Death in HR – Conclusion

Brother Huang stood up. “I think Chi Li has had enough for right now. She will go back to meditation. Mr. Sam, if I could speak to you further at my office.” Huang turned away and walked with the girl back into the meditation building.

Sam walked back to the brother’s office and saw the young man again inside.

“He wants me to wait.” The young man nodded and went back to work.

In a few minutes, Brother Huang returned to his office. He sighed and poured himself another cup of tea. He waved the tea pot at Sam who declined.

Huang plopped himself down on his chair.

“Ah, as you can see, Mr. Sam, Chi Li has been very traumatized. It is going to take some time. She will need medical help.”

“Yes, but you have done so much for her here.”

The old man nodded. “Yes, we have, we have. But. . . there is more.” He touched a finger lightly to his forehead. “You understand, that we cannot quite touch.”

Sam nodded.

“You will have the mother contact us, yes? And we will talk.” He handed Sam a business card of his own. Then, reached behind him and pulled out a couple of brochures. “And should you, Mr. Sam, wish to come and study meditation with us some time, you would be welcome.”

“I would be honored, Brother Huang.”

They both got up and bowed to one another. Sam stuck the card and brochures in his satchel and let himself out.


Brother Huang watched as the big American left, his arms akimbo on his hips. He sighed and turned back to his office.

“Did you tell the American about the fox?” his younger co-worker asked him. “How she came here as an injured fox and then turned back into a woman?” His thin eyebrows were up.

Huang sighed again and shook his head. “No, he would never believe me.  Never.”


Back home in Tranquility, California, Sam was in Kristie’s kitchen pouring himself a cup of coffee.

“The whole thing is fantastic, Sam. Unbelievable!”

He nodded to her and sipped from his cup.

“How did you know? How did you ever know to look for her there, in all of the out of way places?”

“It started with the grandmother really and the little Buddha shrine in the apartment. The grandmother told me the whole family was Buddhist and practicing Buddhist, not just lip service. Vivian, or Vi, had completely turned her back on the whole thing. Rejected it completely.”

Kristie sat at the kitchen table and listened, transfixed.

“But then when I went to her apartment, I found the same little shrine, just stuck in a dusty corner. That’s when a little idea came to me.”

“But to walk there, on foot. And, how did she know where to go? She had never even been to the place.”

“Ah, that’s where you’re wrong. She had been there before. When she was a kid and her father was still alive. She used to go with them and the grandmother too. They would go for weekend retreats to do meditation. But, then the father died, the mother didn’t drive much, the grandmother not at all and they forgot about the place.”

“But she didn’t and after all those years. Amazing.”

Sam nodded his head and tamped his mustache down a bit.

“So now what?”

 “Well, the mother is at Green Veil, going to spend a little time getting reacquainted, kind of thing. Then, she will encourage Vi to give up the fancy apartment and get some therapy.”

“Ah, the job at Hi-Tech?”

“Ah, yes. Hi-Tech. Quite a place that. Don’t think Vi will be going back to Hi-Tech.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Let’s say a little fox whispered in my ear.”

“Oh, Sam. I never know when to take you seriously or not.”

He grinned at her.

“Hey, dinner’s on me. I got paid.”

“I’m in. Our favorite place?”

“Our favorite place – steaks, baked potatoes and with any luck, apple pie.”

“Sam, you’re a pig.”



That night a big, harvest moon hung in the sky. Moonlight twinkled on the leaves of the plantings around The Green Veil Monastery.

Quietly, a window opened, and a lone figure crawled out and then crouched on the wet grass. The figure, tall but very thin, moved into some bushes and there was a faint rustling sound. Another figure came out of the bushes, but this time it wasn’t human. It was a red fox with a thick, bushy tail. The fox sniffed the air a minute. Then, looking around, almost with stealth, the fox scampered across the grass and ran into some green undergrowth.

The bright moonlight continued to fall on the silent, green landscape.


Some months later:

In downtown San Francisco the lights shone brightly in the big hotel and loud music could be heard out to the sidewalk. Inside, multi-colored balloons danced at the ceiling and a huge Hi-Tech, Corporation sign hung in silver letters on one wall. Happy Holiday Event! was proudly displayed on the sandwich sign at the front door. The maitre’d checked off names from a guest list. A large crowd, dressed in their finest, were milling about, eating canapes and sipping drinks from an open-bar.

CEO, Dan Cole and Jeremy Bright, Head of HR, stood together at the side of the festivities. They both looked dapper in black tux’s and matching bow ties. Jeremy held a crystal champagne flute and Dan, a cut-glass tumbler of scotch.

“Good turn out,” commented Dan.

“Yep,” replied Jeremy, “good year.”

They both sipped their respective drinks.

“People seem to be having a good time,” Jeremy opined.

“They should, for all the damn money this thing cost,” Dan said grudgingly.

“Too bad Vi couldn’t make it back for the party,” Jeremy looked at Dan. “I hear she has really changed. Gone all Buddhist or some such thing.”

“Pah,” Dan grunted. “Yeah, too bad.” He turned and smiled at Jeremy.

They clinked glasses together.

“Don’t I just know it, don’t I just know,” Jeremy smiled back. They both laughed and turned back to the party.

                                                           The End

Read more of Courtney’s writing in: