Today's flash fiction takes us back to the "early days" of the AI Universe and the dealings between Anna Truman and Brady Hall previously seen in "Unknown Benefactor" and "The Game Begins." However, you don't have to have read either of these stories for "Opening Moves" to make sense.
You can also listen to the audio version.
“You, sir, are the human equivalent of period cramps.”
Brady didn’t bother to glance up from the account report he was working on as he responded. “Thank you for your opinion Miss Truman,” he drawled, hiding his amusement behind a bored tone. “However, this personification of PMS is quite busy, if you could see yourself out please.”
Truman scoffed. “You have some nerve, sending me this garbage after stealing from me for years,” she said while pulling an opened certified letter out of her handbag and waving it at him.
Brady stopped typing then and turned his attention to the young woman fuming across from him. Her face was flushed, and ire flashed in her eyes, creating an almost comical contrast to her otherwise prim and polished appearance. He fought the urge to smirk.
“And I suppose you have evidence of this supposed theft?” he asked. “As I have solid proof over $700,000 was transferred from my personal account into yours without my approval.”
Truman’s face flushed darker, and she sputtered for a moment before answering, “Yes, I do.” She drew herself up as tall as she could and squared her shoulders. “I have records showing withdrawals from the trust fund that bounced around to a dozen or so servers before landing in that personal account.”
“Oh, and just how did you get those records?” Brady couldn’t help the slight smirk at the owlish look she gave him then. “There are strict laws governing what evidence is allowable based on how it is gathered. I’d bet good money whatever evidence you think you have was obtained illegally. Otherwise, a smart lady like you wouldn’t hesitate to press charges for embezzlement.”
Truman’s face went from flushed to pallid in a matter of seconds, causing Brady to marvel she didn’t drop into a faint in front of his desk.
“I’m not an unreasonable man, Miss Truman,” Brady said. He folded his hands in front of himself on the desk. “I’m willing to make all of this go away. I’ll call off the lawyers and refrain from pressing charges, keep your name out of the papers and unspoiled, if you just return the money and agree to keep this misunderstanding between us.”
Anna Truman’s eyes narrowed, and her expression hardened as she stuffed the certified letter back into her handbag. “Such a magnanimous offer, Mr. Hall,” she said. “I’ll make sure to give it the consideration it deserves.” Truman snapped her bag closed and pulled his office door open. “Good day, Mr. Hall.”
“And to you,” Brady answered.
The door swung shut with a sharp clang, and Brady chuckled to himself as he watched the flustered young woman rush away from his office with as much dignity as she could muster.
Each story in this series is 700 words or less and is prompted by a first line taken either from a random first prompt like this one or reader suggestions like "Don't Forget Me" and "Culture Shock." I much prefer working from reader suggestions over generators, but to do that, I need to hear from you.
If you have a prompt you'd like to see done, comment below, send it to my Tumblr asks, Tweet it at me, or leave a comment on any of the audio stories from this series. I'll screen shot it, write it, and post it for you.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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