“It’s Miss leBrenne, is it?”

“Please,” Winnie said, taking the large woman’s outstretched hand and shaking it gently.  “Call me Winnifred.”

The woman nodded curtly, but immediately cast her big brown eyes down at the paperwork in her hands.  “I must say, Miss leBrenne-”

“Winnifred.”

“Winnifred, that your portfolio is extremely impressive.”  She sat down on the other side of her wide desk and folded her chocolate hands together.  Winnie smiled and scooted up to the edge of her seat, crossing her ankles under the wooden chair.

“Does that mean you’re going to hire me?” she asked, trying not to sound too enthusiastic.  She folded her hand on her lap and sat up straight.  It’s important to look professional, her mother always used to say.  People will hire a dumb professional sooner than they will hire an intelligent slob.  It’s all about appearances.

Elanor Langley shook her head and leaned forward.  Winnie could smell her perfume.  It was fruity, like the lesser islands.  “Miss le Brenne.  I will not deny that you are more than qualified for this job.  Your credentials speak for themselves.  Your references are very flattering.  But I am concerned about your mental state.”

“My… mental state?”  Winnie breathed.  Her head swum.  What could the woman possibly mean?  Electricity crackled along her neural passages.  Her magic desperately wanted to escape its jail within her mind and found out what the woman was thinking, feeling.  No Win, she told herself sternly.  We’re going to earn this post.  Not cheat our way into it.  Not this time.

She leaned forward and clasped her own hands on the desk.  “Miss Langley, I understand your concerns.  But I assure you they are unfounded.  I am much better than I was.”

The large woman leaned back in her chair, but didn’t appear to be convinced.  Winnie set her lips into a firm, straight line.  “Please,” she begged through gritted teeth.  “Trust me.”

.

Word: Qualify.  ||  Time: 15 minutes.  ||  Character: Winnifred leBrenne.

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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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