough meat to draw you in :^)
 



Foster Rycroft let his knee bounce under the desk like a caffeinated
metronome; a sinewy finger led text-weary eyes over the same paragraph 
for the third time in ten minutes.  A small desk lamp spilled light on 
the neatly organized desktop; each pen, paper clip, and file folder in 
it's proper place. Sprawled atop the blotter was his current research, 
the architectural specs on a local bridge. 

Leaning back he rubbed the bridge of his nose between thumb and
forefinger, giving a blustery exhale as he did; his own breath enough 
to wake him up, a testament to the ten cups of coffee he'd had today.  
The clock read 9:30pm, the darkening circles under his eyes said much 
later. Just outside his office the elevator chimed. Probably just 
security on a routine check, he figured. Sighing, he clasped his hands 
behind his head to stretch. 

"Foster?"  A warm, feminine voice floated through the doorway. He
squinted to see past the desk lamp. 

"Leslie? What are you doing here at this hour?" 

"You first. Jeez Foster, go home. Relax, eat, read, watch television,
something!" She stepped in enough to lean against the door-jamb, her 
expression demanding an answer. Foster pressed himself out of the 
chair, slowly rising to his full stature of six athletic-feet tall. 

"I'm, uh, just going over some stuff--research." 

"Research," she said, mockingly. "Hun, you write ads for children's
toys, for cereals packaged with toys.  You're one of the best I've ever 
seen at what you do, and you don't need research to do it, so I'm not 
buyin' it."  Foster tugged absent-mindedly at his rolled up shirt 
sleeve as Leslie planted herself, faded blue jeans and all, into the 
worn leather chair across from his desk. "And you look--well--ragged, 
and even a little depressed." 

"Look, Leslie, I--" 

Her hand shot up before he could get started. "I've known you for ten
years, Foster. You're not the person you used to be, at least recently 
anyways." 

"Leslie, I know you're my boss, but could you try to be my friend for a
minute?"  She gently leaned forward. "I am your friend. Have been for 
almost a decade now. Talk to me, Foster. It's Kathy, isn't it?"  He 
seemed to practically crumple back into his chair. 

He ran long fingers through his thick hair, stale and wickedly dry from
the office air.  Looking up he caught her unwavering gaze; soft brown 
eyes framed by wavy shoulder-length hair.  The answer didn't need 
breath. 

"Never told me why you're here." 

She stood up slowly. "I needed to get the software to install so I can
log in to the office from home." Misty porcelain blue eyes followed her 
to the door. She turned to face him, arms crossed. "Go home, Foster. 
Sleep in tomorrow. I mean it, okay? We'll talk later."  She turned and 
faded slowly into the quiet darkness of the hallway. 

He turned off the lamp, then sat back and let his knee bounce.


   


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