Partnership (for Creative Writing competition November 2011)

“Embezzlement, Max?” I heard, and my interest, having wandered, was immediately refocused. “A financial fraud accusation is very serious,” said John, speaking in his measured way. By now I had all my attention on Max. What was all this about?

“I don’t use the term lightly,” I heard my husband say, “and it pains me as Andrew is my oldest friend.”  I glanced at Andrew, who looked so shocked and uncomfortable. “But the figures just don’t stand up,” said Max. “There is a very big anomaly. And I’m surprised,” he said turning to Jackson, the accountant, “that you hadn’t identified a problem yourself, Ian.”

“I’m sure it’s a mistake,” Andrew said, looking around the room. He wouldn’t look at me. He wouldn’t now,in public. Then turning to Max he said, “You know me, Max, I’d never put the partnership in danger. This can all be sorted out with another look at the figures, I’m sure.”

“Just what I arranged,” said Max, “I have hired an independent firm of auditors. In fact they are looking at the books as we speak.”  There was uproar at this. How could he go behind everyone’s back and arrange an independent enquiry? When I looked around the room Andrew and Ian were silent. Ian’s face was like a storm cloud. Continue reading “Partnership (for Creative Writing competition November 2011)”