"Character assassination? Simple. All you need are the right words. Watch and learn," Sarah told her apprentice.
At that moment the door was flung open.
As she had expected, it was Josh. He stopped abruptly on the threshold, taken by surprise at finding her there. She muttered something, and he raised an eyebrow. He had traded words with Sarah earlier, but although he wasn't averse to a little verbal sparring, the woman now seemed determined to take things to a whole new level.
"Hey! Did you just cast that aspersion at me?"
"Yes!" she shrieked and followed it up by hurling a stream of invective at him.
Josh ducked and it splashed harmlessly against the wall.
He straightened up and looked admiringly at it. "Not bad," he commented. "It'll save having to redecorate."
"Oh you!" Sarah spat the words in his face. Stung, Josh put a hand to his cheek.
Sarah thought rapidly, tossed a few harmless asides in his direction and then found what she was looking for.
"Incoming!" she cried and with all her strength let fly with a retort that caught him in the midriff, doubling him over and leaving him gasping. With an effort he pushed himself upright.
"Catch!" he shouted and threw a barbed reply back at her.
She made the mistake of putting her hands up to defend herself.
"Ouch!" She sent a thinly veiled reference soaring past his left shoulder.
His response this time was unexpectedly sharp and left her momentarily stunned.
Rallying, she rapped out a series of cutting quick fire quips which drove him to his knees in agony, robbing him of the power of speech. He held up his hands in mute surrender as she advanced on him. What was she planning to do now?
Oh God no. He could see it in her eyes.
She was going to make him eat his own words ...