Friday, October 17, 2014

A Plethora of Problems

It has been a few weeks since I have published any fiction.  Today I am participating in this week's Words for Wednesday Word Prompt challenge. I hope you enjoy this little vignette.

Image: gavel
Randy propped his elbows on his desk and rested his head on his hands, deep in despair. His thoughts turned to the afternoon when he had been informed he would be inducted as the new vice-president of the State Historical Association.

He had been so happy, feeling like years of hard work as a historian had finally paid off. Martha had placed a bottle of champagne on ice, and cooked a special dinner in celebration. They were excited about how the pay increase would affect their lifestyle.

That was 18 months ago. Since then, Martha had suggested a separation and was asking for a divorce. He knew it was his fault. His drinking had become excessive and his mood was always gloomy and preoccupied. Their marriage had been too young to weather such a drastic change in his demeanor.

Although he still loved Martha, Randy realized a divorce was inevitable now. He accepted the fact that it was his fault. But no wonder. His stress level had been through the roof.  After his appointment as Society president, he had discovered a plethora of problems that came from the top-down.  It didn't take much digging to realize that the budget was a sham, and funds were being misappropriated.  When he broached the CEO and the Board of Directors, however, he was accused of misunderstanding the situation. It was clear there was a "good-old-boys" club mentality, and his efforts to be sure the Society was fiscally sound were not in line with the objectives of the other executives.

Randy had continued to quietly investigate.  It appeared that with cunningly calculating precision, funds had been siphoned off from the Society bank accounts for about three years... just as long as the current president had been in office.  All of the Museum-Building General Maintenance accounts had been bled nearly dry.

There had been a lot of tense arguments between Randy and the president. Randy had made it clear that he could not condone this embezzlement, and that he would be reporting the situation to the National officers. Of course such news had not been well received. Legal council had apparently been getting a “piece of the pie” as well, because last week they had informed him he was being fired.  They were accusing him of insubordination, as well as a bogus charge of sexual harassment against the CFO.

Randy sighed.  It was a shame it had all come down to this.  He had hoped he could handle things internally, but now the legal system was involved. He had filed a lawsuit against the company for wrongful termination, and hired a top notch attorney.

Randy knew his case was solid.  He had all of the documents to prove the theft of society funds.  It would become readily apparent in court that Randy could not be fired for insubordination; every project he had refused to participate in was associated with the illegal actions of his business associates.  In proving that it had been within his rights to not perform certain tasks in his job description because they would perpetuate an illegal act, he would expose their scheme. The CFO had embezzeled such a huge sum of money that the blackmail motive of the harassment charge would need no explanation.

He wondered what their retribution would be.  He was certain every person involved in this crime would be required to refund all of the money that had been stolen. He hoped they would also all be required to resign from their positions in the company and on the Board. He knew prison would be a distinct possibility, and this saddened him, as these men and women had all been good friends of his just over two years ago.

Randy glanced at his watch. It was time to meet his lawyer and head over to the court house. He stood up and straightened his tie. Shrugging into his suit coat, he gave himself a little shake and hardened his resolve.  It was best to approach the whole matter with a coldly clinical attitude.  Think about the facts, he told himself, not the friendships he had already lost.

This story is totally fictitious and does not contain accurate factual information! 
It is not even loosely based on any event, but is a fiction story sparked solely from combining all of the word prompts provided by Delores at Under the Porch Light for this week's Words for Wednesday Challenge.

This week's Words for Wednesday Challenge word prompts were:
insubordination, inducted, despair, plethora, museum, and retribution
and/ or the phrases: coldly clinical...and ...cunningly calculating

What setting would this combination of words make you think of?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!


  1. Hey...a 'two-fer'. Not too many try to combine both prompts. Fascinating story. I'm so glad you joined us.

    1. Thanks Delores. The words and the phrase together were what wrote this story for me:)

  2. Wow Susan - I'm constantly impressed by your fiction writing skills! This one is really good. I hope Randy wins his case AND gets his wife back!

    1. Me too! But I'm a little doubtful about the wife!

  3. Excellent! Totally hooked. You are so good at this . . .

  4. I'm amazed by the talent you exhibit through such a sophisticated use of all the words in a story that could be a chapter out of a novel! You've built a detailed scenario in a very short piece. Well done!

    1. Thank you so much! Ian so glad you liked this, Ann!

  5. You write with such ease and grace. As always I enjoy reading your use of the prompts from Words for Wednesday. Your talent should be praised and envied by all.

  6. It is your poetic skills I envy, Mildred! But many thanks!

  7. Great job Susan! It's been a while glad yourback at it!


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