Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock
By author – Nino Gugunishvili
Balthazar Hamish woke up in a grumpy mood that morning. He had a terrible headache. His nervous young assistant, Clarissa, and a fashion editor, Chloe, were looking down at the magazine layout, spread out in huge sheets on his office desk. Clarissa always seemed to be a little afraid of him and his fat old cat, Baltimore.
Where did she get that awful velvety coat and ankle boots? She apparently is not at all a fashion addict, or a shopaholic, he thought. Still, she worked in a fashion magazine. What the hell is that? He looked down at one of the headlines printed in bold.
“A True Tale from an Unromantic Goddess”! Balthazar felt suddenly irritated. It’s a sophisticated magazine, for god’s sake. I don’t need more sentimental or feminist crap out here. That title sounded artificial and kitschy to him, as did the whole idea of aspiring foreign authors working for a magazine on a regular basis. It was Liz’s brilliant hunch, of course.
Liz Foster, his deputy! Stubborn and selfish! The whole damn thing about this magazine project was a total waste of time and possibly money. Shark heads in the top management of the publishing house were longing for Balthazar’s blood. He knew it from the very beginning of it all.
“Clarissa, could you please send reminders to all for our meeting later?” Balthazar tried to say it louder word by word. Clarissa looked at him and blinked. She was terrified by his presence and wanted to leave the room—the sooner the better.
“Tea maybe?” she asked, grabbing an opportunity to leave this uncomfortable place. She had to make tea for her new boss, make notes, organize staff meetings, and be optimistic about her new life and brand new dream job as a secretary at this damn, hellish magazine!
Working with Balthazar made her feel dizzy. She tried hard to overcome her nervousness and pretend to be confident, but her hands were almost always shaking.
“Tea would be great, thank you!” he responded quickly.
Clarissa walked out the door, leaving Chloe and Balthazar alone. Chloe, stylish and cute, looked at Clarissa, amazed but silent. A while later Chloe left, too.
Balthazar’s headache was getting intense. He opened the locker and took out a painkiller, swallowing it without water. Baltimore sat in his lap lazily. All Balthazar wanted was a cup of a dark tea, but his eyes were already glued to the printed text.
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About the Author:
Nino Gugunishvili holds MA in arts and has worked in the film and television industries.
“Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock” is her debut novel. She lives in Tbilisi, Georgia
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