Solomon snorted and scowled when he saw the quality of the product in his latest delivery. This garbage was no better than the common trash that could be bought in some slum; it looked worse than the fake stuff Solomon might find in a filthy alley downtown.
He hesitated before slowly touching some to his tongue to give it a test, then he and gagged and spit it out. Vile. He could easily tell where it had been stepped on with some cheap filler. Solomon grimaced, and then guzzled some water to flush the disgusting taste out of his mouth.
This was unacceptable.
His suppliers were getting lazy and complacent. It was bad enough that the delivery had come late, with Solomon pacing the floor until it had finally arrived, his supplier slinking in with a mumble of half-hearted apologies and then scurrying away as soon as the delivery was made. But to leave this wretched garbage was simply too much. Solomon had a reputation to consider; he couldn't be associated with this level of product -- he'd never be able to show his face in public.
Solomon shook his head. He was going to have to refresh his suppliers' memories about the pecking order in this operation. Get their attention. Help them refocus their efforts to be more in line with Solomon's expectations.
He normally preferred to keep things dispassionate and businesslike, but Solomon was more than willing to respond when pushed. If forced into it, he'd happily take action. Since it was obvious that his suppliers weren't giving him the respect he deserved, Solomon would simply have to steal it from them. He'd apply a little muscle. Maybe his suppliers needed to have a few things broke. That might help bring a little clarity to their skewed way of thinking.
It was unfortunate, but entirely deserved.
Solomon would take care of the matter personally, and immediately. There was nothing to be gained by waiting; he needed to act while the offense was still fresh. Leave no doubt that he was completely dissatisfied with this...garbage.
He put in a call to his suppliers to request that they come see him, simply to discuss a few things. It took several calls to reach them, much longer than Solomon wanted. That only added to his anger and frustration.
Yet Solomon refused to give up and continued to make the calls. Eventually, after an intolerable delay, he made contact and delivered his message, then waited for the suppliers to come. Although only one of the partners came, Solomon was pleased when he saw it was the tall man. This made it easier. Solomon would be less restrained with this one; more willing to use force to get his message across.
* * *
"Ouch! Holy crap!!"
Jim jerked his hand back with a shake, and then covered the deep scratches on it with his other hand.
Rachel responded, calling out from the living room. "What's the matter?"
"This damn cat just scratched the hell out of me! He really dug in his claws."
Jim heard Rachel approaching through the kitchen. "Did you scare him while he was eating?" she called.
"No, not at all. He was just pacing around his bowl and meowing like mad. When I reached down, he freakin' attacked me."
"Have you even fed him? Is his bowl empty?"
"He's got a full bowl of food sitting right next to him."
Rachel came in to the laundry room and looked down at the cat and the bowl. Then she raised her eyes to focus on Jim. He could see a smirk, but her words were soft. "Jim, honey, Solomon's just upset. You know he doesn't like dry food. Why don't you open a can of wet food for him?"
Jim rubbed his scratched hand and opened his mouth to protest, but stopped himself. He looked down at the cat curling itself through Rachel's legs, then turned into the kitchen to get a can, grumbling as he went.
"Damn cat runs the place..."
* * *
(c) Copyright 2011, Christopher J. Fries.