Illustration by Idiots’Books
It took IT three days to get Sammy his computer back. His secretary managed as best as she could, but he wasn’t able to do much without it.
When he got it back at last, he eagerly downloaded his backlog of mail. It beggared the imagination. Even after auto-filtering it, there were hundreds of new messages, things he had to pay real attention to. When he was dealing with this stuff in little spurts every few minutes all day long, it didn’t seem like much, but it sure piled up.
He enlisted his secretary to help him with sorting and responding. After an hour she forwarded one back to him with a bold red flag.
It was from Freddy. He got an instant headache, the feeling halfway between a migraine and the feeling after you bang your head against the corner of a table.
> Sammy, I’m disappointed in you. I thought we were friends. Why do I have to learn about your bizarre plan to buy out Gibbons and Banks from strangers. I do hope you’ll give me a comment on the story?
He’d left the financials with Guignol, who had been discreetly showing them around to the rest of the executive committee in closed door, off-site meetings. One of them must have blabbed, though—or maybe it was a leak at Lester’s end.
He tasted his lunch and bile as his stomach twisted. It wasn’t fair. He had a real chance of making this happen—and it would be a source of genuine good for all concerned.
He got halfway through calling Guignol’s number, then put the phone down. He didn’t know who to call. He’d put himself in an unwinnable position. As he contemplated the article that Freddy would probably write, he realized that he would almost certainly lose his job over this, too. Maybe end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit. Man, that seemed to be his natural state at Disney. Maybe he was in the wrong job.
He groaned and thumped himself on the forehead. All he wanted to do was have good ideas and make them happen.
Basically, he wanted to be Lester.
Then he knew who he had to call.
“We’re back to that, huh? That’s probably not a good sign.”
“Sammy, you sound like you’re about to pop a testicle. Spit it out.”
“Do you think I could get a job with Lester?”
“You’re not joking, are you?”
“Freddy found out about the buyout offer.”
“So I’m gonna be in search of employment. All I ever wanted to do was come up with cool ideas and execute them—”
“Shush now. Freddy found out about this, huh? Not surprising. He’s got a knack for it. It’s just about his only virtue.”
“However, it’s also his greatest failing. I’ve given this a lot of thought, since my last run in with Rat-Toothed Freddy.”
“You call him that to his face?”
“Not yet. But I look forward to it. Tell you what, give me an hour to talk to some people here, and I’ll get back to you.”
An hour? “An hour?”
“He’ll keep you squirming for at least that long. He loves to make people squirm. It’s good journalism—shakes loose some new developments.”
“Have you got a choice?”
“An hour, then.”
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As part of the ongoing project of crafting Tor.com’s electronic edition of Makers, the author would like for readers to chime in with their favorite booksellers and stories about them in the comments sections for each piece of Makers, for consideration as a possible addition to a future edition of the novel.