• Jeff South

Cincinnati Chili: Dizzy

“I’m not comfortable with this at all,” Grover admitted. “I didn’t sign up for this.”

“But, you did,” Dr. Marsh said as the HR representative exited the meeting. “The instant you breached the lab and stole the chili without any knowledge of its purpose, you signed up. The moment you consciously chose to pursue the Cincinnati Chili initiative, you signed up. Now that you are aware of something bigger than all of us, you’ve signed up.”

Grover stood up and the blood rushed out of his skull leaving him a bit dizzy. His chest tightened and his breath shortened. He longed to return to his little anonymous cube and his mundane cog-in-the-machine job.

“I got sent an email by mistake and became curious.” He paced back and forth and clutched his left arm. “I just wanted to know what the hell Cincinnati Chili was. I was never meant to know. I didn’t need to know. I wish I didn’t know. I can’t do this. I’m sorry.”

Grover stepped toward the door to leave, but was stopped by Dr. Marsh’s voice.

“Fair enough. You’re under no obligation.” She picked up the chrome-plated gun on the table and slid it into to her pocket. “But there’s something you should know before you walk out that door.”

Grover drew a deep breath before responding. “I’m afraid to ask what that might be.”

“You didn’t receive that email by mistake.”


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