Up and Down is a standalone short story by Robert Thier that at the time, was written from an opportunity presented by Lionsgate Films to promote its film, The Age of Adaline. It is available to read exclusively on Wattpad, with the first chapter being uploaded on March 2015. The book is non-canon in regards to the main series and takes place in an alternate reality similar to the theme of the film, where the two main characters of the Storm and Silence series, Lilly Linton and Rikkard Ambrose, are immortal.

Synopsis

The tables are turned: having magically stopped aging in the 19th century, Lilly Linton is no longer the secretary slaving for cold, stone-faced business-magnate Rikkard Ambrose. Now, in the 21st century, the roles are reversed. In their fierce struggle for control, who will emerge on top?

In this short story, everything about your favourite characters from Robert Thier’s story ‘Storm and Silence’ is turned on its head. A hilarious little trip into the madness of alternative realities.

Plot

Present Day

Mr Ambrose's smart phone notified him of a text message from Uberboss_1 that read 'Open Windows'. He entered his office which had 'Secretary' written in large letters on the door, and examined the windows, unsuccessfully looking for a way to open them. He texted back informing that they could not be opened and received a response clarifying to open the windows on his computer. Doing so, he found a message from Lilly ordering him to bring files to her office. Three hours later after fetching files, he was summoned to Lilly's office where he expressed his disapproval at her actions as the boss. She amusingly asked if he missed the Victorian days when he was in charge. She revealed that since they both stopped ageing, they formed a pact to swap positions between boss and secretary every decade– one that Mr Ambrose showed complete regret in agreeing to.

She then informed him he was needed as an errand man for her business meeting with Mr Bryant, a scientist who invented an energy-efficient solar cell. The meeting was turbulent as Lilly and Mr Ambrose argued for the majority of it– Lilly being in favour of investing in solar energy while Mr Ambrose was against it. The argument lulled when she ordered him to fetch coffee. While he was gone, she agreed to buy the solar cell prototype and when he returned, the two resumed arguing, quarrelling over the price of the purchase. After five minutes of relentless negotiation, they bought the prototype at a drastically reduced price from the initial amount that Lilly had offered. The cutthroat deal left Mr Bryant in a mixture of shock and horror, and an assistant had to escort him to the elevator.

Back inside the office, Lilly and Mr Ambrose continued to argue over the validity of investment in renewable energy sources while looking over the newly signed contract. When she suggested that being philanthropic, he irritatedly countered that he should be the CEO again. She staunchly refused, reminding him of their deal. She smiled, raising her hand to cup his cheek and his fingers captured hers. He informed her that they both should be leading their own companies and she shook her head in response. Lilly stroked his cheek, reminding him that they had tried that before and then asking if he remembered how it had turned out. His hand tightened around hers and he stepped closer to her until they were almost touching, saying that he remembered.

Late 1920s

One day, after working as Mr Ambrose’s 'male' secretary for about eighty years, Lilly decided to quit her job. She entered his office wearing women’s clothes and handed him a letter of resignation. When he questioned her being able to get another job, she responded that she was planning to start her own company instead. She informed him that through extremely frugal measures, she had saved up a fortune. When he tried to forbid her to resign, she momentarily faltered and then determinedly refused, boldly marching out of his office. Sometime later, Mr Appleyard, Mr Ambrose’s new secretary, showed him a newspaper that mentioned Lilly. She had made headlines with the article describing her on the rise as a businesswoman and that she had invested in multiple companies– funding research for innovations such as penicillin and television. After reading the article aloud, Mr Appleyard laughed and remarked that she would be bankrupt after a week, to which Mr Ambrose did not deign a reply.

Over the next few years, Lilly became immensely wealthy with her investments in penicillin, television and other popular inventions. After her wealth reached about fifty million pounds, she stopped buying shares, buying out entire companies instead. She directly interfered with Mr Ambrose’s business by buying companies that he was interested in, earning his wrath. His efforts to crush her failed, and Lilly’s wealth continued to grow through her continuous financial achievements. One summer night in 1925, they met at a party and he confronted her for sabotaging his business dealings– an exploit she cheerfully admitted to doing. He then ordered that she would stop her foolishness and come back to working for him. When she mockingly asked if she would, he responded that he would have to convince her and that he had a special offer for her.

A few days later, Mr Ambrose was sitting in his office, the bruise on his cheek smarting from where Lilly had slapped him during the party. His offer of raising her wages by two shillings if she were to work for him again had angered her– something unfathomable for him as he viewed the offer as generous. His continued attempts to thwart her were fruitless and after a couple months, her fortune quadrupled to two-hundred million pounds. As a result, Mr Ambrose’s demeanour grew colder, with him firing about a dozen secretaries on a weekly basis.

On a particular day, The Times newspaper announced on its front page headline that Lilly had tied with Mr Ambrose for wealth and he was no longer richest person in the world. The paperboy hesitated in delivering the newspaper to Mr Ambrose, but realised he had no choice considering how his wrath would be if he were the last person to find out. He carefully slid the newspaper under Mr Ambrose’s door and a few minutes later, a loud crash was heard from his office. Mr Ambrose decided to go to more intense measures to reclaim his title back, trying to interfere with Lilly’s business dealings as much as possible.

On another summer night later on in 1929, Mr Ambrose showed up at Sotheby’s auction house for fine arts. His advisors had suggested that he buy the painting of The Elephant Celebes, saying it would be optimally profitable for resale. To his surprise, he saw Lilly sitting on the other side of the room. Whilst waiting for the painting to be bid, he tuned out the auctioneer and focused his attention on Lilly. Suddenly, she turned and met his gaze, her lips twitching in amusement much to his ire. The auctioneer announced it was time to start the bid for the painting and Mr Ambrose focused his attention back to the podium, bidding for the piece against two other competitors. Lilly joined in the bidding, offering £100,000 and causing all other bidders but one to drop out. After several intense minutes of trying to outbid each other, Lilly won, with the painting tucked under her arm and about to leave the auction house when Mr Ambrose blocked her way. He touched the arm that was holding the painting, stating that she did not win and he would always get what he wanted. When she defiantly responded that he was not getting the painting, he caressed her arm slowly and leaned closer to her, rhetorically asking her if he was talking about the painting– then turned and left.

About a month after the auction, both of them shifted their business headquarters to America to continue their war of wealth. As there was much migration into the cities during 1929 in pursuit of the American Dream, many people found work at Lilly’s or Mr Ambrose’s numerous factories, manufacturing industrial goods such as cars, lightbulbs and refrigerators. Their battle of business continued in a back-and-forth fashion; when one of them monopolised the market for one good, the other would conquer the market for another.

However, the excessive production of goods led to an unforeseen complication: it ultimately caused prices to plummet drastically and people eventually stopped buying goods with expectations that prices would continue to decrease. As a result, the stock market ultimately crashed on Tuesday, 29 October, 1929. Lilly (and Mr Ambrose afterwards) tried to call the President and the Prime Minister of the UK to bribe them into forcing people to buy goods. Their attempts failed and a few days later, the effect of the crash rippled: stocks plunged, businesses shut down and hordes of people were left unemployed.[1]

One day in the following winter, Lilly approached Pete’s Snack and Bar in New York, looking for a job. A man who worked at the restaurant confirmed that they needed dishwashers when she asked. After remarking that she looked familiar, he informed her that she had an hour to prove her dish-washing skills and would be paired with another dishwasher they hired a few days prior. He led her to the dish room and the other dishwasher turned out to be none other than Mr Ambrose. They both washed dishes silently for a while and when Lilly initiated conversation, she revealed that they both lost their businesses, declaring bankruptcy. She tried to encourage Mr Ambrose and told him that the economy would eventually go back to normal, 1939 at the latest, with plenty of jobs.[2] She then brought up that their feud caused their current situation and that they should have worked together instead. She proposed that once they obtained sufficient capital, they take turns running a company together: having a ten year interval switching between secretary and boss. Mr Ambrose vehemently refused her suggestion, saying that he did not share power and would never share it with her. Lilly took his words as a challenge, vowing that he would submit to her by 2015.

Chapters

  1. Uberboss_1
  2. Bye By, Ambrose
  3. Competition
  4. The American Dream

Characters

References

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