The Job, Part Four: The Task

A serialized story in seven parts

Ken Preston

28 January 2024

An ancient, leather bound book

Are you keeping up? Here we are at Part Four: The Task.

If you've missed the story so far, you can start here.

4. The Task

The little man found her an empty cubicle containing an empty desk. He indicated that she should sit down at the desk. When she was seated, her hands on the top of the desk surface, he bustled off before she could ask him anything.

Is this what I am to do? Sit here at an empty desk and wait for the day to end? Is that what all the other women are doing in their cubicles?

The minutes stretched out and Susan had to resist the urge to tap her fingers against the desk surface. She knew that she would be reprimanded within seconds of beginning to drum her fingernails. Finally the little man returned with a massive, leather-bound book in his arms. The book’s spine was cracked with age. In his arms, this huge book dwarfed the little man and he grunted as he shoved it on the desk. He was only just tall enough to get it on.

‘There,’ he said, wiping his hands together and brushing at the dust off his jacket.

Susan looked at the book and then back at the man. ‘There … what?’

‘You read it,’ the little man said. ‘Read it all and then report back to me once you’ve finished.’

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