Whatever your boss has on offer, you can’t risk missing out on it just to relieve yourself from this mounting, horrific internal torture. You’ve become extremely adept at ignoring your body’s signals. You just have to do that again now.

“Perfect. I’m sure you’re, uh-uh-uh, aware, our contract with our Icelandic partners is up for review in the next few months.”

You have Icelandic partners?

Your guts bubble. You squeeze extra hard, but you can feel something leak out. Jesus.

But…it’s not wet. It was just a little gas. And now that it’s worked its way out, you feel immensely better. Like you turned your shit clock back a good five minutes. You nod confidently. Of course you know about the Iceland situation!

“We need someone on the ground there to, uh-uh-uh, hammer out the fine print. Usually I’d go but–”

Your boss stops. He frowns.

“–but I’m supposed to be on a panel at this week’s ‘Stay the Course Conference, and–”

He swallows so hard you can see his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down over his collar. He’s squinting. Wincing even.


He gags audibly.

Then the smell hits you.

Oh god. It’s like the carcass of a rodent, some sort of sweet rot, and curdled milk had an orgy.

“Please, ex-GAAAAHH.” He makes a strangled noise. “Excuse me.”

He runs away, hand over his face.


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