By Jonathan Urban

Copyright September 26, 2000

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"Henry, get the hell in here—NOW!"

Henry sulked into the room at his boss' rather abrupt order. Henry was a mere five feet, six inches tall, skinny, dark hair and eyes, and glasses. His heart beated within his chest like a bomb about to explode. The air was becoming difficult to breath as he neared his bosses' office. The dark hall that enveloped Henry soon became bright as he entered his bosses' office. He knew his boss was about to yell at him for the deadline he barely missed—and only missed because he was helping a co-worker on his deadline.

"What the hell took you so long you sorry sonofabitch?!" Mr. Riley got up from his desk and stormed over towards Henry, but at the last second moved past him and slammed the door. "Have a seat. Oh, you have really done it this time!"

Henry was visually shaking in his seat. Mr. Riley was a stocky man in his late forties, still had dark hair and sharp dark eyes. He leaned over his desk with those eyes staring deeply at Henry. Henry thought if they were weapons, he would already be dead. Riley was the most abusive man Henry had ever met, yet alone worked for. Even Riley's wife was filing abuse charges against him. He abused people at work verbally and even sometimes physically—but never a witness, mainly because everyone was scared that they would be next.

"You missed another deadline! Another one! I called you in here to fire you, so don't go begging and apologizing. You knew this was coming!"

Henry looked down. He was doing the best he could—actually better than most of Mr. Riley's staff, but the fact remained that Riley did not like him. This was just an excuse to get rid of him. For the first time at work Henry felt adrenaline flood his body. He stood up and headed for the door, he was not about to listen to this anymore, he didn't have to!

"Sit down! I'm not through with you!" Riley roared.

"Mr. Riley, I am no longer an employee if I just heard you correctly…I'm going to go gather my belongings." Henry was surprised by his own directness.

Riley moved towards him. "You will give me the respect that I deserve, sit down!"

"Mr. Riley, you no longer have my respect, you are not my boss anymore."

"How dare you!" Riley swung at Henry and caught his jaw. Henry fell to the floor.

Henry lay there laughing, blood on his face. This only infuriated Riley. Riley proceeded to kick him in the stomach. "You fool, why are you laughing?!"

"Because Mr. Riley, when the courts hear all of this abuse on that tape over there in the and all the other evidence I have been stacking up and witnesses, the settlement you will be paying me will be quite nice. In the beginning your intimidation and abuse were my nightmare. In fact, just coming to work was my nightmare. Now welcome to my nightmare, which will be yours for far longer."