[Flash Fiction] Summon Demons or Someone Else Will.

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Lenard Tillerson, CEO of Straten Finance, had until mid night to get out of this with his life and finances intact. The hostile take over of his company started at 10a.m that morning when his rival, Nathan Rivers, of Contingency Capital, started buying up his stock at double the price from anyone willing to sell it. To Mr. Tillerson’s frustration, there had been a ton of defectors that didn’t mind getting bought out. However, Tillerson still owned fifty-one percent of his company via stocks.

By mid day, when it became clear Nathan couldn’t buy his way into owning Straten Finance the word “hostile” in hostile takeover began to take a more literal meaning. Men and women in black trench coats and carrying automatic weapons stormed the lobby of Straten Finance and had gotten themselves into a fire fight with Tillerson’s security team. It was another bid by Rivers to take out Tillerson. The attempt itself should have been against the law, but somehow Contingency Capital’s legal team was putting Tillerson’s lawyers and the Feds through the ringer in the form of convoluted precedents that kept this bloodbath going. Apparently, this corporate war would continue until such time that the courts decided it was illegal for a corporation to use lethal force in order to acquire another.

By 6 p.m it have become a stalemate: both legally and militarily. It was then that Tillerson got a phone call:

“Hello?”

“Hi, Lenard!”

“Fuck you, Nathan!” Mr. Tillerson screamed into his phone, “what the fuck are you doing!? You’ve gone completely psychotic!”

“The difference between genius and insanity is only measured by success and failure, my friend,” responded Mr. Rivers calmly, “and right now, I’m fucking Albert Einstein.”

“So this is it then?” asked Mr. Tillerson, sounding completely dumbfounded, “you’re just going to continue this fucked up campaign of yours? If you keep this up, Nathan, you’ll destroy the reputation of Wall Street. We’ll be no different than warloads!”

“Oh please, what’s to ruin?” scoffed Mr. Rivers, “If people really gave a shit somebody would have stopped us by now. Nobody cares what rich fucks like us do anymore, just as long as we leave everyone else alone.”

“And you’re satisfied with that?” asked Mr. Tillerson.

“Not really,” said Mr. Rivers, “I wanted to surprise you with this one, but according to my lawyers they’re insisting that I give you a heads up.”

“Oh, Jesus, what now?” asked the now exacerbated Tillerson, while succumbing to a bit of gallows humor, “you’re going to drop a fucking bomb on my building?”

“Nope, I’m summoning a demon,” Mr. Rivers responded dryly.

Tillerson took a long pause and looked out the window of his office high rise before leaning his head against the glass. His sense of reality was beginning to slip.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” said Tillerson.

“Dead serious, actually,” answered Rivers, “most humans aren’t supposed to know about this, but you can summon a demon to grant you a wish. I can’t seem to buy you or kill you, so I’m just going to have to wish you away. It’s this whole ritual by some wizard, or whatever. He’s concocting it. A friend of a friend, really. Anyway, he set this whole thing up for me. We got all this satanic shit in my office right now that’s being set up…”

At this point Tillerson could barely hear himself think, much less talk as he listened to Rivers continue:

“…and I have to warn you as part of some legal thing. The wizard and my lawyers told me to.”

Tillerson cleared his throat and asked the obvious question:

“Nathan, why are you doing this?”

“If I take you out I’ll control the majority of the market you and I have been competing over for years,” answered Rivers, “and I plan on winning by any means necessary.”

Tillerson, despite wanting to call Rivers a fucking lunatic, found that he couldn’t muster the energy or the logic to argue Rivers point. It would’ve been futile anyway.

“So, nothing personal,” continued Rivers, “it’s just business. You have until mid night, guy. Later!”

The phone went silent after that.

Tillerson took a few moments to get his barrings before thinking of a plan. Nathan wasn’t the only one who knew about demon summoning. What Nathan didn’t know was that Lenard was a black mage as well. And while Nathan may have hired some wizard to do his dirty work for him, Lenard could pull off the same ritual without outsourcing. Nathan was always an idiot that had more money than education, Lenard thought. Lenard scrambled to his safe next to his desk to pull out his book of spells. The demon summoning ritual would take awhile if it was just him and from the way Nathan sounded over the phone, Lenard didn’t have a lot of time.

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