Prompt for September 1, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

Everyone lied. He looked at the piece of paper in his hands. It’s not pink, it’s white, just like every other piece of paper, but this one was painful to read.

“Dear Mr. Steiner, It is with great regret that Forjin Pharmaceuticals informs you that your position, Chief Comptroller, is now considered redundant after the merger of Forjin Pharmaceuticals and Marrison-Beujolis. According to your employment contract, you will be paid …”

The words blurred and he just looked at the paper. He had spent the past thirty years of his life with Forjin. He had worked his way up through the administrative side until he got the position he wanted. He was good at his job, everyone said so, in particular, the owners of Forjin. But now, after the merger, things were changing. A lot. The headquarters of the new company was moving and it looked like he wasn’t moving with them.

What was he going to tell Janet? They had three kids in various states of post-secondary education. How were they going to afford to keep them there? And their retirement? Their 401(k) wasn’t nearly as big as it should have been and the house still had five years of mortgage payments on it. Both cars needed some work done and the house itself needed some renovating. Oh, God, what were they going to do? Maybe he could talk to the previous owners, maybe there was a different position that he could move into, something to keep a salary coming in and a roof over their heads. No, he realized, that wasn’t going to work. They had left the company. They took their profits from the merger and retired, left the company in the hands of new owners.

Tears threatened to start falling, but he sniffed them back. He stared out the window of his office, looking at the grey, overcast sky and how it reflected his grey mood. They were going to pack up his office for him. They called it a service, he called it paranoia. Only one thing left to do, he thought, as he checked his flash drive in his pocket. He hadn’t been totally unprepared.

Post a link to the story in the comments.


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