The Bottom Line – Mondays Finish the Story

Photo by: Barbara W. Beacham

The Bottom Line

“Where did they go?” said Ensign Miller.

Captain Cooper and the rest of the landing party approached the empty colony buildings in space suits. “We’re here to find out, Ensign,” said Cooper.

“Good Oxygen/Nitrogen balance and no hostile bacteria,” said Lieutenant Zellwegger. “Terraforming worked well. We could safely breath the planet’s atmosphere.”

“But the colonists still disappeared,” said Miller.

“It’s a bloody tragedy,” said Cooper.

“I’ll say,” said Goldfarb. InterWorld Inc, the company that funded the colony, sent along an accountant. “Reparations to the families will cost a LOT of money. It’ll severely affect The Bottom Line.”

Cooper turned away to hide his expression from Goldfarb.

They entered the colony buildings made from reddish, native stone when Goldfarb unexpectedly removed his helmet.

“Goldfarb! What are you thinking?”

Goldfarb spoke as though to a child. “I heard Zellwegger say the air is breathable. Do you know how much it costs to ship mere oxygen 267 Light Years? If I’m not consuming that expensive oxygen, I’m improving The Bottom Line.”

Minutes later, a two-foot long caterpillar waddled up to Goldfarb. It peered through huge, expressive eyes between mounds of soft fur. It had the cutest little mouth from which it said, “Ma? Ma?”

Without a thought Goldfarb picked it up and cradled it. It’s little legs waved happily. Goldfarb began to coo.

“Captain,” said Zellwegger, consulting her scanner. “I’m registering a massive increase in pheromones.”

“Goldfarb! Put it down!”

“No! It’s mine. It needs my protection. Don’t you precious?”

“Ma? Ma?”

Cooper decided to ignore it. The creature appeared harmless. They split up and investigated the buildings. Soon, they heard an abbreviated shriek.

Miller found him first. “Captain,” he called. “You know that little cute mouth on the caterpillar? Well, It gets bigger.”

Cooper arrived seconds later. “How big?”

Miller leaned back into the bloody room. “Oh, big enough to bite off a human head.”

“Well Miller. I think you’ve discovered what happened to the colonists.”

“What about Goldfarb, sir?”

“What about him?”

“Well, he’s rather…dead, you know.”

Cooper scowled. “Miller, do you know how expensive ship’s food is? Goldfarb won’t be consuming any of it on the way back to Earth.” He smirked. “Goldfarb will be happiest knowing we’ve improved The Bottom Line.”

Written for Mondays Finish the Story. Hey Barb, I guess this will be my allocated “long story” for the month. I hope you enjoyed. Folks should look here to see what stories other folks wrote for this week’s prompts:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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25 Responses to The Bottom Line – Mondays Finish the Story

  1. This is a really funny story, but sadly, “the bottom line,” effects everything in this world. Great story Eric and it really makes you think! That cute little caterpillar wasn’t so cute after all. LOL! Loved the story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I completely agree. “The bottom line” is something that irks me to no end. It’s something that eliminates the humanity from companies that provide goods and services. Because of obsession with the “bottom line” companies can become as much danger as benefit to their customers.

      I did take a light-hearted view of this with the death of “only one” accountant. I’m glad you got the message while still enjoying the humor. I think we need to laugh at the challenges of humanity or be forced to cry all the time. I’m glad you enjoyed this, and thanks so very much! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • The company I worked with was, for the most part, wonderful to work for until they started selling stocks with the big guns. In fact, Bill Gates bought part of the company once it went onto the Stock Market. After that it just got crappy to work for because all they cared about was the “bottom line.” Everything in the grocery stores are “bottom line profit.” I hate it. Pure greed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • EagleAye says:

        Yep. I’m a big believer in a free market economy. An ardent believer in fact, but a free market needs controls to insure the populace is safe from the ravages of profit-seeking. There needs to be a balance between the two. As is stands, too much favors the corporations, IMHO.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. afairymind says:

    I agree entirely with your response to PJ – the obsession of companies with their bottom lines and profit margins is probably behind so many ills in the world. Great story. I wouldn’t have minded seeing a few more accountant’s heads bitten off!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      It’s true. They do that too much and they cause more problems than they’re willing to admit to. Somehow, a better sense of human compassion needs to enter into corporate culture.

      I wouldn’t have minded losing a few more heartless accountants too. But as the saying goes “All things in moderation.” It’s best to take pleasure in the little things. 😉 Thanks so much! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. joetwo says:

    It is always the cute ones that are the most dangerous. Good story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oliana says:

    wow!! what a story…scary and a strong message as well. What an imagination..I like that caterpillar personna!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. List of X says:

    Well, the downside is that there will have to be reparations to Goldfarb’s family, which will hurt The Bottom Line…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. babso2you says:

    These days everything seems to be about the bottom line! Good one Eric! Thanks for sticking with me and this challenge. I appreciate it! Be well my friend… ^..^

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Indira says:

    How you weave messages with fun stories is remarkable. All this for the bottom line. Horrifying. Enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. MythRider says:

    Once again the bottom line wins out. Too bad for the captain.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lyn says:

    LOL great job Eric – as always. I bet if you checked his DNA, you’d find the accountant is related in someway to the accountant in the original Jurassic Park. It gives a whole new meaning to the term, “blood sucking accountant.” Only this time the blood sucking was on the other foot — or should that be feet when you’re talking about a caterpillar?

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I think he is related. Hmm. Accountant died in Jurassic Park too didn’t he? Perhaps being a blood-sucking accountant should come with hazard pay? And yeah, it ought to be “feet.” 😉 Thanks so much, Lyn!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I found this very funny Eric. Thank you for another laugh. I thought you cheated with the word count, but I can see you wrote a long story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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