The Boss

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Photo by Tim Burdick

by John Howell

“Yeah come in have a seat.”
“Yes sir anywhere?”
“Sure take the seat on the right there. If you don’t mind I’m going to stay here at my desk, so pull the chair closer.”
“Yes sir.”
“Any idea why I called you in?”
“No sir. I really don’t.”
“Well I have been looking over your files and for the most part your work is excellent.”
“Thank you sir.”
“There is this one file which I came across not fitting the excellent profile.”
“Oh and which one are you talking about?”
“Here let me pull it up on my desktop. You come around and take a look. The puzzle for me is it is highly encrypted and I can’t make heads or tails out of it.”
“Yes sir. I see the file.”
“Can you tell me about it?”
“Not really sir it’s highly classified.”
“Classified are you kidding me? I’m your boss for god’s sake. I have a higher clearance than you.”
“Well sir I’m afraid you’ll have to go to the director then, since my orders are; no one sees this file without director clearance.”
“You know I could have your job for this.”
“Yes sir and then we both would need to go to the director.”
“You trying to threaten me?”
“No sir. I just think you need to call the director if you have a problem with me following orders.”
“Who the hell gave you these orders anyway?”
“The director sir.”
“’The director sir.’ You have got to be kidding me. Hold on, this is my assistant calling. Yes hello. What? Two men from internal affairs? What the hell do they want? Yeah okay send them in . . . wait give me a minute . . . I don’t give a damn, tell them I’m in the men’s room. Who cares, goodbye.  So . . . there are two guys from internal affairs wanting to talk to me.”
“Not surprised.”
“What do you mean ‘not surprised’?”
“The director has a hunch you are providing information on covert operations to the Russians.”
“He has a hunch? What kind of lunacy is going on here?”
“The file actually proves you have been passing classified material to someone named Cecelia.”
“Cecelia? The only Cecelia I know is your wife.”
“Well . . . I think we are now getting to the issue.”
“Wait we only had a cup of coffee. Nothing went on.”
“I think the photos will show a different picture. If I were you, I would try to get a plea arrangement.”
“What about Cecelia?”
“Do spies still get shot these days? Oh . . . too bad we can’t continue, here are the guys.”
“You framed me.”
“Like a picture Frank. Just like a beautiful picture.”

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