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by Rhonda Clark  
1/19/2007 / Short Stories

As Trinie stretched her body, the scent of fresh baked bread and muffins wafted into her domain. The delightful smells of banana nut bread and chocolate walnut muffins were making her hungry. For much too long, she had been sitting in this chair staring at the tiny rows of numbers. She hated this job and the paranoia that came with it. Hiding in a back room of a bakery doctoring books for the local mob boss was not an ideal job. But her babies had to eat, and her youngest needed his medicine.

In a flash, the door flung open, and Trinie jumped.

"Hey Trinie, my sweetie," Shade said as he bounced through the door. Trinie knew his name wasn't really Shade, but that's the only name she knewit was safer that way.

Shade spun a chair around backwards and perched himself atop it. Resting his arms on the back rest, he asked, "Cookin' those books good?" then he let out a sinister laugh. Continuing, he added, "Wouldn't want you to leave anything half-baked, or you might find yourself burned." He cackled again.

She cast an angry glance in his direction. The blond-haired slime ball was always making cracks about what could happen to her if she made an error. "Shade, I'm almost done. Then, I'm leaving. I want to get home before the kids wake up."

While smacking on chewing gum, he replied, "Mr. D. said you don't have to work all these nights. You can work during the day."

"I know, but people don't tend to come around asking questions at 2:00 a.m. like that do at 2:00 p.m."

"Yeah, okay, whatever. Just doing what I was told. He doesn't care when you work, just as long as you do. Understand?"

Again, she got the message, but she was not about to let this sleaze bag intimidate her. Slamming her hands onto the book, she said, "Listen Shade, I do my job, and I do it well. Now get out so I can finish. Go have a cup of coffee and a danish. You can get the books on your way out."

"Alright, I'm going." Shade jumped off the chair and out the door.

Trinie sat back and took stock of her life. Her days were filled with fear and suspicion. She wished she had never taken the job as a baker's assistant out front. That was when this nightmare started. Artemis Stone, the bakery's manager and co-owner, discovered her talent with numbers, and he brought this to the attention of his partner, Mr. D. Trinie was offered a promotion. All she had to do was keep the two sets of books separate and her mouth shut. She had felt trepidation about taking the job, but with no medical coverage and a child with AIDS, Trinie felt she had no choice. Now, she wanted out, but there was no way she could leave. If anything happened to her, both her children would go into foster care. To Trinie, that was a fate worse than death.

She sank her head into her hands and cried out, "God, if you're real, tell me what to do; get me out of this."

For several minutes, she sat there waiting for an answer. When no answer came, she lifted her head, and said, "That's what I thought. Not even God cares." She pulled open the desk drawer to retrieve her purse. When she pushed her hand inside the drawer, she felt something new. Unsure of what she was touching, she pulled the object out. There in her hands lay a brad new Bbible. Trinie had seen Bibles, but never actually touched one. With curiosity, she began to thumb through the pages, and a piece of paper fell to the floor.

Picking up the paper, she read the hand-written words. "If you ever want to get out, just call." Turning the card over, she discovered it was the business card of an agent for the Treasury Department. Trinie froze, unsure of what to do. If this was ever found on her, she would be dead for sure. Then she noticed a highlighted passage in the bible. "Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you."

Tirnie dropped the card back inside the bible, then shoved both into her purse.

Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you. Deuteronomy 3:22 NIV

(c) 2007, Rhonda Clark
Rhonda Clark is a stay at home mom of two and a freelance writer. She and her family makes their home in Bartlett, TN. For more information about her writing visit: or contact her through

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