Lilly Snow lived in apartment 301, on the third floor overlooking Chestnut Avenue.
During the next two days, she nestled in.
She went up and down the stairs through increasingly deep snow to buy cleaning supplies, order a sofa-bed, and pick up groceries. Later in the week, she would purchase pots, pans, dishes, bookshelves, and a kitchen table at the local Goodwill Industries Store. As to personal items (books, bed linens, towels, clothing, etc.) her parents had shipped them via Parcel Post, and they were not expected to arrive until the end of the week.
So far, everything was on schedule.
Lilly did not have a two-year plan like Burgess Meekly, but she knew what she wanted to do.
She always had known.
She had come to The Big City to find a Sherlock to her Watson.
A Batman to her Robin.
A Superman to her Lois Lane.
Lilly did not want to be a great person. She wanted to work for one.
She wanted be surrounded by a mad-dash aura of excitement, but she did not want to create the excitement herself.
She wanted to hand the scalpel to the surgeon.
Hold the stopwatch for the jockey.
Type the manuscript for the author.
Or field telephone calls for an award-winning producer of feature films.
And at the end of each day, Lilly wanted to throw her purse strap over her shoulder, turn off her computer, and go home. She wanted to work late only during a crisis, leave work at work, and not think about it again until the next day.
She did not, however, want to be bored. Not for a second. Not for a minute. Not for a day.
She thought that she would enjoy being aide-de-camp to an innovator who produced something physical like heart valves, security systems, or rocket ships. Preferably a man, because she liked men. But working for a woman who had invented, let’s say an anti-gravity machine or an invisibility cape would be all right, too.
Lilly knew that she could handle the requirements of a high-power employer because she had a sense of humor. People who are easy to laugh can be promoted, demoted, transferred, and fired. But they think that bullies are silly and that life is amusing, so they are hard to impress.
Once impressed, however, they are loyal to a fault.
And they cannot be intimidated.
On Lilly’s first day in The Big City, she went to a nearby hardware store for cleaning supplies, but before she had unpacked even a toothbrush, she scrubbed every surface of her new home with steel wool, sponges, mops, and Spic and Span.
Tuesday was not only her second day in her hew new home, it was also the first day of the blizzard. Which brings us to the snowplow and Noah Pitt.
Copyright © Shelly Reuben, 2021. Shelly Reuben’s books have been nominated for Edgar, Prometheus, and Falcon awards. For more about her writing, visit www.shellyreuben.com