Chewing gum stuck to the back of my navy skirt.  Grey muck smeared across dark woollen material like a child’s finger painting gone wrong. I couldn’t go home to change. Instead, I twirled it round hoping to express a unique fashion style. But the cut and shape of the pleated panels, I swear, made my posterior ginormous.

Normally, I wouldn’t worry. But right now the new boss, What’s-his-name, (who’s all about team support – whatever) wants to give me some award for just showing up to work. True story. Especially when I don’t belong to that team and no one knows me because I’m concealed in the archives vault within the depth of this structure’s underbelly.

But I used be part of a perfect working duet with my BFF, Trudy – who’s now become my prankster nightmare. Hence the gummed-bum fashion-line, and let’s not mention my bent lopsided glasses falling off my nose that I’d fished out of the loo earlier.

As you can imagine, I’d rather hide under my desk than stand here waiting for my name to be called in front of complete strangers posing as work colleagues.

But before I could escape, my name is heralded across the room followed by the pitter-patter of bored applause. Wiping sweaty palms on my back-to-front skirt, I glance at Trudy who gives me the thumbs-up. Teeth nip at my gnawed lips, holding my breath, I carefully watch each step and felt every eyeball focus on my big bum in the gum splattered skirt.

When something grasped my ankle.

I fell face first at the feet of ‘What’s-his-name’.

Carpet burned my knees and that damned skirt flew right up my back exposing everything. I think I burped, or farted, or both escaped for sound effects.  This was accompanied by gasps, choked coughs and a rapid gun-fire round of applause from the zillions of witnesses.

Time froze – for me.

 I could hear my mum’s voice blabbing: ‘hope you’re wearing clean knickers in case you got hit by a bus’.

I prayed the carpet I was kissing would collapse into a never ending sinkhole to never show my face (or underwear) at any future public engagements. Ever.

Somehow, unseen hands peeled me off the floor and onto my feet. Carpet-burns stung my hands and knees. I bit back tears, hid my sweaty neon flashing face beneath bad-bed-hair, shook What’s-his-name’s hand, accepted the certificate and sprinted for my daily-dungeon.

There, leaning against my desk was Trudy – clapping. Bitch.  She could’ve been anything, gone anywhere, but instead hung around annoying me.

“Trudy, these pranks have gotta stop.”

Trudy arched a manicured eyebrow and smirked at me.

“You give me no other choice.” I stabbed at my phone’s keypad, activated the speaker and waited. “I never wanted to do this-”

“Police,” said the male operator.

Felt like a criminal – yet I’d done nothing wrong.  I glared at Trudy and said, “I want to report the whereabouts of a missing dead person, who’s haunting me.”

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