: Blessedly alone in the office she ordinarily shares with her much-hated enemy Bruce Halloran, Avalena Beasley zips through her workday with ease. Unencumbered by Halloran’s annoying presence, she is actually enjoying the work. Even handling Halloran’s workload is a joy. Because he’s nowhere to be heard or seen. The only downside of the whole arrangement is that he will be back next Monday from his extended vacation. So she had better enjoy every moment of peace while she can.
A knock at the door. It’s their problem child, Myrtle-Anne. She’s the neediest worker in the customer care call center. Not a day goes by where she doesn’t come up with some reason to interrupt and get some specialized attention. Ordinarily Avalena would have verbally ripped her head off for even daring to knock on the office door. But without Satan making life miserable, Avalena is positively happy to accomodate Myrtle-Anne.
“Yes dear? What can I help you with?” she asks brightly.
This show of happiness is completely foreign to Myrtle-Anne. She’s used to being shrieked and cursed at when she comes by. Without that familiar barrage, she’s remarkably uncomfortable. So much so that she contains a panicked squeal before running back to her cubicle to hide in fear.
Avalena is genuinely confused at this reaction, but takes it as another bullet dodged while Halloran is off the shooting range.
Going back to the data entry she’s been tackling for several days, a notification pops up on her screen. She’s received an email from Human Resources. Clicking over to company email, she opens the email and finds the following missive:
This is to notify you that your co-manager Bruce Halloran has elected to take the remainder of his accrued vacation days, and will not be returning to work until late October. In view of these developments, your options are…”
Avalena didn’t care what her options are. Halloran will be gone for another two months at least! True, she will have to continue doing his work, but what of that? She’s been doing it for weeks now, and happily! He’s not here! Whatever she needs to do to keep him away, she’ll do. Besides, she can very well use the extra money. She has wigs, dresses, makeup, and supplies she wants to get for her alter ego Ambrosia DeLight. Because being Ambrosia in the bars everynight that keeps her going. It’s the only time she feels like she can be...herself...This Is My New Orleans.