Judge

The office was somewhat colder than the air outside, and he kept his jacket on even though he had been told he could take it off. Mr. Jennings would be just a minute, the receptionist had told him. He shivered. The room must have been less than fifty degrees, and he didn’t have anything to do but shiver.

The man came in like he’d been skiing, in full parka and followed by a St. Bernard. Terrence felt out of place in his business suit, especially as the dog came over and rubbed itself all over him.

“Down, Bully! Down!” shouted Randall Jennings, CEO of FullStop Software. “I’m very sorry, but you’ll be happy to know she’s an excellent judge of character.”

Terrence gathered enough composure to nod. The dog’s prolific slobber had made him wet, and he felt colder. “It’s quite all right,” he said. He cleared his throat. “As I’m sure you’re aware, I represent an up and coming team of developers who, though they may not command the resources you—“

As the dog started barking, Terrence forgot how he’d phrased his proposal. He’d spent all morning rehearsing it.

“Bully! Don’t mind her, Mr.… what did you say your name was again?”

Terrence was about to answer the question when the dog revealed her fangs. The sight was startling, as a St. Bernard’s jowls rarely recede. Her bark was deafening, and her growl shook the room.

“Do you mind if we lose the dog?” he yelled.

“I never do any business without her,” Mr. Jennings yelled back. “She’s an excellent judge of character.”

She lunged forward and tore into Terrence, who had no time to react. The medics came quickly. Jennings did all the talking.

“Bully wouldn’t hurt anyone,” he said. “Get him out of here.”

#animals, #business, #character, #inner-demons, #microfiction