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Giving It All Away: A Short Story

Terry has degrees in psychology and metaphysics. He utilizes his education to create writings that inspire, educate, and empower.


Tyler was awakened by a fowl stench in the air. He gasped in horror when he saw a river of black oil flowing through his bedroom. Tyler knew he had to get out of the house quickly. He desperately needed to get some fresh air. The toxic fumes were sucking the life out of him. When Tyler stepped onto his front porch, the fear in his stomach had tripled. The entire city was covered in oil. This can’t be, he pleaded! Tyler looked into the sky and saw an angry message inscribed in the clouds: “When is enough, enough?” Tyler knew the message was directed at him. “I know. I know. It’s my fault!” he cried out.

Tyler felt his body being shaken.

“Tyler, wake up!” a voice cried out. “You’re having another stupid dream.”

It took him a second to realize that it was his wife, Stella. Tyler knew it was time to tell her.

“Stella, I can’t do this anymore,” Tyler revealed. “It’s eating away at my soul.”

“I can’t believe you, Tyler!” his wife protested. “You want to have a conscience after twenty-five years? What’s wrong with you? How can you be that selfish?”

“My mind is made up. I will sell my shares of the company. I want out!”

“You do that, and I will divorce you. I’ll take everything, Tyler. You won’t have a nickel to your name after I get through with you.”

Clyde Stovak stared blankly at his living room floor. The excitement and passion that he was feeling a moment before had vanished. It was now replaced by anger and betrayal. In his hands, he held a letter from J.P. Sutters, the C.E.O. of J.P. Enterprises:

Dear Mr. Stovak,

Even though I originally agreed to donate two million dollars for your invention, I have decided to forgo that. My lawyers and investors have informed me that investing in you would not be a wise decision. They believe it will have a negative effect on the company’s profits. I’m sure you can understand my decision. I have to do what’s best for the company.

I want to wish you all the best in your endeavors.


J.P. Sutters

Clyde did understand. He understood perfectly. Profits were more important to these corporate gangsters than people and the health of this planet.

Sokol Reed was sickened by the image that he saw on his computer screen. It was a photograph of a river in which hundreds of dead fish were shown washed up on the shore. They were poisoned by the toxins that were dumped in it. How could people be that selfish and cruel? Sokol got on his knees and prayed:

Dear God, help us to be kind and loving to this planet. The Earth is a living being. Help us to wake up and see that we are all connected. If we harm this planet, we are harming ourselves and the life on it.

I envision humanity honoring and respecting this beautiful, precious planet. And so it is.

Gerald Jeffries was staring into the eyes of a mad woman. He didn’t know if he had the strength to tolerate a second more of this person’s ugly behavior. There was only so much abuse a person could take.

“Mr. Jeffries, you are a disgrace!” shouted Stella Goldberg. The veins in her neck where about to burst from anger. “I thought you were working for me! Twenty five billion is not enough! I want my husband’s entire fortune.” Stella slammed her fist on the glass table to show her seriousness, causing it to splinter down the middle.

Mr. Jeffries stood up and pointed at the enraged woman. “Mrs. Goldberg, that’s enough! I can’t believe how ridiculous you are! You are going to get half of your husband’s fortune. And this is not enough for you? People are literally dying of starvation. People are sleeping in the streets. But you have the audacity to think that twenty five billion is nothing. You make me sick!”

“How dare you talk to me in that manner!” screamed Mrs. Goldberg. “Consider your career over, Mr. Jeffries. You will never practice law again. And, after I am done with you, little man, the only job you will be qualified for is cleaning toilets!”

“Good! I’d rather clean toilets than deal with the likes of you! Goodbye, Mrs. Goldberg,” he said, waving at her.

“You think you’re clever, Mr. Jeffries. I’m not done with you. Mark my words.” Mrs. Goldberg slammed the door to show that revenge was on the forecast. Mr. Jeffries didn’t care. He was tired of working for the Rich and Selfish. He was tired of being a sell-out. It was time to make a change.

Tyler was cleaning out his office when he spotted an envelope that had fallen between the wall and cabinet. He fetched a pen from his shirt pocket and scooted the envelope forward. Tyler blew off the dust, then proceeded to read the enclosed letter:

Dear Mr. Goldberg,

My name is Clyde Stovak. I am an inventor/humanitarian living in Deerfield, Colorado. For the past decade, I have been working on a zero emissions automobile that runs on water. I feel it’s time to say goodbye to the dinosaur cars that have polluted our world for too long. I have also developed an invention that can clean our poisoned waters. However, as you can probably imagine, both of these inventions require a significant amount of money to get off the ground, but I believe they’re worth every cent. I feel our time is running out.

I hope you can find it in your heart to support my work. I believe we are here on this planet to help the earth and each other. Please see the attached business card and contact me if you have any questions.


Clyde Stovak

Tyler looked at the beach in horror. All around him were dead fish. They were completely covered in black oil. He felt the tears fall down his face. Was he too late?

“There is nothing you can do, old man,” called out a voice from behind him. “You can’t stop us!”

Tyler turned around and saw a group of men standing in the distance, wearing black pin striped business suits like old time gangsters from the 1930s. Their arms were crossed. Their eyes were filled anger and hatred. Tyler could tell by their serious demeanor that they meant business. They weren’t stopping by for a friendly chat or a Sunday picnic. Then, the angry bunch decided to walk toward Tyler, making violent gestures with their hands. Tyler shouted for them to go away.

“Tyler, it’s okay,” said a reassuring voice. “You’re just having a bad dream.”

Tyler opened his eyes and felt relieved to see his friend who was sitting to the left of him.

Tyler rubbed his eyes. “Clyde, even though I know the establishment hates our guts and will do anything in their power to try and stop us, we will do whatever takes to do our work.”

Clyde patted Tyler’s hand. “We will, my friend. We will.”

Taking a seat at his kitchen table, Sokol decided to read the morning newspaper. As he unfolded the paper, his eyes read the headline printed in large bold letters:

Eccentric Billionaire and Crackpot Inventor Head to South America to Clean So-Called Polluted Waters. Who Do They Think They Are?

Sokol shook his head after reading the ridiculous article. It was nothing more than a smear campaign by the establishment to discredit the two humanitarians. The article portrayed them to be deranged environmentalists that were desperate for fame and fortune. It also claimed that Clyde’s new zero emissions car that ran on water was nothing more than a scam, and that the dying fish and polluted waters around the globe were nothing but a hoax. Then, the article concluded by saying that Tyler and Clyde should be locked up for pretending to care about the planet. How do these jokesters sleep at night? What happened to real journalism?

Out of appreciation and respect, Sokol bowed to the two brave souls that he imagined to be standing in front of him. He knew in his heart that it was no easy task to stand up to the establishment. However, what was the alternative? There wasn’t any, unless you enjoyed being led off a precipice.


© 2021 Terry Fatland

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