This story is by Juanita L.White and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
Romeo went to his usual watering hole to do his usual—drink but tonight was different. May 5, 17 10:00 pm he sat down and heard a voice from his past. He tried to catch his breath, at the same time turn in the direction of the person speaking, also trying to get a grip and then he sees the persons face—and faints. When he awakens the person is gone. He is trying again to catch his breath and ask what happen to the person sitting over there, but no one saw or remembered the person. He finally catches his breath and has a glass of water. May 5 he never took another drink. He returned to the bar for 5 nights straight and nothing, the person never returned, so he had to make the call—to his team.
He reassembled a cell phone, and finally put the battery back in and hit the number 7 and Romeo simply said “Whiskey Charlie” and hung up. He took the phone apart burnt it and waited. There was a knock on his door 5 minutes later. He goes and opens the door and Lake says “Romeo—what do you mean?” “He replied—I saw him—I heard him”—Lake asked, “when and where,” and “why do you think that?” He looks at her and starts yelling—‘“WHY’—why do I think that’”, that is your response… to a man we killed, buried and attended his funeral. REALLY!! This is why we are separated Lake unbelievable—why do I think that—Fuckin’ unbelievable! She responded with, “you were there, I was there, and they were there, it’s not possible.” “How many drinks have you had?” Then, there was another knock at the door it’s Skye. Skye looks at Romeo and then Lake and says “really Whiskey Charlie—Romeo WTF?” I saw him—you what—you what—I saw him. What do you mean you saw him? Well, I heard him, and then I saw him, and fainted. Where and when? 10pm at the Red fox.
Cai will sweep it. “Thank you! Thank you!” Not that “ why do you think that” bullshit. Huh? Never mind. Lake explains, “that’s what I asked him,” oohhh, oohhh okay and that’s why you guys are separated. Thanks man. Knowing Cai he is already on it. Then, Cai walks in the room, doesn’t knock per his usual and says; “of course I am on it” with a dumb look on his face and then says we got a problem. It’s him. A collective “WHAT” was said?!
We are all thinking the same thing. How could this be happening? We must have a leak somewhere, but why and who? We all begin thinking who, knew what, and when did they know it, exactly. So we all begin making a list and Cai pulls out the USB with all the information on it. We were all like of course Cai would have this information. Cai had all the background information on each individual and who knew what, when, and what they knew and what they gain. Then we reviewed the why and we each just looked at each other. Not only had we been Frankenstein, but bamboozled in the worst way. Lake asked, “so what are we going to do?” Cai suggested, going old school. Skye said ok, Romeo agreed, but Lake was a little reluctant. Has everyone really thought about what old school means? A collective “yes” was said. “What else are we going to do?” We have to know for sure before we make the call. So we went that evening—luckily he was in the tomb and not in the ground this made it easier. Once we got the tomb opened we were completely dumb founded we were not only Frankenstein, but this was on a whole new level of wickedness. The coffin was empty. Not only was it empty, but also the body was never in the coffin. However, it was the same coffin that he was buried in, but the lining was changed. We all looked at each other and our collective eyes said the same thing. There would be no call, no informing. The new plan is to find him, bury him, say nothing, and to reveal the leak. Romeo uttered “5,” Cai replied “5,” Lake echoed “5,” and Skye said agreed. In 5 weeks.
“If we aren’t calling how” and the Cai was interpreted by Romeo saying the same thing “you guys realize that we don’t have to call that ‘he’ knows already.” A collective “yes” was heard, but we still need to move quick because we never know what ‘he’ is thinking or” then Cai says “will do” and everyone says “exactly.”
Let me give you some background we are a unique in several ways. We are a special communications group birth out of the necessity and/or higher ups. Seen only when needed. The team handles things that will not be assigned to the military or any special forces. We do things that can’t be asked—out loud or written down. We only meet on rare occasions and never in public. There is no paper trail. We are given a puzzle a situation; we figure out how to put the puzzle together and how best to execute the finality of the situation. Our current problem we executed our communication in a certain way to a certain individual and there shouldn’t have been any more conversation—of any kind on any subject, but someone didn’t get the memo. We are all military. Romeo is our Medal of Honor, Cai is Xtreme Special Communication Expert, Cai and I are the architect of all solutions to the puzzle. Lake is ex CIA, Skye is Ex Navy Seals/CIA, and I am all the above and then some. I AM the fifth person of this squad, I AM Special Communications, the brains—the call they don’t want to make—is to me.