Focus

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Gunther's life is spiraling out of control, but he can guide the thoughts of others like no other.

“It’s gonna be FIIIIIIINE!!” he cried into the sky as his car skidded across the median. He spiralled into the other lane and stopped just short of a mini-SUV full of college kids. He smiled and waved in a daze and cranked his big red expensive what's-it. It was dead. He slammed the door, peeled off the back license plate and walked to work at Harold’s marketing firm. 

 The doors parted for him. A host of scolding voices crowded in around him. They could not harsh his unfathomable vibe. He sat down next to the CEO behind a one-way mirror. 

  “I need a new car,” he crooned. The venerated elder turned to him. 

 “What’s wrong with the car you have?”
“I totalled it,”
Price sniffed.

“I’m not buying you a car, Gunther,” he said as the rest of the expected staff returned from the vending machines empty handed.

“We lost all your money,” said one. He buried his head in his hands and said nothing.

“Sorry Harold,” said another. She pulled up a chair for her weeping comrade and sat down herself. Price was somewhere else, admiring the popcorn ceiling. 

“So what are we testing today?”

“Lancelot's Sherbet,” said Harold. There was a loud snap. He turned to see Price fumbling with the doorknob.

“I gotta… Gotta go…” he mumbled. He circled around the observation room into the waiting room for taste testers. He forced his way in and found a meek little man in a tiny suit waiting for the bell to ring.

“You eating the Sherbet?” asked Gunther. The tester nodded. Price’s shoulders rose and he adopted a cheery disposition. “I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you offering your opinion Mr…?”

“Meister,” said the man. 

“Okay… Feeling nervous?” The man bunched up his hands in his lap under questioning and gingerly nodded. Gunter took three loping steps and was on him, pushing a little capsule into the man’s hand. “Like this, just swallow. I’ll take half, see?” Gunther bit off a little bit and pushed the rest into Mr. Meister’s hand.

“What is it?”

“It’s Ichor. It’ll help me get the result I need in this trial. Help me out. Take a gamble with me, man,” Price croaked. Meister nodded and took the risk with Gunther. Within moments they were both almost totally checked out. Price remembered that he was still expected to work that day and hurried back to the observation room. He left poor floored Mr. Meister in his life-changing delirium with nothing but a  pat on the back. 

Gunther slumped down in his chair, to everyone else’s disappointment. Harold nodded at the first of the two to lose their money to the machines, who rang the bell for the taste tester. Meister stepped confidently and boisterously  into the room. He  approached the bowl of sherbet, long reduced to a lagoon of syrup. He drank the whole thing in a single gulp. His hand trembled at his mouth as the bowl went clattering across the floor. All gasped at his stare of glee except Price, who shared the same face.

---

  “That went well,” said Harold in the limousine home. 

  “Lancelot Sherbet’s made a stellar product,” mumbled Price, coming off the Ichor hard. He checked his phone to see a large deposit from Orion Sweets. 

  “Have you tried the sherbet?” asked Harold. 

 “No,” said Price.

 “I have. It’s like someone scooped a handful of snow out of the parking lot and dropped it in your cola. I think it’s a crime to sell it,” muttered Harold.

 “It sure is.” Price was negotiating Ichor prices with his dealer. “You’ll take the money, though,” he said. Harold laughed along.

 “We’re a subsidiary, what choice have we got? At least the fool likes it.”

 
 


Submitted: December 31, 2020

© Copyright 2021 william edge. All rights reserved.

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