Character Elimination

“Top Quality!” was the first email in Rajiv’s work inbox that morning. It was from one of his most elite clients Jagdish Kakkar from RHJ Global complimenting Rajiv and his team on their proposal. His small brown eyes gleamed as he adjusted his spectacles up his sharp nose.

Rajiv pressed ‘Forward’ with one click of the mouse. As he started to type ‘Raghu’, the email client auto-completed it to ‘Raghu Jairam (Senior Vice President)’. His heart filled with pride and blood gushed through his veins, as he clicked ‘Send’.


Rajiv straightened his silk tie and held his chin up. He clasped his hands and held them behind his head pressing through the volume of his dark, thick gelled hair and leaned back.  The folded sleeves of his sharp non-iron shirt revealed a gold plated chronograph on his left wrist and a brass trimmed silver bracelet on right.


Rajiv’s phone buzzed to remind him of his break. As his tall, toned frame rose to pick the jacket of his sharp suit, his thought on the choice of coffee was interrupted by a croaky voice.


“Rajiv Khanna? Hi, this is Akshay.”


Akshay Tripathi was the new IT administrator. Dressed in blue jeans and a white t-shirt, he was a muscular twenty-something with a V-shaped chiseled body. His short stubble, unkempt hair, and disheveled appearance made it look like work had been keeping him up late. His sports watch beeped 8 am for his task for auditing hardware at Rajiv’s desk for which he had arrived.


Rajiv turned and looked at Akshay; there was a twinkle in his eye. A small frown showed up on Akshay’s forehead as he tilted his head slightly to scrutinize Rajiv.  


Rajiv pressed a button on his phone freezing everyone else in the office to hold their position. His pupils turned white emitting brightness. With a sly smile, he clasped Akshay’s neck with brute force.


Akshay gasped for breath, but he managed to lash out his pipe-thick tongue at breakneck speed and twirl it around Rajiv’s neck. Akshay turned green as he tightened his grip on at Rajiv’s neck.


“Why are you on this planet? Why?”, Rajiv asked. Words were barely coming out of his mouth.


The strangulation broke Rajiv’s windpipe, but he managed to press his hand to Akshay’s heart. Rajiv’s white eyes flashed through Akshay’s.


Akshay bent on his knees tired and gasped for breath. As he pressed the crown on his watch., Rajiv’s body evaporated.


Akshay went back to the desk. Pressed a button on the phone again to get everyone back in action.


A reply from Raghu Jairam popped up in the email.


“Great Job.”


“Should be a good data point for my promotion,” Akshay thought with a profound sense of accomplishment.

“Time for a coffee break!”