To the Loser Go the Spoils (Flash Fiction)

Bob glared at his minion, a small man with beady eyes and an iPad quivering in his hands. “What?”

The minion looked to the screen again in a futile attempt at hoping the universe would alter reality into something more favorable. The universe failed to oblige, and he was forced into repeating the same grim news. “You lost,” he said.

Bob leaned forward and rested his hands flat on the large desk in front of him. The large back of his chair blocked the sunlight beaming through the window behind him, and the minion suffered an unnatural eclipse. “I lost?” Bob asked. “How could I have possibly lost?”

The minion shrugged. “Brian scored more points than you.”

The eclipse seemed to spread across the room. The blue sky of the spanning view seemed to step back as Bob bore down upon his lowly servant. “Show me,” he said, tapping a finger to his desk. The minion gulped and slid the iPad onto the beautiful oak. Bob rotated the gadget toward him with another stern glare and examined the screen. His eyes, bunkered with dark circles, scanned line after line.

“Oh, what the fuck?” Bob said. “How did my kicker get negative points?”

“His field goal attempt was blocked,” said the minion with remorse.

“So? What’s that got to do with anything?”

“The league rules,” said the minion.

“Speak up!” Bob yelled.

The minion swallowed and forced his head up. The shadow from the chair was frightful, oppressing. He took a deep breath and tried to continue. “The league rules are set so that a blocked field scores the same as a fumble.”

Bob’s eyes narrowed. “And who setup the league rules?” he asked.

The minion didn’t want to answer, couldn’t answer. He knew where this was going. He’d seen the same thing happen last season. “Brian,” he said at last.

“Fucking Brian,” Bob said. “Fucking Brian set the league rules? Fucking Brian beat me by…” Bob trailed off, scanning the screen again, “by less than a point? Fucking Brian, the moron from IT, beat my fantasy football team!?”

The minion nodded.

Bob leaned back in his chair, and it gave a minor squeak. Bob and the minion both perked up at the sound, and the minion ran over and quickly applied lubrication to the troublesome spot. “Thank you,” Bob said. The minion nodded happily.

“Well then,” continued Bob, “this sort of loss will not be tolerated. Brian must feel pretty special, yes? Walking around in the internet room with his little moron IT friends, telling them all how he bested his boss at fantasy football by rigging the rules in his favor. Hm? Is that it?”

“No, sir,” the minion tried. “The rules have been set since—“

“Tat-tat” said Bob as he raised a silencing finger. “You tell Brian he is to be severely punished for his trickery.” Bob smiled and spun in his chair to take in the amazing view. Deep blue oceans surrounded a coastline of white sand and lush greens.

“What is his punishment to be?” asked the minion with concern.

Bob’s smile grew. He could already taste his victory. “He must give me Tom Brady. He is to trade him to me in exchange for my kicker.” He began to giggle, and his giggle grew into a laugh, and the laugh grew into a roaring torment of evil pleasure. All the while, the minion only cowered and shook his head at the horror of it all.

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