A Whiff of Grapeshot
Steven McDermott

Morton made mush of me. That was his monument to himself. My monument? Self-destruction as a work of art. My well-constructed life dripped and splattered like a Pollock -- office gossip the canvas. Morton, an opportunistic interloper, was a hardcore member of the kick-em-when-they're down school. The kind of adversary who never sparred with strength; the kind who waited and went after wounds. He surfaced while I was in the middle of my nothing-left-to-lose battle with Bossman. Pretty easy pickings. Anointed. Later, annoyed. Then annihilated. Long after the loser had left. Although I didn't get the credit; I committed the crime. Grapevine gossip goosed me with a whiff of grapeshot as my time-bomb ticked its last tock. Seems the matter of the automatic contract renewal triggered a balloon payment, a land mine amid further budget cuts, and Bossman had no choice but to munch his main man and so Morton made mush of me.