Prompt: The Interview (456 words)

“Now, how did you come to be here today?” Godfrey sat forward, elbows on knees with a broad, inviting smile. Dinah, his interviewee seemed nervous. Her voice quivered and her face shone with ruby coloured apprehension.

“I saw your advert in the paper. I thought you had a vacancy for a PA.”

“Oh I do. I have an opening, but it needs to be the right person. You do understand?” He waited for a nod of agreement before he spoke again. “I will require a level of dedication you may not have committed to before. I am a busy man and only the finest, most ardent allegiance will do. You understand?”

Dinah nodded but didn’t speak. Her body shook a little and Godfrey wondered if she were made of the right stuff to join his company. He waited in silence, hoping Dinah would feel compelled to fill it with speech. She twisted her hands and feet to an accompaniment of light squeaks from the chair and its bindings.

“I’m not sure I’m what you’re looking for,” she said. Her voice was quiet but firm. Godfrey gave a lop-sided grin and lifted a questioning eyebrow. She continued in a louder and more confident tone, “Forgive me for wasting your time. I must not waste any more of it.”

She attempted to stand, but her hands jolted her back into the seat. They were not only bound to each other but also to the back of the chair. She strained her wrists and ankles against the leather straps that held her in place. Her eyes, far from being wild with fear as they had been for most of the interview, were hard and determined. They narrowed and fixed upon Godfrey’s face.

With delight, Godfrey jumped up and clapped his hands together, binding the fingers. “Marvellous,” he said. He offered a hand to shake before remembering she was bound and unable to return the gesture. “Silly me,” he said, retracting his hand. “Dinah, I knew you had the spunk for this role. You’re a fighter.” Godfrey grinned and bounced on the balls of his feet, the nervous energy of the interview beginning to break free.

“Please,” Dinah said. “Please, let me go.” Tears began to spill from her eyes.

“My dear, I couldn’t imagine life without you.”

He took a gag from the back of her seat and placed it over her mouth. She tried to scream, but the gag performed well, as it had done many times before.

Another quality acquisition, thought Godfrey as he switched off the light and left the squirming woman in her cell. He would sleep well, revelling in the relationship to come and the eventual addition to his beautiful collection of personal assistants.

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