Keith walked past the open office door and glanced in. Cheryl was still there, clicking away on the computer. Scratching his head, he decided his best bet would be to just walk right in and ask her for a date. He'd noticed her watching him lately when they happened to meet in the factory aisles or cafeteria. He walked back to the room and put both hands on the door frame above his head and waited until she looked up.
"Hi Cheryl. You look busy. Are they going to keep you working all night?" He casually strolled in and sat down in the chair by her desk.
"I'm almost finished. So, how do you like working here?" she inquired.
"It's a job. Gotta have that green stuff to survive," he laughed as he rubbed his fingers together. "Actually, I came in here to ask you out for coffee when you're done working. If you'd like to go," he added.
"That sounds good. I'll only be a few more minutes, if you don't mind waiting."
"Okay. Just pretend like I'm not even here," he said. "I'll stay out of your way." He stood up and walked over to the window.
Soon Cheryl stood up and grabbed her sweater. Over coffee they found that they enjoyed each others company so they prolonged their date through dinner.
Keith thought about Cheryl as he clipped the delicate wires leading to the alarm system. It would be a shame to let such an interesting girl go, but during some of their conversation she had sounded sort of prudish. And she had turned him down on his offer to spend the night together. If he gave her time he thought she'd come around. Oh well. If she had come home with him he would have had to put off his plans. Still, he loved an intelligent woman!
Keith had to use a lot of force to pry open the window. It had been painted shut. He pulled himself up over the ledge and dropped to the floor. That was easy enough. The hardest thing to figure out had been where the main wiring was for the alarm. Waiting for Cheryl had given him the excuse and the opportunity to check it out. He pulled the window shut behind him in case the security officer outside of the building came by. The rest would be easy. He had lifted the combination for the safe from Cheryl's purse while she made a phone call. Cheryl took care of all of the bookwork and she also took the company's cash to the bank each week. She'd only started working for her uncle about three weeks ago and she was still a little up-tight about her responsibilities. He had taken a chance that she would still be carrying the combination and it had paid off.
He twisted the handle and pulled the door open. As he reached for the money bag he had tucked through his belt, he heard footsteps coming down the hall. He pushed the safe door shut and crossed the room to the closet. He'd have to hide until the security cop went away. Finally the footsteps faded and he started toward the safe. Just as he reached for the lock, he heard someone coming again. This time it was from outside of the building. Damn! The guy was shining a light in the windows and Keith didn't have time to cross the room to the closet. The door to the hall was just to his right. He'd have to slip out of the office for awhile. He hoped the guard wouldn't notice the wires.
Once Keith was in the hall, he noticed how fast his heart was beating. He was sweating profusely. He turned his head and strained to hear. Now there were footsteps coming down the hall! Two security cops and they both had to be checking the area he was in!
He snuck out into the factory area and hid behind the meat grinder. The thing was huge! He'd seen them put twelve hundred pounds of scrap meat and cereal fillers in it at one time. He'd worked with this one himself that morning.
A rat scurried across the floor. It startled him and he stepped back. His arm hit the start-up button and it was pulled into the machine. His screams went unheard by the guards who were now checking the generator room. As the grinding process was completed, the machine automatically shut off.
The young lovers strolled arm in arm along the beach. The fine wet sand squeezed between their toes as the water lapped at their ankles. "Look! You want one?" he asked the girl.
They ran up to the concession stand. "Two hotdogs with everything," he ordered.
Hotdog Graphic © STAREK DESIGN
Story © 1978
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