Mystery and Crime Fiction posted February 28, 2021

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The biggest deal of his life.

Machines of Bentley

by Lance S. Loria


It was an unusual arrangement. Chambers Associates guaranteed $50 million of bond sales in five days. If successful, the firm would earn a $2.5 million commission. However, if unsuccessful, the firm was at risk for a daily penalty of $250,000 until the sales were achieved. This seemed risky to Dan, but he wasn't the boss.


Mr. Bill Chambers called an Executive meeting. "Last night, I signed an agreement with Machines of Bentley. Chambers Associates committed to an aggressive sales goal over five days beginning Monday. Reaching the goal will yield substantial bonuses."

"I'm seeking five Executives for a full-time commitment including overtime beginning immediately. The bonus potential exceeds your annual salary for this one-week project."

Amy Rodgers asked, "What about our existing clients next week?"

"Good question," replied Bill. "All client calls will be screened. There will be no referrals to other teams. Client service shall be transparent provided by my team, and you'll continue to accrue sales commissions for the week."

Wow, the boss thought of everything. By eliminating concerns over poaching clients and lost sales commissions, sales executives could dedicate one hundred percent of energy to Machines of Bentley to reach the sales target, thought Daniel.

Tom Harding, a senior sales executive was the first to volunteer, "Where do I sign up?"

"You just did, Tom," Replied Mr. Chambers.

"My team and I are ready," called Amy Rodgers.

"I'm in," said Daniel.

"Me too," chimed in Barry Miller.

"Sounds too exciting to miss," said Charlie Diggers.

"Ok that's five," said Mr. Chambers.

"Meeting adjourned, except for the volunteer team leaders. The rest of you, thanks for your attention. You five grab coffee or water and pull in close for a quick discussion of project methodology."

Dan was impressed with how efficiently the boss kicked off the project and organized the teams. The boss designed a template for sales, proposals and leads tracking. Workplans were discussed and the meeting was concluded.

Monday 7:45 am

"Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I've reviewed your work-plans. They look good. Any questions? None? Good luck!"

The teams dispersed, emptying the conference room. Project kick-off was ahead of schedule.

Tuesday 8 am

Bill Chambers was an expert salesman. He understood the sales process. Contacts became leads. Leads developed into proposals. Proposals closed into sales. He wasn't concerned first day sales were only $500,000. He liked what he saw in proposals.

Thursday 7 pm

After 4 days, sales were $48.5 million plus $12 million proposals. Bill Chambers tasted success. He arranged a champagne celebration. Anthony Marko, CEO of Machines of Bentley was invited along with his executives.

Friday 7:15 pm

Champagne glasses were filled and the Chambers Associates employees were gathered. Anthony Marko entered the conference room followed by his two brothers, who were COO and CFO, plus ten employees. Only Anthony and his brothers held champagne glasses, while the others watched.

"I'm pleased to present this $62.5 million cashier's check to Machines of Bentley. We performed extraordinarily but succeeded due to their reputation in the marketplace. I toast our organizations."

Anthony nodded. His ten men drew machine pistols and sprayed the room killing Bill Chambers and his employees.

Anthony and his brothers toasted and threw down their glasses.

Machines of Bentley, a/k/a M.O.B., departed with the cashier's check, without paying any commission or any intention of fulfilling service obligations promised by the now defunct Chambers Associates.

Surprise Me writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
This is a flash fiction contest. Write a story that has a surprise ending. Since it is flash, the word count must be between 200 and 600 words. The ending can be funny, sad, shocking, etc. But the reader has to be surprised.

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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