On Track @StoryADayMay 22

22So far, I’ve been trying to incorporate the number of the day into my StoryADayMay stories. At first, it was easy. Now, it’s starting to feel restrictive, so I’m not doing it any more. Anybody who can list all the associations in stories 1-21 wins a big fat shiny no-prize.

Today, I’ve dug into the spam folder for my prompt, along with Holly’s suggestion that I follow up on yesterday’s story.

On Track

by Marian Allen

Grantham Travers wiped the perspiration from his face with his thick, monogrammed towel. The man on the treadmill next to him noticed – as he noticed everything.

“Would you like me to get you a cold water, sir?”

“No, thank you, Andrew,” Grantham puffed. “Almost done.”

Grantham, 32 years old and 30 pounds overweight, gradually slowed his pace and stopped. Andrew was still going strong even though his machine was set to a higher resistance than Grantham’s.

When he had caught his breath, Grantham said, “I thank you again for letting me use the exercise equipment during the staff’s reserved block. I know it was bad form of me to ask, but since you’re the only one who uses it at this hour ….”

“Oh, of course, Mr. Granth – I mean, Mr. Travers. Old friends.”

“Yes.” Grantham leaned against the machine he had been using and regarded his “old friend.” As a boy, he had spent more time with Andrew than he had with his parents, who had all but lived at the club and all but abandoned their son as soon as they walked through the door. Andrew, then-waiter, now-maître d’, had helped Grantham with homework, had seen to it that the growing boy had an after-school snack and a nap, and had greeted him on his return from boarding school as a staff-member would greet any favored superior.

Grantham said, “I want to ask your advice about something.”

“Certainly, sir.”

“I have a chance to buy into an investment. It doesn’t make a tremendous profit, but it’s solid. I think it could be managed better. The current manager has been splendid, but he doesn’t see where improvements could be made. Certain modernizations that would make running things easier for the staff and more convenient for the clientele. What do you think? Should such things be done?”

Andrew, having had no experience in business except the business of the club, used it as an example of the sort of changes he would favor. The chef was wild to have a stove with a steam/convection oven. Free wi-fi should be on offer. The wait staff could process payments in a fraction of the time with dedicated smartphones and encrypted credit card readers.

“You keep up with the times,” Grantham said.

“I do, sir.”

“I have a proposition for you. Gran left me her share of the club. I bought Masterson’s share when he moved to Nassau. Now Bentley’s getting on and he’s offered me his share. That would make me the majority owner. Mr. Aldershot tells me he’s considering retirement. I’d like to offer him a generous severance package, but I’ll need a new manager. I’d like to offer the position to you, but it would come with certain stipulations.”

Andrew slowed ever-so-slightly. The tension in his jaw and hands told Grantham, who had become extremely good at reading business meeting body language, how much the offer meant.

“What are the stipulations, if you don’t mind my asking?”

“I’d be disappointed if you didn’t. First: You must tell me everything you want to change and how much it costs, and let me discuss it with you; you mustn’t hold anything back because you decide in advance that I’ll say no.”

Andrew laughed. “That is most agreeable.”

“Second: We must have weekly business meetings where you keep me informed of any problems, questions, or potential issues, and I keep you informed of any financial roadblocks or reasonable complaints from members.”

“Excellent idea, sir.”

“Third and last – ” Grantham shook the handlebar of his treadmill in mock fury. “Stop calling me sir! We’ll be business associates, and it’s not appropriate for you to call me sir and Mr. Travers. Grantham is rather a stuffy name, but it’s mine. Please use it.”

With the impudent grin Grantham remembered from his boyhood but hadn’t seen for far too long, Andrew said, “As you wish, sir. As soon as the business is finalized, yes?”

Grantham backed toward the shower room, shaking his finger. “You’ll hear from my lawyer.”

As he closed the door, he heard Andrew’s happy voice call, “Yes, sir!


A WRITING PROMPT FROM THE SPAM FILE: Anything in life could be accomplished by waiting on hold firmly to your certain objective regardless of whether you’ll find hindrances towards success.
There are a lot of foods available that offer it, so take time to atart exercising .
of them into your diet and will also be well on your way to losing
10 pounds in a very week. Working out with a workout buddy likewise helps, this way you stay motivated and focused
to remain on track.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “On Track @StoryADayMay 22

  1. Holly Jahangiri

    May 22, 2015 at 8:49am

    Oh, thank you!! You do spoil your readers, Marian! 🙂 NOW it feels that all is right with the world.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Jane

    May 22, 2015 at 9:37am

    Right away, with G. huffing and sweating, one knew something different was up with this guy.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Rasheed Hooda

    May 22, 2015 at 12:05pm

    You have a delectable way of taking simple ideas and turning them into touching narratives.

    Love the continuation and makes me wonder where it might be going from here.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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