Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Sixth Man – Episode 30

DIGITAL CAMERAWilson Meets Marti

Les Refroe and Wilson sat across the street from the bar on a street in a mobile home park. They were shielded by another car from direct view of the parking lot of the bar. They arrived about 15 minutes before 5:00 PM.

“If police show up they will never be too early,” Les said.

“I don’t see any unmarked cars or suspicious looking guys,” Wilson said.

“They may be inside,” Les said. “I’m going to go have a beer and wait until dad comes along. Wait here I’ll be back in fifteen or twenty minutes. If you see police cars or what looks like plain clothed police drive my car slowly, turn left, and then right at the light. Drive a mile and pull into the first business on the right and wait.”

Les climbed out of the car, trotted across the street, and walked nonchalantly into the bar.

At 5:00 exactly a late model car pulled into the parking lot of the bar; two men were in the front seat and two women in the back. The men were dressed too casual to be police officers. They looked like construction workers.

Wilson slipped out of the car and looked for other cars. He trotted across the street. He approached the car with the two women in the back seat. Wilson again scanned for suspicious looking cars. He grabbed the door handle to the front seat passenger’s side. He jerked it open and fell into the seat.

The women gasp. The one woman was the one from behind the bar earlier. The other was older likely her mother.

“All I want to know is if you know me,” Wilson said. “And nothing else. I don’t want to harm anyone or cause any trouble.”

The younger girl grabbed for the door handle.

“No,” the older woman said. “I believe him. Let’s go inside and settle this.”

“You have two guys in there,” Wilson said. “And I got two guys in there. I don’t trust you any more than you trust me.”

“They’re my sons,” the older woman said. “Nothing will happen, Wilson, you can trust me.”

“You know me, don’t you?” Wilson said.

“Yeah,” the older woman said, “you could say that. My name is Marti and this is my daughter, Lynn.”

“Anything you can tell me will help,” Wilson said. “I just need directions and I’ll be gone, you’ll never see me again.”

Marti looked away. Lynn laid her hand on Marti’s arm.

“Are you all right?” Wilson said. “Look, if this brings back something painful to you, I’m sorry. I don’t want to hurt anyone.”

Marti starred out the window.

“Is it better that I leave?” Wilson said.

“Not this time,” Marti said.

“What!” Wilson said.

“What do you mean, mom?” Lynn said.

“Let’s get Donnie and Butch,” Marti said.

“Maybe I should just go,” Wilson said.

“You don’t have to worry,” Marti said. “But let’s all talk.”



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The Sixth Man – Episode 29

6036453865_2f02d9874b_z[1]Back To Mrs. Bradford

Wilson climbed back in the car and drove to the Bradford Mansion. He knocked on the door. A buxom lady in here late 40s in a grey maid’s uniform appeared at the door.

“May I help you,” she said.

“Mrs. Bradford, please,” Wilson said. “And please tell her it’s Steve Joseph.”

“Steve!” Mrs. Joseph called out from inside. “Let him come in!”

Wilson was greeted with a hug and peck on the cheek. “Let’s sit in the dinning room.” Mrs. Bradford said to the maid, “Greta, will you prepare another plate for my guest.”

Mrs. Bradford ushered Wilson to the dinning room and they sat at the table.

“Tell me of your progress,” Mrs. Bradford said.

“I wish I could tell you things are fine,” Wilson said.

“Oh no, Steve,” Mrs. Bradford said. “More problems?”

“The name is not even Charles Arnold,” Wilson said. “It is Wilson Gentry.” Wilson then went on to relate the things that had happened to him the last few months as they ate lunch.

“So what brings you back to Indianapolis?” Mrs. Bradford said.

“It seems like my first name change came about 37 years ago. I was in the military then at Ft. Harrison. I went back there to try to pick up some pieces.”

“And no luck,” Mrs. Bradford said.

“I may have come across something,” Wilson said. “I was drawn to a bar right off post. It seemed familiar, but I wasn’t sure. I talked to a woman behind the bar and she told me her mother worked there about the time of my change of names. She called her mother and things became tense and strange. I pleaded with her to have her mother come to the bar at 5 so I could at lest speak to her.”

“So, what is strange about that?” Mrs. Bradford said.

“At first when she called her mother there was no memory of me,” Wilson said. “And now she wants to meet.”

“I think you should be worried,” Mrs. Bradford said.

“I was hoping you could help me,” Wilson said.

“Certainly,” Mrs. Bradford said, “but how?”

“The private detective you hired to find out who I am,” Wilson said, “Could he offer some sort of protection for me?”

Mrs. Bradford smiled politely and stood.” Give me a moment,” she smiled. She left the room and could be heard on the phone. “Les, this is Mrs. Bradford. Can you be here in and hour. Thank you. Yes, in one hour.”

An hour later Les Renfroe was introduced to Wilson. He was a fit man in his late 30s. He looked every bit a private investigator, dressed so ordinary he stood out. Wilson filled him in on all the events that happened that morning.

“You are about the same build as my dad,” Les said. “I have an idea. I’m going to put my dad in your cloths and send him into the bar and see what happens. If we see squad cars rolling up we’ll know we have to get you out of town and a lawyer. If we see two ladies follow dad in, we’ll come in after them. If two thugs walk in after dad, I feel sorry for the thugs. Dad can more than handle himself. He started in this business roughing up guys that like to beat their wives.” He chuckled. “A woman will pay a lot of money to see there ole man or ex boyfriend get the crap kicked out of him. That’s how mom and dad met. She hired him to stop her boss from stalking her. Mom eventually got fired, but the business closed anyway. It’s kind of hard to run an insurance agency from a hospital bed.”


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Sixth Man – Episode 28


Wilson used his old driver’s license and renewed all his credit cards under the name Charles Arnold. He drove his own car hoping that it could bring back a memory. He traveled back to Ft. Benjamin Harrison near Indianapolis. He checked into a motel late at night and was up, showered, and dressed by 9:00 AM. He ate at a restaurant and had a coffee and an omelet.
He slowly drove down Post Road that led to the military post. There were no gates or guards. “Snafu,” Wilson said mysteriously and before him was a bar named Snafu. “A memory, it may have been an old watering hole.”
A large building rested a quarter mile further. Nothing registered about it. He passed another street corner and turned left as if he had a destination. “Headquarters,” he said to a long three story brick building with white columns. “I’ve been here. I can feel it.”
He drove up and down streets. There were new buildings that left him with the impression much had changed since he had been there the last time. “There is no one here that will remember anything; but maybe the bar.”
Wilson parked his car and walked the streets of the post until near 11:00 AM when the bar opened. He drove to the bar and walked it.
Noting looked familiar about it, just a dive. He sat at the bar and an attractive woman in her thirties from behind the bar asked, “What are you havin’?”
“Nothing,” Wilson said. “I was here 37 years ago.”
“That’s before my time,” she said.
“Do you know if the person who owed it then is still around?” Wilson said.
“This place changes hands every few years,” she said. “Nobody hangs on to it for too long. It’s more headaches than money.”
“Thanks for your time ma’am,” Wilson said and stood.
“My mother worked her about that time,” she smiled. “But she says she don’t remember much about the place. She said she waited tables while working herself through school.”
“Would you mind giving me her number,” Wilson said. “You see, ma’am I’m in a mess. I have amnesia. They say if you can just get some bits and pieces you can fill in the rest. I really need help. You can call you’re mother first and ask her to speak to me and she doesn’t that’s fine, but I’d appreciate if you’d just give it a try.”
“What is your name?’ she said. “No harm in asking.”
“It’s Wilson Gentry,” Wilson said. “I’m certain that’s the name I used 37 years ago when I was stationed at Fort Ben.”
“Wilson Gentry,” she said and smiled uncomfortably.
“Yes,” Wilson said.
“Give me a minute and I’ll call my mom,” she said.
“Thanks,” Wilson said. “Just ask if she knows the name or remembers the names of people who worked here or were customers.”
“Sure,” she said. “Give me a minute.
She stepped away and pulled her cell phone from her purse that was behind the counter. She stepped into a small room off to the side of the bar. She talked for a couple of minutes.
“Mom said she doesn’t remember anything about this place back then,” she said. “And she’s sorry she can’t help you.”
“Could I ask your mother’s name?” Wilson said.
“You’re starting to weird me out mister,” she said. “I wish you’d just leave.”
“Sorry, Ma’am,” Wilson said. “I understand.”
Wilson started toward the door and turned toward the apprehensive and tense looking young woman. “Ma’am, all I want to do is find out who I am. All I really know about myself is that my name is Wilson Gentry but for more over 35 years I’ve gone by the name Charles Arnold and I don’t know why. I know I was stationed here and I know I used to hangout at this bar. I pulled in here like I knew the place. I just want help. If it makes you feel better ask your Mom to meet me here at five and she can have body guards if she likes.”
“Come back at five,” she said. “I’ll see what we can do, but I can’t make any promises.”
“Fair enough,” Wilson said. “Thanks.”

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The Thing

Mystery Box (Daily Prompt)

You wake up one morning to find a beautifully wrapped package next to your bed. Attached to it is a note: “Open me, if you dare.” What’s inside the mystery box? Do you open it?

Well here it goes. I haven’t done one of these in a while. I”ve outgrown them. I’ve become too sophisticated. I participated in the exercise for about a year and a half. Now I only post short stories and episodic stories.

It’s very simple; call the bomb squad.

Anyway this all reminded me of one of the first songs I recall hearing on the radio. It’s called The Thing, by Phil Harris. I hope you are amused.


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The Sixth Man – Episode 27

605[1]The Brown Envelope


Three days later Wilson walked past the front door in foyer. He saw a manila envelope through the door’s glass. He opened the door and grabbed the envelope. “Wilson Gentry” was written on the front.

Wilson tossed the envelope on the table in the sunroom. He tapped on Gayle’s bedroom door. “Gayle, it’s important. Meet me in the sunroom.”

He brewed the coffee and poured two cups. He had little anxiety about what the envelope contained. If it was something terribly wrong he would have been greeted by a SWAT team.

Gayle walked across the dinning room to the sunroom stretching from her sleep. The envelope arrested her attention. “What’s that?” She yawned.

I found it in the door this morning,” Wilson said bringing the two coffees to the table.

Do you know what’s in it?” Gayle said and sat down and looking at the envelope as it laid on the table.

It has my name on it.” Wilson said. “Likely it’s from Wanda.”

Have you opened it?” Gayle said.

I’m afraid to,” Wilson said. “I’m have been hiding from the truth for 37 years.”

What makes you say 37 years?” Gayle said.

Strangely,” Wilson said, “The last only date I remember is 37 years ago. Something happened then. It’s too terrible to bring forward.”

Do you want me or someone else to read it and let us determine how bad it is and decide whether to let you know?” Gayle said.

That’s too much for any one to bear except for the one it effects the most,” Wilson said. “No matter what it is, I must take the responsibility. I think this whole thing is about responsibility. I’ve been running from it.”

Wilson opened the envelope and pulled out a single sheet of white paper. It was a typed page. Wilson drew a deep breath and began to read. “Dear Mr. Gentry, in the short time I have known you I think you are a good man. A man of integrity and character. So much I think of you that I will not reveal what I found out about you. I will only point you in the right direction. Indeed your name is Wilson Gentry, you were born in Los Angles, California in 1950. You enlisted in the Army in 1969. You were discharged from the Army in 1972 at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. There is no other information about you beyond that point. I’d like to suggest before proceeding further you should have a mental evaluation and be under the care of mental health professional before proceeding any further. There is a Dr. Philip Haverston in Houston, Texas who may be able to help you. Respectfully yours, Wanda Kotterman.”

Wilson laid the letter down.

You need time to think about things,” Gayle said. “But you really should get some help. That doctor might be a good place to start.”

That name, Dr. Phillip Haverston makes me feel angry,” Wilson said. “I don’t know whether I can see him or not. I feel repulsed by his name and I don‘t know why.”

That’s sometimes true of those who try to help us,” Gayle said.

No,” Wilson said, “There is something fearful; it’s fear.”

What do you want to do?” Gayle said.

I’m going to Ft. Benjamin Harrison,” Wilson said. “I’m going to see if something jogs my memory before I go see Dr. Phillip Haverston. I have to face him. He knows something about me and I got a right to know.”

What if he doesn’t remember you?” Gayle said.

I think he’ll remember,” Wilson said. “I have stronger feeling toward him than I do you, Missy, or Drake. They are strong feelings, near rage.”

You should have someone with you,” Gayle said.

I know this,” Wilson said, “I would never do anything to hurt him.”

Are you sure?” Gayle said.

I’m sure,” Wilson said. “I know I have something special with you and my children. I will not do anything to another person that will distance us further. But I have to follow this where ever it takes me.”


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The Sixth Man – Episode 26


(Starting today, new episodes of The Sixth Man will only be posted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays,)

Lunch With Wanda

Drake parked the car on the route from the FBI office to the restaurant. They waited and watched.

That’s her,” Wilson said motioning with his head. “I’ll let her go by and catch up with her.”

She walked by and Wilson slowly got out of the car. She crossed the street at the crosswalk and Wilson caught up with her half way into the block.

Mrs. Kotterman, Wanda!” Wilson said.

She turned around and paused suspiciously. “Arnold? Right?”

Yes,” Wilson said, “but there has been a slight adjustment. My name at the present, is Wilson Gentry.”

Wanda walked toward Wilson. “Are you okay?” she said.

I may need some help,” Wilson said.

Let’s talk,” Wanda said.

My son is with me,” Wilson said. “I’d like for you to meet him.”

I’d like to meet him,” Wanda said.

Wilson swung his arm motioning for Drake who was standing by the car. Wilson introduced them and they all walked to the restaurant. They sat at a booth and ordered sandwiches and soft drinks.

So how can I help you, it’s Wilson now, right?” Wanda said.

First of all my son is a lawyer and he’s asking we talk off the record,” Wilson said.

It is not our intent to deceive or to gain access to information we are not entitled to, but I want my father to be armed with as much information as possible so he can adequately make decisions that he might make if he had not incurred memory loss.”

Doesn’t he sound good?” Wilson smiled. “I paid for that.”

He sounds like a son interested in his father’s welfare,” Wanda said.

So,” Drake said raising his eyebrows.

I do what I can, but I can’t brake my oath or the law,” Wanda said. “If you’re not a serial killer, an enemy of the state, or a Nazi war criminal I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, but don’t cross me.”

You have our word,” Drake said.

Wilson nodded.

Very simply find out who Wilson Gentry is,” Wilson said.

So you did not know who you were when we met on the plane?” Wanda said.

No,” Wilson said. “There is a woman named Gayle who believes I am Charles Arnold and my son Drake and his sister Missy believe I am Charles Arnold.”

So now what makes you think you are really Wilson Gentry?” Wanda said.

A week or so ago I wrote a letter and signed it Wilson Gentry without even knowing it,” Wilson said. “You know, you never think twice when you sign you name.”

That’s it?” Wanda said.

This is where we really have to trust each other,” Drake said.

Go ahead,” Wanda said.

I work for a law firm,” Drake said. “The head of the firm is a good friend of my father – Charles Arnold. They’ve been friends for as long as I can remember; he ‘s always been a part of our lives. A little more than three years ago I saw a file labeled “Wilson Gentry.” That name does not appear in any documents or data base in our firm. The only place it exists is in my boss’s safe.”

Your boss is sounding more interesting than your dad,” Wanda said.

I can’t be a part of this conversation,” Drake said.

I can’t put my finger prints on this either,” Wanda said. “There are ways around that. I find what information I can and just point you in a direction; the rest is up to you.”

They continued to eat with some light and uncomfortable conversation. When they concluded there was a brief agreement and they parted.

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The Sixth Man – Episode 25

tape-measure-cinch-by-inch[1]A Good Lawyer

During the next week Drake and Missy visited nearly every night. The visits were casual as they talked about old times with Charles, now known as Wilson in order to try to familiarize him with who he really is.

It was 10:55 on a Thursday morning when Drake came by.

I wasn’t expecting you until this evening,” Wilson said.

I just got off the phone with the friend of mine who I had been tracking Kotterman,” Drake said. “She eats the same place everyday, a greasy spoon three blocks from her office.

Drake and Wilson slid into Drake’s car and headed toward downtown Atlanta.

Do you think she will remember you if you just approach her on the street?” Drake said.

We talked a lot and she looked my face over pretty good,” Wilson said.

Let’s hope she’s alone today,” Drake said.

What do you think we should ask her to do?” Wilson said.

Let’s see if we can get her to talk off the record,” Drake said. “And if there is something seriously wrong she will allow you to obtain counsel first.”

Do you know any reason why Abernathy would have a file with my name on it?” Wilson said.

He’s your friend not mine,” Drake said smiling.

Yeah,” Charles said, “but he’s your boss and I don’t know him from Adam – at least in my present state of mind.”

But, I do know something he doesn’t know,” Drake said.

What’s that?” Wilson said.

I know the combination to his safe,” Drake said.

How did you get that?” Charles said.

Abernathy is a good lawyer, maybe the best,” Drake said. “I’ve learned a lot from him and about him. He’s a womanizer. He changes secretaries every year or so. He joked one time and said he changes the combination on his safe every time he changes secretaries. One day I was in his office and a client was in the outer office. We owed him $10,000. Abernathy went to the wall safe, that’s where the money was kept, he had trouble with the combination. He left the office, came back, and opened it with no problem. After a meeting with the client, Abernathy asked me to take the client out to dinner. At dinner the client said Abernathy stepped out into the outer office and whispered in the secretary’s ear, but he overheard him. He ask what her measurements were. That’s his combination, it’s always the measurements of his secretary.”

So how did you get the measurements or should I say combination?” Wilson said coyly. “On second thought, I suppose I don’t need to know.”

I was in the break room with her and said to Abernathy’s secretary that I was buying some lingerie for my girl friend and they were near the same build and could you help me by giving me your dimensions. She couldn’t resist,” Drake said.

Don’t they say a good lawyer never ask a question he already doesn’t know the answer to?” Wilson said.

I had my suspicions and a good idea,” Drake said, “I just needed confirmation. I worked far to hard in school to gain experience in that area.”

A good lawyer always has an evasive answer ready,” Wilson said.

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