The Sixth Man – Episode 111

Andre, Finally

You are our brother,” Berta said, “and Rene and Claude are your brothers.”

Come in, come in,” Danni grabbed Charles arm and pulled him up the steps to the house and led him into the kitchen.

Berta followed shoving Charles.

They entered the back door and he was quickly ushered through an enclosed porch and into the kitchen.

Sit,” Berta said to Charles and pulled out a chair from the table for him. “Danni, make some coffee.”

Don’t order me around in my house,” Danni said. “I want to look at him. You make the coffee.”

This is your house,” Berta said

If you just tell me where the coffee is I can make it,” Charles said.

They chuckled embarrassingly and bumped into one another as they dashed to the cupboard.

I’ll make it,” Berta said. You’re coffee is always too weak. You call the boys.”.

Danni nervously dialed a wall phone. “Rene, get Claude and come to my house right now. I don’t care if you are taking a crap. Squeeze it off and get her right away and bring Claude with you… I can’t explain, just get here now.”

No one can talk to the boys like Danni,” Berta said. “She gets results.”

Charles smiled, “But her coffee’s not so good.”

Right,” Berta said.

Danni hung up. She looked at Charles, her face twisted into tears.

I could really use the bathroom,” Charles said.

Danni and Berta stood motionless in sort of an admiring gaze with no words spoken, but hearts obviously full of joy.

A bathroom,” Charles reminded.

Danni shook herself from a trance-like state and pointed, “First door down the hallway.”

Charles returned to the kitchen. “How many brothers and sisters do I have?”

We are your sisters,” Danni said, “and your two brothers will be coming down the road in a red pickup truck in a couple of minutes.”

Are our mother and father still living?” Charles said.

Yes,” Berta smiled eagerly.

May I sit again,” Charles said.

Yes,” Danni said. “Are you hungry?”

No,” Charles said.

I have plenty of food,” Danni said and rushed to the refrigerator.

Coffee will be fine,” Charles said.

It is for you brothers,” Berta said. “They are always hungry.”

Will it be possible for me to meet my mother and father?” Charles said.

Oh yes,” Berta said, “but we just can’t walk in on them.”

Are they frail?” Charles said.

Frail!” Danni said, “ Papa still fishes and Mama goes with him sometimes.”

Where, oh where have you been my big brother,” Berta said. “I used to dream of what kind of man you would be, but now here you are and now I know. You are strong and handsome. Do you have children and a wife?”

I have children,” Charles said.

Tell us about them, Andre,” Danni said.

First of all,” Charles said. “I don’t go by the name Andre, it is Charles, Charles Abbot.”

It is Andre,” Danni said. “From now on that is your name. I don’t care what you are my big brother, Andre!”

Andre, it is,” Andre said, “and I can’t tell you how proud I am to finally know who I am and what my given name is, Andre Benoit, Clement.”

The children,” Berta said, “Your children.”

I have recently found out I have a daughter,” Andre said. “Her name is Lynn.”

Danni interrupted, “Oh my god, a playboy Casanova.”

No,” Andre said. “It’s a long story.”

Thank god,” Danni said. “Such news would have put Mama in the grave.”

And Papa would fall in right after her,” Berta said.

I have a son, Drake and another daughter, Melissa, who we call Missy,” Andre said.

And you wife?” Danni said.

I’m divorced from my only wife,” Andre said.

We should be careful how we break that to Mama,” Danni said.

Well she’s in prison,” Andre said.

Oh, no,” Berta said, “are you a criminal and she took the rap for you?”

Andre smiled. “It’s complicated and I have a very long story tell.”

If it involves a lot of sex don’t tell Mama,” Berta said.

Danni craned her neck and looked out the kitchen window. “Here come the boys.”

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The Sixth Man – Episode 110

th13Y7UII5A B C

My name is Charles,” Charles said. “Why do you ask?”

The people who live in that house lost a child, their oldest, many years ago,” she said and added sternly. “They don’t need to be reminded of it.”

His name was Andre?” Charles said and his heart began to beat heavily and he found it difficult to gain a breath.

Yes,” she said.

What was his full name?” Charles said. His chin quivered.

Her lips quivered. “Andre Benoit Clement.”

Charles nervously removed the necklace and handed it to the woman.

It has the initials A B C on it,” Charles said.

She looked at it. She sniffed. “Where did you get this?”

It has been with me as long as I can remember,” Charles said.

Oh my god!!!” she cried out and embraced Charles. “Andre, Andre, it is you!”

She let go and hollered to the house Charles had just visited, “It is Andre!!! He has returned!!! He is here!!!”

The woman from the first house came running. “Leave her alone!!! Has he hurt you!”

No, Berta, no,” she said. “This is Andre!!! This is Andre!!!”

Our brother! Our brother!” Berta said. “How do you know, Danni?’

He has the medallion,” Danni said in tears. “And like you said, he looks like Marcel.”

Quick we must call Rene and Xavier,” Berta said.

Charles was near panic and euphoria and yet stood in the middle of hysteria which he could not grasp. “What is going on?”

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The Sixth Man – Episode 109


Instinctively he slowed as he came to the crest of the road. Charles looked out over a body of water – Back Cove, there is was. He trembled. He eased off the brake and allowed the car to coast down a slight decline that led to the cove. He came to a fork in the road; one led to the east of the cove and the other bordered the north.

He stopped at the fork. “I’ve been here,” he murmured. “It is not my imagination. I’ve been here,” he repeated firmly.

He turned right and slowly moved along the cove. Three small fishing boats were anchored in the middle of the cove. He drove to a small gravel parking spot overlooking the cove. He parked and eased out of the car.

He walked down hill along the road. He stopped before it declined further.

At the bottom of this hill is a dock and a shanty is on the dock,” Charles said quietly.

He walked to the bottom of the hill and looked to his left. There was a yellow shanty attached to a dock. He walked on to the grass and to the water’s edge.

I’ve sat on that dock,” Charles said. “I’ve been on a boat at that dock.”

He turned around. Houses dotted the roadways and were tucked into the hillsides. He walked across the road to the nearest house. It was a single story well kept home. There was a bicycle in the driveway. ‘A young family,’ he thought.

He walked up the steps and onto the porch. He knocked.

A slender woman in her late 40s came to the door. Her skin was dark and leather-like as if she worked in the sun. Her eyes opened widely as if surprised when she looked at him. She held her hand to her chest and took a step back.

I’m sorry,” Charles said. “I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

I, I just w… was expecting someone else,” she said.

I’m sorry to intrude unannounced,” Charles said, “but I was hoping you might be able to help me.”

I’ll try,” she said. “How can I help?”

Are you aware of a boy disappearing from here many years ago?” Charles said, “probably before you were born.”

Her face seemed as if frozen. “No,” she said suddenly at ease. “No, I don’t”

Is there a neighbor perhaps older than you that has lived her a long time and might be able to recall something like that.”

I don’t think there is anyone that can help you,” she said. “I’m sorry.”

Charles smiled politely. “Thanks for the trouble, ma’am.” Charles turned away as the lady shut the door.

Charles reached the road.

Sir, sir.” the woman came down the porch steps. “Can I ask why you are interested.”

It’s a long story, ma’am,” Charles said, “and a very improbable story. I’m too tired and weary to tell it.” Charles walked away.

He walked further and turned back to look to the east. Tucked into a slope on the east side of the cove stood a home. “I know that house,” he said. He scanned the landscape trying to capture long lost memories.

Excuse me, excuse me,” a woman’s voice from behind him said. Another woman slightly older but very similar in looks walked curiously toward him. She forced a smile. “Can I help you?”

Sure,” Charles said. He pointed to the house across the cove. “Who used to live in that house?”

Why do you want to know?” she said.

It’s difficult to explain,” Charles said, “but I’ve come a long way. I’m from Atlanta, Georgia and I think I’ve been here before. If you could just tell me who lived in that house it may help me.”

Is your name Andre?” she said curiously.

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The Sixth Man – Episode 108

Manfred's-BurinHway-850[1]The Road To Burin

The plane started it’s approach and Charles felt an excitement in his chest, but his eyes were heavy. He had experienced this many times before; working hard and late on a project for his business, being driven by adrenalin and the desire to succeed. This was a situation he could not force or maneuver. It was beyond his control. He would find a hotel, rest, and rent a car. Tomorrow he would be in Burin.

Charles was up with the sun and on the road. He drove while sipping a Tim Horton’s coffee and pulling on a bagel.

Newfoundland was rugged and green. Small sloughs sprinkled the landscape along the Trans Canada Highway. Only a half hour from the airport Charles felt he was in complete wilderness. No homes were visible from the highway. The only life was on the highway.

Charles put his life on hold. He had no thoughts of the future. He did not think about the business, investments, or any sort of plans. First he must put Burin behind him whether there was something there or not.

His mind wondered. ‘If the medallion is a coordinate that leads me to Burin, how did this all come about? Are there people there who gave me away? Was I an illegitimate child, an inconvenience and given away? Am I a secret lovechild? Or perhaps this is all nothing.’

He speculated on each question and realized that sometime, most of the time, things are seldom driven by reason and the plausible. It is often the thing not thought and unexplored. Nothing in his life to this point had followed a straight line of reason. His life was made up of a strange sort of unexplained and unforeseen episodes. ‘Lives have beginnings, middles, and ends; my life has been a series of middles. It has been as if I was cast for a play that had already started and asked to create a role from nothing.’

And I haven’t done so bad,” Charles smiled.

Before turning southwest on to Highway 210 and he stopped for another coffee. Not knowing where the next gas station might be he filled the tank. He was soon on the Burin Peninsula called by locals “the boot.”

There was a serene and unaffected majesty to the land. It was a land that was in the way of getting to the continent and merely passed over or sailed around. Charles thought of it as a land settled by people who did not have the energy or adventure to go further. It was a land without passion.

It was just past 11:00 AM when Charles pulled into a gas station to use the restroom. Again he filled the tank. He was in Marystown, less than 20 miles from Burin.

Before pulling onto the highway he checked his map more closely. The exact point of the coordinates on the medallion was just off shore a hundred yards or so. That is what baffled him; why were the coordinates just off shore? That was his argument that it may not be a coordinate; why would some one give a coordinate just off shore?

The coordinates were in a small cove named Back Cove.

In Marystown Charles crossed a bridge, his final leg on his journey. On the other side of the bridge a sign directed up straight ahead to Burin. Just seeing Burin on a road sign created an anxious fear within him. His stomach churned as if taking a plunge on a rollercoaster.

The road hugged a river-like body of water to his left. It was dotted with small well-kept houses. Suddenly the road turned from southwest to directly south. Again he found himself a rural setting with small pines on both sides and where houses were sparse. Clusters of homes and businesses suddenly appeared as if to let you know the land was not forgotten by time and progress.

To his left huge hills folded into the water to his right. He was getting close. The excitement was intoxicating.

He came to a raise in the road.

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The Sixth Man – Episode 107

th3HVGAUTSThe Newfoundland Book 

There was nearly a three hour layover in Toronto. Charles relaxed in his seat in the terminal and checked his itinerary. He would not arrive in St. Johns until after midnight. He purchased a book about Newfoundland at a bookstore. He sat in a restaurant and ordered a sandwich and beer and started to read the book.

A waiter in his mid twenties brought the sandwich and beer. “Your first trip to Newfoundland?”

Charles smiled politely. “Yeah, you ever been there?”

I’m from St. Johns,” the waiter said. “The book you have there is far more exciting than Newfoundland itself. If you like cold damp weather it‘s the place to be.”

What about fog?” Charles said.

Fog is the weather,” the waiter said, “at least in St Johns and the east coast.”

Have you ever been to Burin?” Charles said.

Heard of it, but can’t say that I’ve been there,” the waiter said. “It’s just one of those little fishing villages that no one ever goes to. Is that where you are going?”

Yes,” Charles said.

You have family there?” the waiter said.

Perhaps,” Charles said.

Oh, I see,” the waiter said, “searching your roots.”

I guess you could say that,” Charles said.

Well, good luck with that,” the waiter said. “I’ll let you enjoy you’re meal. If you need anything else just get my attention.”

The book supplied little information that he was looking for, but it was good as a distraction. After the meal Charles found his gate for departure and continued reading.

There was a page having the map of all North America. Newfoundland seemed near the top of the world, sort shoved in the corner away from the rest of the continent. It was as if it weren’t meant to be, just left over material from the mainland. There was no place else for it so it was scraped together and shoved to the side. That was likely what the waiter thought also.

Charles slumped in his seat and rested the book on his chest. He tried to visualize Burin. He pictured fishing boats anchored near a small village that was alive with happy hearty people doing the work of the sea. He tried to imagine what he might find there. Perhaps nothing, perhaps the numbers on the medallion are meaningless or have a meaning far removed from his plight. For all Charles new he could have been born in a baby factory and the medallion was the only way to keep him separate.

The sun was near its setting and darkness began to slowly creep in from the east. Charles’ flight was called to board. Charles settled into his seat. He sat alone. The flight was only half full at best. The plane climbed to cruising altitude. He turned to the index in the book and found “Burin.” He turned to the page. There was a bright colorful picture of a small village teaming with small fishing boats. He smiled. It’s what he imagined. He drifted off to sleep with the book on his chest and that vision in his dreams.

It was the turbulence that awakened him. He looked out at the infinite dark with lonely specks and cluster of sparkles below.

Refreshment, sir?” the stewardess said.

Ginger ale, please,” Charles said.

She poured a cup and placed it on his tray.

How long to St. Johns?” Charles said.

We should be at the gate in about an hour and fifteen minutes,” she said. “We’re right on schedule.”

Charles smiled. “Thanks.”

But he was unsettled. Every step of his journey to find out who he was only led to other questions and deeper mysteries. He was not sure he could withstand another. Yet if he were to turn around the next morning and head back to Atlanta that would leave him always wondering.

A falling star flashed across the sky. It was almost as if he could discern the particular of burning elements and crackling embers. “What if there is someone there for me, waiting.” He turned on the overhead light and read about the southern coast of Newfoundland. He allowed his finger tips to pass over the photograph of Burin. He was certain he could feel it.

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The Sixth Man – Episode 106

thE71Z4R3BIn A Hurry

Missy pulled from the driveway and drove down the street.

Now can you tell us what this is all about?” Drake said.

The medallion,” Charles said.

The coordinates,” Drake said.

Frank Foster had his boat pulled onto the lot today,” Charles said. “He blasted a fog horn and rang a bell. I immediately had a vision of being in a small boat in the fog. It was a memory, I know it was. I gave the coordinates on the medallion to Frank and he pinpointed it in Burin, Newfoundland and that’s where I’m going.”

Dad,” Missy said. “Isn’t this a little to fast?”

I got to get there,” Charles said. “It’s like a dam about to burst. I got to get there.”

But what if Frank read the coordinates wrong?” Missy said.

There is something there or not,” Charles said. “but I feel a pull like I’ve never felt before. It just won’t let go of me.”

So how the heck do you get from here to Newfoundland?” Drake said. “I called the airlines a few minutes ago; there is a flight from Atlanta to Toronto and from there to St. Johns, Newfoundland.”

So how are you going to get to Burin?” Missy said.

Rent a car, I suppose,” Charles said.

Where will you stay?” Drake said.

I’ll get a hotel,” Charles said. “I’ve slept in foxholes and on park benches, I’m not worried about that. I just want to get there.”

Like it’s not going to go anyplace,” Missy said.

I know that,” Charles said, “but you don’t know what it’s like to be me or should I say me looking for me.”

No we don’t,” Drake said.

Yeah, Dad,” Missy smiled, “just go with it.”

Have you guys been visiting your Mom?” Charles said.

They said yes.

Keep it up, okay,” Charles said.

We will.”

We will.”

Look, you two,” Charles said, “I know this is hard for you guys to take, but in the long term you’ll feel better about it.”

But does she deserve it?” Missy said.

Yes, she does,” Charles said. “She was a really good mother to you. She just went of the rails. Abernathy came back into her life and took her for an emotional ride.”

Does that mean you and Mom will get back together?” Drake said.

No,” Charles said, “and it has a lot to do with what occurred, but she would have to live under suspicion for the rest of her life Even if I could completely forgive her she would always doubt me and mostly herself. We will never be back together, but we will always be there for you; you can trust that.”

They pulled up to the drop-off at the airport. Charles checked his watch. “Two o’clock exactly.”

They said their goodbyes and Charles checked in at the ticket counter. An hour later his flight was climbing out of Atlanta and turned north to Toronto.

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The Sixth Man – Episode 105

thRTO35EHYNew Found Land

That’s Newfoundland,” Charles said.

It’s on the coast,” Frank said. “There’s a town there.”

I can’t read it,” Charles said, “what does it say?”

It’s near a place named Burin, Newfoundland,” Frank said. “In fact it looks to me it’s just off shore. It’s in a bay.”

Charles leaned against the doorway.

What’s wrong?” Frank said.

Can you run things for awhile?” Charles said.

Yeah,” Frank said. “You going someplace?”

Yeah,” Charles said.

Burin, Newfoundland?” Frank said.

Yeah,” Charles said.

When will you be leaving?” Frank said.

As soon as I find out how to get there,” Charles said.

Charles climbed out of the boat and hurried back into the dealership. He ran up the steps to his office.

His secretary smiled, “Some boat Frank has?”

Sure is,” Charles said quickly. “Get me a one way flight to St. Johns, Newfoundland. The earliest flight you can.”

So you want time to pack,” she said.

Charles slowed down as he opened his office door. He took a deep breath. “I should slow down a bit. I can be at the airport in three hours.”

That’s what you call slowing down,” she said.

Cancel all my appointments,” Charles said.

When will you be back?” she said.

Just cancel for the next two weeks to be safe,” Charles said.

Charles went in his office and called Drake and Missy. They agreed to meet him at home and drive him to the airport.

He walked out of the office. The secretary was on the phone. She interrupted the call. “Can you catch a three o’clock flight?”

Charles looked at his watch. “Yeah, I got plenty of time.”

You have to be at the airport by two,” she said.

Like I said, I have at least five minutes to waste,” Charles said. “I’ll be there.”

Charles hurried home and quickly packed couple of bags. By the time he brought the bags downstairs to the foyer Drake and Missy arrived.

They came inside and Charles said to Drake, “Grab a bag and toss it in the trunk. Missy, you drive. Get me to the airport before two.”

Drake and Missy shrugged their shoulders and did what Charles said.

Your car?” Missy said.

Yeah,” Charles said. “Now let’s go. I’ll explain on the way.”

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