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Gag Order – Installment 24 – Who Raided my Candy Jar?

Except for a couple of courtesy lights, the bullpen was dark. Jeevan, in his office, leaned back on his chair. Wilona sat opposite him. Krasten, his tie loosened and sleeves rolled up to his elbows, lounged by the door. He had a candy-jar in his hand.

‘Not everyone cares about the social cost of fractured families,’ said Krasten.

‘Especially the men who stray,’ said Wilona. She shifted her chair to better face Krasten and Jeevan.

‘Unless they’re making out with a tabby or a bitch, I believe there’s a woman in there somewhere who helps them stray,’ said Krasten.

‘Spoken like an alley cat,’ said Wilona.

Jeevan ignored the banter and studied a note Krasten had given him. ‘You agreed for Yeva Tee pay a hundred dollars a month? You know how long it’ll take to clear her bill?’

‘Yeah,’ said Krasten, ‘it says right there! If you want a smaller number, change it to years.’

‘Is that why you’re not hitched, afraid she’ll stray,’ said Wilona, her smooth knees crossed high.

‘I wish you’ll run by me any installment plans you cook up before presenting them to our clients,’ said Jeevan.

‘Relax Jeevan,’ replied Krasten, ‘it’s only for a few months until that Lavinia woman coughs up the money.’ Then, he switched to Wilona and said, ‘No, but why buy the cow when—?’

‘I know,’ said Wilona, speaking across him. ‘That’s what my girlfriend told me about not bringing home a pig for a teeny sausage.’

‘Maybe your girlfriend should stop messing around with the seven dwarfs,’ said Krasten, and added, ‘and get some real salami.’

Jeevan, embarrassed at the turn the conversation was taking, cleared his throat and said, ‘What’s this about Hurst, Laurel and Partners?’

Wilona, who had come prepared, reached for her briefcase by her feet as she said, ‘Hurst, Laurel and Partners. An accounting firm, about a hundred staff. They want to retain us.’ She handed over thin identical files to Jeevan and Krasten. ‘They wanted to employ an in-house counsel, I convinced the partners it was more cost effective to retain us,’ said Wilona. ‘These are their requirements, all I need is your approval before submitting our offer.’

‘See that,’ said Jeevan to Krasten. ‘Where money matters are concerned, she runs them past me.’

‘Only until she makes it to partner,’ replied Krasten and gave Wilona a wink.

Jeevan chose not to hear but instead flipped over the pages, hurriedly seeking a specific number. Seeing the figure, his face lit up. ‘Quite a nice retainer.’

‘This was the job interview?’ asked Krasten.

‘What job interview? I knew all along she was working on a potential client,’ said Jeevan.

Wilona and Krasten traded looks.

‘Well done!’ said Krasten. ‘This calls for a celebration.’ He held out the candy-jar to Wilona.

‘Not for me, I’m sweet enough.’

‘I told you, you were funny,’ said Krasten.

‘Must you always have the last word?’ said Wilona.


‘Can I have the candy jar back?’ said Jeevan, and leaned forward, his round stomach pressed hard against the edge of the desk.

‘Sure thing,’ said Krasten. ‘It needs a refill.’

‘Didn’t you slip in the last word?’ said Wilona


Somewhere in the darkened bullpen, a gecko clicked its tongue and hurried away. The voices in Jeevan’s office grew fainter and fainter.

‘No?’ asked Wilona.

‘Not the last word, more like the last sentence,’ came the faint reply from Krasten.

*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2017 ***

*** The End ***

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