Mr. Burke – A Short Story by Ramona Darabant

short story

The tiger folded his paws, cuffs slipping, showing monograms on his golden cufflinks.

Peterson shuddered. The bureau was huge, bigger than his house.

It made him look more elegant and sophisticated, then before.

The white marble-topped table was impressive, his boss enthroning the big black leather chair looked like a king holding court. And he sat on a wooden chair in front of a man, who could snap him in two, probably only with the power in his left pinky… His tail twitched nervous, licking his lips didn’t help. Peterson tried to hide in his hide, as he felt his boss’ eyes burning into his skull.

“Peterson. Do you think, this impresses me?” The tiger snorted and laid his ears back. His golden eyes pierced the weasel sitting in front of his desk. “Do you think this is ENOUGH?” The growl in his voice made the glass of the windows tremble.

“…No? Sir.” The weasel trembled too, eyeing the door. “Sir? May I suggest Chef Michael prepares you an early lunch?” Peterson tried to save himself from his boss’ rage. He knew he fucked up, and the numbers were more than awful. But that didn’t mean, that he had to die for them. Hopefully… The tiger popped all claws on his left paw, and tapped the marble tabletop impatiently. He leaned back in his office chair.

“This will not suffice, Peterson. I’m disappointed with your performance.” The claws pierced the paper stack Peterson just brought with him. With a careless gesture he swept the stack to the floor. “Pick that up, Peterson.” The weasel swallowed audible.”You know what? Leave it. You reek like a dead dog. Have you been rolling in dead dog?”

“Uh, uh… nyes?” Peterson hurried to get to the door, and to close it as fast as he could from the outside.  The tiger smiled an amused smile and punched a button on his intercom. “Sally, darling, please do come in, and brighten up my day.”

“Yes, Mr. Burke.” The female voice chirped through the line.

The tiger got up and out of his navy blue blazer. The snow-white shirt was fitting him perfectly. He loosed the golden silk tie and unbuttoned his collar. His right ear twitched. Sharp clacking sounds were approaching the door. “Ah, Sally! Please come in, come in.” He opened the door for her. Sally had both hands busy with holding and over-sized bath brush, a pillow filled with catnip, and a box full of alive mice.

Mr Burke hugged her and lifted her from the ground. Sally thrashed a bit, then gave up, when hearing Mr. Burke’s purring. “Sir? Mr Burke? You know that it isn’t professional, to have your toys brought to you, if you are upset,” she asked in his shoulder.

“Mhm,” he purred.

“The CEO of a company worth multimillion dollars in arms business, is supposed to be awe-inspiring, terrifying and mighty impressive.” She lessoned him. “Shall I have Chef Michael prepare lunch?” He shook his head and let her very gently touch the ground.

“Ready?” She wiggled the pillow a bit before she threw it into the furthest corner of the bureau.

Author: Ramona Darabant

R. C. Darabant was born Romania and lives now near Vienna, where she works as a family physician. When she isn’t working, she writes poetry, flash fiction and short stories. She recharges her batteries during storms and night strolls. In her stories, there is a distinct lack of happy endings. It’s not pathological, rest assured, she had that checked.

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