Here Be Monsters - By M T Murphy


M.T. Murphy


All rights reserved.

Edited by Erin Stropes

It wasn’t every day that Tim knocked a beautiful woman flat on her back. He stared at her from atop his clumsy six-foot, three-inch frame, wishing he could turn back time.

“Oh my god. I am so sorry.” He knew the words couldn’t possibly convey his horror.

The young woman sat up and crossed her feet as elegantly as one could do in such a situation. She had long black hair and the greenest eyes he had ever seen. He expected her to be hurt, furious, or both.

Instead, she laughed. It was a warm and carefree sound, one that made him feel far more comfortable than it should have. After all, he had bowled her over like a stampeding ox as soon as the elevator doors opened. It didn’t get any more ungentlemanly than that.

She stood before he had a chance to offer to help her up.

“It is all right. The hour is late and you wish to go home,” she said. “I should have known better than to wait directly in front of the elevator.”

“No, I’m an oaf. It’s totally my fault.” He shoved his hand out at her with a weak smile. “I’m Tim from accounting.”

She shook his hand. Her grip was stronger than that of most of his male colleagues. It was the kind of grip that demanded one’s full attention.

“Hello, Tim from accounting,” she said with a warm smile of her own. “I am Lucy. It is nice to meet you.”

He liked the way she said his name. Her barely perceptible accent made it sound like the letter “t” was just a little heavier than the rest.

He tried to think of something witty to say. Nothing came to mind.

“You are here late, Tim. Are you working on anything exciting?”

He glanced down at his leather satchel, suddenly remembering why he had been in such a hurry. “Not really. Just a special project for my boss.”

“Something that will benefit all of us in the Romana family of companies, I hope?”

Tim frowned. “We’ll see.” He shook off the gloom and jumped as the elevator buzzed at him for blocking the doors open too long. He moved out of the way and stuck his hand in front of the impatient doors, holding them open for her. “I’m really sorry about, you know, acting like a human bowling ball. Could I buy you a cup of coffee sometime?” Inwardly, he cringed. Knock her down, then hit on her. Subtle as a caveman.

“I am not much of a coffee drinker,” she said, stepping into the elevator.

“Ah,” Tim said, and released the doors. He knew a polite rejection when he heard one. He couldn’t blame her.

“But”—she held out a business card which he snapped up greedily—“I would love for you to stop by my office sometime so we can chat.”

He nodded like a confused puppy. She smiled again. The doors closed and he took a step back, watching the floor numbers change on the digital display. Lucy’s suit had been crisp and elegant, much like the rest of her. She was probably a personal assistant for one of the reclusive executives. It would figure that one of those dirty old men would hire himself a woman like that to ogle.

The lobby of the Romana Industries tower was empty save for the spiky-haired blonde woman stalking around the front doors. The woman worked as bodyguard and additional security for the executives. She made no effort to hide the fact that she was staring at Tim. He nodded politely but she did not return the gesture.

He glanced back at the elevator. The display indicated that it had stopped on the thirteenth floor—the ultra-private executive floor, only accessible by a numeric code held by a handful of people.

“Figures,” Tim said to himself. Then he looked at the business card.

Lucille Romana

President and Chief Executive Officer

A chill ran down Tim’s spine. He had a crush on the very person his boss was planning to blackmail.

He rushed out the front door, pretending to ignore the menacing glare of the spiky-haired blonde woman.


An hour later, he recounted the tale on the old couch in Barry’s apartment.

“You actually met her?” Barry asked. “I’ve been working there for four years and never saw her once. You’ve been there three months and you’re practically dating?”

“It’s not like that. I was getting off the elevator. She was getting on. She was really nice considering I nearly killed her.” Tim paused, replaying the scene in his mind. “And…”

“And what?”

“She’s pretty.”

Barry thumped him