The Corporate Beast
Short Story by: Khano
The Corporate Beast
~An hour preceding~
'Johnny bro, you know there is so much more you can do for this little bakery? With the right Financial Advisors, the right Insuran-'
'Bla bla bla bla...all baloney Samuel. Don't bring your fancy pancy Corporate world into my sugary delicious shop,' he smirked and popped a salted plum between his lips, wrapping up a cheese cake.
'What if your bakery burnt down?'
'I'd open up a preschool.'
'Do you have any idea what life is when you're rolling in money and luck?'
'Bland, lacklustre, stressful, competitive?'
He was somewhat correct.
'No Johnny! You could...charm the President if you wished. You could have luxury at your beck and call. You could...travel the world! Have you travelled the world?'
'My wife and I toured Europe and China, backpacking. We made a lifetime of memories for ourselves,' he smiled, blowing a kiss to his wife, who mixed syrup in a heavy cauldron-like pot.
Somehow, Samuel couldn't bring to light a single memory that would make him smile and blow a kiss to his wife. The only thing that seemed to taunt him, was the memory of her tantrum after an appetizer spilt over her Vera Wang gown.
He analyzed himself with a nonchalant air, in tall platinum-edged mirrors. His tasteful Tag Huer watch and choice of “Brioni Vanquish” suit, encompassed his soignee persona spot-on. His smooth, manicured fingers grasped a set of keys to a sporty Audi coupe.
Tousling with his perfectly coiffered hair is a tall Barbadian enchantress, seductive in every measure. Her rugged features, olive-hued eyes and enamoring smile, left a history of broken hearts when he'd slipped a vintage diamond ring solitaire onto one of her elegant caramel fingers.
Meet Samuel Murdock, a symbol of affluence and influence. The high-fligher. The “crème” of society. Here was the man envied by the commoner, despised by the competitor and wooed by the prospective client. He had everything going for him, a gorgeous wife, a high-flying career, a promising retirement fund that swelled each day.
Yet he sat at the conference principal table –on a raised dias, the presiding head Executive Director –with eyes that bore anguish. His fingers trembled against his stemmed glass of distilled water. Blood pounded within the expanse of his cranium, singeing his thoughts.
'Uhh...boss,' his Advisor nudged him.
The opaque veil cleared from his eyes, he stared at the room of expectant, fellow Corporate gazes, and something detatched, something evaporated.
'I'm sorry,' he muttered huskily, dropping his papers and rushing out of the Conference Room...
~Five minutes aft~
Samuel Murdock had lost it. His rationality, his sanity and his mind!
Rivulets of sweat ran the length of his anquiline jaw. His breath escaped in small gasps as he ran down his street, the image of a young lad building up his stamina, or alternatively chasing the young lass of his dreams.
Finally his eyes grabbed sight of his target. Perched on the stool of a humble bakery sat a middle-aged man, twisting cinammon sticks with a jolly smile, uninterested of his mediocre income. He looked up with a delighted sparkle at the sight of Samuel.
'What brings you here Sam? You look...dog tired!'
Samuel flung his briefcase onto the linoleum, his temples pulsating. The contents spilled out.
'Take it!' He yelled, his heavy voice richocetting off the walls. 'Take everything! Take my life Johnny!'
John immediately slipped out from under the counter, placing a hand on Samuels shoulder tenderly.
'What are you rattin' about?'
Samuel panted furiously, clutching his heaving chest.
'Take my money! Take my career! Take my car!' He flung the Audi Locus keys at John. 'I want your life Johnny! Switch places with me please!' Tears began to roll down the face of this prominent, unsentimental man.
'I'm lost mate. Few hours ago you were rolling in money and luck. Now you havin' a mid-life crisis a hundred 'n eighty minutes later. Somethin's fishy.'
'Look at me Johnny!! You think I give a s*** about money and luck?! You think I give a f –'
'My wife is here,' John raised a warning brow.
'Johnny you have a home, a business that you chose, that you love! You have a wife that is rapturously in love with you, that makes you tea and massages you after a rough day –' John smiled at his wife, winking. '–I have a massive estate bustling with people I don't even know. I have a wife that goes nude for magazines and has been frequently caught sneaking men in and out of my house. My career is a tyrannical monster! I have grey hair and I'm only done with half my bloody life! I gamble and I drink to soothe the stress that I deal with every single day of my wretched existence! I hate this! I hate myself Johnny! I've lost the person that I was! I hate wealth! I would rather be a Gypsy that plays the guitar and tosses candy out to little kids –' He was forced to stop, as his air supply choked shut and he gasped again to catch his breath.
John gazed at him for a moment, then chuckled. 'Man is a slave to life. He chases it and chases it, the wealth and the fame. Then when his life is almost over, he comes to realize that, like a mirage, no matter how much you run, you never reach it.'
'What is the solution?' Samuel asked hoarsely, Johns words bearing down on him.
'Humbleness my friend. Don't matter whether you rich or poor, famous or unknown, always be humble in what you do...then only will you appreciate life. And an appreciated life is a fulfilling one.'
Copyright © Faathima Khan 2011
© Copyright 2017 Khano. All rights reserved.