AntiLite: Chapter 1 | Any Other Day

AntiLite

Kirkland O’Flannery awoke to silk sheets and the sumptuous comfort of his own bed.  He knew today was going to be another excellent, productive day at BPE, the company of which he was CEO.  BPE used to be known most famously as British Petroleum until Mr. O’Flannery came along.  Kirkland had entrenched himself in the position of CEO by successfully lobbying the company to branch out into hydro-electric interests to supplement the company’s oil portfolio, and subsequently earn even more money than ever before.  Through a series of buy outs worldwide, BPE would gain a monopoly on Hydro Electric companies worldwide, all due to the fearless leadership of Mr O’Flannery     Kirkland had also helped the company quite literally clean up its image during the oil spill problems of the early 2010s.

“Not bad for Irish blood.” Kirkland would always say.

Yes, at 29 years of age, Kirkland was on top of the world.  He liked to remind himself of his successes every day, prior to making himself a Scotch egg and downing some coffee every morning for breakfast.  Aside from the name, Kirkland was British to the core.  He had the passport, and at such a young age, The Order of the British Empire, to prove it.

After breakfast, Kirkland stretched his 5 foot 9 inch 165 pound frame (with only 7% body fat) and proceeded to groom himself and his ridiculously soft, according to his mother, brown hair before heading out to work.  After his 30 minute grooming process was finished, this did not count shower time, Kirkland headed to his apartment complex’s underground parking facility, where he had a number of cars to choose from to transport him to work.  Kirkland chose his black Aston Martin V12 Vantage.  Kirkland was no friend to the environment.  He did oversee a petroleum company after all so fuel efficiency made no difference to him.

The engine roared to life and Kirkland made his way through narrow, congested streets from London’s Bishop’s Gate area to BPE.

Suddenly, a very well dressed, yet homeless, man stumbled out into the street bearing a cup, hoping to get something from the wealthy man.  The homeless man had recently been employed as a financial adviser in London’s high finance district.  However, London will eat you alive if you are unemployed for more than a week.

Kirkland touched the brakes in an attempt to avoid hitting the man, but he was a tenth of a second too late and he ran into the man, causing him to buckle and fall to the ground, screaming in pain.

“Bloody git!” Kirkland muttered, “I haven’t got time for this.  I have places I need to be!”

Taking advantage of a rare gap in London traffic, Kirkland backed up slightly and maneuvered the Aston Martin to the right to go around the man.  “He’s not dead yet, he’ll be fine!”  Kirkland reassured himself.

Kirkland  continued along his route, eventually passing St. Paul’s Cathedral.  He happened to notice a large sign situated half way up the stairs that read

“I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness.”

Kirkland switched moods from disgruntled to angry.

“Those fools!” screamed Kirkland.  “I, Kirkland, am the light of the world!  It is because of me that people all over the world can see at night!”  Kirkland picked up his pace and with in another hour of stressful London traffic he was at BPE headquarters in an impressive building overlooking the River Thames.  It also happened to be near the London Eye.

Kirkland parked the Aston Martin in his dedicated parking lot.  He got out of it, closed the drivers’ door and stood for a moment to admire his modern day stallion glistening in the abnormal London sun.

Snapping back to reality, the CEO of BPE strode confidently through the main doors of the enterprise of which he was at the helm.  Kirkland wandered through the tastefully decorated lobby.  He exchanged brief pleasantries with Gretchen, the receptionist, who he thought was homely, but she wasn’t.  “Gretchen, you look immaculate today!”  quipped Kirkland.  “And you need to stop using strange adjectives” responded Gretchen under her breath.

Upon arriving at his office Kirkland immediately sat in his thick, expensive, leather chair to go over correspondence from his underlings and that of legitimately important people.  Suddenly he was greeted with a question.

“Good morning, Fearless Leader.  How may I serve you immediately.”

It was Bradley the intern.  Wearing thick horn rimmed glasses, Bradley was a short, slightly portly young man who was anticipating actually getting on with the company in the near future.  He just had to play his cards right.

“Get me a bloody coffee, you pollack!”

“Right away Fuhrer.” mumbled Bradley.

“What did you say?” asked Kirkland.

“Right away sir.” repeated Bradley.

“That’s what I thought.” asserted Kirkland.

Bradley disappeared and returned within 2 minutes with Kirkland’s desired coffee.  He was then instructed to go and perform his regularly scheduled duties until he was told otherwise.

Kirkland had 30 seconds of peace before he was greeted by chief of Business Acquisitions and  Buyouts Allister Hodges.  O’Flannery actually liked Hodges, because he made him rich.

“Kirkland!  We just bought out General Electric, and we now own all the electricity and oil fields in the United States!”

“Excellent Allister!  Was it as easy as when we took over Canada?”

“Seemed like it, sir.  They didn’t say sorry, but the price was right and they bit our bait.”

“You’ve made us all very rich Allister!”

“I know!” said Allister.

“Have a pint on your company credit card when you get off work this afternoon, will you?” implored Kirkland

“You are most gracious, sir!” replied Allister.

Kirkland was very pleased with himself.  As of today, his company powered the vast majority of the known world.

With this motivation, Kirkland ruthlessly powered through the rest of the day.

At 4:30 p.m. Kirkland left work, just because he felt like it, and it was within his power to do so.  Passing by St. Paul’s on his way home, Kirkland made a similar disgruntled remark about the sign and continued on his route.  His current goal, to make it to Dirty Dick’s, a pub not far from his home.  Perhaps he might find an evening’s worth of entertainment in one form or another.

After drinking a little more than his fill. Kirkland stood up and announced in a voice loud and obnoxious for all to hear.  “I am Kirkland O’Flannery, and I am CEO of the most powerful company…in the world!  Which one of you birds would like to escort me home tonight?”

The brunette woman closest to him smirked and said, “sure you are.  Listen, you should get out of here before things get weird.”

“Oh!” laughed Kirkland, “and what do you plan on doing to me, my lady!”

The woman snapped her fingers and immediately she and all the other women in the pub surrounded him, picked him up, and threw him out into the street.

Undaunted, but strangely smart enough not to go back in there, Kirkland picked himself up and headed for his nearby apartment.  He was still in a good mood.

Kirkland returned to his bed that night and announced to himself “The sun will never set on my enterprise!  Just like they said about the British Empire!”

Kirkland had missed the actual sunset that night, but then again, it was easy to miss a sunset in London.  He went to sleep a confident, contented man.

Little did he know what was in store for him in the coming days.

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