Authors: Amity Maree
|One April Fool|
One April Fool
By Amity Maree
Copyright 2012 Blushing Books Publications and Amity Maree
Copyright © 2012 by Blushing Books® and Amity Maree
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One April Fool
eBook ISBN: 978-1-60968-691-8
Cover Design: ABCD Graphics
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Her bottom burning, and tears running down her cheeks, April faced the corner and tried to focus her thoughts on the last few days instead of on her stinging bare backside, and the fact that the walls needed a good dusting and washing down. It had started so simply:
“Miss Burnside, that report was due on my desk twenty minutes ago!”
“Yes, ma’am, I know, but…”
“No excuses, Miss Burnside! I want that report on my desk in ten minutes or I will recommend disciplinary action be taken against you!”
April watched the old harridan walk away and for the millionth time that week wished she could afford to quit and tell Miss Penelope Winslow what she could do with herself! It was a pipe dream, however, and with her cheeks burning from humiliation at a scold that was completely unjustified, she gave the document she’d put so much work into one last proofread, knowing full well that “old eagle eyes” would call her on the carpet for even one typo. She carefully saved the document, and then hit print, and walked to the table where the printer resided. After stapling the pages together, she walked over to Miss Winslow’s desk and placed the report in her in-box.
Feeling on edge, April decided to take her break; it was only half an hour past time due to the upset client who kept her on the telephone for nearly two hours. She helped herself to coffee, and added sugar and creamer from the refrigerator. April also indulged in a candy bar that she knew she shouldn’t be touching for several reasons, the first being her weight. She’d worked so hard the last several months to lose the forty pounds of excess fat she’d allowed to slowly creep on her body. The second reason she should avoid the chocolate was that she was addicted to chocolate, and once she caved and touched the stuff, she would have to work extra hard to avoid the cravings she would experience for more of the delicious stuff. Still, the morning had been extra stressful, and she needed something to calm her nerves or she was going to explode all over the place! Penelope Winslow was the meanest woman she’d ever met, and that included her high school principal!
“Hey, April!” Charity greeted her as she entered the break room and went straight to the pop machine for a cola. “Why didn’t you speak up for yourself this morning? Copperhead had no right to lecture you after you had to deal with that client who kept you on the phone for nearly two hours!”
April had to smile again as Charity referred to Penelope Winslow as ‘Copperhead’. According to Charity’s blonde logic, Penny was a nickname for Penelope… and a penny used to be made of copper. A copperhead was a deadly snake… therefore, a fitting nickname for their supervisor. “She didn’t give me a chance.”
“She doesn’t give anyone a break. I wonder what happened in her past to make her so bitter and rude to everyone?”
“No one knows a thing about her,” April answered. “Maureen thinks she is an alien from another planet because she can’t possibly be human.”
Charity giggled at that, and then said, “I think it’s time we take action and give back some of what she deals us on a daily basis.”
“I agree,” April nodded, and then enjoyed a bite of the candy bar. “I’ve been trying to think of an appropriate April Foogl’s trick to play on her; one that will put her at the disadvantage for once. Any ideas?” she asked the other woman.
“Gosh, no. I am absolutely the worst when it comes to pulling pranks on people. I can talk to my brother, though. He’s really great.”
“I want something that will shut her up for at least a week!” April stated forcefully, still feeling the sting of criticism from the older woman.
“That would be a world record of some sort,” Charity announced, and April laughed along with her.
That was how it started, April stood there and reflected; so innocently, and all Penelope Winslow’s fault for always assuming the worst of everyone and never giving anyone the chance to explain before she started scolding in sharp tones. April was positive it was human nature to want a chance to get even with a boss who was always complaining and never ever complimenting for work well done. Thinking of the perfect prank wasn’t easy to do…
“I hear that you are going to get Copperhead for us?” Maureen whispered, believing the break room was bugged.
April shrugged. “I’m having a terrible time coming up with a prank worthy of her meanness.”
“Whatever it is, you have to make sure it’s a good one and really packs a punch.”
It was that conversation that encouraged her to think in bigger terms, April realized. She’d never gone out of her way to take a prank to such extremes before, and it was why she found herself with a butt that felt swollen to twice its normal size, and would hurt even more when he returned to hear what she had to say. Not that what she had to say would make one bit of difference, of course. He was thoroughly upset with her, and he wouldn’t entertain any excuses that her coworkers encouraged her in planning the prank. No, he blamed her solely. And, it was her plan, she couldn’t deny it. She’d planned every aspect of the prank and she had enjoyed doing so.
“Are you serious, April?” Charity’s blue eyes were huge as she looked at April with a mixture of awe and skepticism. “Oh my!”
“It’s absolutely perfect.”
“It’s wicked crazy, it what it is! What will Father Smith think…? Did you consider that?”
“I am sure he will get a kick out of it.”
“Oh, April! If you pull this off you’ll go down in history as the best practical joker ever!”
“I’ll pull it off,” April replied with confidence. She already had it planned down to the last detail, making sure that someone would videotape the whole thing.
And that was her undoing, April had to admit. Not only did the videographer film the entire prank, he also caught audience reactions, and it was her satisfied, smug expression that pointed a finger at her. It didn’t help matters any that Charity and Maureen caved under pressure and pointed their fingers right at her and confessed that their friend planned the entire thing. There was enough evidence stacked against her that if it were a real trial, she would go to prison for life… Thankfully, what she did wasn’t illegal. April would never go that far.
“Well, young lady, are you finished thinking this through?” the deep voice demanded from right behind her.
“No, sir,” April replied.
“Fine. I’ll give you more time.” She heard his footsteps exiting the room once more, leaving her alone with her throbbing bottom and her troubled thoughts.
April thought it fortunate that April Fools Day fell on a Sunday this year. It took the practical joke out of the workplace, where only a few coworkers would witness Penelope’s embarrassment, to the Church’s yearly appreciation dinner for all of the volunteers at St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church. The dinner was a carry-in, and the congregation was expected to come and fill the large hall and bring plenty of good food to share. Once the meal was blessed by a prayer led by Father Smith, everyone ate their fill, and was encouraged to have seconds if they wished. Once that part of the evening was over, Father Smith acknowledged the church members who donated their time and special gifts to St. Bernadette’s Parish. He started with the children who acted as servers during Mass, the greeters who welcomed members, old and new alike, and adults who taught religious education, the distributors who helped with Communion, the organist, the choir members, and every possible thing under the sun, until he finally thanked Penelope Winslow for volunteering her time and efforts to write, type, and print the weekly church bulletin. When the prim and proper Penelope was standing beside Father Smith, receiving a certificate for her five years of service, was when April struck. The distraction was the singing telegram, while a program was being passed out to everyone. The woman delivering the telegram to Father Smith was enthusiastically singing, “I Honestly Love You”, while his face grew redder and redder with embarrassment. At the end, when she finally quieted a bit, the woman sang that the greeting was from Penelope Winslow, with love. People in the front gasped and April thought that Penelope was going to pass out! Her eyes got big as people gave her harsh looks, and as Father Smith frowned at her. Best of all, in April’s opinion, while everyone was watching the scene unfold in front of them, the programs were passed out. April could hear the reactions from the church members in attendance as they read the comments that were written to sound funny, but were a bit nasty, and not at all true. At the very bottom of the last entry, in the smallest font possible, were the words ‘April Fools’! April had loved writing every last word of the program and telling a few people what she really thought of them. She also thought it very funny that Penelope Winslow would get the credit. People were already grumbling, and finally a man in the third row stood up. His wife was one of the choir members who led the singing during Mass. April hated the woman’s voice, and described it as sounding like a ‘cat screeching in the middle of the night!’
“Ms. Winslow, I am offended. Why do you find it amusing to insult and hurt people’s feelings? My wife donates her time and talents just as you do, and you have turned an evening that should be one filled with pride at our accomplishments into one of distress. How can you expect my wife to lead the singing when she is hearing your criticism of her voice inside her head? You owe Cynthia, and every other person you ridiculed with your questionable comments in your attempt to be funny, an abject apology!”
“I most certainly agree!” the mother of one of the servers said in a loud voice, and others joined in.
Penelope looked around, her eyes wide as saucers, and then she burst into tears and ran from the room. People stood around afterwards, their angry comments sounding out of place in a gathering to praise people for their good works. Father Smith tried to calm everyone, and finally called for quiet as he offered another prayer, one asking that the congregation find forgiveness in their hearts for the April Fools prank played upon them.
April couldn’t wait to speak to Charity and Maureen after the event was all over and people started leaving the hall that was attached to the large church. She made sure they were completely alone before she let out a giggle. “Did you see Copperhead’s face?”
“I cannot believe you pulled that off, April!” Charity whispered.
“That old witch deserved it,” Maureen hissed. “My husband is getting impatient to get home, so I have to go. Be careful that she never finds out it was you, April. She would see you fired in a heartbeat!” Maureen hurried off to leave with her husband.
“At least she knows what it’s like to be criticized in front of people now. It probably won’t change anything, but it was fun!” April said, giggling.
“I just cannot believe you actually had the nerve! Copperhead won’t be able to show her face for a long time without reliving this all over again!” Charity predicted, laughing. “You are one brave woman, April! But, I am with Maureen. Never, but never, let her find out it was you who planned this prank or she will go after you with a vengeance!” Charity said she had to run, but April talked her into spending a few more minutes with her, listening to snippets of conversation that damned Penelope Winslow. Even after Charity left, April enjoyed herself by listening to those besmirched by the tasteless jokes. She couldn’t help but feel a little guilty when one of the servers started crying over the things that April made up
And it got even worse the next day at work. They were told that Miss Winslow would not be in, and their work would be supervised by the man who was Penelope’s supervisor. April was quick to remind Charity and Maureen not to say a word. She didn’t want the prank to backfire on her. It was no secret that Mr. Brimley would fire her in a heartbeat if he learned she was involved in Penelope’s humiliation.
April went about her work, and actually received words of praise from Mr. Baker, whose supervisor was Mr. Brimley himself. It was so nice to be appreciated for a change. It made April wish to do better. Shortly after lunch, Mr. Baker came into their department with a younger gentleman. He was very handsome, even though he was frowning instead of smiling. April wondered if perhaps the good looking man was going to replace Miss Winslow, and told herself that she wouldn’t even mind if they hired him instead of posting from within the organization. Anyone would be better than Penelope Winslow and her constant criticism.
“If I might have your attention…” Mr. Baker said after clearing his throat. “This is Derrick Winslow, Miss Winslow’s nephew. He would like to speak to those of you who were at St. Bernadette’s yesterday evening for the recognition dinner.” Mr. Baker’s eyes caught April’s and she nervously thought that he might know the truth about her.