• Jeff South

Cincinnati Chili: Husky

The next day after the unsuccessful interaction with Dr. Reggie Marsh, Grover stared at a collection of ingredients that he gathered from the cafeteria salad bar and assembled on his plate. Normally, he brought a lunch from home; a carefully crafted selection after a weekend of meal planning and prepping. Since the Cincinnati Chili email incident, he lost his routine. The obsession with finding out what it all meant consumed him.

“Don’t turn around.” A husky, throaty voice whispered behind him. “Just listen”

“Are you talking to me?” Grover asked. “Or, are you on a call?”

“I’m talking to you.” The voice sounded like someone working hard to disguise their voice, but it wasn’t working. “Stay away from Cincinnati Chili.”

Grover twisted in his booth seat and found the back of woman’s head that he recognized instantly.


“What?” the voice switched to its natural, feminine form. “I told you not to turn around.”


“A simple request. Goddamnit!” She stood and faced him. “Honestly, Grover. If you want to advance in this company at all, you’re going to have to get better at following basic directions.”

“Why should I stay away from it? Why tell me that? It’s something big, isn’t it?”

“The less you know the better.” Gwen turned and began to march away. Grover stood, tossed his pitiful salad he wasn’t going to eat anyway in the trash and followed after her.

“What do you know about it?” He touched her arm and she turned to him and spoke in that husky fake voice again.

“Leave. It. Alone.”

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