Magicians realm, p.1

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Magician's Realm


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Magician's Realm
Kelvin Hobbs, a brilliant soul, a future C.E.O. and a young man destined for greatness, has fallen prey to a secret plight with pornography. Attending the elite school, The Templeton School of Business and Finance, his company is one of only three that has entered a school-wide race. He has to compete fiercely as well as lead his team in a constant battle against two other well equipped teams. Making it even more stressful, the professors unleash economic downfalls, market crunches and unimagined onslaughts at every turn. Together with his team, he must lead and at times keep his company afloat in a turbulent market and against unruly competitors. All the while, this secret in his life claims more and more of his soul, never asking permission. With darkness setting in, rendering him powerless and enslaved, he finally hears the inner reveille of his very dangerous predicament. Consulting the top people of choice to no avail, he continues to die fast. Pleading to God for help, an inspired direction comes his way: to seek out a theologian and the information he so readily needs. Together, they begin to unravel Satan’s deep plans for his life as they begin to look behind the curtain of pornography.

  Pornography’s strength is not in you keeping it secret,

  Pornography’s strength is in you being unknowledgeable.

  Do you now see how deceiving it is?

  The only way to defuse pornography is spiritually.

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

  This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

  © 2009 Alexander Deux – Copyright Owner - Version 2

  You are free to copy, print, distribute and transmit this e-book. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). You may not use this work for commercial purposes. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

  Magician’s Realm

  by

  Alexander Deux

  Dedicated and written for the champions of God.

  God is still holding your place in this world.

  1

  Sunlight beams down through a window onto the open pages of a bible. The pages glow with brightness and its shine unto Kelvin who sits right behind it. His eyes close a moment, taking in the words he just read as his face looks up, absorbing the heat from the sun as if it’s his power. A peaceful ambience surrounds him.

  This is his morning practice, to spend time with God. In his spot, on the carpet, in front of the windows.

  Already dressed in his crested school jacket and tying his tie, he opens his eyes and continues reading.

  He chuckles, “Okay God, you will have to explain this whole reduced to a loaf of bread thing,” he points down to the Scriptures in Proverbs six. “I get this part, here, but that,” a grimace escapes, “I really have no clue what you're talking about.” He stares a little longer, then, “Nope,” shakes his head, “really, not the slightest idea.”

  Outside the square panes, a tall well dressed businessman carrying a strong presence and holding a briefcase steps into view. Waiting as a car pulls up, he proceeds to open the rear door as the chauffeur races around to try to assist.

  “I’ll get this one this time” Oreleander informs kindly raising a hand.

  “Yes, Sir.” The chauffeur stops in his tracks and backs away, returning back to the driver’s seat.

  The tall man, upon entering looks back towards his son’s window. “Kelvin! Let’s go!”

  Kelvin looks up and sees the sight. A black sedan decorated with numbered stickers on the trunk and very obscene livery plates. A gasp escapes him, “Oh no.” His face noticeably anticipates dread.

  Quickly rising, he grabs his attache case, then gives one last look in the mirror. Heading out the doorway, he hesitates upon reaching for his computer, as if it’s hot to the touch and doesn’t want to get burned. Knowing he needs it for school, he grabs it and heads out.

  Outside, Kelvin comes out the two extravagant double doors of the mansion. The sunlight hits him strong, his brown hair combed to the side, scrutinizing eyes and a polished upbringing. Approaching the rear door, he watches his father struggle to slide over to the other side.

  “Dad, if there isn’t enough room, I can wait on the next one.”

  “It’s also a nice day to walk – get in,” a scruffy voice retorts.

  Kelvin laughs, enters and the car quickly pulls away. At the far entrance, the gates close behind them completing a large H at the center.

  2

  Finishing the lavish roads, the car comes into vicinity of the city. In the back seat, Kelvin watches his father as he reads his own name in the paper. Then he enjoys the panorama out the window as skyscrapers come up on the horizon; the place he knows he’s destined to work from, but today the car turns onto another road.

  “How’s your shipping proposal concept coming along?” His father’s eyes are still glued to the paper in front of him.

  Kelvin sighs. “It’s taking so long.”

  “How so?”

  Kelvin speaks as if holding up a hundred pound weight. “I’m trying to eliminate a lot of the fuel expenses. It’s putting me over.” He stares out the window, shaking his head at the ponderous thoughts. “I don’t like paying for gas.”

  “I can help you. We can think of a solution together.”

  “No. When it comes time for my colleagues to scrutinize my L.L.C., I need to know why I did everything the way I did it.”

  “You never let me help you with your homework, son.” He turns the page.

  “Just keep being someone I want to observe. That will help me in the long run.”

  Oreleander looks over at him. “Be smart.”

  Kelvin smiles, “Be smart, Dad.” And he turns his gaze out to the sign approaching, Templeton Private School of Business and Finance, then further up, a stream of limousines dropping off students; pulling up they will be number five in the drop-off sequence. And behind the school, a corporate helicopter hovering, waiting for another to clear the heli-pad.

  “Uh, Dad, why don’t you drop me off here? I can walk up.”

  “Nope, all the way up.”

  Apprehension appears in Kelvin’s voice. “You’re killing me.”

  The sedan pulls up as a long black limousine leaves. Kelvin gets out as fast as he can, covering his face with his case, and running inside.

  3

  Kelvin sits in class, an elaborate classroom, comfortable, the smell of leather and fresh carpet. He pays attention to the professor’s instruction.

  “Now the exam will include five problems that can surface in any of your corporations at any given time and/or all at the same time. How you respond is what your results will depend on.”

  A couple rows up, Kelvin eyes the handing over of a blank faced disc from a Mr. Sanders to a Mr. Franks.

  “Now, onto your own company, you should already have the basic overall structure mapped out. I remind you, you are not allowed to ask for the assistance of anyone related to you. But besides that, it’s open season.”

  Kelvin sits pondering, waiting for the class to end. Soon enough, he’s putting his belongings back in his case and glances forward a second time to Mr. Sanders, then proceeds to get up and take his leave, a dignified walk. Unknowingly, a Mr. Spiffs has held an evil eye on Kelvin and now has
something to hold against him.

  In the open air courtyard, Kelvin briskly walks looking about through all the students, all of which are dressed in dark blue blazers, the plain striped tie, and tan khakis. He finally finds who he’s looking for and walks up to him strongly. Grabbing him by his jacket at his shoulder, he forces him to turn around. The smaller stature individual yells out…

  “Kelvin? Hey.”

  “Saches,” he mumbles in his raspy voice while surveying for the next person he seeks. Then spots Mr. Sanders huddled with three associates.

  “Kelvin, what’s up? You weren’t at class last night. Sinsi was mad.”

  “I’m sure.”

  “What’s wrong?”

  “Do you have any money on you?”

  “Uh, yeah, I don’t know, hundred-forty or so.” Kelvin motions for him to give it up. Saches complies. “What’s going on?”

  “Ran into a snag. Thanks. I’ll pay you back.” Kelvin leaves him.

  Saches screams out, “Uh, don’t worry, I think I owe you.”

  Kelvin arrives to Mr. Sanders who’s talking to Mr. Tripps, Mr. Reddick and a Mr. Charles. He takes a stance nearby them in a gentlemanly manner.

  “Mr. Sanders?” He cordially interrupts.

  Mr. Sanders turns about, “Why Mr. Hobbs,” he laughs, “I’m surprised you even made it to school today.” The others join in with snickering. “Tell me Mr. Hobbs, where did you find that cute little limo. I would love to get one for my little sister; she’ll be two on Wednesday.” The laughing builds.

  Another interjects, a Mr. Tripps, “Tell me, does it come in furry blue?”

  Mr. Reddick also jokes at Kelvin’s expense, “I did not know your father was in the car service business, or was the meter running?”

  Still keeping their manners, they indulge knowing they are making a dent in Kelvin’s pride. Mr. Charles looks down at Kelvin’s attache case, “It’s amazing how you can carry it around. Tell me, do you still have room in there for your laptop?”

  Kelvin lifts a hand, “Thank you, but I’m sorry I have to cut this short, or we might be here all day,” a lift of the eyebrows. “Mr. Tripps, Mr. Reddick and Mr. Charles, you’ll have to excuse me as I pull Mr. Sanders away for a private meeting.”

  He then jerks Mr. Sanders over, leans in a touch for privacy and speaks adamantly and with a serious tone. “I saw what you had.”

  “Mr. Hobbs,” he wails a laugh, “I don’t have anything.”

  Kelvin takes out folded bills, “I have a hundred-forty, uh, something, is that enough to influence you to make me a copy?”

  Mr. Sanders wobbles his head as he vacillates, then snatches the money away, counts it, and looks up with a grin. “I’ll have it for you by the end of the school day. It just so happens I have a blank disc lying around here, somewhere.” He voices a hideous chuckle.

  “Very well, Mr. Sanders, I’ll expect it then.” He gives him a stare letting him know he’s counting on it, then walks away. He yells back, “I want a password on it.”

  Mr. Sanders, unable to be saddened, “What about ‘littlelimo’, all lowercase.” Mr. Sanders watches Kelvin walk away and reminds, “Next time Mr. Hobbs, bring more money!”

  Kelvin keeps walking, his face turning opaque as he enters the shadows of the courtyard.

  4

  Dusk falls, Kelvin swiftly walks to his vehicle. Passing Mr. Sanders on the way, he grabs the disc, gives him a look, gets in his car and rides off.

  Kelvin sits in the gymnasium size living room. The fireplace is already lit. Sitting on the couch, the corner of the room to his back, he opens his laptop, finds the disc, looks around, and then loads it. He waits, then types, ‘littlelimo’, and immediately his face brightens from the glow of the screen. And nearby, the popping and crackling of the fireplace increase in volume.

  With the house empty, a masking of sort lightly disturbs the lighting outside as if someone had just walked by and disappeared.

  The next morning, Kelvin takes his seat. Mr. Sanders notes him and turns around, then loudly voices, “Mr. Hobbs, I hope that your purchase worked out for you last night.”

  Kelvin looks up at him through his own guilty expression, “Mr. Sanders, you certainly are a credit to my detriment.” Mr. Sanders laughs it off, then turns around as the professor’s voice starts to fill the room.

  It is Professor Simon again, “Later this week, you will each receive your capital for your purchase in an I.P.O., for your own company, or if you wish, to acquire shares of one of your colleague’s corporation. This could be a very lucrative endeavor but also, can be your downfall. As a corporation or entity, you might be forced to sell any of your holdings due to lack of revenue, thus not being able to hold your majority position.”

  Kelvin looks away in thought, his eyes dark.

  5

  Walking the grounds of the courtyard, he gets a text.

  Meet me at the statue – Saches.

  He continues walking and changes direction, carrying turmoil in each step. His mind, a burned room after a fire, still with black walls, charred memories, the visage of ruin.

  He arrives at the statue, faded to green, a soldier of some sort. There’s also a plaque underneath, but it never caught Kelvin’s eye to read it. Suddenly, the intercom clicks, he looks up.

  “Attention class,” it’s Professor Trouse’s voice, the headmaster, chief, “we have received the last concept proposal for a corporation and the judges have already been eliminating all entities submitted that have no hopes in surviving future forecasts. Remaining corporations will be announced in class on Monday. So far,” he breathes a sigh into the microphone, “only four have been approved.”

  Fellow students standing around drop their heads and whine. Kelvin, already carrying his burden, drops his head also, fatigue pulling it even lower.

  Professor Trouse isn’t done, “By the way, have a nice weekend.”

  Kelvin shakes his head mildly, his eyes forced to close. Then from his blind spot, Mr. Spiffs approaches with a posture of aggression. Getting in Kelvin’s face, his bottom teeth glaring, he announces, “I can’t wait to buy your company out.” Then a slight but firm shove finishes his animadvert scowl before he departs. Kelvin shows no movement, his head still hangs.

  Saches shows up, it costs Kelvin a great deal to even look up.

  “Glad I don’t have to deal with that until next year.”

  Kelvin raises his head slightly, “Look forward to it.”

  Saches exhibits urgency, “Kelvin, you have to show up tonight.”

  “I don’t know if I can make it. I’ve been having...transportation issues.”

  “My car will be ready, on the South side.” A light spring in Saches’ step, “He’s mad, and if you miss tonight -- “ Saches slowly swipes a finger by his throat.

  “You made your point.”

  “I gotta run, see you.”

  “Saches.” A slight wave farewell.

  6

  Dusk arrives and Saches and Kelvin rush into a limo, shut the door and ride off. Inside, Saches speaks on the phone, a conversation he dreads and hopes to finish soon.

  “Dad, I didn’t take the helicopter. I don’t know! Maybe...have you tried calling your pilots? How about your daughter?” He sighs, “I’m in the car right now. Karate class.”

  Kelvin corrects, “Kar-a-tae.”

  Saches grimaces, forced to contend with the major source of stress in his life. “Dad! Dad! I have to go. I’ll see you tonight.” He tries to hang up, words still wafting from the receiver, then click. “Finally,” Saches breathes.

  Kelvin is looking around at the interior of the limo. “I’m glad you’re richer than I am, or else I might be subject to a cab.”

  “We’re not rich, our parents are. We’re just using their stuff.”

  Kelvin ponders with a happy smirk, “Are you sure you don’t want to be the Honorable Saches Northrop? You have such a good sense of judgment.”

 
That would bore me, hearing all those people’s problems. My family is enough.”

  Kelvin notices Saches workout bag open, then the shiny edges of a bible’s pages; he reaches for it and takes it out. Opening up to a certain page he begins to scan. Then he points down into the Bible showing it to Saches.

  “What’s this mean?”

  Saches takes the Bible and looks, “...reduced to a loaf of bread? I don’t know. I have no idea.”

  Kelvin grimaces, thinks, and then points forward to the chauffeur, “Do you think he knows?”

  Saches looks at him, then shakes his head.

  Kelvin begins to vent, “Why not uh, pomegranates or, oatmeal? Why a loaf of bread?”

  Saches looks at him as if he’s losing it. He tries to direct him, “You could ask the pastor on Sunday.” Kelvin looks at him sharply. “I mean, he should know, right?”

  Kelvin shakes his head, “I don’t think he knows.” He then looks out the window unsatisfied.

  In the studio, the class stands in unison. The Sinsi notices Kelvin and approaches. With a bark in his instruction, his words become the only ones in the room, “If you cannot focus, you cannot strike!”

  Immediately, Kelvin readjusts his stance and shows more determination, a regrouping in his attitude. The Sinsi approves and walks by him. Kelvin eyes stay forward, looking strong.

  7

  In the lavish dining room of the Hobbs home, the maid stands off to the side as Oreleander and Kelvin enjoy breakfast, each on either side of the long table. It’s Saturday.

  His father, engrossed by a contract type paper he’s studying. Kelvin, inquiry on his face. The tapping of the utensils pause as Kelvin looks up.

  “When are we going to get our limo back?” Oreleander hums an answer too preoccupied by his document. “Dad, please,” Kelvin persists, an earnestness in his voice. “When are we getting our limo back? Dad? Dad, you have to get that car back for me. Dad, you don’t understand, I need that car.”

  His father finally looks up with a chuckle. “The kids ragging on you at school?”

  “Well, yes,” his head hangs with an accompanying sigh. “They asked me if I use the pay phone in our kitchen to call for a car since I showed up in that, in that... just about checkered taxi.”

  The father laughs with a point, “That’s a good one.”

  “But it’s not even about them. I don’t care what they say, that much.” He leans forward, “Dad, I need that car, me. You don’t understand how serious this is.”

  “I can rent one if it’s really that big of a problem.” His patronizing face waits upon an answer.

  Kelvin sighs and looks away. “No, I don’t want a rental. I don’t know where those cars have been, used for proms and who knows what else. I need our car, Dad. Our car, I want our car, I know our car.”

  Oreleander is trying to understand, “Our car?” Fork held in mid air.

  “Yes, Dad, our car.” Relieved his father understands.

  “Why do you need it, this much?”

  “Because I need it, Dad.”

  “For?” Oreleander asks with discerning eyes and the lifting of eyebrows.

  Kelvin has no choice but to cave in. He reluctantly mumbles, “Desi of hark.”

  “What?”

  “Because that car is a desire of my heart, Dad!” Raising his voice, hating to have to be shy about something.

  Oreleander tries not to laugh and starts reading again. “Don’t worry, Son, your desire will be back with a new engine in a couple days.”

  Frazzled Kelvin replies, “Well, that beats never.” Frustrated, he gets up and leaves, taking his plate to the kitchen. The maid unsure of what’s happening looks at Oreleander.

  “I don’t know either.”

  Kelvin slams the door of his room, his eyes finally falling on his laptop. His countenance changes dramatically, darkness spreads over his face.

  Suddenly, he races out of his room as if to run away from something, then halts, comes back inside and locks the door.

  8

  The next morning, sitting on pews with cushions which don’t really help the pews become any more comfortable, Kelvin’s scrutinizing eyes move back and forth on each girl in church. The Pastor’s voice pushed into the background.

  “We find David confronted with a great temptation.” The fat, not chubby, preacher belts out as if singing opera only he could understand. “Come on, let’s talk about this, after all, we are in church.” A scoffing in his voice. “During a season when he should have been fighting, leading his men in battle, he was home, relaxing, taking it easy.” He points and yells out the window, “He should have been off to war!” A few nods from the crowd confirm they believe he’s right. “Then the Bible goes on to say, one evening David got up from his bed,” another scoff, “finally, and walked around on the roof of his palace. Then from the roof, I repeat, from the roof,” he comically points upward, “he saw a woman bathing. See everyone, I have to reiterate, he was in the wrong place.” His continual nodding accenting his words. “He should have been off to war leading his men, but he was home, lazing.”

  A skinny bony woman loudly remarks with a raise of her hand, “That’s right!”

  Kelvin looks her way sharply, gets enraged and stands up speaking adamantly toward this skinny woman, “Maybe Bathsheba shouldn’t be taking a bath out in the open!” Kelvin keeps a mean look on the lady who backs up bewildered. In the front, Saches sits turned back astonished; his parents next to him. Then Kelvin turns his attention forward and begins to speak with accompanied mannerisms, “The man was on his roof, what if he was working up there. He would have still seen her. And it necessarily wouldn’t have been during wartime. It’s always David’s fault. Let me guess, they hadn’t invented shower curtains back then.” He gives a smirk, meanwhile his father is calm by his side looking up but not stopping him. “And I didn’t read where Bathsheeba gave much of a struggle when-“

  “That’s it!” The pastor screams at him, his double chin still moving. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

  “The Bible is open to interpretation. How do you know you’re right?” he points. “Because you went to some school?”

  At that mark, his father modestly gets up and starts to lead Kelvin out to the isle, “Come on, Son.”

  Kelvin mumbles loudly, “Why is everybody always ragging on David?”

  Walking through a frozen church, Kelvin arrives at the doorway and screams back, “Even the Bible called her very beautiful!” His father finishes ushering him out.

  The pastor is speechless; the church girls look at each other stunned. Something has entered their presence and they don’t know what it was.

  Saches is stunned, his jaw frozen; he doesn’t know what that was either. This took everybody off guard.

  9

  After a very interesting day, Oreleander sits in the kitchen eating a sandwich with only a couple reading lights on.

  Ring.

  “Good evening.”

  “Good evening, Mr. Hobbs. This is Pastor Phelps. I wanted to know how your son is doing.”

  “He seems to be alright. I apologize for his outburst today, and as soon as I speak with him, I’ll make him aware he must go and apologize as well.”

  “Well, we can’t have those kinds of outbursts. Think how it comes across from my side.”

  Oreleander pauses, tilting his head as if he caught something amiss. “Well, did he say anything, uh, wrong?”

  “What?”

  “Did he say anything unscriptural?”

  “Well, uh...we can’t have those kind of-“

  “Thank you. You’ll be hearing from my son soon.”

  “Well, we hope to see you Sunday.”

  “Good night.”

  Oreleander hangs up and ponders, a slight distaste on his expression.

  Knock, knock.

  “Come in.”

  Oreleander enters the doorway finding Kelvin sitting on his bed, papers spread a
ll about him. He appears to be checking figures. He continues inward, walking in casually, noticing Kelvin looking up at him with complete peace.

  “You look pretty busy.”

  “No, not too much, just getting ready for tomorrow.”

  “Big day tomorrow. Do you think your corporation made the cut?”

  “Well, competition is fierce, but I think I have a shot, or,” he jokes, “I’m going to be unemployed.”

  “So what’s all this?”

  “Getting a head start, just in case.”

  Oreleander sits down, and looks up at him, “The pastor called.” Kelvin looks up frozen. “I told him you would come to see him soon, to apologize.”

  Kelvin starts shaking his head as he pictures something loathsome, “No, Dad, you can’t.”

  “Well, he called to see how you were doing.” Kelvin is stunned as he looks within. “But I discerned he was concerned with more than that.” Kelvin braces himself. “I want you to apologize, son.” He lets out a big sigh, then pulls the right words out of the air, “Son, sometimes we’re right, and depending on how we act on us being right and our chosen vehicle of delivery, the consequences will ultimately match. Before every action, every choice, every turn, you have to look passed all of that and see if the consequences you will eventually find yourself in are desirable.” Kelvin leans back floored. “Then after that, apologizing I mean, I was thinking we could swing by a used car lot somewhere and buy, I don’t know, an old heap. A real dog. Lots and lots of rust.”

  Now completely lost, “Lots of rust?”

  “Yeah,” he nods, “a lot.” Speaking on the verge of chuckling.

  Kelvin inquires moving his head in a little bit, “What’s going to happen with all this rust?”

  “Oh, I don’t know. I was sort of toying with the idea we could look for a fellowship. Something up North, not to far, not to close. Maybe twenty people gathering, people we can get to know. I mean, I haven’t been to a barbecue in...whew.” He lifts his hand not being able to recall.

  Kelvin starts to smile, “And what about the pastor to this twenty person church?”

  He points, “Well, funny you should mention that,” he thinks on how to explain something that’s been rolling around in his head. “The thing is son, I don’t see the title of a pastor in the new testament, I only see it one time, and that as a gift. I don’t know where they got that title from,” he shakes his head. Let’s look for people, not a place. And as for a church, from what I read in the bible, we’re the church, us, believers. God never said to go to church, he wants us to be the church.”

  Kelvin starts nodding, “Lots of rust, huh?”

  “Just a guy and his son fellowshipping with the brethren, nothing special about us. We just love God, we love life. Pretty easy plan wouldn’t you say?”

  “I’ll apologize at my earliest convenience. It would be a pleasure.” A gasp, “Wait, what about Saches, we can’t leave him there in that unscriptural deception.”

  “He’s always welcomed. Does he own a pair of jeans?”

  “I don’t think so.” A chuckle as he motions to an imaginary tie he’s wearing. They laugh.

  “You tell him to buy some jeans; I’m not paying for his dry cleaning.”

  “Thanks, Dad.” He nods, “Thanks more than you know.” He watches his father leave quietly and remains with a grin.

  10

  Kelvin leans against the statue looking down at his phone. He hears Saches’ voice approaching.

  “What was that?”

  He looks up, “What?”

  “On Sunday. Yesterday.” Pointing behind him.

  “Oh,” rubs his face and shrugs his shoulders, “that was nothing it looks like.”

  “My parents think you’re crazy.”

  Kelvin remembers, “Do you own a pair of jeans?”

  “What? No!”

  “Come over the house tonight.”

  “Hello? Why?”

  “We don’t need a plan, do we? Regular friends do. We’ll think of something. We’ll go to a department store; there are girls there, right?”

  Saches is looking at him strangely. “Depart, what?”

  “In other words, I don’t want to be left to my own devices tonight.”

  The intercom clicks a few times interrupting their words. They naturally look up to the speaker and hold their breath because the unthinkable has been known to come out of there.

  “Attention students, all corporations have been reviewed in detail and at first look, four seemed like they would survive the first cut. We were mistaken, only three corporations will be in business this fiscal year. Senior class, report to the lecture hall promptly to hear who has ownership and who will be looking for a job. Professor Trouse out.”

  Kelvin looks at Saches while the wheels in his mind turns. “Actually, I might need your help tonight. You can be my unofficial Human Resources Rep.” Finishing his statement, he pulls Saches the direction he starts walking.

  11

  No one is moving in the lecture hall. No student wants to disturb their fate. Nervously they cringe as Professor Trouse walks by them holding three huge packets. He finally places one in front of Mr. Sanders who in turn smiles gleefully. Kelvin looks at him with no reaction. The Professor begins to walk to the other end, stopping in front of Mr. Spiffs, who keeps a strong and determined expression. A packet is laid down in front of him as well.

  Saches sits in the back with next year’s eager class. Although he is unable to look up, he must.

  The stomachs of the hundred or so pupils have all sunk. One packet left. A few are breathing heavy. They can’t take it. One boy even begins to cry and can’t stop. An all boys school and pressure will soon be used to test each individual, to weed out the weak and the unprepared. It will divide, penetrate any breach in their consciousness. It will kill them.

  The Professor paces through the students in erratic directions, knowing the torture has begun and indulging. He passes students on the verge of throwing up, and he being the executioner of pressure doesn’t even care how they take it. Then with the five top professors sitting on the stage watching carefully, the packet softly lands in front of Mr. Hobbs. Kelvin’s head, eyes, whole being is relieved. The rest of the students moan and groan. One yells out, “How am I going to tell my father!”

  The Professor patiently walks to the front, looks at them thoroughly. Looks at them some more meanwhile the sighs of defeat continue, but the professor moves on. He announces, “The trading floor is now open.”

  Suddenly, every student minus the three take out their resume and frantically climb over each other to get to the three new C.E.O.s appearing as total chaos from the front.

  Saches goes to help Kelvin hold all the resumes and during the pandemonium, Kelvin gives a look to Mr. Spiffs, and there is a look right back at him. The affront is now escalated.

  12

  Kelvin and Saches sift through the resumes in Kelvin’s room. A room with a backdrop of an indoor pool separated by a glass partition, air hockey, motorized basketball hoops, a sound system that could imitate thunder and the latest, a construction crew that was hired to build a convertible theatre for those nice warm nights.

  Prior to all these things, it was all space with one bed and one dresser. So when Kelvin asked for things, his father would make him memorize a proverb to be recited at any time his father deems appropriate. Not just a few Scriptures but the whole chapter, King James version.

  “Mr. Tripps here was onboard a U.S. Carrier for observation, looks like a whole month at sea.”

  Kelvin looks up, “Really?” Holding out his hand for the resume. “Maybe I could use him. I got another guy here that his father showed him how the computers at Wall Street are wired so certain transaction arrive first.”

  Saches leans back, “So I’m still waiting on the back story of yesterday’s performance.” Kelvin remains unmoved and still reading. “You freaked out man.” Still reading.
You’re not going to tell me?” Saches waits. “Alright, if you can’t tell me, who can you tell?”

  Kelvin looks up, “No one.”

  Saches is annoyed. “Man!”

  Kelvin staying calm, “Saches, I’m not ready. I can’t let what happened yesterday worry me right now. This is what’s important. This is what I can’t fail at. When I’m ready to talk, I’ll talk. Promise.” He holds out his knuckles.

  Saches hits his knuckles with his then laughs, “My father said he was impressed with you.”

  Kelvin looks up with a smile. “Did he?”

  “But my Mom still thinks your crazy.”

  “Don’t hold it against her, I think she will always think that.”

  They laugh.

  13

  Kelvin shoots outside his house and is awestruck. His feet freeze from the sight before him almost causing him to trip forward. His eyes look to his far left and all the way to his far right, beholding, admiring, hearing the purring limo that has returned home. He sees his reflection on the long glass at its side.

  He walks forward proudly, unknowingly wiping a tear from his eye. The chauffeur comes out about to open the rear door for him, but Kelvin walks right to the middle of the long car and hugs it wide. He gently rests his head on the cushioned vinyl roof and rubs the top of it with his hand. A smile of contentment fills his face; meanwhile the chauffeur is standing back observing his odd behavior, especially when he starts talking to it.

  “I have missed you, my baby.” He leans the side of his body on the car, then kisses the top, still hugging it, saying sweet nothings to it. “No other car can compare.” Then he sees the sunroof and almost chokes up. “Look, there it is.”

  The chauffeur does not even know what to do. The maid off to the side just lifts her hands.

  “Let’s go!” Oreleander screams from inside the car, looking at his theatrics and shaking his head.

  Kelvin then starts whispering to the car, “Don’t worry, we’ll finish later. I have nothing but hugs for you.”

  He walks to the rear door, the chauffeur opens it as usual and the door closes. As the chauffeur walks to the front, he shakes his head, “I’ll never understand rich people.”

  Inside the car, Kelvin is studying the insides of the car giddy happy. Oreleander just looks at him and continues with his work. He mumbles, “Are you good now, Kelvin?”

  “Oh yes.” He looks forward, “Driver, can you take the long way please?”

  Oreleander lightly shakes his head and thinks, I’ll never understand people who love limos.

  14

  Kelvin walks through the courtyard, a smile on his face as he’s now been reacquainted with his love. He notices much chatter among the students and remembers it’s hiring day.

  He walks into the bathroom and runs into…

  “Ah, Mr. Tripps, I reviewed your credentials and would like to extend a position for you as one of our top level managers at the salary you requested. Normally I wouldn’t strike up such a formal conversation in such…surroundings, but time is of the essence.”

  Mr. Tripps’ expression enlightens and he slaps both Kelvin’s arms, “Mr. Hobbs, thank you for the position. Be sure to call on me to serve.”

  “Your duties will be bestowed shortly.” They shake hands. “Welcome to Prefix Shipping, you were my first choice.” And Kelvin leaves Mr. Tripps with a big smile plastered on his face.

  Later in the hallway, “Excuse me, Mr. Randolph, if I could have a moment.” He pulls him away from his conversation. “I’m Mr. Hobbs of Prefix Shipping and I would greatly like to speak with you when it is convenient.”

  “Is that right?”

  “Absolutely, Sir.”

  And as the day progresses, Kelvin shakes hands with Mr. Jenner, then a Mr. Sloan as he brings him coffee. In class, he hands an envelope to Mr. Trent who opens it, looks it over, then gives a thumbs up. Kelvin leans back and grins.

  Kelvin meets Saches at the statue, “No CV needed, you’re hired.”

  “You can’t hire me, I’m still a kid.”

  “Negative, there’s no age limit in business.”

  Saches points to Mr. Randolph, “That’s the guy you have to get.

  “I know, I proposed an offer.”

  “Offer more.”

  “He’s expensive, I don’t want to cut into my insurance premiums. Who knows what forecast is ahead?” Kelvin looks around, “The market could crash, natural disasters. Price of fuel, I hate fluctuations with prices of fuel. I just don’t want to be caught off guard because I propounded an offer to Mr. Randolph that was out of my reach.”

  “His father is the airline industry. You need him. Cut somebody else.”

  “No doubt, he has notoriety, but he could also be a drain. My bid was fair.”

  Saches’ car pulls up. “Well then, tomorrow.”

  Kelvin waves, and stays a bit. He finds Mr. Randolph again and decides to approach. “Good afternoon Mr. Randolph, I’m inquiring if you’re still considering the Senior Regional Director position? And if you’re on the fence, tell me what I have to do to sway you.”

  “I’m still considering your offer, as well as others. Thank you.” And walks off.

  Kelvin stands surprised and wonders, as if he was just hit with a glove. Then while standing there, Mr. Spiffs walks up to him and puts a disc in his coat pocket. Continuing to walk away with a smirk, he yells back, “Don’t stay up too late.”

  Kelvin cowers.

  15

  Kelvin finally makes it home, night. His father sits enjoying the game but pulls himself away to greet him. “Hi, Son. How goes the corporation?”

  “Dad,” a sigh, “it’s depleting both my energy and liquidity.” Oreleander stays listening to him. “I have one guy who wants an abnormal expense account that his position certainly does not warrant. I got another guy who wants a salary increase fiscally, and this other guy, he’s crazy, he just wants to be able to use the jet for non-business purposes. Argh! Can you believe it?” His posture clearly fatigued.

  Oreleander just chuckles, “Oh, how it starts young.”

  “I have to go take a shower and collapse. Just be happy you don’t have to deal with this everyday.” Kelvin waves and walks away.

  Oreleander is speechless, then yells out, “What do you think I do all day, freeze ice-cream?” He shakes his head.

  In Kelvin’s room, he starts taking off his jacket and finds the disc. Taking it out to look at it, he thinks as his eyes gravitate to his laptop. And behind him, a vague shadow disturbs the light behind him.

  Morning arrives and Kelvin’s already at school walking through one of the gathering points towards...

  “Mr. Randolph?” He turns around. “I wanted to make sure your slot on my team is secure.”

  Suddenly Mr. Spiffs gets in front of him. Standing a few inches taller, he looks down at Kelvin with a snarl, “Mr. Hobbs, you are speaking to an associate of my group and I will not permit it.”

  “What?” Kelvin looks around Mr. Spiffs to Mr. Randolph for an explanation but Mr. Spiffs answers for him.

  “He was the first one I hired, and I met his seemingly high request with one stipulation, to not tell anyone else he was hired. I wanted to see you beg.”

  Kelvin gets enraged and pushes Mr. Spiffs back forcibly.

  Mr. Spiffs laughs, “What are you going to do? You can’t do anything.” Kelvin then sees Mr. Randolph laughing in his face as well. “Take your little shipping company down stream.” Motioning with his fingers.

  Kelvin walks up to him with fierce eyes.

  Mr. Spiff jeers, “Oh, you want some? You wanna play it like public school? I’ll have you shining my shoes.” Then adds a forceful push back as well.

  At this point Kelvin is ready to attack but halts when his ears catch, “In my chambers! Both of you!”

  Kelvin cocks his head back a little to listen while keeping his eyes on Mr. Spiffs. Mr. Spiffs just mocks him with a laugh as he knows he
got the best of him.

  “On my heels, both of you.”

  Both stand across the desk. Professor Trouse looks up at them with seasoned judgment. Speaking with his hands, “Is this the way the top C.E.O.s of this school, of America, behaves? Mr. Hobbs, how are you going to lead your group if you see nothing wrong with jumping off the handle?” The Professor does not let up his strong look on Kelvin. “Do you have anything to say?” He waits patiently. “Well how about you Mr. Spiffs, do you have anything to add?”

  “Yes Sir, I would ask that Mr. Hobbs keep his greasy fifteen minute lube job hands off me and keep his distance from my constituents.” Kelvin turns his head, his neck creaking not believing what he’s hearing. “I do not appreciate being pushed, nor do I want my attire wrinkled or stained by his grime.” Smirk down to Kelvin.

  The Professor leans back to articulate everything, then turns his attention again to Mr. Hobbs. “Very well, how about you, Mr. Hobbs? Are you just going to stay silent? That is not noteworthy.”

  Kelvin stands intently looking straight ahead. He then looks down at the professor, picks up the P.A. mic sitting on his desk, hits the button, and speaks into it. “This is Mr. Hobbs, C.E.O., Chairman, and President of Prefix Shipping ...”

  The Professor motions for him to hand back the mic.

  Kelvin releases the button, “Respectfully, I do have something to say.”

  Mr. Spiffs interjects, “I think his corporation should be revoked.”

  Kelvin clicks the mic on again, “Anyone working for Prefix Shipping has just received a raise of five point...” he takes a moment to calculate, “two five percent. There are no more positions open; I have the team that I want. You are now the highest paid in the industry, wear it well.” He lets go the button, puts the mic down and steps back.

  After a long stare from the professor, “Dismissed.”

  16

  Saches catches up with him in the hallway. “What are you doing? You can’t afford to give that kind of raise.”

  “It’s alright, I dissolved Mr. Randolph’s position and redistributed his supposed salary.” He stops and looks at Saches revealing a secret, “Take good care of your employees and they’ll take good care of your customers. And hopefully,” he chuckles, “they’ll take good care of me.” And walks away.

  Saches nods, “You’re the boss.”

  Kelvin lifts his hands continuing to walk away.

  The pastor sits with a dissatisfied expression as he looks at Kelvin sitting across his desk. Kelvin is staring back. The ticking of the clock sounds loudly.

  Finally, Kelvin leans in, “Do you know what it means in Proverbs when it says a man could be reduced to a loaf of bread?”

  “What!”

  Kelvin looks away and exhales, “I didn’t think you knew,” a disheartened expression evident. He then turns back, “I’m sorry for the outburst, Mr. Windsor.” He finishes with a nod, then gets up and leaves.

  At home, Kelvin is motioning for the chauffeur to drive over his laptop. Saches is riding up the hill on his bike and stops to watch, very confused.

  “Little more, go ahead, nice and smooth.” The tire rides over it, the screen flashes a few times and it’s gone.

  Saches is shocked, then sees Kelvin go inside and trails after him through the house ending at Kelvin’s room. “Kelvin? Kelvin, what’s wrong man?”

  “You wouldn’t understand.”

  “So what, tell me anyway.”

  Kelvin lowers his head in shame, then looks at Saches and grabs him by his shirt. “I can’t, not today buddy.” He releases him, “You can go home. I have to try to find my soul.”

  “I don’t want to leave you like this. You don’t seem right.”

  “I’m not right, but I’ll be okay. I just have to find help, not sure where that is exactly. Go home, I’ll call you later.”

  Saches concedes, “Call me, or I’m throwing a brick through that window.”

  Kelvin manages to nod. Saches reluctantly leaves.

  Kelvin sits in a large support group, set in a college classroom of sort. A banner above tells, ‘The Guilt Stops Here’. It’s filled with men and some women, and one very emotionally looking fragile girl.

  He listens to the common folk, his eyes scrutinizing all, surveying the weakness in people. One already speaking... “My name is Donald, I started when I was seven. At first it started as a joke, but then this thing, this animal started to take hold of my soul. It was only a matter of time before I was feeding it everything I could find.” Tears, tears, tears…

  Another steps up. “Hi everyone, I’m Charles. I like to think I got this thing under control, but just when everything is going good, it decides to rear its ugly head again.” Meanwhile, Kelvin’s eyes the young girl, about his age. He appears to be discerning her. She sees him then lowers her eyes. He waits until she raises them again. She looks at him again, becomes annoyed then looks away.

  The man speaking finishes, “Fifteen years I’ve been fighting this thing, haven’t even made a dent.”

  Now a lady steps up to the microphone. “Hi all, I’m Susan. I’m here for my husband.” She halts and breaks down, then recovers. “I don’t know what to do. My marriage is being held by a thread,” sniffle, sniffle. “He says he’s doing better but I always find things, ugly things, traces.” She blubbers, “Breaks my heart.”

  Kelvin having a dead look on this lady unsympathetically replies in a breath, “Breaks my heart too.” He looks away to sigh, unable to take anymore of this. He gets up and hastens out of that place.

  Saches who was there too sees him walking out from the other side of the room. Startled for a moment, he gets up and runs after him. His shoes echoing in the hallway.

  “Hey, hey, hey man!”

  Kelvin turns around, surprised to see him, then turns angrier and continues to walk away. Saches catches up until he finally gets in front of him.

  “This is what you were ashamed to tell me?”

  “Yes.”

  “You should have told me.”

  He points strongly, “You should have told me too.”

  “You’re right, I’m sorry.”

  Kelvin is about to talk, but raises his hand like, Whatever. He walks right around Saches and keeps going.

  Saches yells out, “I’m in this with you.” Kelvin doesn’t stop. “We could help each other.” Saches pleads as he follows.

  Kelvin turns quickly and grabs him strongly by the lapel. Holding him a bent arm length away, “How can you help me? How can they help me?” He points strongly, “They don’t have the answers. They don’t have my answers. No one does.” He lets go and keeps walking adamantly out the door. Saches watches him get into his idling limo.

  17

  Kelvin is in bed. He gets up and reaches for his phone. Dialing a ten digit number he hears…

  “Didn’t think you were up.”

  “Liar.”

  “Alright, this isn’t a surprise.”

  “I want to thank you, for trying.”

  “Yeah man, of course.”

  Kelvin drops his head, “I have to put a stop to this. It’s killing me.”

  The conversation continues the next day at the Karate Studio in a sparring match.

  Saches suggests, “What if we’re accountable to each other?”

  “Accountable?” A skeptical look from Kelvin.

  “Yeah!”

  “Ha! Where are you going to be when an eight-thousand dollar escort thinks I’m the cutest guy in the room?”

  “It has worked for others.”

  “Saches, are you going to clean the street everywhere I’m going to walk so I don’t find a shred of toxin somewhere.”

  Saches implores, “It can help.”

  Kelvin stops, looks at him with a distasteful grimace and walks away.

  The conversation continues on school grounds. Kelvin walks and talks while Saches tries to keep up. “Can help who?” He looks at him. “You? So then
I would be constantly in this place of being reminded of a struggle? Whether yours or of mine? That will only fortify weakness.” Kelvin looks downwards as he speaks, “I’m a brilliant person, Saches, I can get around accountability.”

  Saches stays quiet, listening, looking.

  “Besides, I don’t find that kind of accountability in the Bible. The kind of accountability that stops you from missing the mark. No wonder it doesn’t work. People aren’t free, they’re just abstaining because of orange cones at the perimeter.” He smirks, “Next you’re going to tell me I can apply a twelve step program to my spiritual problem.”

  Saches stays quiet, starting to see the whole situation. He finally asks, “What are you going to do?”

  Kelvin only gives him that look. The look Saches has come to know as, “I have no clue.”

  As they enter the courtyard, the intercom interrupts their silence.

  Click, click.

  “A northeaster has just hit, airplanes are grounded and some were averted to other airports. Prefix Shipping lost twelve million in revenue.”

  Kelvin slows to a stop while holding his stomach with pain, then continues walking again.

  Saches watches not wanting to be in his position. He utters with a raised hand, “So it begins.”

  Sitting in the classroom, looking down as the teacher speaks technical jargon…

  Click, click.

  “This just in,” Kelvin holds still, gripping the desk. “The market has gone into recession. People aren’t buying jewelry. Diamond Shapers, you’re down forty-million.” Kelvin sighs in relief. Behind him, Mr. Spiffs holds his head in agony as different students surrounding him either cheer or grumble.

  The intercom message isn’t finished, “Prefix Shipping,” Kelvin is frozen, “due to the decrease in the price of fuel,” Kelvin starts to smile, “Prefix Shipping inadvertently gained twenty point two million in short term relief.” Kelvin cheers, accompanied constituents.

  Late night, knelt down in front of his Bible, the moonlight hits the pages, enough so to be read. Kelvin leans forward in exhaustion, “God, I do not want to take your mercy lightly. You have been so good to me. I keep failing you. Help!” His head falls in exasperation.

 
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