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Prettier If You Smiled

7th May, Story #128/366

By L.C. SchäferPublished 15 days ago Updated 12 days ago 3 min read

I know lots of women say they want to be beautiful, but for me the downsides outweigh the advantages.

If I wanted to skate by on my looks, it'd be great. I want to work hard and be taken seriously. It's difficult to achieve that, being a woman in STEM. Being "pretty" doesn't help.

Some of my colleagues are a nightmare. I've no interest in dating anyone from work, and they take it personally. They find reasons to come to my lab and interrupt me. I'm polite, but cold. I'm expected to smile. I don't. I know from experience the slightest hint of niceness from me will be seen as encouragement.

Last week, my latest suitor, Greg, came to my lab. Again. I was working late, there was hardly anyone else left in the building. He tried all the usual smarmy tricks. He asked me out. Again. I turned him down. Again. He got aggressive, called me a "stuck up bitch".

"Greg, I have to ask you to leave," I said.

"No," he said belligerent now. "You have to tell me why. Do you think I'm not good enough for you? You think you're better than me?"

He was advancing on me as he spoke, getting more and more agitated.

I took a step back, cursing inwardly at my own show of weakness.

His confidence grew, and he moved closer. I slid behind the bench, and repeated firmly that he should leave.

"No!" He said again, louder now, spittle flying. "Tell me why, you owe me that much."

I didn't owe him anything of the sort, and my patience was wearing thin.

"Do you prefer assholes?" he said, jabbing at my face with a stubby forefinger. "Is that it? I'm too nice."

"Yes, that's it," I said levelly, stepping again, willing him to follow... "You're just too nice, Greg,"

The sarcasm was lost on him, but it didn't matter. He'd moved into the right spot. I flipped the switch on the machine I'd been working on.

The portal opened. Tentacles reached through and snatched Greg. There was a crackle as he was dragged back through, and then there was tearing, crunching and screaming.

Now I smiled.

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Word count: (excluding author's note): 366

Submitted on: 7th May at 23:15

*Quick Author's Note*

First, and most importantly: thank you so much for reading my story! The ha'penny that Vocal will pay me for your eyes will be well spent. I might add another koi carp to the piano shaped pond.

A Year of Stories: I'm writing a story every day this year. This one makes an 128 day streak since the 1st January.

Please do consider lending your support to the other creators who are also on this madcap "a story every day" adventure. They are putting out excellent content every day!

Rachel Deeming

Gerard DiLeo

The story behind the story: I wanted to do a Nice Guy (TM) story. I also wanted to do a story about a woman working in STEM.

Leave me a comment! Please do leave me a comment. It makes it easier for me to reciprocate the read. Please leave me a link if you've written a story about a Nice Guy (TM), or women in STEM, and I will whizz over and give it a read.

Thank you

Thank you again! Most especially if you are one of the wonderful people who has been staunchly reading these daily scribbles since the start of the year. I see you, and appreciate you 😁

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Sci FiShort StoryMicrofiction

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

Twitter, Insta Facey

Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

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Comments (18)

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  • Mika Oka11 days ago

    Good thing he got snatched away

  • Cathy holmes13 days ago

    He had it coming.

  • The Dani Writer15 days ago

    Perhaps the distribution of this story can be increased somehow so the men that it applies to can read it because it really drives the point home.

  • Now that's a freaking good reason to smile hehehhehehe

  • Rachel Deeming15 days ago

    Just desserts served by tentacles.

  • Oh! Nice!!!

  • Ruby Red15 days ago

    Karma is the greatest ally to have. This was excellent!

  • Gerard DiLeo15 days ago

    Don't mess with biologists. They know all the right ways. Great comeuppance story.

  • Caroline Craven15 days ago

    Wow. That escalated quickly! Bye Greg. Karma was swift. Love this one.

  • John Cox15 days ago

    I absolutely loved this, LC. "Yes, Greg, your too nice." Simply hilarious! I'm smiling now and will giggle every time, I think about this story.

  • Babs Iverson15 days ago

    I knew she had a plan!!! Clever one!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Kendall Defoe 15 days ago

    I had a woman say this to me at university...and I did get annoyed. Thank you for this. More guys should know what's what.

  • Awe, poor Greg! Cthulhu got him! Very Lovecraft! Great work!

  • TheSpinstress15 days ago

    Abolutely priceless! =D Byeeeee, Greg!

  • Brin J.15 days ago

    I really liked this story. Like, REALLY, liked it. I can't pin exactly what made this so enjoyable for me, perhaps it was the hook or the uncertain direction this was going, or maybe it was the satisfying ending. IDK. It was definitely all of it. It's such a short and simple story, and yet it was delightful.

  • This was an excellent mix of brains, beauty & the beast!😄 Especially liked ‘ Yes, that's it," I said levelly, stepping again, willing him to follow... "You're just too nice, Greg," The sarcasm was lost on him, but it didn't matter.’ Great job… 128/366… amazing effort!👍🏼

  • Hannah Moore15 days ago

    Can't help feeling Greg is just going to go be a dick in another dimension.

  • Lana V Lynx15 days ago

    Oh wow, that's brutal! I wonder if Greg will be missed, at work or anywhere for that matter.

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