Goodbye Charles

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A small blip of Charles's life - don't let this be you.
Hey there! Ashley Green here ^^ I wrote this little piece between classes. :) Hope you guys enjoy! Constructive criticism is highly welcomed. Thank you.

Submitted: February 21, 2017

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Submitted: February 21, 2017



Charles sat upright in the swivel chair, his foot twitching uneasily as his eyes tracked his boss, who paced in front of him, seemingly organizing his thoughts into words.

"Charles," he said at last, facing Charles with a straight face, "You know we value the work you've done for our company in the past fifty years".

"Why, yes." Charles planted his feet on the ground and clutched his wrinkled hands together, which to his despair didn't put an end to their shaking; the only other time he had been in the boss's office was the day he was hired. Even now he could recall every detail; although the office had seen five managers come and go, the general outlay hadn't changed much. The loud tick-tock of the clock on the wall once again filled the room only to be interrupted by a wheezy cough from Charles.

"Well Charles," the boss forced a smile, "I have some good news for you". At this, Charles gave an uneasy smile - hopeful for the raise he had never gotten since he started working for the company. "We're letting you retire with a better plan," the boss slapped on a look on his face which attempted to convince Charles that it was the best thing ever; but his smile quickly faded as Charles stared back in disbelief.

"I don't want to retire," Charles voice quavered slightly as the sudden news sent his barely beating heart racing.

"Charles, but think, you could spend the rest of your life with your wife and kids," the boss sat and leaned back into his chair cooly.

"I don't have either," Charles averted his eyes ashamedly, "I was always working". Stumped into silence, the boss buried his face into the palms of his hands, letting out a heavy sigh.

"Look," the boss looked sternly at Charles, "I appreciate you, I really do. But Charles, you're old," he motioned at Charles's nearly bald scalp, "There's no easy way to say this, but we need room for the young interns coming in this year - they're fresh out of college and quick to learn."

"I can learn too," Charles pointed a trembling finger at himself, a tall-tell sign of his ever worsening Parkinson's disease. 

"Charles," the boss shook his head sadly, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."

"But what will I do?" Charles's voice cracked and he took in a sharp breath, looking down at his neatly ironed suit and polished shoes. 

"I'm sure you'll think of something - from what I've read, you were an exceptional employee," the boss flipped through the small stack of papers which outlined Charles's past years in the company. Looking at it now, Charles was surprised to see just how small the stack was - he had expected it to be somewhat thicker. "You came up with many solutions for our company's problems," the boss leaned forward and examined Charles's face pitifully, " You were a good employee."

"Were?" Charles lifted his eyes and stared evenly at his boss, blinking away the tears that threatened at the corner of his eyes, "I don't have a choice, do I." Heaving himself out of his chair with a loud squeak, the boss walked towards the door and opened it wide - showing Charles the exit. 

"Goodbye Charles."


© Copyright 2018 Ashley Green. All rights reserved.

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