King of the Castle – William Wright

Peter took a sip of his coffee. It was the same black, burnt shit he had been drinking for years. He started at the Company when he was 18, fresh out of high school and looking for a place to earn some money over the summer. That, by way of management serendipitously dropping like flies and an executive familiar with his father, Peter kept the job after he flunked out of college. It was a safety net that turned into a pillowy bed.

Something about the coffee this morning tasted strange. Whenever this happens he thinks about the Green Day song, “409 in your Coffee Maker,” a title he can always remember; a melody he cannot. How did that song go?

The coffee was lukewarm enough that instead of pouring it out, he downed it in one large gulp and threw the cup away. Blah. His face contorted. LIke those old bitter beer face commercials. Was it Natural Light or Keystone? Natural Light. Right?

There’s a knock at the door. Peter waves the person in. A young lady, still in college, handling some of the more paperwork intensive parts of the job. He has to track everything he does for the Company and it eventually got to be too much for him. He persuaded his boss to let him have a part time associate that could come in and do the filing and converting to digital that he just couldn’t be bothered to do. “We’ll pay her minimum wage, or hell, make it an internship. Kids love it.”

Peter was neither old enough to refer to his employees as kids. Or maybe he was. He typically was 15 years their senior. Boy. Time flies. Also, he was not high enough in the company to warrant a secretary, so he had to skirt the issue. She was NOT his secretary. She just had a job where she filed paperwork.

God. The coffee was doing something to his stomach. It was gurgling.

He forgot his not secretary was there for a moment. “Sorry, just…bad coffee?” She looks at him with zero interest. Peter is fit still, never fully going the way of middle management. He had not garnered the, apparently, coveted gut. He didn’t dress like a fuddy, he kept it modern and cut. His hair, never wanting to bother with it, was cut short and tight. He looked like a dude. A middle manager dude and he was happy to be it.

“What’s up?”
She wasn’t leaving.
“I was wondering if I could have Friday off? I have a large project that is due then and with some of my other course work, I’m just anticipating a long night.”
Peter has no problem with this.
“Hmm. Let me think about it and get back to you.”
She looks taken back. “Oh. Ok. Well, thanks.
She drops the papers she is holding onto his desk then walks out of his office. Peter would never touch her. Not that she wasn’t attractive, but he had gone to enough classes on corporate sexual harassment and was on social media enough to know that he would be ripped to shreds the minute he decided he wanted to cross that line. He watched her as she left the room. This was one of the disappointing days where she didn’t wear the tightest pants. She didn’t have much of an ass to begin with, she was long and slender, but there was a bit of a rump there and some days she did a better job of showing it off than others. Today, she was in nicer, more professional slacks that didn’t hug her ass in the way that gave Peter two seconds of happy distraction every time he got a chance to look.

He thought back to her last review. He had told her to be more professional. This isn’t what he meant. Gurgle. Fuck his stomach is revolting on him. He needed to get up and go expel his insides on the company dime, a thrill from day one that he never quite got over. I’m paid to shit. It brought a grin to his face.

He waddled from his desk to the bathroom, trying not to move too fast. Shit might literally have dropped out of his asshole. The bathroom was always full with people shitting. As Peter walked in one of his employees was standing along the wall. A toilet flushes and the stall door opens. Peter’s Vice President is leaving the toilet. He grins at Peter as he walks past, proud of the shit he’s taken. Peter looks at his employee, “you in line?”
“Look I really got to go.” On cue, Peter’s stomach makes an awful gurgle.
His employee, not wanting to upset his boss, lets him cut in line.
“I appreciate it, Mark.” Peter says as he waddles to the vacant stall.

It is damp where his boss just was. Damp and filled with a horrible odor. Old man shits are horrible. Peter doesn’t have time to ruminate, he rips his slacks down and sits on the toilet.

It has been ten minutes and Peter is still pushing shit out. Little squirts, but shit nonetheless. He moans out loud, the bathroom still full of patrons, the stalls a constant turnover of people shitting. “Ohhhhhhh.” Peter wails. His asshole burns. He cannot stop. His phone, clinched in white knuckle fists, buzzes.
Work email.
Clenching his sphincter so that nothing else leaks out, Peter unlocks his phone and reads the email.
Meeting – Now
Meeting? Now? Peter drops his phone to his pulled down slacks, it rests in the crotch of his underwear. He reaches for the paper like toilet paper. This will hurt his raw asshole. He pulls on the roll, a few squares give way before ripping. He should bring his own toilet paper, he thinks. He can’t deal with the poor quality they have for the other associates. Peter gathers enough squares to make a good first wipe attempt. When paper meets asshole, he flinches. It burns. This isn’t good. He is pretty sure he shit his insides out. Prolapsed. He’s seen the videos where your insides come spilling out of your butthole.
His phone buzzes again.
Peter drops the toilet paper into the toilet, not even inspecting it.
Meeting starting. You need to be here.
How can he be there when he is here?
There is a moment of panic. What is he going to do? Peter holds the phone. Weighing his options.
This meeting cannot start without you. You miss it, you’re done.
This has to be a prank. He just passed his Vice President in the bathroom and smiled at him. What sort of catastrophic event could have happened in the last ten minutes that would require him to get up and meet in the conference room?
Peter adjusts on the toilet. The person next to him gets up. The toilet flushes. The sounds of pants being lifted, belt buckled. Peter clinches his asshole, alleviating some of the burn. He reaches for more toilet paper, he’s got to rush this. As he does, as his body shifts, shit sprays from his sore ass. He nearly yelps. It burns. He pulls his bottom lip into his mouth and bites down. He could draw blood. He might draw blood. The pain of biting his bottom lip is taking away from the ass pain. His phone buzzes again.
Last Chance.
In a fit of inspiration and fury, Peter grabs the phone and dials his boss.
“I’m here.”
“No you aren’t.”
“I’m as here as I’m going to be, there is a situation I’m dealing with and if you can’t wait, then this is the best you’ll get.”
“You still on the shitter?”
Peter gulps.
“Yes, sir.”
There is a pause.
“Was it the coffee?”
“I think so.”
“Do me a favor. Call back on FaceTime.”
“I can’t do that, I”m not back in the office, I’m literally using the toilet. I tried to move, but it wasn’t good.”
“I know. Call me on FaceTime.” His Vice President insists.
“I really don’t—“
Peter holds his breath.
“Call. Me. On. FaceTime.”
Click. The Vice President hung up. Peter looks around the tiny stall, he needs something, anything to help him here, but all that awaits him is the soft brushed metal of the stall doors and bad toilet paper. He reaches for some, wading it up into a ball. He will cover his penis up with this wad of toilet paper. He attempts to shove it into his groin, but it falls out into the toilet. His phone buzzes. He can’t read it, doesn’t want to.
He attempts to grab long strands of toilet paper from the dispenser so he can lay it over his lap. They shouldn’t be able to see anything from there.
Peter does this, the blockade a mixture of long pieces and little scraps put together like some makeshift pallet. Someone has entered the empty stall next to him and is unloading his bowels. The plopping noise. Peter retrieves his phone and reads the message.
You have a minute.
Had a minute passed? He didn’t know. He quickly dialed his Vice President on FaceTime. Peter attempts to position the camera in any tasteful way, but can’t find any. He holds it above his head, the angle that he saw in his mind’s eye, hence the pallet of toilet paper on his crotch, but now, he realizes that this was never going to be the angle and that holding the phone in front of him and close to his face is good enough for whatever this meeting is.
He leaves the pallet just in case.
“Good. He’s finally here. We had your termination paperwork nearly signed.”
“Sorry, as you can see…”
There is rustling in the stalls on either side of him. They clearly know what is going on and who is talking.
“So, uh, what’s this all about?”
“Do you have headphones?”
“At my desk.”
“This is kind of sensitive.”
“Ok, well, I don’t think I can get up.”
“Ask the person next to you.”
“I cannot do that.”
“Look, they probably work for you. Ask the person next to you. You got two options.”
“I think that is all the more reason why I shouldn’t ask the person next to me.”
“You’re too prudish.” The Vice President puts the phone to the side. “We don’t have Peter.”
There is chatter. Peter gets nervous.
“Ok! Ok.” Peter exclaims.
The VP brings the phone back to his face. “What is it, Peter?”
“You got me, you got me. Hold on.”
Peter turns to his right and knocks on the wall door.
“I don’t have any. Sorry.”
They had been listening to the conversation.
From the left a pair of headphones are tossed over and land almost square in the crotch of his dropped shorts. Peter’s ass is going numb, but with every movement he’s made, a little bit more shit has leaked out.
“Ok. I got it.” Peter says into the mic attached to the headphones.
“Good. Good.” The VP looks away from the phone. “Peter is here. Let’s get started.”
“Ok.” Someone off screen murmurs. The VP pulls the phone back to his face and then gestures that he is going to set Peter down. He does, propping him again something, and he is awkwardly facing the man talking, who is none other than the CEO of the company. What the fuck is going on? Peter thinks. Then stops as seemingly another gallon of shit exits his body. He is doubled over in pain. It truly feels Iike his asshole will never recover. He can barely move and yet it is like his shitting has hit its second wind. He can’t stop. He doesn’t know how to mute his mic so the meeting hears as he cries out in agony, but no one actually does because his VP muted him.
“I want you all to know that I have appreciated you gathering today. This is tough, but the payoff will be rewarding.”
Peter squirms.
“I’m going to cut right to the chase.” The CEO begins. “I sold the company.”
There are murmurs. Peter’s heart sinks. His asshole clinches. Relief.
“I did and I want you all to know that if you are in this room, you have a large severance package, because you will probably be laid off. That’s how these things go. They will cut the head off the snake. I have accepted this, but I want everyone to know that there is one person in here that will be left after the initial wave of buyout packages.”
More murmurs.
Peter’s VP holds the phone up so the CEO can see him. Peter smiles. There are beads of sweat forming at this temples. The person who let him borrow the headphones stands up in the stall next to him, completing his business. The toilet flushes.
“Peter, you are going to be the vanguard into the new age. I have informed the buyer that you will be the person that carries the torch into the next generation.”
“What does that mean?” Peter asks. He is ignored. Likely still on mute.
“You’re going to be the big man in charge. You won’t run the joint, per say, but you will run the joint.”
Peter didn’t know what to think. He swallows hard, unable to form words, not that anyone would hear them. Then his body pushes more shit out.
“Peter the first thing we’d like you to do is talk with the president of the company buying us.”
Okay. Peter nods. He wishes that he could write this information down.
“I have him on the line right now.”
Eyes wide. The VP flips the phone back to his face and raises his eyebrows.
“Peter, I’m patching you in to him right now.”
Someone else has entered the bathroom. They are just using the urinal, but are poor at aiming. Their piss splashes across the floor.
“Peter, hello, are you there?” His old CEO asks. Peter sees his VP’s finger unmute him.
“Yes. I’m—-”
At the worst moment. He can’t help himself. What must be blood at this point, his body forces him to push more excrement out of his asshole. He is in terrible pain. His legs are numb. His asshole is on fire.
“Everything okay, Peter?” The CEO asks, not showing any concern.
“Yes. I’m here.”
“Good. Ok, we have the president on the line.”
“Richard?” The CEO volleys the president of the new company. “Richard I have you on the line with myself, my VPs, and the transition VP Peter.”
Transition VP? VP? I’m a VP? Peter thinks to himself. He desperately wants to wipe his ass. He wants the relief of pressing the toilet paper to his blown out ass and holding it there like a battlefield medic.
“Great to meet you Peter!” The president of the new company is excited to meet him. He’s rosy cheeked. Has he been celebrating the purchase with drinks?”
“Peter, I want to cut to the chase a bit here. I need you to show your locality to my company. I’ve been briefed on your tenure and I find it a good ride, but, I want to make sure your loyalties are in the right place.”
“Ok.” Peter responds. He feels another wave of poop. He clenches.
“I need you to eliminate a quarter of your headcount by the end of the day.”
Peter glances at this watch. It’s 4PM.
“That’s in an hour sir.”
“That’s right.” The president responds with a smile. A smug one. He is smitten with himself.
“Get cracking.”
Peter needs to set the phone down.
“I need a list of their names and salaries by 5. Also, the larger the salary the better. I need to show the investors that we are serious about continuing to operate in a conservative fashion.”
The company Peter currently worked for ran practically on a skeleton crew. How could he do his job and cut a quarter of the people that work for him?
His former VP turns the phone back to his face. “I’ll email you where to send the information. Good luck. I’ll see you around.”
The VP hangs up.
Peter drops the phone to the crotch of his pants. How long has he been in here? A lifetime has passed in twenty minutes. His stomach grumbles. Angry. Like a tornado ready to unleash itself on a barn.
Peter takes the earbuds out and lets them drop. He places his head in his hands and his body poops some more.
This was not a trickle, but like a full on wave. When he finishes he peers down between his legs, beneath the pallet of toilet paper. The bowl is filling up and it looks black, like tar. He experiences a full body shudder. Look at the time. Tick tock. He’s running out of time. He can’t lose his job. He must get up.
Peter steadies his legs, attempts to flex them into waking up. This causes them both to cramp. He braces himself against the stall walls, gritting his teeth as the waves of cramps ripple through his muscles.
He needs to approach them differently. He moves his hands underneath his butt cheeks and plants them firmly on the damp toilet seat. Now, like a gymnast, he pushes himself up. The goal here is to push up, out, and bend at the knees.
His arms are doing their job, he’s hovering an inch above the shitty maw.
His body is revolting. It has reloaded and now, instead of a steady stream of shit, it comes out in shotgun blasts. Bang. Bang. Bang.
His arms waver. He feels weak. In one swift motion, he pushes himself off the toilet, maneuvers his body to lean forward. His intestines won’t stop. He blasts the back of the wall. He pivots to see the damage and blasts the side of the stall. It splatters and begins to run down to the floor.
“What the fuck?” The stall to the left of him yells. Peter quickly falls back to the toilet, splayed and defeated. The left stall and right stall both reach for the toilet papers and frantically wipe. They are out in a matter of seconds, both forgoing hand washing.
Peter is alone.
His ass blasts for another couple of moments, then rests.
Ok. He tells himself. Let’s try that again.
He goes through the same motions. Hands under cheeks. Lift. Bend forward. Oh no. Shit blasts. He quickly sits back down. He has painted his stall with the black tar his body is expelling.
He reaches for his phone. Time’s a wastin.
Peter texts his not-secretary. He should really give her a more proper title. If he was to stay with the company, becoming the VP of transition, she could become his executive assistant.
I need you in the bathroom.
He waits. She reads it and leaves it.
A bubble pops up. Disappears. Reappears. Again. Cycle. Repeat.
Finally: I’m sorry, what?
I need you in the bathroom. Not a joke. Not a drill.
She responds: I don’t think that’s appropriate.
We can talk about it later. This is an emergency.
Again with the bubbles. Then nothing. Peter’s stomach has calmed. It’s been two minutes since any shit has left his body. He wants to try and stand again but hesitates. He hears the bathroom door open.
“Hello?” She calls for him. “Peter?”
“I’m here.” He responds, his voice shallow.
“I’m not coming any further in. It smells awful in here.”
“Look.” He begins, then stops. How can he possibly explain what is happening to him? He almost starts laughing, but stifles it. How much worse could he make this for her by laughing hysterically.
“I need you to wrangle some folks and have them come to the bathroom.”
“I’m sorry?”
“It would take too long to explain. So, please, just do what I’m asking of you. You get this done. I’ll give you a raise.”
There is a pause where nothing happens. There is no movement. Peter can only imagine what is going through her head.
“I appreciate that and all, but for my participation in his, what could be considered some sort of harassment at best, cruel and unusual punishment at worst, I think you better tell me what’s going on.”
“I can’t leave the bathroom.” He blurts. Frustrated and fed up. “I can’t get up off the toilet or my body reacts violently by shitting all over the place.”
“Here, listen.” Peter does his routine. Hands under cheeks. Shits blasts. He stays bent over. “You hear that?” Blast. Splash. “I’m shitting. I’m dying. I can’t stop shitting this black tar and” Blast. Splash. “Look, I’m just going to put my pants on.” Peter fumbles with his pants trying to hold steady with the barrage of blasts of poop. He gets his pants half way up his knees before buckling. He has lost all feeling in his asshole. He will die on this toilet.
“That’s why I need you.”
“How much of a raise are we talking about?”
“I’ll double your hourly wage. Just bring me the people I’m about to text you.”
There is no remorse in her voice. She doesn’t even tell Peter that she is sorry that he is facing this affliction. No one cares for his plight. He grabs his phone from the crotch of his pants. There is a small amount of shit spray on it. He grabs a piece of toilet paper and wipes it down. Strangely, this act makes him feel like he is in a warzone, racing against the clock. Lives on the line. He’s been wounded. A casualty. Peter was always confused by the word casualty. Did it mean death? He couldn’t ever remember. He thought it did, but then he read a book once that explained that casualty was military speak for blood. If someone was bleeding, they were a casualty. That made wars seem a lot less bad when you say 100,000 casualties. That could mean 100,000 people got cut. At this very moment if Peter was in Fallujah, he might be considered a casualty. He sent the text message with the names that he needed to be paraded into the bathroom. There was another book he read about the first marines into Afghanistan and how fucked up the situation was, but in it, they talk about combat jacks. Supposedly in a rush of adrenaline, it is not unusual to get an erection. So, some soldiers, in the middle of a firefight, would get an erection and then jack off. Combat jacks. Peter isn’t sure he could pull this off. Thinking of erections on soldiers makes his dick kind of hard. Not in a gay way. No, no, no, but in the way that if you think about pie enough you’ll want a slice of it.
The bathroom door opens. “I have James.”
“James.” Peter calls from the middle stall. “Thanks for the headphones earlier.”
“No problem. Is everything ok?”
“Not exactly. Look, I’m going to cut to the chase, James, you’re being let go. We’ll be in touch with any sort of severance package. Thanks for your time.”
“No way. This is a joke right?” James stammers.
Peter responds like a parent to a child, “I’m afraid not. I understand the circumstances are strange, but it is what it is.”
James makes a sort of laugh snort. “You gotta be shitting me.”
Peter does not appreciate the attempt at humor. “As I said, I am not. We’ll be in touch about any sort of back pay or—”
“Fuck you, Peter.” James shouts then storms away.
“Okay. Next up. We have to hurry.”
His assistant says nothing. Peter hears her walk away and the door shut softly. More shit comes. This time a volcanic eruption. He braces himself in the stall, but the shit blasts have made the walls slick with body tar. His hands slide down. It is still going, frothing, happening when the door opens back up. “I have David.” she says, nasally, likely from holding her nose.
“Hold. On.” Peter exasperates. He can’t hold it together any longer. He wants to cry. “Goddamnit, hold on.” No one had said anything. The shit is near the top of the toilet. “Christ. I think I’m dying.” Peter admits to those in attendance. “What was that?” David questions from the doorway.
Peter is startled by the other voice present. “Oh. David. Look. You. Are. Fired. Good. Goodbye.”
“This is a joke—”
“Not a joke.” Peter cuts him off. “And I know that you’ve been here longer than me, but, it is what it is.”
Peter feels the black tar bubbling back up near his ass.
All this time, for whatever reason, he hadn’t thought to flush the toilet. Perhaps it was because he hadn’t truly finished shitting and he wasn’t one to flush before he needed to.
“Fourteen years with the company.” David begins but is then cut off by the sound of the toilet flushing.
Slowly the tar shit recedes from lapping at his ass cheeks and down into the hole.
David has stormed out. His assistant: “I have Karen.” She sounds so defeated.
There is a moment of reprieve. This is getting easier. Peter looks down at his phone. He must make haste. He only has twenty minutes to handle the firings.
“I don’t feel comfortable conducting business in here.” Karen admits. She is, was, the perfect worker, she had been with the company for ages, did not ask for any time off. Follow every rule to a “T”, but when you work somewhere for twenty-one years, unless it’s McDonalds, hell even at McDonalds, your salary is going to be high.
“I didn’t like it in here either, Karen, but I embrace change. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to ask you to embrace change as well. We’re letting you go.”
She begins to cry.
“Karen, I need you to leave.”
She continues to cry. He hears his assistant walk over to Karen. “It’s ok. Really.”
“No.” It was a quiet, dignified, and defiant no.
“You’re only–” she begins through tears but now with seething anger “doing this because you caught wind that I was going to retire at the end of the year.”
Peter snorts. “I had no idea you were going to retire. Consider this an early retirement and take the severance. Win, win.”
“No not win, win and don’t act stupid. You know that I have been here so long, I still am on a pension plan.”
“Pension plan?” Peter snorts again. “Karen, we don’t have pension plans.”
“I do.”
“I don’t know how. I don’t even have one.”
“That’s not my problem. But I know that if you fire me now, that stops me from collecting. All this time. All this energy put into this place to watch sniveling little shits like yourself suck up your way to the top, telling VPs that their asses smell like roses while letting them wipe it with your diploma.”
Now the assistant: “Karen, I think we should talk about this outside.”
Suddenly a loud kick. Karen has kicked the stall door.
“Come on out here and tell me to my face you asswipe.”
Peter is as firm as one can be when a shit covered stall door is the only thing separating you from the person that wants to bash your head in. “Karen, please leave.”
She kicks again. Peter is shocked that the door has not caved in and revealed the messy sight.
Now there is a bit of scuffle. The assistant is trying to get Karen to leave. They are wrestling with each other. “Don’t you dare, you complacent bitch. You fuck. You twat. Traitor.” Karen is screaming now, her sharp acerbicness shocking to Peter. Maybe if she had always been this way he would have been less inclined to fire her. Huh. Funny.
The assistant is grunting back and there Peter goes again thinking about combat jacking and his assistant wrestling Karen.
“Get her the fuck out of here!” Peter has looked at the time and is beginning to panic. He has seven more people he needs to get through. A leg now has entered under the stall. The beige flats and hose tell him it is Karen’s leg. He leans forward, shit blasting out his ass, finding the strength in the adrenaline of the moment and grabs her leg and yanks it closer to him. The leg begins kicking wildly. “Let go of me, Peter!” Karen screams.
“Get out of here!” The assistant screams back. Peter is shocked at the sound and ferocity of both of them. It reverberates off the tiled walls. He is too worked up. This is too much. His heart is racing. He starts to shit again. The pain is back.
“Karen.” He is crying now. “Please.”
The smell is seeping from the toilet. He hears one of the two women gag. The leg in the stall has calmed and is slowly retracted. There is movement. A dusting of blouses. No words. They leave. Peter is left alone.

His assistant returned a few minutes later. “I have Greg.”
She was tenacious. Peter was impressed with how she was adaptable and the initiative she took. She was a serious asset to the company. He envisioned them, together, leading the company into the future.
“Okay. Look. Greg. You’re fired. And you know what–” Peter was completely out of options. “Let Darlene, Tom, Matthew, Wade, Ashley, and Ashlyn, know that they are also fired. I’m done. I can’t do this from here anymore. I’m out of time.”
“Fuck you, you maniac. You’ll be hearing from all our lawyers.”

“Hello, Peter.” His VP answered on the first ring.
“I’m finished. I did it.”
“With moments to spare! Good for you. I’m sure no one was happy, but that’s the way it works.”
“Well, look, I’m sorry you lost your job today.” Peter said.
“Let me tell you something, as you might be me one day. Don’t feel bad when an old VP like me loses his job. We don’t lose jobs. We get bought out or we get pushed out but we never don’t get paid. To be honest, I’m sorry you still have yours.”

The day ended. Five o’clock comes and goes. The building is unloaded of workers, but Peter is too scared to get up. Too weak to get up. He falls asleep and is awoken by Shawn, the janitor.
“Oh, my God are you ok?”
“I think.”
Shawn brings his hand to his mouth. “Something happened in here.”
Peter nods and then passes out.

He had stopped shitting. That much was sure. When he woke up, he was in a hospital bed; IV hooked up to his arm. His body needed fluids, the nurse he rang for explained to him. “They said they found you in a stall covered in feces. That you had been in there for hours. Peter nodded as she recited his life to him. “I’ve never seen anything like this.” She continued. “It’s like some sort of acute dysentry. Usually that takes a bit of time to develop. You weren’t drinking pond water, were you?”
Peter shook his head no.
“Just bad coffee,” he said.

A week later, Peter is back at the office. There are little fires everywhere that require his attention. In his insane cost cutting measure, he lost all of the veteran staff. The less experienced staff was failing to keep up, but were doing a better job than Peter would have expected. He entered his office for the first time in a week. There are a couple of envelopes. One large one. He reaches for it first. It’s a new contract. There is his title VP of Transition. He did it. He made it.

His assistant arrived not long after him. She looked exhausted. “You ok?” She didn’t look as attractive as she normally did.
She refused to look him in the eyes. “It’s a lot to keep this place running.”
“Tell me about it.”
She gathers the things off his floor and sorts through them quickly. There is nothing important. She eyes the contract on his desk. She eyes the salary. Peter is sloppy. He should have put it away. He is smugly sitting back in his chair.
She drops the envelopes from the floor on his desk and leaves his office.

Peter opens his email on his desktop. He had looked it over on his phone the night before. And the night before that. And this morning. There was something about staring at his desktop that made him feel uneasy. Something about his whole office. It was making his skin crawl and he wasn’t sure why. He needed a new office. Something. He did not feel like throwing up, but there was an aura about him that felt like retching. He got up from his desk, pushing back quickly, reacting as if tendrils were growing from all surfaces, waiting to grab him and never release him. He left his office and went into the hallway. There he gulped air, attempting to control his breathing. Is this a panic attack?
There are people in the hallway. He can’t do this here. He walks to the bathroom and enters. He is in the bathroom. There are two people using the left and right stalls. The middle stall, empty. His stall is empty. He walks over to it and opens the door. There, behind it, the seat where, against all adversity, he made a name for himself. He puffed his chest. His breathing calmed. The right toilet flushed and a young guy opened the door.
“I wouldn’t use that stall, some dude shit for like eight hours or something and was hospitalized in that stall.”
Peter’s smile evaporates.
“Pretty gross.”
Peter looks at the guy’s name badge. Clearly part time. His name was Andrew. Andrew is done at the Company, Peter thinks to himself. Andrew walks away and Peter enters his stall, locking the door behind him.
“I warned you.” Andrew says as he exits.
Peter wears a smug smile. He carefully unbuttons his slacks and lets them drop to the floor. He sits on his seat, letting his dick hang into the toilet. He automatically starts to piss. He texts his assistant.
“Meet me in the bathroom. Bring Andrew.”