Person Of The Year

Grant Chandler, editor, publisher, and owner of Vision Magazine had a decision to make. It was near time for the magazine to name it’s Person of the Year. Names were submitted to him by his staff and it was up to him to make the final choice. His staff always narrowed it to five candidates.

Something always troubled him about the selection; history would eventually reveal them as scoundrels and undeserving. He contemplated not naming one, but his magazines revenue always rose during the person of the year issue.

It was afternoon, just after lunch. He had to make known his decision by the end of the day in order for the issue to hit the newsstands on time. Normally he’d spend some time at the gym.

Horton Wilcox stopped him in the hallway. “Grant, have you made a decision yet?”

“Not really,” Grant said. “I’m really no closer to making one.”

Horton smiled. “You’re losing your edge, my friend. There was a time you’d have the decision before candidates were even submitted.”

“Maybe I’m gaining more insight,” Grant said. “I can see the day that this burden will be passed on to someone else.”

“If it’s all the same to you,” Horton said. “I’d sure like you to take a long look at my choice.”

“I did,” Grant said. “And that’s what troubles me. I have no idea why he was chosen by you.”

Horton stood in a state of disbelief.

Before he could conjure a relevant thought Grant said, “We’ll talk later.” And Grant walked away.

Grant left the office and walked. He walked for twenty blocks and there was still no decision. “City Park,” he mumbled. That is where he went as a boy to think when things troubled him. He walked along the familiar brick sidewalk that wound through the trees, the ball diamonds, basketball courts, and playground.

It was strange he thought, the park used to be such a happy and vibrant place, now it was empty, almost spooky.

As he approached the shelter house where he planned to sit on bench and make his decision four young men in hooded sweaters surrounded him.

“What do you want?” Grant said.

“We just want to have some fun.”

They shoved Grant.

“You got a lot of money on you?”

Grant reached for his billfold and held out $200.

They grabbed the money and shoved him again.

“You got a watch?”

Grant breathed deep and fearful.

They shoved him again.

“Look at that ring, I bet it’s expensive.”

Another shove.

Thwack! A nearly horrifying sound. Grant jerked. At first he thought it might have been something done to him; the pain that’s not felt for awhile.

“What was it?” Grant thought.

(Continued tomorrow.)

 

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