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General

Ronan sat at his desk,

"{| in the little closet that he called his office. The desk had a huge grease stain, his laptop, a desktop phone, and a“Man Boss” desk plate. A flickering bulb hung from the ceiling. Without it, there would be no light in the room. His eyes were squinting, he forgot his computer glasses in his car, as he looked at the screen.


“Goddamn 18-19 business taxes,” he muttered to himself. 5 minutes into filing the taxes and he was sick of it. He shut his laptop and propped his legs up on the desk. It was nearing the end of the workday, he would do them tomorrow. He put his hands on his large stomach and twiddled his thumbs, he listened to any signs of commotion in the warehouse. There were none. Good, he thought to himself. There seemed to be no more trouble since he fired Evan. He mentally patted his back on that one. His company was smooth sailing. Yet a small shiver ran up his back. Ronan looked at the door. He did a lot today, it was time to go home. He shoved his laptop under his armpit, walked over to the door, and opened it. Right in front of him stood his brother Jonathan. 


“Good to see you man,” Jonathan said, slapping Ronan's shoulder. He pushed past Ronan and entered his office. 


“Hell,” Jonathan said. “This place is tiiinnyyy.”. Ronan stood rod straight in the doorway. He slowly turned around to look at his brother.


“What are you doing here?” He said, taking his laptop from under his armpit to hug it against his chest. Jonathan scoffed and sat on the desk. It creaked under his weight. 


“I’m the general manager of this place. I can come here when I want to.” Johnathan pulled out a cigarette from his front pocket and put it in his mouth, unlit. Silence filled the room as he scanned the office. 


“How come you run a business selling windows and you don’t gotta damn window in this place?”. Jonathan said. “That’s messed up.” Ronan ignored him. Sweat stains had formed under his armpits and his face looked pink.


“Why are you here?” He asked again. Jonathan picked at something in his hair. 


“As much as I love being the GO, baby brother, everybody knows I got to be the one running this business. Not you.” He said. “You never wanna get your hands dirty and you don’t know howta talk to people. Especially your employees.” 


“I-i don’t know what you mean” Ronan stuttered, pressing his laptop closer to his chest. “I gotta business degree. I’m more fit for this position than you are. I’m just trying to keep this place floating.” Jonathan made a tut-tut noise to that. 


“Baby brother,” Jonathan began. “Nobody here cares if you gotta business degree or not. I’m gonna be the owner of this business whether you like it or not. All your employees want you gone.” 


“Gone?” Ronan repeated. 


“Gone” 


Before Ronan could reply the phone on the desk started to ring. Johnathan leaned over and grabbed the phone. 


“Hullo. Dunes Windows Repair & Care. How can I help you?” The person on the line responded. Ronan couldn’t hear with what. 


“I AIN’T NO DAMN STEVE JOBS OR JEFF BEZOS.” Jonathan yelled into the phone, making Ronan jump “TAKE YOUR DAMN WINDOWS 8 AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS!.” He slammed the phone back down, making the “Man Boss” desk plate fall off. He took in a big breath and huffed it out.


“You tell me you can run this thing!” Jonathan yelled at Ronan. “People be mixing this up with some computer repair shop. This is a dishonor to our father! Almost as much as a dishonor as firing Evan!” Ronan walked right up to his brother and got in his face. 


“Evan was a slacker and he would have made an irreversible mistake. I did the right thing, a thing you wouldn’t have the balls to do.” Jonathan grabbed his brother by the shoulders and shoved him back. Ronan tripped and fell on his back. 


“BALLS TO DO? YOU WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE WHAT EVAN DID FOR THE COMPANY. 26 YEARS HE PUT INTO THIS COMPANY! YOU BARELY OLDER THAN THAT!” Both their faces were bright red and sweaty. Jonathan towered over Ronan. 


“You’ve been running this company into the dirt for too long. That was your final straw. You’re gonna have to quit whether you like it or not.” With that, Jonathan left the room. Ronan’s tailbone felt like it was on fire. He had fallen right on it. There was no way he was going to get up. His body was heating up like a furnace. He quickly unbuttoned his shirt and took it off. His entire body was filled with dread. It felt like cement rolling in his stomach. Soon, the office door opened again. Ronan knew that Jonathan was not alone. Multiple pairs of feet shuffled past him, until one person stood directly above him. 


“He look like he 3 again. So helpless and small.” Evans' voice was rough and deep. Ronan looked up and saw his skinny face with a big white beard. He prodded Ronan’s shoulder with his foot. “Is he dead already? That wouldn’t be any fun.” Someone else spit on Ronan’s stomach. 


“For years I been workin here.” Evan continued. “Then Poof. You decide I can’t do it no more. You made me steal all of them supplies. Lemme tell you stealing windows ain’t no easy task. You pay little taxes, cause you don’t buy anything that needs taxing. And what do I get in return for my years of hard work? Not a single penny.” Evan squatted to get closer to Ronan’s face. 


“Rot in hell.” Ronan said, staring right into Evan’s empty eyes. Evan chuckled.


“Not before you do.” Evan stood back up and kicked him in the neck. Ronan screamed out in pain as the other men around him started beating him up. It seemed like it lasted forever. His eyes were puffy and crying, his entire body felt broken and bruised. All the men were huddled around him like a campfire. Ronan knew that one of them was holding a gun. 


“I told you you wouldn’t be running this company no more.” He heard Jonathan say. His voice sounded distant and whooshy. 


“Good night Ronan.” He heard Evan say. Then the gun clicked.    


July 17, 2020 16:33

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