Wolf by Jim Ringel
Genre: Literary Horror
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Publication: May 13th, 2014
Johnny Wolfe carries his dog Sindra in a vial that he keeps in his pocket. He carries her out of loyalty. He carries her out of guilt. He carries her because there are no more dogs in this world. And he carries her to connect to her feral nature, so that he might take her inside himself and feel her animal wildness.
Johnny’s life is in shambles. His sales career at Bulldog Enterprises is on the blink. On his way to work one day he comes across a colleague who is killed by a dog. But with dogs now extinct, how is this possible? Going through his colleague’s dead body, Johnny discovers the colleague is carrying a rather sizeable sales order. Figuring “he’s dead, I’m not”, Johnny decides to place the order as his own.
Except he can’t figure out what product the colleague is selling. As he gets closer to understanding the product, Johnny starts to realize it has more and more to do with why the dogs might be returning, and why they’re so angry.
Then he starts to wonder if maybe the dogs know more about him and Sindra, and if maybe they’re angry with him.
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Lana Jackson stepped toward them, and then one step to her right. She posed tall and lanky in a poised, proud, poignant manner. An experienced salesperson, she exuded the very embodiment of surety, still smiling as she stepped onto Welton’s small bit of floor space, pushing him aside so that he sat. Her coiffed pageboy struggled to keep itself frostily light, and her skin ran powdery smooth, except for the scar and some chin wrinkles she had developed over time. Her eyes were emerald green and accented with dark liner. Under one eye she had the faint trace of a liver spot, which gave Johnny something to focus on other than the scar down her chin.
She stared at them as she spoke.
"What can I really tell you that you don’t already know?" she asked. "I feel like there’s so much…talent in this room, so much." She spoke softly, and she applauded herself for mentioning it, or perhaps she was applauding them, it was difficult to know. Loud, slow palm-echoing hand claps that popped in the air.
Then she stopped, pausing for silence so that they would listen, and listen to her good. "We can learn from one another."
"Amen," Tony Roosevelt said, punching each syllable with sincerity and obedience.
"For my part," Jackson continued, "I will be introducing some sales tools, some procedures at Bulldog that I bring from Evergreen, my previous place of employment. These tools proved a boon to our success, to my success, in reaching sales goal, profitability goals, new business development goals–each and every month for the past thirty-seven months. Sometimes exceeding those goals as much as two to one." She pressed her lips into a smile again and nodded to the room, with her fingers in the air. "Yes," she repeated, "two to one," letting her fingers count it out, first the index finger, then the middle, both of them bobbing in unison as she spoke. "We can all exceed our sales goals two to one," she proclaimed. "Let’s make that our mission, shall we?"
There was a hush from the seats. She rolled her tongue along her bottom lip, tasting their silence.
"Amen," Roosevelt eventually rejoined.
"It’s a team effort," Jackson said. "Yes, teamwork. You don’t hear that much at sales meetings anymore, everyone cutting everyone else’s throat, but I’m here to tell you, it’s teamwork that makes a company succeed. Who can tell me the most important ingredient of a successful salesperson? Don’t be shy. Come on, tell me."
She paused for the answer. "Someone. Anyone." She paused a moment longer.
"Believing in yourself," Tony volunteered.
"Yourself?" she asked. "And to that I respond, are you at the center of the transaction? Or is it the client, and you’re just a facilitator for the client’s desires? We place far too much emphasis on ourselves in this profession we call sales. We need to stop that. This very instant, stop that."
About the Author:
Jim Ringel lives in Boulder. When not writing fiction, he can be found hiking, biking, and skiing in the Colorado mountains, or sitting still and meditating at home. He also does a lot of reading, and is a long-standing member of Denver’s Lighthouse Literary Workshop.
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