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A microfiction series: Part 3

By Real PoeticPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 2 min read
Top Story - February 2024
Photo by Kristina Petrick on Unsplash

Part 1

Part 2

Part 4

It’s early the next morning, and the second day without Preston. Mary and Nia are in pajamas and supposed to login from their home office soon; they both work the 4:00am to noon shift.

Though Mary has years of experience de-escalating her clients’ worst moments, she isn’t convinced if she can unpack her own anymore. She’s wanting to take the day off but needing a distraction from the scenarios playing in her mind about what could’ve been.

Mary looks over her shoulder to see the time on her nightstand; it reads 3:50am. She stumbles out of bed, and an empty bottle of vodka rolls from underneath of the comforter and onto the carpet. She doesn’t stop to throw it away in the recycling bin.

Her head is pounding. Her stomach is aching. There’s no way she’s making it through this workday. She takes out her laptop and logs onto the portal for her job, and she requests to use eight hours of sick leave; it gets automatically approved. Instead of resting, Mary proceeds to aggressively text Nia at 3:57am.

Mary: Isn’t it crazy how an employee can literally DIE and companies don’t care?They move on and post the position online like the person NEVER EXISTED!

Nia: Good morning to you too. I’m surprised you’re up! I thought you’d be taking the day off.

Mary: Oh yeah, good morning. My bad.

Nia: Girl, you don’t need to apologize. I’m not trying to sound dismissive. I’m trying to redirect because focusing on things outside of our control is destructive behavior.

Mary: I know that. I’m a counselor too…

Nia: Even the best workers in our field need counseling sometimes. Not to change the subject, but I have some news I need to share with you that may or may not help you feel better.

Mary: You should’ve led with that! What is it?

Nia: After we left the diner, I went back to the office. I was searching around while everyone else was still held up in the meeting room, and I discovered that Darlene’s office was unlocked. Her laptop still has the same password from last year, so I logged into the system using her administrator account. Long story short, I found an inconsistency. Preston’s records show that he was active online when he shot himself, and there’s also record of a nameless client entering the chat with a counselor within 10 minutes of his death. However, no one else on our shift remembers messaging with an anonymous client around that time. That means Preston was the counselor that the client was chatting with, and this mysterious individual was likely the last person to ever chat with him. Why would someone delete the transcript from their interaction? This is way beyond unethical. It’s possibly criminal too. I’m positive whoever did it purposely tampered with key evidence, and how did Darlene miss this? I always felt there was something off about her, but I never thought she was capable of committing a serious crime!

Mary: My God. I need to sit down…

Nia: Don’t worry! I’ve got this. I reached out to an old friend that can help to retrieve the conversation between Preston and whoever. I’ll update you as soon as I know more! Love you, and get some rest! I’ve got a client in crisis waiting. Gotta go!

CONTENT WARNINGMysteryMicrofiction

About the Creator

Real Poetic

Welcome to my imagination. ✨

I write poetry & short stories.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤️

Instagram: @therealpoetic

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (22)

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  • Stephen Kramer Avitabile2 months ago

    I like that you keep setting the stage and keep unraveling the mystery all at the same time. This is really great, really griping stuff!

  • olymoolla2 months ago

    Good story

  • Dariusz 2 months ago

    Congratulations on top story :)

  • Congratulations on your top story

  • Ah, but the Darlenes I have known have always been such likable people. It's about time I met a bad one, lol.

  • Excellent

  • Antonella Rustica2 months ago

    Well done!

  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 months ago

    RP this series is gripping and puts me on the edge of my seat!! I can't wait for part 4!! Great work and congrats on Top Story!! So well done!!

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Ashley Shiflett2 months ago

    Congrats on top story!!

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳

  • Andrew Zuk2 months ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story, 💖❤👍

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    Interesting developments... I'm loving this unique storyline. And congrats on your Top Story!

  • Test2 months ago

    Great job! Keep up the fantastic work—congratulations!

  • Rastogi 2 months ago

    Congratulations on top story!

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Congrats on the TS.

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Oh. What's Darlene been up to, I wonder? I guess time will tell. Well done.

  • Tiffany Gordon 2 months ago

    gurl your stories are the best!! I'm going back to read #1 right now! This is good enough to be a novel/novella! Go RP! ✊🏾😁

  • Oooo, Darlene seems very sus! Waiting for the next partA

  • Randy Baker2 months ago

    The plot thickens.

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago


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