Archive for June 14th, 2011

14th June
2011
written by amber

Francis

Francis looks like a Frank. ┬áHe looks like the kind of guy who’d be comfortable in well-worn jeans and a greasy work shirt, on a farm somewhere, coaxing crops to grow and livestock to thrive and the tractor to work just one more month. But here he is at the head of a ribbon-grain mahogany conference table, his plain, honest face inserted between a designer haircut and the meticulous fashion of his charcoal suit and matching paisley tie and handkerchief.

He’s pale. He loves to jog but pressures at work have been too heavy in recent months. Sometimes it feels like years. The trouble is, he’s good at what he does, and what he does is handle trouble. He keeps the highly paid employees of this corporation happy and productive. If they start to go off the rails, he fixes them. Times are tough. There’ve been lay-offs and the remaining employees have extra work, extra stress. Francis knows that management will never lay him off, he’s the glue that keeps it all together. But when he walked into the foyer today, abandoning blue sky for fluorescent bulbs, abandoning outdoor air (hardly fresh, downtown) for canned air, he wished they would. Then he’d have an excuse to leave agribusiness and return to agriculture. With his help and the money from his buy-out, he and his father could run the farm for at least another 10 years.

It’s true, what his father said when he sent Francis to university. “There’s no future here, son.” But it’s the only future he wants.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.