Tag Archives: Leland Neville

“Workplace Violence” – Fiction by Leland Neville

Desk Murder – R.B. Kitaj, 1970 – 1984

Let’s ease back into the work week with a bit of the old “Workplace Violence,” Leland Neville‘s diabolical short story from our Summer 2015 issue (available here, here,here, or here).

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IT WAS WORKPLACE VIOLENCE, possibly premeditated. The approaching sirens announced my crime. I didn’t have a lawyer. My iPhone was back at my desk. Rudy’s laptop was opened, but I didn’t want to trespass. I remembered the names of those law firms whose ads are impossible to avoid. Their phone numbers all contain seven identical numerals.

One of Rudy’s responsibilities involves escorting terminated employees from the premises of the National Data Archives. That usually happens once a day, always after lunch. Rudy doesn’t carry a gun. (I never witnessed a fired worker refusing to leave or even offering a mild verbal protest.) Our division of the National Data Archives (nine hundred associates and growing) is strictly an information call center. Other departments of the NDA answer letter and email queries.

I had delivered one vicious punch to Doug’s head in exchange for an instant of mindless pleasure. I definitely wanted him to die. Doug collapsed on his ass. My right hand burned. A woman screamed and a man yelled, “Shit!” I think I smiled.

Doug’s round shiny bald head trembled and white foam poured from his surprised mouth. A muscular, six-foot man, one of my coworkers, restrained me. “What got into you?” he asked.

“Does anyone know first aid?” asked a female coworker. “I think he’s dying,”

“I think he’s choking on his tongue,” said another female coworker. “Someone should place a pencil between his teeth.”

Doug rolled onto his belly and extended his arms. He began a steady swim kick. I focused on his Kanji neck tattoo and single black stud earring.

That’s when Rudy from security arrived. He ignored Doug.

“You’d better come with me,” he said.

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