The Township – Chapter 1

The Township - Chapter 001Mr. Bellum burst through the office door and proclaimed: “You’re fired, Tristin!”

‘Oh, shit!’ Tristin though as he rose up from his desk in shock.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, sir.” Tristin pleaded. He looked into his bosses eyes and knew Frank was not one to joke about matters of such importance.

Mr. Bellum shook his head, “I wish I was kidding, Tristin. We’ve gotta cut some costs here. No one is buying daily print any longer. I wish there was something else I could do for you. But for now we’ll have to let you go.

“What about a pay cut.” Tristin offered.

“Can’t do that. Medical expenses are way out of control.” Frank rebutted.

“OK, fire me, Frank. But, I’ve got unpublished stories on the back burner. So, ethically I will have to leave these here. However, if you don’t know they actually exist you wouldn’t have access to them.”

“You trying to Black Mail me, Tristin? Well, it’s now gunna work.”

“Not Black Mail, sir. I wouldn’t insult your intelligence. Let’s call it leverage.”

“Leverage. huh.”

“Freelance. All you pay me for are the stories I produce. I keep my stock options in the company. I’ll cash out my 401k and give up this office.”

“Why would I agree to something like this, Tristin?”

“My stories, the ones you purchase the rights to, have to be the cream of the crop with an aggressive edge to them. I really can’t do that now. Lawyers and journalistic ethics bar me from that, at least while I am still an employee of The Metro Tribune. This way I can guard you from lawsuits. You’ll have complete anonymity.”

“I see. You’ve thought this one out haven’t you, Tristin?”

“Good journalists plan and hope. The great journalists plan and think on their feet.”

“Which one are you, Tristin? The good or the great journalists

“I’m standing on my feet aren’t I?”

* * *

It was the best day, as well as the worst day of Tristin’s journalist short life,  Aside from being orphaned as a child that is.

He had the remainder of the week to pack up his office. Tristin told the other employees he was starting his own consulting company. It was an obvious lie, but it was better then admitting that he had been fired, downsized, laid off, or whatever they were calling it in this economy.

He had finally found his niche in writing. Tristin was writing the oddity column for the Metro Tribune.

Shuffling through the bottom of his desk drawer, he found one of those stories he placed on the Back Burner.

The print out read:

“The Township”

*City off the grid.

*Location Unknown

*Might be near South West Rural Metro

*Contact Oren Bogguess Jr.

*Oren’s current hang-out: Bean There Done That Coffee Shop

{Chapter Two}

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