Snippet No. 3

The elevator door opened and Skylar pushed her way out, practically knocking over two other people. She felt a competitive rage overwhelm her. If there was anything that motivated her, it was the thought of losing. And losing she was. How could Lipstein give the One-Twenty-One matter to someone else? How could she get it back? There must be a way. She busted out onto the street and went straight for a cab pulling in front of the building. Someone yelled, “HEY!” as she stopped briefly to let the arriving passenger out and slipped into the back seat, slamming the door shut. She could hear a man yelling profanities outside but she ignored the noise and said to the cabbie firmly, “I have a thirty-dollar tip with your name on it if you can get me to 41st and Madison in less than ten minutes.”

“You got it, lady,” replied the cabbie in a thick New York accent.

Skylar smiled and sat back in the seat. If any cabbie had a chance of getting her to Bally’s in record time, it was probably this guy. The cab pulled away from the curb with a burst of acceleration, leaving the angry businessman madly gesturing in its wake. For a split second, Skylar thought she saw the man with the shiny black gloves again, standing on the sidewalk by the building watching her cab. But when she tried to get a better look, the man disappeared into the flow of pedestrians. That would have been odd, she thought, and then shrugged it off. Holding tight onto the door handle as the cab swerved through traffic, Skylar’s thoughts returned to Lipstein’s choice of Marisa over her. She still had her edge, damn it. She knew that was not the problem. What was it? Had she done any work that was sub-par? No, she knew her work was excellent and so was her effort. Something was not right. All she knew was she was going to get to the bottom of it.

The cab pulled over on 41st with twelve minutes on the meter. “Oh, so close,” said Skylar, handing the cabbie a ten on top of the fare.

“Hey lady, gimme a break, huh?”

“Here, I’ll split the difference,” she said as she tossed him another ten. Shutting the door as he replied to say thanks, she was off and running down the sidewalk. The cabbie leaned forward to peer over his steering wheel, noticing that she was running in high heels. He shook his head and drove away.

Snippet – No. 2

She leapt onto the granite doorstep of her office building, her wool coat swinging by her knees. The glass entranceway was clouded with frosted condensation. From the outside the old stone building was grand, stoic and still.  Inside, it was a swirl of golden warmth and movement. Skylar opened the door with a whoosh of air; cold colliding with warm. Stepping inside she blinked several times. Her eyelashes thawed. She removed her scarf and hat, shaking her dark hair loose to rest softly on her shoulders. She looked around and instantly felt the pulse of the building. The lobby was alive and bustling.

Being in an art deco-style, early twentieth-century building in Manhattan gave one a feeling of existing in another time. She secretly loved it here. She was mystified by the sweeping high ceilings, balustrade stairwells and antique sconces. To Skylar, the architecture had an ethereal affect. Aside from the busy professionals who inhabited it during the week, it was a rather romantic setting. Sadly, it was wasted on people who were too distracted to enjoy it.

Snippet – No. 1

The cold wind stung her bare ankles as she cursed herself for not wearing boots. Each step of her heels struck the sidewalk with a solid clack. Cold concrete was unforgiving, but a blustery winter wind was even worse. The wind chill had kept the temperature cruelly hovering in the single digits. Even for New York City it was an especially cold December day. To Skylar Battelle it should have been nothing remarkable.

She bent her head down and grimaced under her scarf. Even her eyebrows hurt. Dodging patches of ice, she weaved through bundled pedestrians. Skylar took comfort in seeing people who appeared far more pained from the cold than she felt. It almost made up for her choice to walk to work in heels today. Almost. Spotting her office building a block away, she quickened her gait to reach the intersection. A mean blast of icy air tried to slow her, but she leaned into it and pressed on.