Vandyk

With slow steady patience Vandyk separates out the seeds and the stems, twists the paper between her hands and lights the reefer. She smokes two a day: one in the morning, and one just before she closes up. She just recently switched over from cigarettes because she was starting to get worried about her lungs. She doesn’t want the cannabis nearly so much, nearly so often.

It helps her concentrate on details. Usually paperwork. She spends the first couple of hours of the day going over her files, writing reports, dunning notices, that kind of thing. She polishes her billing letters to a deadly edge, mind calm and peaceful and blue, and sends them off. The responses — usually with money — are hilarious. Handwriting shaky, wind gone completely out of their sails.

She has her secretary send back the overpayments. No note. No note is scarier. Oh god, they must think, if she doesn’t want money, what in god’s name does she want?


Vandyk smiles to herself, lights her second and last joint of the day, and watches the sunset reflected off the buildings across the street. Only what I’m owed.