Flash Fiction #13

 

Cait wove through the crowd of elementary school students, carefully keeping her coffee out of the way. Between the long line at Starbucks and having to clean up her blood-stained clothes, she had just barely made it on time for the meeting. Why they held these things in the middle of the day and not at a more convenient time for working parents, she wasn’t sure. She could see the group of better dressed moms already gathered in the library and she took a moment to gather her thoughts. Dispatching demons and supernatural creatures? No sweat. Dealing with the women in the Teacher Appreciation Week group for her daughter’s class? A nightmare.

“Since Caitlin has decided to join us, we can begin,” Jessica said when she spotted Cait walking in.

Jessica Fowler-Moore expected everyone to follow her itineraries down to the second. Normally, Cait would have applauded Jessica’s attention to detail and order, but she acted like an asshole to pretty much everyone she met who didn’t kiss up to her. Everything had to go her way, there was no room for discussion (despite there being time allotted for some), and she never, ever forgot even the smallest infraction. Two years ago, Maia Gomez had brought the “wrong” kind of paper cups to a function, and Jessica still makes sure to bold the brand name on their supply lists.

Why she still put up with this nonsense was in a room a few doors down learning how to multiply and divide numbers. Cait wanted to be involved with Aisling’s school so that Aisling would feel like she had a normal mom. They both knew that wasn’t true, but Cait was still determined to be the kind of mother who knew all of her kid’s teachers and what was going on at school. She also had made friends with Maia and they acted as each other’s moral support.

“We’re getting a passive aggressive email tonight about being on time,” Maia said softly enough for Cait to hear as she took her seat.

She chuckled, and then took out her planner. While one of Jessica’s minions read last meeting’s recap, Cait marked off her to do list. All of her work duties were written in code, just in case someone found her planner. “D – 9:00am” referred to the demon she had extricated from the body of a CPA. The guy even offered to do her taxes free of charge next year; she’d hold him to that. That afternoon she had two house cleansings that were marked “HC” with the times beside each. Those typically involved little-to-no bodily fluids being hurled at her by angry paranormal beings. Being descended from a long line of witches definitely set a person apart from the crowd, but Cait had learned how to use her gifts to help others from an early age. Aisling had her own set of gifts that she was still figuring out, but Cait knew she would get the hang of them.

With the meeting over, Jessica pulled Cait aside to have a “chat.” Just the word from Jessica’s clipped, affected upper class accent made the coffee sour in Cait’s stomach. They had both gone to the same high school and Cait knew for a fact that she was putting on that voice because of an inferiority complex a mile wide.

“I couldn’t help but notice the stain on your jeans. Is…is that blood?”

Cait looked down at the spot she had somehow missed, then back at Jessica with a smirk. “Yup. I guess those stain pens don’t get everything out.”

Jessica paled, giving Cait enough time to leave the room. Outside, Maia was waiting for her with a curious look on her face. “What did she want?”

“Just being nosy as always,” she said. “Have time for lunch? I’m starving.”

 

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