Writing Prompt: He sensed weakness.

Good morning. This Tuesday has dawned just as bright as Monday, but as I am less exhausted upon waking I am less likely to grumble at the happily shining sun. I’ll clearly feel better about the sun once I get some coffee in me, but I did not wake up this morning feeling as though someone snatched several hours from me in the night. Which is a nice feeling. It makes coffee a nice morning treat and not a necessity for continued consciousness. Still the brain could use a little wake up call of it’s own. So let’s get started with the morning prompt. Is everyone ready? Fabulous, then let’s begin.

I think I veered away from the original sentence somewhat, but I’m okay with that. I am now wondering exactly what the family did that was so calamitous in the press. I suspect if I do go back with this storyline bit then I will end up jettisoning the first line when cleaning it up. which is fine. The sentence is just to get the brain moving. It isn’t a requirement to keep.

Tuesday, September 28th: He sensed weakness.

He sensed weakness.  For so long the answer had been the same.  This is the way we have always done things, this is the way we will always do things.  Recently, things started to come to light. Things that shook the old man’s confidence in the way the world worked. 

Tom felt somewhat badly about that.  If he could have let his grandfather believe that the world was as he believed it he would.  Still he had not been the one bringing things to light.  He had actually been out of town when the first of the details surfaced. 

He was only called in when Jimmy could no longer hold it together and legal action looked eminent.  Over all things seemed as they always had been.  His grandfather expected his father Big Jim to step into his shoes and then Jimmy as the eldest to follow along.  Mike actually stood between Tom and Jimmy in age and had been content to follow along in his older brother’s wake.  He took his place as a second in command and enjoyed the privileges and hefty salary that came along with it.

Tom went his own way long ago.  Now even though the same words were spoken, Jimmy following Big Jim following their grandfather, there was fear behind the words as though a crack now ran through the certainty.  It was a weakness in the very foundation.

Tom sat in his chair, his face a careful study in neutrality as both his father and brothers denied the allegations and trumpeted their disdain for the fact that their word and integrity were being questioned in the press.  Given the news articles Tom studied on the flight home, it was more than a questioning. He knew he wasn’t called in as a family member.  He knew he wasn’t even there as a shareholder in the family company.  Tom was there as the lawyer they hoped would get them out of this mess.

The problem was, there might not be a way to get them out of this mess.  It was a mess of their own creation.  Moreover, there was evidence.  After studying the details Tom thought there might be a way to extradite the company form the morass, but he wasn’t entirely certain his father or brothers could be saved.  In truth, having seen the evidence and read the details, he wasn’t entirely certain he wanted to.

Still he came, more for his grandfather than anyone else.  As Tom’s brothers and father yelled, their claims moving from logical to absurd, Tom noticed his grandfather said nothing.  He watched.  He watched his son and grandsons, saying nothing.  Tom was aware he was part of that study a well and when the old man’s eye fell upon him, he stared right back, waiting. 

He could see the cracks growing, the weakness expanding. 

Finally, all expletives appeared spent. His father and brothers deflated into chairs “Are you quite finished?” His grandfather asked.  His voice was the dangerous quiet.  It was a tone he used when he was trying desperately to hold on to his temper.  They all knew the tone and no one answered the clearly rhetorical question. 

We have asked Tom here to help the family out of this dilemma. To assist the company out of this chaos.  He was sent what information we had and I believe stopped by the appropriate offices before joining us here.”

Tom hasn’t told his grandfather he was stopping, but was unsurprised the old man knew.  He seemed to know everything.  It made his blindness where his son and grandsons were concerned look very deliberate.  But that was an old argument.  It was the argument they had when Tom left and now wasn’t the time to have it again.

“Perhaps you would like to tell us what you have learned.”

“May I ask a question first,” Tom began.  He addressed only his grandfather.  “Which are you more concerned about saving.  The company or the family?”

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