Someone's allergies can be your worst nightmare
Sasha sneezed so hard her body floated backward from the momentum. A stabbing pain traveled from her nostrils to the top of her forehead. Her body was racked with involuntary spasms as a tornado of expelled air exploded from her mouth and nares. A bubble of germ-laden molecules, consisting of sputum and snot, cascaded into the atmosphere. Her muscles recoiled achingly in recovery. The people stuffed into the elevator with Sasha groaned and moaned while bending sideways to avoid the flying debris. Pasted on their lips was the look of disgust for the woman. She cowered in the corner offering apologies, with verbal comments and expressive facial grimaces. It was not a good way to start her Monday morning work week, she thought as she watched the frenzy of fleeing souls. With their eyes cast down, they exited the elevator as the doors opened in a mad rush to escape the onslaught of floating amoebas.
Sasha was left alone to ride the metal box to the top of the building. Her watering eyes and her red splotchy face were the only visible remnants of the experience. Mortified embarrassment was the mental residue that remained. She wondered how she could possibly face her coworkers at the morning meeting. Her transgression was sure to be the topic of discussion in the office. While her allergies offended the coworkers, they impacted Sasha on so many levels, from the grogginess due to medications promising to cure the malady to her self conscientious attitude as she muddled through life.
Having had multiple rounds of tests to determine the triggers for her allergies, the answer never came. A surprise attack by dust, scent, fabric, pollen, or hair had the power to turn her into a sniveling, weeping, and booger tossing fool. Sasha had no control and the only answer was to keep herself in a bubble for the greatest part of the day. Her home was a shrine to allergen-free products. Heppa filters were her friends. She had purchased the most expensive air filters on the market for both home and office. All of her efforts helped but were not foolproof. Inviting people into her world meant risking her well being. It was a lonely existence.
She locked the door to her office after she entered. She wanted no intrusions while she regained her composure from the elevator incident. She paced back and forth across the tiled floor thinking about the meeting that was to take place in one hour. She would spend the time berating herself and her dreadful condition.
"Here you go again, Sasha. Alienating the staff with your germs!" she said to no one but herself.
She continued with her solitary conversation, "You certainly know how to win friends and influence people. Damn snot machine! This project was important and now your approval rating is zilch. I just wanted to prove that I could handle being in charge of a large account. Me doing something for me!"
"It just isn't fair. I'll probably just go into the meeting and ahh...choo my head off again. Dammit! There has to be something causing this shit," Sasha yelled to the heavens. She was angry at the situation and with her life.
She stopped talking just in time to hear a light tapping at the office door. She stood frozen in place wondering if her self imposed critique was heard or even if it was safe to answer it. There might just be one big dust bunny waiting for her on the other side of the door.
"Who is it?" she called.
"Melanie Kamp, Mr. Smith's secretary," the voice answered.
"I'm getting ready for the meeting. Give me five minutes and I'll be there."
"That's what I came to talk to you about. If I can just have a moment?"
Sasha slid cautiously to the door, wary of what allergen awaited her.
"Fine, come in."
A very composed, articulate, and non-sneezing professional entered the room wearing a bright and cheery red business suit. Sasha hated her instantly. Melanie was all that Sasha had hoped to be and wasn't. Closing the door behind her, the blonde bombshell of perfection strutted to the front of Sasha's desk. Sasha could feel her nasal passages start to twitch from the irritant standing in front of her. Her eyes watered and a flash of heat traveled across her cheeks. The scent of the woman was driving her insane.
"Yes?" Sasha said with noted irritability.
"Mr. Smith wanted me to let you know that we were canceling the meeting for this morning. He heard that you weren't feeling well and wanted to give you a chance to regroup. We will reschedule at a later time,"
Sasha stared at the heavy glass paperweight on her desk, as anger and hatred infused every cell of her body. The paperweight filled with colorful balls of goo to predict weather had been a Christmas gift last year from dear Mr. Smith. No bonus accompanied, just a glass ball of prediction. Her anger grew as she stood next to the impeccably donned messenger sent by her boss. Sasha loathed the woman with the puffy hair, polished nails, and pointed-toe heels. She grabbed the paperweight with a newfound fury and smashed it into Melanie's temple. The previously untarnished emissary of glad tidings slumped to the floor. Blood spurted like a fountain from the crater in the woman's head. Her tongue darted in and out of her mouth as she choked on her own spit. Her body seized in convulsive fits as the life drained away. Sasha stood watching the woman die and was energized by her passing. It was a vindication to the ultimate degree.
Sasha sniffed the air and waited for the usual irritants to assault her. There were no tears or sniffles. The woman's scent no longer bothered her. The perfumed wild-haired woman had no control over her anymore. The dead currier of Mr. Smith posed no further threat. Sasha had created her own Heppa filter.
"I should have thought of this before. I'm just allergic to living people! Let's go solve that problem."
"Oh, Mr. Smith?" Sasha called as she walked down the hall.
Word Count 1030