Book 1, Chapter 18

A few hours later, Doom hunted Ean down while he was doing his rounds.

Doom was a scrawny, geeky man who was going prematurely bald. His three scalp hairs always insisted on sprouting out in divergent directions. He was also the company’s star programmer – and had all the social aptitude you’d expect of someone who had an inflated sense of importance, thought “arrogance” was equivalent to “confidence,” and that “intellectual elitism” was preferable to “friendly camaraderie.” Doom had a real name, but neither Ean nor I ever bothered to find it out.

“Hey, coffee boy,” Doom called out. “The boss wants to see you.”

“Really?” Ean asked. “Did he say why?”

“No,” Doom replied. “But I can guess.” He held up a styrofoam cup. “This triple latte? It sucks.”

With that declaration and a spastic jerk of his wrist, Doom tossed the contents of the cup into Ean’s face.

Ean flinched, but otherwise stood and said nothing. This was not an unusual interaction between them.

What was unusual was that, for the first time since his ex had left him, Ean seethed at the insulting treatment.

Doom did not notice the glint of anger in Ean’s eyes. “I’ll want another after your meeting,” he declared, “and make it right this time.” He tossed the now empty cup at E and marched back to his own office.

E took a deep breath to calm himself, then turned toward the boss’ office. “The man is supposed to be a genius,” he muttered to The Audience with a sneer, “and yet he still doesn’t understand why I serve his cold.”

Et Alia, Book 1: Aliens, Ninjas, Demons and Pie

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