Tainted Waters by Maggie Thom (Excerpt 1)
Sam’s hands slammed down on the arms of the office chair as she jerked forward. “Because some dude stole a necklace from his wife, pawned it and got the insurance for it? And I had the nerve to tell the story?”
There was so much more she wanted to say to him. To tell him. It wasn’t fair that she was getting kicked to the curb for other people’s lies and secrets. It wasn’t her fault that she felt truth should win out at all costs. Climbing to her feet, she stared hard at her boss, debating about telling him again why she’d written that story. The blue vein bulging from his forehead and the deep crimson color of his puffy cheeks told her it was pointless and might just cause a heart attack.
“The story didn’t run, so what’s the big deal?”
His mottled face started to shake with fury. Sam picked up her coffee which she was glad she’d set down when she came in and took a step back. The last man she’d seen that angry had thrown a punch.
“Only because I caught it. Nothing and I mean nothing, gets printed in this paper without my say so. Very sneaky Samantha. Not acceptable. You’re done here. And don’t worry you won’t ever work in this industry again.”
She shook her head hoping something would fall into place and this would all make sense. It wasn’t like it was any different than any of the other stories the newspaper wrote – they got details, or as many as they could and then skewed them sideways if that’s what made the tale sensational. Only she hadn’t needed to do that. The facts themselves had been enough to make the story astounding. For once the paper might have been able to print the truth and nothing but the truth. The informant who’d put her on to this situation had been right, it had been unbelievable. She wished she’d been able to thank him but that was part of the agreement – no names, no thank yous, no mention of where the story started. And she couldn’t tell anyone because it wasn’t actually supposed to have been hers to tell.
“I’m fired.” It didn’t compute.
“Of course. I don’t say things I don’t mean. Now get out.”
She eyed Mr. Donner, the man that she’d thought she was going to have a lot of respect for, the man she’d envisioned thanking in the future for all he’d taught her. For taking her under his wing and making her the exceptional journalist that she was. Okay she knew that was crap but she had hoped that her initial ‘feeling’ about him had been wrong. Besides she figured that even if he wasn’t more than a pompous figurehead, there had to be some people at the paper that she could learn from. To date, unfortunately, she’d only been patted on the head and given the lame jobs. Still, she’d actually started to believe that this work might be her calling. Well, until she’d taken it into her head to run with a tip she’d been given. It hadn’t really been meant for her but since Tom hadn’t been at his desk when his phone kept ringing and ringing, she’d figured it had been hers to run with since she’d been the one to answer it. She had planned to show them what she could do and that would have been the start to her amazing career.
Another damn dream dashed.
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Genre – Suspense
Rating – PG13
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