Office "Friends"

May 30, 2017
By Anonymous

It was a sunny Wednesday morning in New York City. Vivian Carter was dropping off her 4 year old daughter Gia at preschool while on her way to work. Vivian worked at a very successful office company. Her husband Jake was a Chiropractor. They lived in an upscale NYC penthouse. Vivian watched as her precious little girl hobbled into her classroom to be with her friends and enjoy some finger painting for the day. Without a minute to spare, Vivian jumped in her car and got to work as fast as she could. In case you haven’t heard, NYC traffic is not a breeze. As she strolled through the doors 15 minutes early, the everyday smell of business filled her nostrils. The smell one can only describe as “work” or “an office”. Mostly just floor cleaner and copier ink mixed in with a bit of dust. She loved it. Vivian was very well one of the best managers the company has seen in awhile. Many people in the office envied her for almost every aspect of her life. She was successful, good looking, intelligent, and her smile alone was contagious. Although there were people jealous of her, she never seemed to notice them. Her closest friends in the office were Selena Peterson, Emma Owens, and Max Fuller. Her boss, Ellie Fry, was a stuck up lonely woman who nobody in the office liked. She was serious, strict, and always voiced her opinion in attempt to pick her employees apart. In all of Vivian’s 8 years of working there, she never quite enjoyed Ellie. But she put up with her, showed up with a smile every day, dealt with the criticism, and strived to fix her own mistakes and get better. Vivian sat in her desk pondering on what paperwork she should start first. Suddenly, there was an announcement on the loudspeaker of the office. Ellie called all employees into a mandatory meeting in the fourth floor conference room. As everybody gradually filled the room, the stiff bodies found their seats knowing that whatever Ellie was about to say, wasn’t going to be good. Ellie entered the front of the room in her dark gray pencil skirt, button down white shirt, and her hair in a tight bun on the back of her head. If looks could kill, everybody in that room would be dead. “I’m gonna get straight to the point” she said, “I’m laying somebody off next week. I don’t care who it is. I will be observing all employees this week. I will call another meeting next Wednesday with the results.” Everybody stood there with their eyes wide and watched Ellie strut out of the conference room in her shiny black high heels before anybody could even argue with her. The descending sound of her heels clicked and clacked until they heard Ellie’s office door slam at the end of the hallway. Slowly, all 11 employees exited the room.
The next few days were chaotic for everyone. Everything seemed fine on Thursday until Emma found out that Max had stolen all of her office supplies from her desk. It was a huge inconvenience to her and was hurt that Max would do that for no reason. As soon as he left his desk, she went back over to snoop through his drawers in attempt to find her supplies. Everything got worse from there. The next day, Selena ripped out all of the pages of Max’s notebook, which included all of the clients he recorded that he’s done business with this past month. Saturday was even worse! Vivian decided to break Selena’s phone so that she didn’t get any of her calls all morning. The things that people were doing to each other were escalating fast. By Monday, Max had logged into Emma and Vivian’s computers and deleted all of their important files from the past 6 months. These were no longer just small inconveniences in the office. These sabotages were reaching points that could be considered illegal. Meanwhile, Ellie was watching closely and enjoying the sight off all these friends turning on each other.
Vivian lifted her heavy box of files out of her car and made her way up to her office on Tuesday morning. She started to take all of her important hand written files home with her every night just in case. Vivian was the first one in the office that morning because she was planning on doing something to Max’s computer. For some reason as she entered the office, the lights were already on. She walked up to Ellie’s door and knocked lightly. A minute went by with no response. She remembered seeing Ellie’s car in the parking lot. She had to be here. She tried knocking once more. “Ms. Fry… I need to ask you a question about an email from corporate…”. Vivian found her office door was unlocked and turned the handle. Ellie was slumped over on her desk…dead. Vivian was shocked! She had no idea what to do first. She grabbed Ellie’s phone on her desk and scrambled to call 911. Her hands were so shaky, she could barely touch the right buttons.
The police showed up in about 15 minutes. You can’t expect any sooner with NYC traffic. They examined Ellie’s body and found that there was no physical harm done to her. But they examined the cup of tea that Ellie was still lightly clutching in her hand and found that it had large traces of a prescription drug in it. This particular drug can only be taken for people with need for it. Since the amount of it was so large, Ellie keeled over in minutes after drinking her tea. Now it was time for the police to investigate who the murderer was. They had every employee rounded up in one room. They also had random people who have just been in the office recently. After going through interrogations with everyone, they found who did it. The police chief dragged Max Fuller out in handcuffs. He had showed up to the office about two hours ago and then left for coffee, while leaving all of his bags and such on his desk. The investigators knew he was the first one there. Suddenly as Max was almost out of the building Emma Owens stood up. “Stop! It was me!”, she said. “I just wanted everybody to be friends again. I couldn’t stand watching Max, Selena, and Vivian fight anymore. It was ruining our friendship and the only way to get rid of it was to get rid of Ellie.” Emma was then arrested and taken in. The investigators did more research on how Emma did it and found that she had used Max’s prescription from his desk. When he had stolen all of her office supplies, she snooped back through his stuff to get them back and found his prescription. She then got her idea. Although Emma was in jail and Ellie was dead, Vivian got to take Ellie’s job and both Selena and Max were happy for her. All 4 friends stayed close. Vivian, Selena, and Max all visited Emma regularly. It was a quiet Tuesday morning in the office about a week after the incident when Max whispered, “Sooo… is one of us still getting fired?”.

The author's comments:

This piece was inspired by the TV show "The Office". It is my favorite show and since I love to read thriller/mystery novels, I decided to do a twist of a couple of my favorites. I hope that people find it troubling to solve. I also hope that readers will enjoy the twists and throwoffs my mystery provides.

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