The Red Tie

by Linda Courtland

He pushed the elevator button the way he pushed the buttons of the people who worked for him: once, decisively, with just the right amount of pressure. She saw his red tie first, the pathetic power symbol favored by weak men like the one who raised her. She couldn't stand to look at it so she faced the lights instead, hitting the button for the 14th floor, herself. "I already pressed it," the red tie said, but the goth girl ignored him, stabbing the button again and again, her fingers adorned with gargoyles and rubies. He knew how to handle women, puppets really, just like employees, always seeking praise and reassurance. With well-practiced charm, he complimented her hideous choice of jewelry, anticipating the smile that followed, but surprised by the fangs, which sunk like heat-seeking missiles into the fleshy mess protruding from his perfectly-starched white collar.


Linda Courtland is an LA-based travel and entertainment writer. She scribbled down this story while feasting on a devilishly good dark chocolate and butter cream torte at a cozy, catered Writing Pad class.