Stamping furiously towards the monolith of a building in front of her, Agrile drew the eyes of the many passers-by with her bedraggled look. The first time She had sent one of them out in years, and it had to be on a bloody day like this. She had a sense of humour, it seemed. That didn’t even break a smile on Agrile’s face as an icy tendril of water slid down the back of her collar, courtesy of the cheap umbrella she had bought as the storm had set in. Weighing her down as always, her anger fuelled her forwards and kept her feet on the ground, albeit reluctantly; she just wasn’t made for the usual mundane life, but She had told her to come, so come she did.
Checking her thoughts slightly - She could hear after all - she reached the rotating door with the giant logo of the tree above it. That raised her mood, slightly. Nature always did. She took a deep breath and stepped in to the door, the stone feeling oppressive in an instant as its weight towered above her. Shaking off the excuse of an umbrella she stalked inside, showering the pristine marble floor with crystal droplets, reflecting on the spotlights. Disapproving eyes followed her as she flicked her hair and put on the best smile she had as she approached the reception.
“Can I... help you miss?” said the voice of a gangly youth, full of expensive jewellery, eyes narrowed in disdain at her less-than-perfect appearance. Keeping that fake, tight smile on her face, Agrile responded.
“I’m here for an interview with Mr. Yaran, at two forty-five. The name’s Agrile.”
Pages flickered at breakneck speed, the secretary licking his manicured fingers to grip the paper better. He paused regularly, skimming down the specific pages until he eventually froze towards the end of the list.
“Ah, yes. Take a seat, Mr. Yaran will see you at his earliest convenience.”
Gritting her teeth, Agrile nodded towards the arrogant idiot and moved towards the seat indicated, dropping the umbrella untidily on the tiles. Dirtier looks were thrown her way. She let out a deep breath, then settled down to wait.
This better be worth it, Agrile thought grumpily, knowing that She could hear. She imagined getting chastised at her unruly imagination, and finally cracked her granite face with a smile. Feeling her feet beginning to rise, she forced the mirth down and slammed herself back to the earth. Back to reality. In what seemed like moments, another one of the preened sycophants appeared, beckoning her inside of another room to the side.
“Umm, Agrile Wadanda?”
Without verbally responding, she rose and raised her hand, gliding towards the indicated room with a confidence that belied her appearance. Being silently ushered through the immaculate doorway, she finally saw the prize of the day. Criya Yaran, sat with a plastic, boss-like smile on his face, eyes crinkled from too much laughter; she knew underneath what the man was made of. A thrill lanced through her otherwise controlled physique, and she struggled to restrain the jailed expression that she’d kept so constrained before now.
“Mr. Yaran? A pleasure to meet you” she heard herself say as she sat down opposite the trio. He was the trophy she’d come for. The second was the one that made that trophy a rusted replica of what it could be. The last was inconsequential, though vital to that specific moment that She had seen.
“Miss Wadanda? I’ve heard amazing things. Please elaborate for us, what do you think you can bring to this company?” came the apparently bored voice of Criya, sick of the stale interviews that had permeated the day. Hopefully, hers would be different.
“From the tone in your voice, anyone would think you’re conducting a trial, sir, not an interview” said the third figure in an air of a mother scolding a child. Criya chuckled dryly, shaking his head and knuckling his eyes.
“You’re right, Yuumi, you’re right. Where are my manners?”
Criya rose from the seat and extended his hand to Agrile, which she grasped eagerly, pressing slightly with her thumb to impart what She had wanted. She watched as his earlier tired eyes seemed to perk up slightly, a flicker of green rushing through them before settling as a miniscule dot on his pupils.
To take hold so quickly on him, She was right... as usual.
Agrile stuck to the script that they’d agreed, spouting nonsense about bringing new life to the company, allowing nature to thrive and eradicating any corruption in the world and hopefully the future. She watched as a flicker of confusion crossed Criya’s face, mirrored on to Yuumi’s, but they did not interrupt. Only the third figure in the room looked unperturbed at her mention of corruption, and a grim but proud feeling flooded through her at her mistress being right yet again – as if she was ever wrong. Finally, finishing her feeble attempt at an interview, the room fell silent. All three of them watched her, differing expressions on each of their faces, until the nameless figure rose and extended her own hand.
“Thank you, Miss Wadanda, we’ll be in touch” she said, somehow making it a scathing comment through the smile on her face. She gripped the offered hand, and as she did before, pressed with her thumb, with very different results. The woman gasped ever-so-slightly, black spots darting across her eyes before coming to settle in the very same position that the green dots had settled on Criya’s. As though nothing had occurred, Agrile did her best attempt at a curtsy to Yuumi and Criya, before spinning and walking from the room. The door clicked closed behind her; already she could hear raised voices from behind it, bringing curious glances from the gangly youth as she passed him by. Her work here was done. Criya would bring the nature-loving company in to the future, whilst cutting the abscess that was the third figure. The Mother’s world would begin to heal again.
And good riddance, she thought with a growl, stepping out in to the still-pouring rain. She began to shed the clothing that she wore, beginning with the sodden black pumps, now uncaring of the freezing water splashing around her feet. Taking off her coat, she drew some incredulous looks, then some disgusted ones as she began to remove the rest. Mindful of the children, she waited until her toes finally met the blessed grass before fully stripping down, revelling in the tickling feeling that finally brought her back to where she belonged. She entered the treeline and felt herself freed of the mundane world, the whirring of society falling off her along with her discarded clothes. She heard the tell-tale whispering of her kind, with one voice puncturing through the rest with glorious clarity.
Agrileeeee, welcome home, my child.
With that the last shackle of the mortal world was broken, and she felt the burden of her emotions land on the undergrowth below, her feet raising off the ground, slowly at first, but with increasing speed. Flooding with euphoria, she drifted to join her kin and the embrace of the Mother.
If only these humans knew the weight negative emotions brought, Agrile thought sadly as she rose, maybe they too would be able to fly.
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I loved the meaning behind the story, especially how the last line brought it all together. It's really profound. Great writing as always. I really enjoyed this story. Well done. :)
I re-wrote that line 3 times and still wasn't happy with it at the posting of the story 😂 thank you for the comment!
Good job with this story! It leaves enough to the fantasy of the reader to leave me deeply satisfied. I have to admit, as a non-english speaker not all the words you used were common to me and made the reading a bit tough, still from the start I got that craving of wanting to see where the narration was going to land :)
Wow, thank you for the comment. Your English seems perfect, I would never have known it wasn't your first language.