Short Story- Grip

A: Captain, you are Blanc’s boy aren’t you?

B: Admiral, sir!

Blanc salutes in shock.

A: How are you doing?

B: Very good sir.

A: And what would you be working on at the moment?

B: I’m handling the logistics for the transfer, it’s all going smoothly sir.

A: They have you pushing pencils? Surely you must have better things to do. Who put you on this assignment?

B: I’m not sure, we all handle these sort of things. I suppose we take turns, now that I think of it.

A: I will talk to whoever is in charge and have you put on something more fitting. It is a real waste of good talent.

The admiral never talked to anyone about it. It wasn’t that he never meant to, or that he forgot, it was just more of a singular, isolated statement.

B: [At first hesitating, surprised] You are too kind sir. I’m just doing my job.

A: Non sense, I have seen your dedication. Not like that Russian Colonel. I have to wonder how he has got as far as he is.

B: Do you mean he did not earn his promotions?

A: Come now, a lazy Russian, a colonel? You are smart enough to know something is wrong there. His attitude insults hard working Frenchmen like us.

Blanc is listening, contemplating what the Admiral is saying.

A. Oh well, what ever it is, we will never know. I would ask him myself but it is not my concern, unless there is reason to investigate.

The Admiral inhales, making that face as if concluding and preparing to leave.

A: Keep up your good work Captain.

The admiral turns and takes a step. He pauses just before Blanc responds.

B: Sir!… Thank you, sir!

Not having paid attention to what Blanc said, he considers and then puts his hand out. Blanc, lightly confused, looks down, and lowers his hand slowly from his forehead to take the Admiral’s strong grip. He tries to reciprocate the strength, but as he considers gripping tighter the handshake is over.

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