Thursday, September 3, 2015

Termination Man (novel serialization) Part 12

Below is the latest installment of the serialization of Termination Man. To access previous installments, please see the Serials page (or consider the option of obtaining the entire book from Amazon.)

View Termination Man on

Chapter 2 (continued)

I was going to prompt him to tell me about Eileen Cosgrove’s accident. This was another piece of background information that TP Automotive had given me. Eileen Cosgrove was a production worker who had suffered a crushed hand when her sleeve became caught in a press-fitting machine. There was more than a little bit of controversy regarding the root cause of her injury. TP Automotive had told me that Eileen Cosgrove was careless, and had been written up for poor safety practices even before the new lean and mean regimen had been implemented. I knew that Kevin Lang would have a different interpretation, of course.

But I never got to hear Kevin’s side of it—not that day, at least. My cell phone began chirping in my pocket before Kevin could speak.

I pulled my phone from my pocket.

“Where the hell are you, honey?” Claire asked. If her voice carried to Kevin at all, he would have entirely missed the slight tinge of irony in her tone.

“I’ll be home in about fifteen minutes,” I said, sounding like a henpecked husband who had once again lingered too long in the bar after work. “Bye.” I pushed the call termination button and returned the phone to my pocket.

Kevin gave me an inquiring look. I shrugged.

“The wife,” I said. “Got to get going.”

“Okay,” he replied. He held the joint up. We—mostly he—had smoked it down to tiny fraction of its original length. “Not much left on this thing, anyway. You want to take the roach with you?”

“You keep it,” I said. “I’m going to be lucky if my old lady doesn't get suspicious as it is.”

“All right. Thanks, Ben.” He dug into his back pocket for his wallet. He removed a crisp ten-dollar bill and handed it over to me. “Take care,” he said. “Maybe I’ll see you around.”

Kevin didn’t know how prophetic that statement was.

*       *       *
Serial to be continued. Visit the Serials page for links to more of Termination Man, or purchase the entire book from

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