Mark Duplock | Author

The Game of Life


“Fuck this job,” said Jacob slurping at a china cup. 

Alexa smiled and nodded. “It gets better.”

“Ungrateful bastard didn’t even say thanks,” Jacob muttered. “Not one, ‘Hey good job up there!'” 

Alexa laughed. “If he knew you were there, things really would be going very wrong!”

Jacob shrugged and murmured an agreement. 

Alexa leaned forward, the leather of her comfortable armchair creaking slightly. 

“Look, we’re not here for praise. We’re here because they need us to do our jobs.” She picked at a bowl of grapes set on the table. 

“If we fuck up and miss something, it’s not just a slap on the wrist. It could be disastrous.” She casually thumbed towards a table where two men sat quietly talking over glasses of wine.

Jacob looked at them for a moment. “They lost theirs because of me,” he said, his cheeks flared with slight embarrassment as he recalled how his actions had affected them.

“Don’t worry about them, it’s their fault.” Alexa shrugged. “You were a step ahead, and they both lost their marks. But the important thing is,” she pointed to Jacob with a stern expression, “you kept yours safe.”

“Sure, but where’s the gratitude?” Jacob sighed. “Why do we do this when we don’t even get a slap on the back occasionally?”

“It’s a game,” she winked. “And you are playing it pretty well. Just look at those two.” She stood up facing the two across the room and lifted her teacup in a mocking toast. “Hey, losers!”

One of the pair looked up and raised his middle finger to Alexa, who laughed and took a long gulp of tea.

“The way you got those two into the cab was brilliant,” she said, crashing back into the oversized chair with a thump.

“I only made him get a coffee instead of heading to the street,” Jacob shrugged.

“But still—they were the ones in the crash. Yours was just late for a meeting.”

Jacob rolled his eyes. “Yeah, and now he won’t stop moaning about it! He was stuck in traffic from the accident for hours.”

Jacob’s watch chirped, and he looked down at it. “His Majesty is waking up,” he grumbled. “I’d better go.”

“Go get ’em, tiger.” Alexa lifted her cup in salute again, a wide grin stretching across her face. “The work of a Guardian Angel is never done!”