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Many are called but few are chosen

posted 3 Jun 2015, 04:39 by Fran Brady
The topic for my Christian Writing Group this month is DOUBT. Started writing and this came out:

Characters: William Sureness, Henry Dubiety, Constance Strong, Mary Striving, Patience Gentle

 Setting: RBS HQ.

Time: early 2009


   William Sureness holds himself very upright as he walks into the office that morning. The pall of fear and insecurity hits him like freezing haar. It is not new, not a surprise. The atmosphere has had a threatening chill for the past three months, ever since the phrase ‘The Banking Crisis’ entered the English language. ‘Heads will roll,’ scream the tabloids; ‘Fat Cats Face Firing Squad’; ‘Fred the Shred is for the Shredder’; and so on. Captain Fred is going down with his ship and taking a lot of his crew with him.

   Redundancy at best; character assassination at worst. The office feels like a tumbril on its way to the guillotine. This has become their normality. They are like terminally ill patients waiting for death. But today there is something sharper in the air. A whiff of gun smoke? The tang of freshly-spilt blood? Have the executions begun? Who has been first? Who will be next? William squares his shoulders and breezes in.


   ‘All right for him,’ mutters Henry Dubiety, whose desk is just behind William’s. ‘He’ll be all right. He always is. So damned cocksure of himself.’

   Constance Strong, his assistant, gives him her steadfast smile as she puts his coffee in front of him. ‘We don’t know that, now, do we? None of knows for sure. We just have to trust it will all be OK.’

   ‘But what if . . . what about . . . what will. . ?’ Henry run his hands roughly through his hair until it stands up in boyish clumps around his worried face.

   Mary Striving stops on her way to the photocopier. ‘I’m just going to work as hard as I can. Try to make myself indispensable. Be early every day, work late, volunteer for any extra work.’ Her pale, pinched face and her desperate tone do nothing to reassure Henry.

   ‘What do you think, Patience,’ he demands of the large, plump woman whose desk is across the aisle from his. ‘What do you think is going to happen? When? How?’

   Patience raises her bovine brown eyes and looks thoughtfully at the three of them. ‘All we can do is wait and see; wait and see.’

   ‘And trust,’ says Constance.

   ‘And keep doing our very best,’ says Mary.

   The four of them look enviously at William, who is nonchalantly drinking his coffee and making a start on The Scotsman crossword. The door opens and the director’s PA comes in with a white envelope in her hand. Behind her, two large men from the security staff.

   All five of them freeze. Who will be called? Who will be chosen?