John W Partington
suspend disbelief - have an adventure

Jake & Chearice: Lightspeed

“Jake, I’ve got a problem I need you to solve,” Tyson said as he stood at the entrance to Jake’s cubicle. Jake looked at the sasquatch, and for the briefest of moments considered uttering a profanity.

“It’s Monday morning; can’t it wait until after I get back from vacation?” Jake asked instead. “I’m only here to put on my out of office notification and get you to sign my leave pass. Whatever problem there is can wait two and a half weeks.”

“No it can’t,” Tyson corrected, “All that overtime you put in on Operation Quarantine has resulted in an overpayment to your account. By department regulation I can’t issue any leave until the situation is resolved.”

“From Operation Quagmire?” Jake clarified.

“Technically it was a raid, and I don’t think we ever really named it,” Tyson agreed, “But yes. The pay system gave you too much money and now they want it back, and I can’t let you go anywhere until the situation is resolved.”

“What’s resolved?” Chearice asked as she came up to the cubicle. Jake’s heart skipped a beat. Chearice was immaculately dressed in a business jacket with a pencil skirt, the first outfit she had worn when Jake met her three weeks earlier.

“My pay is screwed up,” Jake answered, “and now the man isn’t letting me go on vacation until it’s fixed.”

“So fix it,” Chearice said, “and be quick about it. Our flight leaves in five hours. I still have to go back to my place and pack. Tyson,” she turned to the sasquatch, “Is my pay okay?”

“As far as I know,” Tyson admitted.

“Can you sign my leave pass?” Chearice held out a piece of paper and a pen. Tyson took both in his large paws and scrawled his name across the appropriate signature block.

“Thank you,” Chearice smiled, her fangs glistening.

“A pleasure,” Tyson beamed back. “Jake. Pay. Get on it, and God go with you.” The sasquatch left; Chearice glided into Jake’s visitor chair, and sat there grinning.

“I’ve got a surprise for you,” she finally announced.

“I really don’t think I can deal with any more surprises,” Jake admitted.

“I upgraded our room to an ocean view with a balcony, and we get a free bottle of champagne as we’re newlyweds.”

“We’re not married.”

“They don’t need to know that,” Chearice replied. “How long is your pay problem going to take to fix?”

“I have no idea,” Jake admitted. “With the new pay system everything is becoming fubar.”

“Well you better get over to Finance and Administration Branch and get it sorted out. You’ve got four hours and fifty minutes until the jet takes off. If you’re not on it, well, my vacation won’t be as much fun without you.” Jake admitted defeat and got out of his chair.

“Want to come with me?” Jake asked.

“No,” Chearice replied a little too quickly. “My pay is fine.”

“Then why are you afraid to come with me?”

“I want my pay to stay fine,” Chearice admitted, “I don’t see any reason to send them digging.”

“You could be there for moral support,” Jake suggested.

“I could also wedge splinters under my fingernails, which would be almost as much fun,” she kissed him on the cheek. “Now go solve your pay problem so we can go on our romantic vacation. I’ll make it worth your while.”

“I love you,” Jake enounced each word separately, “but I get the feeling that the pay issue is just the start of my problems.”

“Go,” Chearice swatted him playfully. “I’ll take care of your desk work until you get back.”

I've got to get this sequel:

Go to the Bookshop