Last story of the year. Wow can't believe 18 came and left. Well, the year is ending but more stories will come.
A young boy came out of the store and decided to head home the other way. He turned a corner and jumped over a small fence which encircled a park. As the boy walked on the pathway, he stopped and glazed at a man that was seated on the ground. His head hung down, and his hands were at his side. His clothing was torn and dirty. He had no shoes so the sole of his feet was black and part of them had dried blood. However, what interested the boy was not the homeless man but the figure that sat next to him. A strange cord was attached from his body to the homeless man. The person was solid black, and no details were visible. The boy became curious and walked up to them. The man did not move, but the figure next to him lifted its head and faced the boy. A smile was seen, and he was able to see teeth. A static sound came from it then when it closed its mouth the sound was gone. The boy looked at the man and lowered himself to see his face.
“What do you want?” The man asked without looking at the boy.
“I was wondering if you were dead.” He stared at the black figure. “Do you see that thing next to you?”
The man slowly moved his head to the sides then rested his head back down. “There’s no one there, just you and me.”
“Its right there. Maybe your eyes are no good.”
“My eyes are perfectly fine!” The man shouted, and the figure’s body vibrated which hummed. The vibration caused the boy to fall on his bottom, and he moved away from them. The man shook his head and shifted his hands to reach over something next to him. It was a needle, and the boy asked what he was doing.
“My daily life.”
“Why would you do that to yourself?”
The man tossed the needle and sighed. “Go away and leave me alone.”
The figure laughed, and the boy frowned at it. He grabbed a small rock and tossed it but went right through it and hit the tree. The figure chuckled and touched the man on the back, and it caused him to shout at the boy.
“That thing has control over you.”
“There’s no one here but you pest.” The man tried to get up and fell on his side and laid there. “Look at me, I was once a man of great wealth and fame.”
“What caused you to become like this?”
The man shifted his head, and his eyes stared at the boy. “Maybe if I tell you my story, then I will have someone who will remember me when I die.”
The boy sat in front of the man as he straightened himself. He took a deep breath and lifted his head to stared at the sky.
* * *
A young man sat on a sofa, and he held a black folder on his lap. His fingers gently tapped on it as his foot moved up and down. He coughed and looked at the clock in front of him. It was five minutes past eleven, and the young man looked at the woman who was working on her computer. Her fingers scurried on the keyboard as she stared at the screen. Just then a low ring was heard, and the woman stopped to answer it. She said a few words and looked at a clipboard in front of her.
“All right.” She hanged up and looked at the young man and smiled at him, then returned to her work.
A while later, someone came through the doorway. A well-dressed man entered the room and walked over to the young man.
“Ah, Mr. Bach. How are you doing today?”
“Very well, Mr. Louis.” the young man reached out and shook the man’s hand.
“Please call me, Mark.” The man guided Mr. Bach to the other room then closed the door. “Please have a seat. So, tell me what fun do you like to do?”
“Um…” Mr. Bach sat down. “What do you mean?”
“Well you know, do go out to bars or do things that your mother would not be proud of?” Mark laughed.
“Oh, huh, no I’m more of a person that spends his time at home or at work.”
“I see. Well, that’s good.” Mark sat down and pulled his chair closer to his desk. “You see, we are a type of organization that frowns an upon people who are too simple. We don’t want to be seen as untrusted. Many see us as a place of hope, and it took many years to reach it. My grandfather worked long and hard for it and be a shame to someone like yourself comes here and dismantles it all.”
“I understand, but I’m not like that. I know how it is to work at something and to have it taken away from you or that it fails after you have put some much work into it.”
Mark leaned on his chair and smiled. “Good. I would hate it that it all came down. Anyway, your resume shows me that you had worked with Life Corp. Why did you leave them?”
“Their practice was strange, and I saw some of their things that I did not agree with. But I stayed with them until I complete my work.”
“What type of practices did they do?”
Mr. Bach rubbed the back of his neck and cleared his throat. “Well, I signed a form and not at liberty to say.”
“So, you have loyalties, and I can respect that but do you still have that same loyalty with them now?”
“Of course not.” Mr. Bach shook his head. “When I left, that was it. I don’t like to carry baggage with me.”
“Okay,” Mark stood up and extended his hand. “Then welcome on board.”
“Thank you, sir.” He shook his hand. “I will prove myself to you.”
A few days later, Mr. Bach was in his office overlooking at a few statements. He examined each one of them and found something odd. He got up and walked over to another office and knocked on the doorframe.
“Hey, Frank. You have a minute?”
“What’s up?” Frank looked at him from his desk.
Mr. Bach walked over to him and handed the papers. “These statements are off, and I’ve been going over them a few times, but I keep getting the same number.”
“Maybe you are adding the wrong numbers or—” Frank made a puzzled face then looked at Mr. Bach. “Al, did you tell anyone else about this?’
“Just you, why?”
“You know what, how about I take over these statements, and you go do that other records. I have the other half here and would be easier for me to do it.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah,” Frank looked at the clock. “Hey, how about you take an early lunch. They are serving pasta today, and I hear it’s the best around town.”
“Well, I’m not really hungry.”
Frank stood from his seat and walked over to Al. “Listen, if you don’t go right now, you’re going to miss it. Trust me.”
“If you say so.”
Frank smiled at him and closed the door. Mr. Bach thought it was strange that Frank’s behavior changed that quickly. He wondered if there was something illegal going on. He walked and returned to his office and waiting. A few minutes later, Frank came out with a blue folder under his arm. Mr. Bach quickly went to Frank’s room and searched around for the papers but did not find them. So, he went after Frank and saw him speaking with Mark. He passed the folder to him, and he looked over at the statements.
Frank leaned and whispered something which Mr. Bach was not able to hear. Both men walked away as Mr. Bach followed them to another part of the office. They entered a room, and Mark told Frank to sit. Mr. Bach peeked through the keyhole and heard Mark speaking about something then Frank began to tremble, and he fell on his knees and begged not to be killed. Mr. Bach’s eyes widened and wondered what Mark was saying to threated Frank’s life.
“Listen, it is not me that you should beg but him.” Mark pointed to someone that was seated at the back of the room.
Mr. Bach tried to see who it was, but he was only able to view the back of the chair that was pushed back against the door. He looked around and went another room which had windows overlooking the conference room. Mr. Bach pressed himself against the wall and peeked around. Frank was by the person that sat at the far end of the room, and he had his hand on Frank’s head. He did a hand movement over Frank, and he began to thank the person, then Frank left. Mark looked at the person and asked what they should do with the statements.
“Let it be.” The person said in a hoarse voice. “It is only a few dollars and nothing more.”
“And what about the young man that found it?” Mark asked.
“Clarified to him that made a great discovery and give him an incentive.” The person spun around and was gone.
Mr. Bach quickly walked back to his office and found Frank crying in his. Mr. Bach knocked on the door, and Frank answered.
“Hold on.” Mr. Bach heard Frank’s feet shuffling as the door opened. “Oh Al, what’s up?”
“You okay?” Mr. Bach looked past Frank to see his room. “I heard crying.”
“Oh, I hit my foot hard.” He laughed. “So, did you go get the pasta?”
“Not yet, I wanted to do something before heading out.”
“Well, that good.” Frank walked out into the hallway. “How about I join you?”
Days went by, and Mr. Bach was listening to his secretary about his schedule. He looked out the window and spoke.
“Tyler, do you think there is someone higher than Mark?”
“What do you mean?” She said.
“About four weeks or so, I followed Frank and Mark to a conference room and saw that there was someone inside there that appeared out of nowhere. The only way in was by the door I was at.”
The woman placed down the tablet and looked out the doorway then faced him. “I should get back to working on those files for you.”
“Hey, Al, don’t look into it. Would hate to see you fall.”
Mr. Bach raised an eyebrow and wondered what she meant. During lunch, Frank came by and handed a blue folder to Mr. Bach.
“The records that Armand wanted you to do.” Frank smiled and walked over to the window. “You’re lucky to have this room. I’m amazed that Mark gave it to you.”
“How about yours?” Mr. Bach scanned the papers.
“Good and better then what I expected.” Frank looked out the doorway and saw Tyler on the phone. “So, have you asked her out?”
“You know Tyler. She’s good looking.”
Mr. Bach shook his head and lowered the paper on the desk. “Tell Armand that I will have it ready for him later today.”
“Sure, but you didn’t answer my question.”
“I have other things in my mind, and a relationship is not in the cards.”
“Well don’t wait too long. Otherwise, someone else will take her.”
Frank left and Mr. Bach tapped his finger on the desk then got up and went out. “Hey Tyler, I’m heading out do you need anything?”
“A soda, cherry.”
Mr. Bach walked to the elevator and pushed the button. As he stood waiting, someone came over to him. Mr. Bach moved his eyes to see who it was, but their face was blurred by the reflection. Something came over him, and he felt a bit ill. Mr. Bach closed his eyes and felt a hand on his shoulder. Fear came over him, and he wanted to run but stood frozen. He could sense the person breathing on his ear then a voiced spoke.
“If you want more be part of my world.”
Mr. Bach opened his eyes and stared at Mark who was smiling at him. “Al, where you heading off to?”
“Oh, to…” He turned around and saw no one. “To the cafeteria.”
“Well, that’s wonderful. I’m heading there as well.” Mark stepped to the side as Mr. Bach entered. Mark pressed the button and adjusted his tie. “Tell me, Al, what do you think of being brought in to the pack?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re a clever boy and have an open mind. As you know, one of the six is leaving soon, and I would like it if you be part of the six.”
“Well sir, that would be wonderful, but I just got this position and—”
“Al, let me tell you a secret.” Mark placed his arm around Mr. Bach shoulders. “We do a lot of work here to help others find their way and make sure that everything is set for them. Making a pact with him is important.”
Mark smirked and gripped Mr. Bach’s shoulder. “Say yes to join the six, and you will see.”
Mr. Bach slightly nodded his head as Mark grinned and padded him on the chest.
Several months had passed, and Mr. Bach was in his room. He had his head tilted back and moaned as someone knocked on the door. He quickly sat up and told them to enter, it was Mark with someone behind him. Mark walked over to him and bowed his head as the person walked in the room. The man was tall and well profound. His hair was slick back, and he wore a red suit with a white shirt underneath. His posture was commanding as he stood over the desk.
“Welcome to the six.”