“Book-Covers” by The Magpie Fancier.

Marion steadily drummed her fingers on the metal desktop. It was a trick that she had picked up many years ago, something that kept her grounded and relaxed in tense situations. Marion had always found rhythms and patterns to be calming. Of course, some people around her found it a little annoying. It certainly seemed to be annoying Colonel Blythe. He shot her a stern glance, which she of course ignored. She decided that it served him right, for taking such a deliberately long time to read through the documents she’d brought. He was clearly unhappy about the whole situation. For a man like him, handing over control of such a delicate military situation to anyone else would be unthinkable. Being forced to hand over to a female civilian, on the wrong side of forty-five, with a name like Marion would be particularly insufferable. But he couldn’t, and wouldn’t, defy the orders written in that beige dossier.

“The fart catcher” by a.d.matthias.

The man prepares a large umbrella and scurries to the rear passenger door. He opens the protesting hinges to their limit, and waits dutifully by its side. Several seconds pass and, with surprise, he bursts into apologies again. “Oh, ma’am, I’m sorry, ma’am,” he flusters, “…old habits, and all… I’m afraid I’ll not be able to use the rain napper, please pardon the inconvenience, ma’am.” He placed the umbrella on top of the jalopy and leaned with a grunt through the back door.

Inside, lying across the back seat, an attractive woman of 38 struggling with her bonds, attempts to squirm through the metal and glass at her back.