by Marco Smith ©2016

Mike sat alone in the green hue of the office lights. The buzzing from the fluorescent tubes overhead amalgamated with the low hum of the desktop computer to solidify the feeling he was deep inside of the hive. He could practically hear the all too familiar bustle that would soon be droning through the thin wall of her office. The almost imperceptible tick…tock… emanating from the ornate clock on the far wall emphasised the shortness of his time-frame. On the screen in front of him a cursor blinked monotonously, beckoning him to provided the password. The password he didn’t know, but he could make an educated guess at what it may be. The question was, how many wrong attempts would trigger a system shutdown? Mike was pretty sure that her domestic habit of ‘one password for everything’ would be mirrored at work. There was only one way to find out.

Next to the monitor was a photo frame of the three of them from that skiing trip in the Alps last winter, big genuine smiles all round, their white teeth glistening in the bright sun.

As many mothers all over the world do, Janet had used the name of her daughter and date of birth as her password for everything. Mike wheeled the heavy leather office chair he was sat in closer into the desk so he could reach the keyboard and began to type…


He paused. The cursor continued its never ending winking. Was he right? Should he risk it? If Janet found out he had done what he was about to do, Mike would be in deep shit!

Mike was so preoccupied with his thoughts that he didn’t hear the door open. The relative silence of the office at dawn was suddenly shattered. From the open doorway Janet announced her presence, “AHEM!”, whilst simultaneously articulating perfectly her extreme shock and disappointment at finding her trusted partner doing…doing whatever the fuck it was that he was doing!

Mike felt a chill strike through him to the core. ‘Shit!’, he thought, ‘What do I tell her I’m doing?’. Calmly looking up from the screen he made eye contact with Janet’s alter ego Angelita. “Oh, nothing really, I was just trying to write a little note to surprise you when you got here my love, but it seems your computer is locked.” As he stood up, Mike deftly hit the escape key to clear the characters from the password box and pushed the chair back. He stepped to one side and surrendered Janet’s chair gesturing for her to sit.
‘Bullshit!’, Janet thought. She could read a lie at a thousand paces but decided to let him believe his excuse had been successful in taming the beast inside her.

She smiled and kissed Mike gently on the cheek. “You skipped shaving this morning then?” she rhetorically asked whilst sliding into the still warm office chair. Mike dragged one of the visitor chairs over and sat across from the re-emerging Janet thinking to himself ‘Phew, she bought that one’. “No, I didn’t feel like it today.”
As Janet turned to face him she caught a glimpse of her monitor just as the power saving kicked in and the life drained from the pixels. Those fleeting seconds were just enough to see the ************ in the password box. Mike had been trying to get in!

‘I’m glad I use a different password at work’ she thought and smiled at Mike. “I prefer you stubbly anyway my love”.


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