Toby sat at his desk. It felt like the walls were falling in on him. The air being sucked out of the room.
He just sat there. His colleagues were all working. No one felt like he did. No one could see the panic and fear in his face. The beads of sweat on his forehead. The way his eyes darted from the bright screen in front of him to the others in the office and back to the screen.
He reached for a tissue. But the box was empty. He wiped the sweat from his brow with his shirt, all pretence that everything was OK dropping.
But the email still said the same thing. The same results. The FSA tests had come back. He was screwed. He chose the supplier. He knew they were cheaper than everyone else and he knew exactly why they were cheaper.
But. He was OK. For now. The email was from a mate. A mole. No one else had the early results. He still had time to get out. The hell out. No one else would see this for a few hours. He could be out the building, emptied his bank account of the kick backs from the abattoir and be half way to France by the time the director saw that his beef pies were100% Shergar.
Shutting down the computer he checked his reflection in the now dead screen. He looked like shite. Which was handy considering it was time for a sickie.
Getting up he wobbled over to his colleague and usual partner in crime. But not this time. Andy knew nothing. And hopefully wouldnt for a few more hours.
'Andy, I need you to cover for me for the rest of the day. I feel like shite. I need to go'
'Christ you look like death mate' Andys concern genuine as he saw his friend struggling to stand unaided. 'come on, walking you to the car'
'OK.' Toby couldnt argue. Didnt want to draw any attention to himself. So they walked. Out the office into the noisy factory, raised up on walkways so they could survey the production line.
'Worried about you mate' said Andy draping an arm over his shoulder.
'I'll live, I just need to get home for today' Toby lied. Dear god just let me get the fuck out of here.
Andy stopped, Fuck thought Toby, the noise from the machines below deafening.
'look seriously mate. Whats wrong. I know somethings up' Toby had no choice but to stop. He turned to face his mate. His face a picture of complete panic.
What the fuck should he say? There was nothing to say.
'Its OK' Said Andy. 'I know'
Tobys face dropped. Just as Andy pulled him to the rail and pushed. Over the rail. Down to the mincer.
No one could hear the screams. The noise from the production line too great.
'Shame Toby. They test for horse but not for cunt...'