Mr. Thibault had been dead for a long time. To Jeremy’s dismay, this did not stop the old man from arriving in his office at 7 AM sharp, as he had done every day since founding his company in 1974. Jeremy was the latest in a long line of interns assigned to Mr. Thibault as part of a fellowship established by Thibault Financial and his university’s school of economics, named after Fred Thibault.

Jeremy knocked on Mr. Thibault’s office door. The moldering CEO jumped at the sound. There goes another finger, Jeremy thought. Mr. Thibault stared at the young man for quite a while before addressing him. Jeremy waited patiently and counted the variety of worms softly eating Mr. Thibault’s cheeks.

“Carson, good of you to be here on time. A prompt man is a prepared man. Please come inside.”

Carson had been the last intern to attend Mr. Thibault before he died. He had called each successive intern Carson, with the exception of Mildred Hervey, who was 5’9″ and a D-cup. Mr. Thibault hadn’t really said much to her at all, just drooled and shambled around his office reciting passages of the Book of Revelations.

Jeremy stepped inside the office. He had become inured to the smell. The maid cleaned the room nightly but Mr. Thibault tended to pace and he had worn a soiled rectangle around his desk, punctuated by the occasional flap of anatomy.

“Take a memo, boy.”

Jeremy flipped open his legal pad.

Mr. Thibault waved away the cloud of flies and began to pace. “To the Honorable Ms. Biallystock: Thank you for a wonderful night’s soiree. If our upcoming merger is anything like last night’s fete – that’s F-E-T-E, Carson – our prosperity is sure to be an exhausting, protracted and satisfying one. Please thank your waitstaff as well for their discretion.” Mr. Thibault chuckled to himself. He picked a bit of lint off his suit and considered the view from his window. “Oh, one addendum, Carson. Please enclose a Ziploc bag and a stamped return envelope when you send the memo. I misplaced some of myself when I left the hotel this morning. For if Ms. Biallystock or her staff should happen to come upon it.”

“Yes, sir,” said Jeremy. He put an asterisk in the margin and prepared for another long day of commerce and decay.

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