Name: Deborah Pannell
Mr. Mooney was in a very bad mood. Driving home from work on the crowded West Side Highway north towards the Henry Hudson Bridge, he heard a funny clacking sound coming from under the hood that sounded suspiciously like the sound he heard the last time he brought the car into the shop. He sighed. Damn that mechanic. He’s been double-crossing me, he thought. You just can’t trust people anymore.
Alexander Mooney was never one to require reassurance or a softening of hard edges. He liked his lights harsh, his desk clean, and his coffee on time. So when his gal Rosemary hadn’t shown up that morning until nearly 9:20 with his morning brew, he knew this was going to be a particularly shitty day.
Rosemary was very pretty, cheerful and efficient enough, but she had three children between the ages of 7 and 17, and something was always going wrong with one of them. If she hadn’t been so good at typing and shorthand, or hadn’t been in the habit of wearing particularly tight blouses (with what must have been a brassiere made of gauze for all the good it did her), he would have given her the boot a long time ago. The girl simply missed too many days of work. It was always something – the young one with the chicken pox, the other one with the cracked front tooth from a sporting match, and then that oldest girl with her mysterious female troubles…it was no good.