Reduction in Force

By Edith Maxwell

Copyright 2013 Edith Maxwell

Smashwords Edition

Cover by Stanzalone Design,

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This story was first published in Thin Ice by Level Best Books (2010).

My phone rings. Patricia, my manager, says she needs to see me. Now. I am instantly numb: talk of layoffs has been buzzing in the halls for an hour. Pressing my lips together, I begin the long walk down through the blue-gray cubicles. Patricia has an office with a door.

I huddle half an hour later with my now-former coworkers. For years we've worked together writing and debugging software to further the prospects of the company. It's all over. I feel like there's a knife behind my eyes and a scarf wrapped too tightly around my throat.

“So, Jackie, what’d Patricia say?” George asks, the furrows in his forehead deeper than usual.

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