Starting Chapter 35 this time on the Tale … Trying to go and clear up some loose ends and threads that have been dangling around for too long, I think … We’ll see … obviously, I need to move the story along more than I have … Again … we’ll see …
Storm Clouds 204
Bill was in his office watching the clock as the red numbers ticked away the time until the day’s work was done. He hadn’t seen his son, Billy, for most of the day, and that wasn’t like him. Bill knew full well that Billy did more and worked longer than anyone else in his business. Billy had his finger on the pulse of the company and kept things running smoothly, even if he didn’t see just how vital he was.
Still, when Billy asked for permission to take the afternoon off, Bill didn’t hesitate, didn’t question it. If Billy wanted to do something, and it was important enough for him to take time off his duties, Bill wasn’t going to refuse him.
As the clock reached quitting time and he heard the office staff gathering up their things to leave, he started to worry. Billy hadn’t called; normally he would. It wasn’t like him not to keep in touch. There was something going on, and Bill feared the worst.
He called out: “Tenshi! Come in here, will ya’?”
There was the sound of a filing cabinet closing, and then, in the doorway, there appeared a short, blond, Asian woman. She clutched a small stack of folders to her side and asked in a submissive tone: “Yes, Sir?”
“I do not know where your son William is. There have been no phone calls or messages from him, Sir.”
Bill strummed his fingers over the top of his desk before pushing his chair back and snatching a briefcase that waited close by: “Not like him. Shoulda’ called or somethin’. Make sure ya’ leave the answering machine on in case he calls. I’m going home. I’ll check for messages.”
She nodded, then stood to the side as Bill left his office.
He added, just before he turned the corner and moved towards the exit: “An’ don’t ya’ stay late, either, Tenshi. Get home. That filing can wait ‘til tamarrow.”
“Yes, Sir. Goodnight, Sir.”
Tenshi didn’t leave. She spent the next hour carefully putting away the files she had. She had to wait, anyway.
They always made her wait.
He always made her wait.
As she closed another drawer, her thoughts spun around the situation she found herself in. If it wasn’t for the debt her family owed, she would never be doing what they asked her to do. Bill was an honourable man. So was his son. But that didn’t seem to matter to them.
Nothing she honoured mattered to them.
The shadow that blocked out the light from the office startled her and she turned to find … him … again. It was always him: a dishonourable man with dishonourable intent living a dishonourable life. The colour of his skin reminded her of the legends her family told of those taken by dark spirits to do their bidding.
Again, she wondered what could have tempted him to be … this.
“Have you news?”
“His son is missing; I do not know where. He left after the police came to see his father. He spoke with one of the detectives, a woman; I do not know what they spoke of.”
The man frowned and then produced a knife from beneath the robes he wore, the silver clashing against the white of his skin and the black of his robes: “Sloppy. You’re supposed to be watching the two of them.”
Her brown eyes narrowed: “I cannot watch them both all the time. I was unfortunate to encounter one of the detectives.”
The knife began to trace a pattern over his palm: “Are they suspicious of you?”
“No! They both left; nothing was said!”
“That has best be true for your own continued existence.”
She said nothing to this. The penalties for failure, she had heard, were as brutal as any nightmare she could imagine and more.
The knife stopped moving and he looked at her with eyes so black she thought her life was being sucked into them, her breath catching in her throat: “The son is no longer your concern. I will deal with him.”
A coldness creeped up Tenshi’s spine as she asked: “What does that mean, exactly?”
The answer echoed the cold she felt as the black eyes looked clean through her: “His life is inconsequential. But he has value as a pawn in a larger scheme.”
She turned away from him, not wanting to see him any longer: “Please. Do not touch him. He is an innocent in this. Please.”
The smirk was awful, the words full of despair: “Who can stop me—you? You forget your place. We will have to remind you … soon.”
“I know my place. I serve without question.”
He waved the knife at her, the tip flashing in the light: “See that you do. You are still human, but there are suitable dark beings who would dine upon your life, soul, and mind.”
She shivered at the warning, knowing it was not an idle one: “What would you have me do?”
The knife vanished under the robes: “Continue the plan. Other pawns have been ordered to move tomorrow. Have the trap set.”
She did not hesitate: “Of course.” She even bowed to emphasis the point.
He turned away, dismissing her, but, before he vanished into the shadows of the office, he added: “And be sure to be suitably shocked when he is arrested for murder … and the son turns up in the river.”