Corporate Man is called in to investigate reports of vile, unethical business practices at Great American Business Company. What he finds there just might destroy him (except we all know the ending to The Tragic Death of Corporate Man so it should be fairly obvious that it can't really destroy him, though it can come close).

Enslaved by the Bonus Whores is an all new Corporate Man Adventure Serial. Chapters will post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

After nearly a decade of imprisonment, Corporate Man returns to find the economy in ruins and his deadliest enemies in control of all but a fraction of society's wealth. He embarks upon a quest to set right the wrongs of the business world; a task that will ultimately destroy him.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chapter 51

The Greed was well hidden this time.  Mr. Jones had already confronted several likely host candidates but none of them seemed to house The Greed.  Where could he be?  From a few scattered memories, Mr. Jones recalled past encounters with this entity of avarice but this creature seemed much more advanced.  From what he’d seen so far, each new host seemed to be a platform for The Greed to illustrate just how extensive his influence was; how deeply embedded in the American people he’d become.
So who would it be?  Which person here was different from the previous hosts?
And finally, Mr. Jones knew.  There was a boy, maybe eight years old, with an armful of toys, filling his mother’s shopping cart.  He didn’t seem to care which toy, there were many duplicates in fact, just that he get as many as he could.
Mr. Jones looked around for Tanya and spotted her in the perfume section.  She reluctantly joined him when he motioned her over.
“He’s in the kid,” he said, and gestured toward the boy.
“What?  No, I don’t believe that.  Then he’d be in every kid in the world because they all want everything.”
“Maybe he is.  Look at our society.  Look at the rampant commercialism in kid’s entertainment.  We’re creating a populous engineered to act as hosts for The Greed.”
Tanya shook her head and said, “Uh uh.  That’s just sick and wrong.”
“I think I know a way to get him out of the boy,” said Mr. Jones.
“Yeah, I want no part of that.”
“Would you just trust me, I think I’ve done something like this before.  Back in the 80’s.  You have the bag?”
Tanya held up a box of zippered freezer bags.
“What is that?”
“Bags.  You said to get bags.”
“I meant big bags.  Extra durable garbage bags.  How are we going to–”
“They’re moving, Jonsey,” Tanya said, pointing to the boy and his mom.
Mr. Jones swore and then hurried along after them.  He grabbed the boy by the shoulder, and spun him around.
“I know you’re in there,” Mr. Jones said.
The boy smirked and when he spoke it sounded like gravel in yogurt and smelled like rotten fruit.  “Of course I’m in here.  I was trying to be obvious.  We can’t play this cat and mouse game forever, after all.”
Mr. Jones stepped back, a look of concern and puzzlement spread across his face.
“Yes,” The Greed said.  “Do you recall yet?  Our previous encounters?  Or are you still going on blind instinct and half remembered flashes?”
Mr. Jones clutched at his temple, rubbing his eye and the side of his forehead.  There was a sharp, panging throb beating through his brain.
“Go on.  Procede as you had planned.  Let’s play out parts and see how it turns out this time.”
Mr. Jones grunted and fought to clear his head.  “You… don’t have to be like this,” he said.
“Yes, yes.  And what comes next?”
“You… What…”
“I think you’re supposed to appeal to the boy’s sense of valor,” The Greed said.
And then it clicked.  Mr. Jones remembered.  The light went deep orange and the edges of everything glowed a whitish, violet neon as if lit by a black light. 
Halloween 1982.