Sparked 2: The Variation

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 4 (v.1) - Chapter 3: Auditors and Consultants

Submitted: October 10, 2016

Reads: 91

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Submitted: October 10, 2016

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Chapter 3

' Auditors and Consultants' 

 

“The Variation has broken the natural elements, it has shattered and destroyed the virgin cycle of elements on the wind chime,” the Feng Shui Master repeated to his colleagues, he folded his hands neatly on the table but his eyes were edgy, bouncing from one scaly face to the next.

“So it has,” yawned the Master of Space, his eyes closed as he relaxed his hands behind his head. “How long are we going to be here for? I have important things to attend to.”

“So do I but this is a serious matter!” His twin brother, the Master of ‘almost’ Matter said firmly, slamming the table with his hand.

“My unmade bed is also a serious matter. I’m afraid the creases I made on my sheets will be replaced with neat, fresh sheets. Who will attend to my sheets while I linger here?”

“The Consultants of Z12 division will attend to them as they do with everyone’s sheets,” the Master of ‘almost’ Matter reprimanded with another slam on the table. “Show some interest and be serious about the universal workings of life.”

“That is the serious matter! Consultants of Z12 division have a tendency to keep everything neat and tidy, and that is the problem! The other day I was lying down on my bed, trying to get some decent sleep and they shoved me off,” retorted the Master of Space. “It was not a subtle wake up call.”

“Well, you do look like a large dust mite,” said the Master of ‘almost’ Matter whilst he observed his twin. “Anyone would shove you off the mud,” he said, distastefully.

The Feng Shui Master chuckled, his eyes eased a little.

“Are you implying I am dirtier than mud?” asked the Master of Space, poking the inside of his ear with his pinkie. “I might not live a squeaky clean life but I do bathe when the time is right.” He lifted the reddish gunk from his ear and flicked it to the darkness.

The Master of Time laughed almost to the point of tears after ten minutes when he finally understood the Master of ‘almost’ Matter’s sarcasm. “Thhhhhaaatt’sss faaaarrr toooo fuuuuu,” he chuckled, trying to hold in his prolonged laughter, “nnnnnnyyyy. Dussssttt Miiiiittteee!”

“Rather a dust mite than a slow wit,” said the Master of Space with superiority and proceeded to clean his other ear. “Least I can flow with the conversation.” The Master of Space waited for a response from the Master of Time but he was quiet for a lengthy ten minutes and then he spoke.

“I must say, cleaning your ears this very second is unwise,” said the Master of Time in a draft, dragging sort of way that forced each letter to linger more than it should onto the next letter which made the entire word echo slowly.

The Master of Space rolled his eyes and sighed. “The Division Z12 Consultants must have already dusted my bed, we might as well continue this meeting.”

“That’s the spirit. You do have some good parts in you even if they are all dirty, brother,” the Master of ‘almost’ Matter complimented. “Remember the days when we sang songs of action and stored them in records.”

“We still do. But now it is four of us,” said the Master of Space.

“I myself have had troublesome encounters with Z12 Division Consultants,” the Master of Time responded, relaying his own experience to the previous comment that the Master of Space had mentioned. “I don’t really know when they come into my room, or when they leave.” He coughed sluggishly.

The Consultants were beings who did anything and everything in Arcane. They were broken down into divisions according to the English alphabet. Whilst the Council Members controlled and managed the entire universe and Arcane – the Consultants did all the real work. They were the ones oiling pipelines, paving roads, they did anything and everything except truly lead and command, they were the ones that were made to follow the instructions of the Council. The Z division of Consultants did the day to day jobs whilst the A division Consultants were considered the elite of the elite, they dealt with complex management systems, they were only 12 of them, from A1 to A12. The other alphabetic division had over 150 000 Consultants but each of them had five leaders that received instruction from the Council and they would ensure their alphabetic division followed through.

“Enough!” said the Feng Shui Master. “We need to discuss this…” he paused then whispered. “Variation.” He stood to his feet. “You have all felt it. That freezing chill. It is the worst imbalance. The wind chime has only slightly cracked before but this time it has been broken. This my Council Members is a deep troubling problem.”

There was another silence but the Feng Shui Master would not let it linger. “We need to bring our thoughts together and find a solution before the Auditors come,” he said and sat back down. “It would have been perfectly fine and non-worrisome, I could have worked with my plants and trees being in the opposite ends of my garden but with the Variation, it’s much more convenient. It takes me ten short steps to water the lilies before it took me fifty,” he said, thoughtfully.

“Quite right there,” agreed the Master of ‘almost’ Matter. “My room has all this shattered glass, it’s quite appealing, I see more of myself more than ever.”

“It has no effect on me but I did like that chill,” said the Master of Space.

“Yes, yes, yes,” the Feng Shui Master began in soprano and nodded his head then pointed to the Master of Space.

“Yes, yes, yes,” the Master of Space sang in tenor. “Yes, yes, yes,” The Master of ‘almost’ Matter continued in contralto then the Master of Time chipped his head up at the tune and sang in baritone, “yes, yes, yes.”

Then all four of them sang together in the darkness.

“Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.”

Death slammed both his hands on the table, the angry noise interrupted the singing and the room was silent. He stood up aggressively and began to pen his thoughts on paper.

WHAT IN ARCANE ARE YOU ALL DOING???

He lifted his notepad and swerved it around the faces of his fellow Councillors, he then turned the page to write something new.

YOU FELT THE VARIATION BUT YOU ALL SIT AND SING?!? DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE? YOU AREN’T EVEN A CHOIR!

The four Council Members observed Death and his words.

“It is a sad thing. Not having a voice,” said the Feng Shui Master, sympathetically. “It must be difficult not taking part in the joys of singing. It brings a lighter yang balance. Even though the wind chime is broken it still does tinkle here and there. Maybe we should take a walk to the Feng Shui garden Death, it would provide much comfort.”

“I understand now,” said the Master of ‘almost’ Matter, sadly. “Ever since you lost your voice and the first time the wind chime cracked, you have been in despair,” he continued and shook his head in grief. “Maybe you need a new robe, I could tailor a few grey streaks on the edges.”

I DON’T NEED A NEW ROBE! AND I DON’T NEED TO WALK IN THE GARDEN!

“Oh dear,” the Master of Time dragged out. “Death, could you page back on your notepad. I am not such a fast reader, I stopped at Variation.” He coughed, some slime reached the tip of his lip and he swallowed it back down.

NO! I WILL NOT TURN THE PAGE BACK! WHAT ABOUT THE AUDITORS?

The Feng Shui Master sighed. “Death is right. The Auditors are the ones that have us panicked, if they find any more imbalances especially the wind chime broken. There could be more issues and tighter surveillance and the possibility that we will disintegrate.”

“Disintegrate?”

“Yes, it is somewhere in clause 567. Ner found it and read it to me. A kind soul that boy even though he hasn’t got one,” said the Feng Shui Master, thoughtfully.

“But what do you mean by disintegrate?” asked the Master of ‘almost’ Matter, he began to nervously drum his fingers on the table.

“Well in plain terms, the Council will be deemed unsuitable and incompetent to control the universe and would be rightfully disbanded,” replied the Master of Feng Shui.

“Disbanded? But where will we go?”

“Nowhere, we will diminish into energy and be a source of life for Arcane.”

“What!” exclaimed the Master of Time, abruptly and loudly that everyone glanced at him in shock.

“Death, a walk in the Feng Shui Garden is good for the legs and a new robe fills the body with warmth,” explained the Master of Time. “How can you reject such offers?”

The Master of ‘almost’ Matter shrugged off the shock and the comment made by the Master of Time and said panicky, “We will turn into energy for Arcane! I can't have that!”

“Of course none of us can have that!” the Feng Shui Master strongly agreed. “We need to stop the Auditors from finding out about the variation.”

“But how?”

“Ner!” cried The Master of Time, finally catching up to speed on the conversation.

All four Councillors paused and glanced in surprise at the helpful comment made by the Master of Time

“He is on Earth solving the problem that the Auditors found,” said the Master of Space.

“Summon him here, this is a crisis!” screeched the Master of ‘almost’ Matter.

The Master of Feng Shui lifted his hand drawing symbols in the air to begin the summoning, the letters flickered then disappeared. “This is strange,” he said and blinked curiously at the disappearing letters.

“What is?” snapped the Master of ‘almost’ Matter, he drummed his fingers impatiently on the table. “When is Ner coming?”

The Feng Shui Master tried the summoning technique again but it failed. “I can’t reach him. The summoning technique won't work,” he said and idly gazed at his hand, puzzled.

“That’s impossible! Let me do it,” snapped the Master of ‘almost’ Matter again, he lifted his hand, striking the summoning symbols in the air. When Ner did not appear, he tried again but still it did not work. “Something is blocking the transmission!”

Hmm. Death hummed one of the only two syllables he could voice, then wrote out his thoughts.

IT MUST BE THE VARIATION.

“What do we do now?” asked the Master of ‘almost’ Matter, more panicked than before.

“This variation is no longer a small problem,” said the Master of Feng Shui as he removed a scroll from his robe. “It’s prohibiting our powers, it might not just be the summoning, it could be everything,” declared the Master of Feng Shui and he unrolled the scroll and firmly spread it on the table.

The three other Councillors gasped while Death sat silently.

“This Variation needs to be destroyed,” stated the Feng Shui Master, his eyes were black and focused. “Before the Auditors find out this problem, we must destroy it. But first let us understand who or what this Variation is.”

He bent his head down reading the words on the paper. “This medical record was delivered to me earlier by A1 Consultants, let's see,” he said and continued to read then tapped the scroll in wonder. “I have found the variation’s name, Emma Dove Esther Rose Sullen, E.D.E.R.S. It’s quite a mouthful as expected of the Variation.” He read on. “She is a human from Earth.” He peered up quietly at Death and gazed inquisitively into his eyes.

“But how will we locate it? This EDERS!” The Master of ‘almost’ Matter continued his panic tone.

THE DIVISION A CONSULTANTS. A3 CONSULTANTS, THE ASSASSINS.

“Death is right,” nodded the Feng Shui Master. “Send for the Leader of Division A3 Consultants. Miss Elita Schola.” He wrote a few details on the medical record scroll then rolled it up and tossed it to Death.

Death caught the medical record as well as the inquisitive glance from the Feng Shui Master, he could read his ancient colleagues’ face well, for he had the exact same question in mind. The Variation was a human, it meant Ner had failed to follow through on a mandatory death on Earth but why? He unrolled the medical record folding it neatly then placed it in an envelope.

The Master of Space immediately stood up and dialled the phone on the wall. “Miss Underwood, bring Miss Elita Schola here in five minutes.” He waited for her to agree while she explained something in high frantic tones and then he hung up the phone and slumped back down in his seat. “Miss Underwood mentioned some unfortunate news,” said the Master of Space, rather distraught.

“What could be more unfortunate than this Variation?” The Master of ‘almost’ Matter gritted his teeth in worry.

“Well, you know about the Auditors. Apparently, they are twenty minutes away,” said the Master of Space, dismally.

“Twenty minutes from where?!”

“From here. It should be nineteen minutes now,” said the Master of Space, he could hear the seconds tick to their doom.

“Why are they coming here? Was today the audit meeting?” asked the Master of ‘almost’ Matter, turning ghastly pale.

“I say, if Ner is unavailable. Miss Elita Schola would be the next best thing,” the Master of Time said oblivious to the previous comments about the Auditors.

THE NEXT AUDIT MEETING WAS MEANT TO BE IN SEVEN MONTHS.

“Confirm this with Miss Underwood,” said the Master of Feng Shui, swallowing uncomfortably.

The Master of Space proceeded to redial. “Miss Underwood, isn't the next audit meeting scheduled in seven months?” asked the Master of Space and he nodded at her response. “I see, so what is the agenda of this audit meeting?” He nodded again. “Alright then.” He hung up the phone and slumped back into his seat.

“She confirmed that the next audit meeting is in seven months on the 28th. But this meeting in 16 minutes –“

“Then why are they coming here?” the Master of ‘almost’ Matter interrupted and was about to rip off his non-existent hair. “They must know about the Variation.”

“That is a possibility,” said the Feng Shui Master calmly but his eyes were slightly edgy. “But it is highly unlikely, unlike us the Auditors don’t have universal senses they only base findings on evidence. If they heard about the Variation, they would need proof it exists and they aren't they type to ask about something based on rumours.”

TRUE. WE HAVEN’T FILED IT AND THEY WOULD ONLY OFFICIALLY INVESTIGATE WHEN THEY GO THROUGH THEIR CHECKLIST WHICH INCLUDES THE WIND CHIME. THAT IS ONLY IN SEVEN MONTHS.

“And Miss Underwood said they failed to provide an agenda for this meeting. It would be interesting to find out why they are coming to pay us a visit,” said The Master of Space, arching his eyebrow.

Before anyone could ponder and respond, Miss Elita Schola entered the dark conference room with two of her subordinates. She eagerly glanced left and right in search of someone but when she could not find the person she frowned. “You invite me to disappointment,” she said and flopped down in an empty chair, her two subordinates stood behind her like shadows.

Miss Elita Schola had black frizzy hair and round cheeks, she was a bulky Arcanite woman but athletic as any professional gymnast. She wore latex and it kept all her wobbly bits in place. She was the oldest assassin alive and the leader of A3 Division Consultants – The Assassins. There were three elite assassins, Un, Zwei and Tres. They were easily recognisable by the powdered black ash that was smothered on their skin. The ash hardened on their faces, forming a black ashen mask that surrounded the entire face.

The Council Members peered at each other then at Miss Elita Schola, oblivious to the two ashen shadows behind her.

“We invite you to a mission to avoid disappointment,” said the Master of Space, trying to crack a smile.

“Where is Ner?” she asked sharply, not interested in the mission invitation, “I haven't seen him around even at the liblabratory.” – This was a mix of a library and a laboratory.

“Ner is on a mission on Earth,” the Feng Shui Master said calmly. “And we have called you to aid him accomplish his mission faster.”

Her eyes perked up. “So he is in need of my help? I do like to help,” purred Miss Elita Schola, almost licking her lips. She loved to watch Ner, whether it was in the liblabratory or reading a book in his father’s office. She secretly spied on him, stalking his movements when she could.

“Yes,” said the Feng Shui Master. “So will you aid him? He will return sooner and stay put in the liblabratory and you are bound to see him daily,” he flattered her.

“Well of course! If the Council instruct me, how can I refuse? Tell me the mission at once!” said Miss Elita Schola filled with renewed inspiration.

“It is quite simple,” said the Master of Feng Shui, glancing at Death. Death nodded and threw the sealed envelope with the medical record on the table. “Give Ner this envelope, he is the only one who must read it,” instructed the Feng Shui Master.

Miss Elita Schola mouth formed a line, “why don’t you summon him and give him the letter yourselves?”

The Master of Feng Shui stared hard at Miss Elita Schola. “We cannot easily interrupt him. He is on an important mission. Once you find him, you must aid him as he instructs. This must be done within four months,” he said, firmly.

“Four months? What mission is Ner on that requires so much of his time away from me, I mean home?” she said and frowned. “I don’t think I can bare not seeing him for another day. He has such volume in his hair and that tight fitting suit.” She began to salivate.

Hmm. Death cleared his throat, it was one of the syllables that he could voice.

She blushed when she heard Death and avoided his gaze. “Well, if it is to aid Ner. I can't refuse. I will have the elite assassins from A3 Consultants. Un, Zwei and Tres…” she paused in thought, “but maybe I should go instead.”

Ah! Death cracked the only second syllable he could formulate from his throat.

“Even though I want to be with my beloved, err I mean to assist Ner,” she stumbled out and blushed embarrassingly red. “Un, Zwei and Tres will be best for the mission.”

Un and Zwei bowed their ashen masked heads at the instruction, their movements were smooth almost invisible to the eye.

“Here Un, take this envelope. You both heard the commands of the Council. There is no option for failure. If you know you are going to fail you best kill yourself,” said Miss Elita Schola, uncaringly.

Un and Zwei stepped back twice but not a sound was heard from their footsteps. Another ashen presence emerged from the darkness and stood by their side. They all knelt down reciting the same words.

“We shall not fail. As Consultants of A3 Division we shall die before we fail. The ashen ways have blackened into darkness as we are.” They spoke with voices yet it seemed like they hadn't said anything at all.

The Master of ‘almost’ Matter blinked at the third masked ashen being. “Was that being here all along?” he asked.

“Well of course. We can’t have A3 Division with only two members,” Miss Elita Schola said. “I don’t think any of them need an introduction, unless you require one?”

“We don’t. We trust that the mission will be completed effectively,” said the Feng Shui Master, wondering how the third one known as Tres could not be seen by his Feng Shui energy sight.

“Impressive,” smiled the Master of Space. “That is a rather strange saying, die before you fail?”

“Do you like that line?” Miss Elita Schola tilted her frizzy hair back, eager to explain. “It’s the code of the assassins, every assassin has the saying tattooed on their neck and the insides of the fingers.” She opened the sides of her fingers revealing the tattooed sayings, the exact same print was on all fingers. “Un show them your neck,” commanded Miss Elita Schola.

Un stood up whilst her comrades knelt down, she wiped the ashen powder from her neck, it began to clear revealing her pale white skin but instead of it remaining clear the powdered ash quickly slithered back, trying to cover the revealed skin. Un captured the black powder, holding it firmly as she ripped it from her skin. Her pale white skin began to glisten in the dark, the red tattooed inscription lighted – it was the saying of the assassins – We shall die before we fail. The ashen ways have blackened into darkness as we are. The saying repeated over and over all around her neck in blood red, it resembled a unique imprinted necklace.

“And you do know why we wear masks,” Miss Elita Schola grinned, trying to incite curiosity into the eyes of the Council.

The Master of ‘almost’ Matter arched his eyebrow, the curiosity of Miss Elita Schola words had settled down his panic attack. “Not to be seen?” he suggested.

“Well there is that, but you know us assassins. We are like a shadow in the dark, our footsteps are so light that we are invisible. We were never there. And the masks are a part of it, every assassin has 1000 masks before they reveal their true face.”

The Feng Shui Master was also curious, he leaned his chin deeper into his hands. “And will you show us what these masks do?” he asked.

“Well, if it’s just for the Council then we can show them. Un, you remember Miss Underwood,” remarked Miss Elita Schola.

Un nodded at the instruction and let go of the ashen powder, it slithered back on her skin, replacing the red inscription and her pale skin. She began the masked procedure, the ashen powder on her skin hardened and the mask began to stiffen against her face, the hardened ash cracked and pressed closer to her face and body, breaking her facial bones and limbs, loud cracks were heard in the dark conference room. Some of the hardened ash peeled and fell to the ground, the rest of the material sewn its way into Un’s face and body then after a minute Miss Underwood’s face and body appeared, replacing the broken ash.

“How long will that last?” the Master of Space asked, staring at the reborn Miss Underwood.

“As long as it is needed,” Un spoke, her voice a replica of Miss Underwood.

“Where are your weapons?” The Master of ‘almost’ Matter pursed his lips in wonder, wanting to touch Un in order to verify if she was real.

Before Miss Elita Schola could respond, she was interrupted by a loud ringing. The Master of Space walked to the phone and answered it. “Oh, Miss Underwood. I thought you were in the room,” he said then his eyes went large as he listened to Miss Underwood. “They are here? Four of them, you say.” He looked jittery to his fellow Council Members but spoke as calmly as possible, not to alert the A3 Consultants of any trouble. “Ask them if they would like coffee or tea and bring them in,” he said to Miss Underwood and hung up the phone.

“It seems we have another meeting,” the Master of Feng Shui said, acknowledging the fear in the eyes of the Master of Space. “You will need to excuse us Miss Elita Schola. We know you will have a favourable report when you return. Please use your assassin skills and disappear.” He deepened his chin in his folded hands.

Miss Elita Schola smiled. “Why of course,” she said and with her last words she disappeared like a shadow in the dark with her three subordinates.

“Aren't assassins strange?” the Master of ‘almost’ Matter said as the four Auditor members entered the conference room, Miss Underwood guided them.

All the five Council Members stood in the presence of the Auditors. The three Auditors were very thin beings, they looked like 1.7 meter rulers with thick brimmed spectacles, you could not differentiate them from each other, they all wore white shirts, grey pants and black ties and had the same emotionless expression. Their eyebrows were in a fixed horizontal line just like their lips. But one was slightly taller than the rest – an inch taller. He was the Chairman of the Auditors; his black hair was neatly parted in the centre and gelled to keep it in place, his name was Early Young. EY when he approved audits and reports.

“This is an unpleasant surprise,” said the Master of Feng Shui. “We were expecting you in seven months on the 28th. But you’ve come earlier. Are we celebrating anything in particular?”

Auditor Early Young sat down and the rest of the three Auditors followed suit. He placed his briefcase on the table and opened it, removing a brown envelope.

“There are no celebrations in the world of binary,” responded Auditor Early Young, robotically.

“But there are surprises in the binary world? Or have you stationed yourself permanently at Arcane,” said the Master of Space without any tact.

All the Council Members sat down.

“Surprises are not celebrated either but caution and controls would be celebrated if it was possible,” said Auditor Early Young, dusting the table in disgust. “And the current Arcane is not suitable for Auditors,” he said with a deep and stony tone, placing the envelope on the table.

The Council Members looked at each other, unsure of what Auditor Early Young meant.

“It has come to my attention,” said Auditor Early Young as he adjusted his spectacles on his unreadable face, his spectacles glistened in the dark room. “This envelope here has come to my attention.” He lifted it up.

The Master of ‘almost’ Matter gulped even though he had no clue of the contents of the envelope. “Uh... Uh...” he began, “did you have tea and coffee yet?” he nervously offered in a weak smile.

“Black coffee no sugar,” said Auditor Early Young, crisply.

“Did you get that Miss Underwood?” the Master of ‘almost’ Matter rushed out his sentences. “And for the rest of you? Probably the same? Nothing like a black coffee with no sugar to keep the mind alive. And our Miss Underwood makes the best kind.”

All three auditors looked at the Master of ‘almost’ Matter, when they remained quiet and continued to gaze at him with an uncomfortable bland expression, he gulped again and quickly said, “Miss Underwood please bring us one coffee and leave out the sugar and milk.”

Death pulled out his notebook unconcerned about the Auditors lack of expressions.

WHAT ABOUT THIS ENVELOPE?

Auditor Early Young, positioned his glasses carefully on his wooden face as he replied, “This envelope was mailed from Earth.”

“Earth?” screeched the Master of ‘almost’ Matter.

“Yes, Earth. And you should know that the Earth mailing system has been archived in 000010001100 and this envelope should not have arrived in Arcane nor the Auditors Department,” said Auditor Early Young, crisply. “It has come to my attention that even the mailing system in Arcane is at risk.”

“You came all this way to deliver the post?” giggled the Master of Space in disbelief.

“This is the final warning,” said Auditor Early Young with no humour, his spectacles glistened again while he spoke stonily. “If internal systems are not properly controlled and I find my checklist incomplete, a new system will need to be implemented and you all should be aware that one is currently being complied but you are not part of it.”

“And what does this mean?” the Feng Shui Master asked even though he knew exactly what it meant.

“It means that this Council will no longer exist, it would be best to start from zero when so many risks and faults are identified,” Auditor Early Young said icily. “We don't appreciate receiving envelopes that aren't directed to us through a system that was archived especially during this trial period. We advise that our recommendations of caution be applied before the next audit.”

“Caution and energy are difficult friends,” said the Feng Shui Master. “Auditor Young, you must know that energy is erratic, not anyone can control it even with caution.”

“One should try what the facts and numbers recommend!” said Auditor Early Young, sharply.

“But of course we will try as you recommend,” the Master of Feng Shui smiled too politely that it was fake. “We will try with the greatest of energy to implement caution.”

Miss Underwood brought the coffee, she poured Auditor Early Young his black liquid then walked out of the room.

“Shouldn't you be minuting this meeting as a record?” asked Auditor Early Young as he sipped his black coffee.

“It was a surprise meeting and we can’t minute surprises? And shouldn’t the party that set up the meeting be taking minutes?” queried the Feng Shui Master, politely.

WE ARE NOT CONSULTANTS. WE AREN’T AUTHORISED TO TAKE MINUTES.

“And our Master of Time keeps a timely record,” grinned the Master of Space, condescendingly.

Auditor Early Young continued to drink his black coffee, unfazed by the excuses. “The Master of Time and everyone will be audited accordingly. Seven months will pass by in a blink of an eye,” he said, robotically and lifted his coffee cup in salute.

“And that envelope should be left with us,” said the Master of ‘almost’ Matter rather shaky even though he gained confidence from his colleagues.

“Indeed. But it should be filed appropriately according to date and time and binary number, I hope to find the contents in order,” responded Auditor Early Young and swirled the coffee in the cup, he drank it in a lifeless gulp. “We appreciate your time. We all know you all have a busy schedule.” He stood up and lifted his briefcase, the other three auditors followed suit. “Thank you for the coffee, it was awful as usual. The only thing I look forward to,” he said and walked towards the exit with the three auditors behind him but then he paused. “Before I leave. Where is that black haired individual?” asked Auditor Early Young. “His name was Ner, he showed me all the documents.”

BUSY.

Death lifted up his notepad.

“You wouldn't want to lose him, he is very well organised and perceptive,” said Auditor Early Young, pausing to look behind, his spectacles glistened a last time at all five Councillors and then he was gone.

“This is more than serious!” the Feng Shui Master said, his hands were folded underneath his chin. “Auditor Early Young is a very observant being, in seven months he will discover the broken wind chime even if we do our best to hide it.”

“I hate the look on his glasses like he knows we are hiding something,” said the Master of Space.

The Master of ‘almost’ Matter frowned, “Well we are.” 

INSTEAD OF HIDING THE PROBLEM, WE SHOULD ENSURE IT GETS FIXED. SEVEN MONTHS SHOULD BE ENOUGH TO GET THIS SOLVED.

“Did that Auditor Early Young already leave?” the Master of Time finally spoke, “I wanted to ask him about his spectacles, they are real thick. How does he manage to see through them?

The four members ignored the Master of Time.

“Those A3 Consultants and Ner are likely to solve this. But what is in that envelope. We have never received a delivery from Earth not through space mail,” said the Master of ‘almost’ Matter.

“Indeed. That space mail system was banned eons ago like Auditor Young said,” said the Feng Shui Master.

HOW CAN IT STILL FUNCTION?

They all stared hard at the Earth envelope, it was flat, brown and plain.

“It isn’t bulky, it’s probably a letter. There isn't anything within it that could harm us,” said the Master of Space, staring at the envelope intensely.

“But they are letter bombs. The Auditor might want to assassinate us,” said the Master of ‘almost’ Matter, cautiously.

“No, he wanted us to file it. He isn't the type, he follows the rules, there is no grey area for him,” said the Feng Shui Master.

“Then it is a letter from Earth. I wonder if anything significant is written in it,” said the Master of ‘almost’ Matter.

Death picked it up from the table and ripped it open. He unfolded the paper within the envelope. He observed it for twenty seconds before glancing his smoky eyes at his colleagues.

“What does it say?”

Death wrote what he had read on his notepad.

AUTUMN LEAVES RED AND BROWN


© Copyright 2018 Hsien W Lou. All rights reserved.

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