The Ego Death

by Tom Cortes about a month ago in fact or fiction

“I simply cannot risk that,”

The Ego Death
Photo by samane mohammadi on Unsplash

“I simply cannot risk that,” the CEO said, looking unconfidently at the barely drank glass of whiskey in his hand, shaking slightly from resting on his nervously fidgeting leg. Anthony was reading his behavior. His words told of his confidence in his own public relations team, but his behavior told of his fear. His fear that everything Anthony was warning him of was true. Anthony looked him in the eyes and smiled calmly at him while finishing his last sip of whiskey, then responded.

“Mr. Parish, you can tell me all night that you cannot afford me or cannot risk working with me, but the simple fact is this; you cannot afford to reject me, nor can you risk it,” Anthony paused, looked down and took another drink, then grew a large grin and looked back up at the CEO. “And you know that, and you’re afraid I know that. The CEO turned pale, clenched his jaw, and put his hands down on the table as if to stabilize himself. Anthony put his hands on the CEO’s hands as a final display of his authority, then grinned wider and moved in closer to the CEO. “I know that the only thing you care about in life is your legacy. You know that if you walk out that door tonight, your PR team is going to fail miserably, and the legacy you will take to the grave will be that of Caleb Parish, the CEO of Pinehill who caused the deaths of 457 innocent factory workers because of his greed and pathetic lack of responsibility.”

Mr. Parish broke eye contact, looked down at the table, and held his breath. He was just now realizing that the only thing he cared about, his legacy, rest purely in Anthony’s hands. He jolted back and looked down at his shoes, defeated.

“£10,000,000.”

“No.”

Mr. Parish looked up, desperately

“Fine, £20,000,000, just like you demanded.”

“No, Mr. Parish.”

“What? But you said you only wanted £20,000,000?”

“No.”

Mr. Parish fell to his knees and grabbed Anthony’s hand. Anthony continues smiling calmly and looking at the chair Mr. Parish was formerly seated in.

“Please, £30,000,000.”

Anthony put up his hand, signaling for Mr. Parish to stop.

“£50,000,000 plus all my shares in Pinehill”

Anthony remained in his nonreactive.

“Please, Anthony, I will do anything. Anything you want, just please fix this. Do you want my wife? Have her. My daughter? Use her how you desire. Take £100,000,000 if you desire, just please make this go away.”

Anthony smiled, rose to his feet, and looked down at Mr. Parish, who was on his knees before him, holding his hands.

“The thing is, Mr. Parish, I do not want to work with you. I simply wanted your last memory of your precious legacy you so ruthlessly protected to be that of a broke, desperate beggar, the exact same people you spent your life looking down on.” He looked down and ran his fingers through Mr. Pinehill’s hair, implying an almost sexual domination over his conceited rival as a final blow to his legacy.

“Good night, Mr. Pinehill.” Anthony left the room, and went home.

I hope you enjoyed my first short story on Vocal Media. Perhaps you will save me as an author if you desire to read more from me. I'd love feedback if you disliked the story, or if you want to hear more stories about the characters! This story is taken from a book I've been writing about a consultant and it would be great to publish more from it. Thank you and have an excellent remainder of your day!

fact or fiction
Tom Cortes
Tom Cortes
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