Friends With Shadows – Chapter 7

Writer’s Note: I hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Weekend! I’m back and ready to give you some new mental visualizations via scripted electronic wording. That may have been verbose. Anyway, enjoy the beginning of Chapter 7! If this is your lunch hour, enjoy your tuna sandwich (I’m having a ham sandwich, personally). Don’t forget to comment and share! Read on, my friends!

Chapter 7

Now, let’s start in a room where no fundamental laws of nature apply.

No gravity.

No friction.

No Laws of Thermodynamics.

Throw out the idea that no system can be one-hundred percent efficient.

What have you created? A world where size doesn’t matter. A place where the tiniest guy can take the biggest punch and nothing happens.

But, once you start introducing these laws of nature back into the room then things start to change. Reactions happen. And when you know what the reaction is going to be when a small guy takes a big punch then you can also start predicting human behavior. You see this when your friend complains about getting a seat belt ticket after you have told them numerous times to wear a restraint. The reactions to forces becomes like predicting the end to a movie or a book – you know the basic elements and all that changes are the words. Predictable.

Though, not always. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. People will often write off the scenarios that don’t go as predicted as erroneous solutions – to be discarded. Too soon are these misfit results overlooked; they are that undefinable human quality that cause revolutions and cause the statistics to not mean anything in the end.

The world we all live in, where, to maintain order in an otherwise chaotic existence, energy and effort, must be exerted to keep a peaceful existence – entropy. As long as we pour ourselves into our own life, only then can we meaningfully impact the lives of others and have the ability to do so, willingly. When other forces are exerted upon our own life, using brute force, then we resist the change.

So, what is it about these extraneous solutions in life that give us out humanity? Why do we fight them so much, and yet, they are what gives us our life, our soul, our perseverance?

We cannot discard these extraneous solutions, these people.

His words, in my head. These were the thoughts I had before he had even uttered a syllable to me. I could not be certain, if you ask me, that these mind blurbs were my own.

….to be continued….

Friends With Shadows – Chapter 6 (Continued)

Writer’s Note: Are you getting as excited about this chapter as I am? Trust me, it’s getting better as we go forward. I’m still making some adjustments to the dialog and the characters so it’s taking a little longer than expected to get ahead in some of the plot development, but it’s still moving along! Stay tuned, because I’m also working on another challenge! Not sure when it will be ready for being challenged but I’m working on it! Chapter 7 will be ready on Monday! In the meantime, enjoy your Saturday read and brace yourself for the continuation of Chapter 6! Read on, my friends!

Chapter 6 (continued)

Dean caught Edgar slipping out of his apartment from the corner of his eye. He briefly twitched, a reflex to start going after the bad guy.

The man at the window moved his head in an obvious attempt to catch Dean’s attention. “I’d let that one go. There will be others. But right now, I could use your assistance,” the man had a persuasive argument.

Dean sees Edgar one last time on the street, staring at the Law vehicle, staring at Dean, staring at the man, walking briskly past and then disappears into an alley. He did nothing to stop him. Somehow entranced, this man seemed to have more important things to say, though he has hardly said a word that would convince any cop to not follow procedure. And yet, here he was….

“Now, where were we, Dean?” the man’s gaze became more intense. The whites of his eyes seemed to glow, contradicting the fading evening light.

Dean tried to tune into his own senses and he wasn’t sure if his thoughts and actions were frozen out of fear or out of intrigue. But, before he realized it he had unlocked the passenger door and was letting the tall dark figure into the car. The man stared straight ahead, smiling, “Drive.”

Friends With Shadows – Delayed

I apologize for the delay on posting a new chapter. I spent some time with family – we went to a Chocolate Festival. I’ve also been spending some of that time editing and writing more. I’m a little behind. And to some degree, I hit one of those feared “writer’s block”. I think I’m working my way through it. Hopefully, the next few sections are going to come spilling from my fingertips.

Anyhoooo, I do apologize to those of you and that are going through withdrawals. More is coming, soon, very soon.

See you soon!

Chris

Friends With Shadows – Chapter 2 (and the end of Chapter 1)

Writer’s Note: I hope you’re enjoying the book….so far. If you are, be certain to let me know and share the story with others. ¬†Honestly, you should probably be sharing these posts even you don’t really like it, mostly because I’m asking you to do me a solid. ūüôā Help me make my mom proud on Mother’s Day and like this post and share it.

Enjoy the rest of Chapter 1 and the beginning of Chapter 2!

Chapter 1, Continued….

In my ear I hear a voice, “I don’t know why you still act this way after talking to these people. You’ve been doing knock and talks for a few years now and never had a problem.” It’s my handler’s voice. The ear piece starts to shift in my ear. He asks, “Who’s Andrew?” Some dirty cop that doesn’t exist.

I tell Dean, my handler, that this guy doesn’t suspect me of anyting and that we should meet here in three hours before he tries to get cute and make catching up with him difficult. In the meantime, contact HQ and have an unmarked unit monitor his apartment and keep a good distance. Dean acknowledges with his snarky tone, “Take it easy, snitch. I’ve already called it in. You’re starting to sound like a cop.”

I breathe again and emerge composed from the shadows to the asphalt. Feet striking with intention and making a sound of authority. I get in what passes for an undercover Law vehicle and drive off. They must have bought this thing at an estate sale. It smells like garage and old people.

Chapter 2

Law enforcement has changed over the last few decades after what some people call the “Resurrection”. Gone are the days that you can’t lay hands on a suspect or conduct surveillance with a warrant. Rights? What are those? After so many attacks from terrorists and countries that claimed they didn’t support or fund them, the security of the overall population took precedence over any one person’s privacy and rights. One well coordinated attack in multiple cities on the same day brought a fragile society to its hardly-scraped knees. Since then, enough people have been more than willing to allow the government to provide security in exchange for a loss of freedoms. What they didn’t count on were the unintended consequences of essentially trapping millions of people with millions of personalities and millions and millions of different motivations inside walls in a more compacted space than anyone would be comfortable with. While are we are secure from outside threats, it is now each other we have to keep an eye on.

The streets are rough. Then again, they’ve always been rough. No silver lining, just another day trying to get by without a boot or knuckles to the face. As far as I can remember the asphalt has borne the burden of accepting me as a permanent resident. And as far as I can remember, this place has always been like this. Inundated with contentious louts while those of good character try to slip by unnoticed. The incessantly damp streets are filled but remarkably clean. Everyone has a job, including picking up the candy wrappers and scraping gum off the streets. Littering is a mandatory 72 hours locked up. What they fail to mention is the high crime rate and not just the ABC gum street crimes. Everyone ha s a job, but it hardly pays the bills or keeps the fiends from stealing and murdering. People like me get by doing those things that are barely legal, like delivering “mail” – ok, so it’s not even barely legal, it is illegal.

Since I could work I was given the opportunity to deliver postal mail to the residents of the exaggerated cubicle that is the city and is just as mundane. Of course, the money was more like board game money and no matter how much you saved it was never enough to buy anything you wanted or needed. My parents called in “monopoly money,” I guess it was some game they used to play. Inflation really sucks the life out of a decent earning.

Like a lot of people, I made some money on the side. First-class mail delivery, also known as delivering whatever people wanted that is otherwise illegal to pass through the postal service. Payment up front. Never saw too many of the same clients repeatedly. I rarely knew what was delivered. Didn’t want to know. Mostly didn’t care besides the general curiosity when an obviously well-known and terribly disguised political entity was sending their own first-class mail. It wasn’t until an undercover agent gave me a pakcage to deliver that I got caught. Since I knew very little about the packages, I was recruited by the Law to continue delivering mail, but for them instead of 10 years locked up.

Friends With Shadows – Chapter 1

This is me filtered.

The man stares at me, unsure if he should be afraid.

I tell him usual line so he¬†knows what business I’m in, “First Class Mail.”

“So, what do y-y-y-you want?” I can tell he’s trying to maintain his composure. Interesting how a person can add four syllables to one syllable words when you’re in fear – his voice is trembling.

I give him reason to take me seriously, five of them right beneath his eye.

This is me acting out. This is me, pretending to be tough.

He knows the deal. The fact that he’s frightened means he can’t pay. And when they can’t pay, I have to do things that burns in my brain. I use my best “street voice” and tell the man that has a proclivity to panic and adding four syllables to one syllable words he needs to provide payment for services rendered. He knows, he’s new to this and is trying to get out of it.

He lives in a domicile like everyone else’s on this side of town. Twenty-five more just like it to the left. Twenty-five more just like it to the right. More above, more below. One room. One bath. Embarrassingly small kitchen and no room to entertain anyone unless you mean drugs or other illegal activities. Certainly, this is no place to put respectable refreshments. Beige paint. Small front window with bars. But the doors, these peculiar doors, are painted a soothing blue; everyone’s door is that same blue. Makes me wonder who decided or what committee voted on the color of these doors while everything else is less than inviting.

When you do this job long enough there are certain phrases that first-timers will always use, with minor variations. He delivered the number one hackeneyed excuse in that same tough-guy-panicky voice, “I-I-I-I have th-th-th-the money. I-i-i-it’s just at my friends p-p-p-place.” Four syllables.

As a negotiation tactic to find out if people are lying, ask them a question that yields a “yes” or “no” response which should not be an issue if they are soothsayers. I ask him if we could go visit his friend just so we can get this payment issue resolved.

“W-w-w-we can’t. H-h-h-he won’t be b-b-b-back until th-th-th-this evening.” Four syllables. His cadence could keep the beat in a symphony. One and two and three and four and….

“Look, I’ve got other people to deliver mail to and I don’t have a whole lot of time to deal with this. Go get the money and I’ll be back this evening. Can you do that for me?” This is me, feigning sympathy.

“Yeah, sure. N-n-n-no problem. You got it. Absolutely.” His exaggerated affirmative statements tell me he won’t be home this evening when I get back.

“Just so you and I care certain there is no misunderstanding, I’m going to leave my friends Andrew, over there, to make sure you’re here when I get back.”

“Who?” His question is not without good reason since I came here alone.

I point down to the Law vehicle across the street that periodically will park and monitor the area – it’s really more of a deterrent. Besides that, I don’t know any Andrew, nor is there anyone even in the vehicle – I saw the occupant go on break in one of these apartments. But, this guy doesn’t know that. I find it adds credence to a statement if you can name and point to someone of alleged higher authority, regardless of reality.

Delinquency on payment for mail isn’t like being a day late on rent and spending a month locked up. Late payment for mail is worse. A lot worse. So, I tell him that he has until the end of the day. Door closes. I hear him tearing through his apartment without method. I head down the stairs with a swagger to my step until I round the corner. I collapse against the wall and push everything from my lungs. Then, with tornado fury, drag it all back in, burning up every last molecule of oxygen and converting for the exhale. My head throbs with euphoria since putting oxygen back into my blood. I’ve been depriving myself of breathing, trying to control my inhales and exhales to mask my nerves. Blood, coursing through my arms and legs, feeling weak, trying to regain composure.

To be continued…