He was surrounded, and it was embarrassing.
Thanks to his mind being busied by other things that weren’t work, he found himself slipping. Except this slip got him landed right in the middle of an Organization strong hold that got him captured. He felt every single bone in his body back against the floor as he felt a bulldozer of a man tackle him to the ground, driving his fists across Fletcher’s face repeatedly. “Alright, alRIGHT!” He choked out, “Mercy!” He snorted with laughter as another fist struck across his bloodied face. This was pleasurable for the man who sat atop him, driving his fists across his face. Fletcher could tell by the slight erection his assailant was pressing against his chest. Barf.
Before long they had injected him with something that made it felt like his whole body melted into a puddle of warm water. He began to giggle like a small child, his limbs flopping around like he was swimming through a lake that was being warmed by the hot desert sun. His vision blurred and sounds of the voices around him seemed like fait echoes of nothing, dissipating into a mist. As they drug his body from the poorly lit room he continued on his giggling, begging the boys to stop for ice cream. “C’mon dad!” He chirped as they struggled to get him out. “I’ve been such a good boy!” The knocked his head against the door, and again on the lip of the trunk as they tried to shuffle him into the car. They grunted and cussed at him as if it were his fault that he had no muscle control whatsoever.
Fletcher wasn’t sure what they Organization had in store for him but he didn’t get any chance to truly worry about it, anyway. Soon his vision went black and he didn’t remember anything except waking up with nothing but his head in a brown box, on the inside of the lid was a small sparrow sticker. The sticker brought him very little comfort but it was enough for him to stay silent until he was brought to his next destination.
The Man on the Inside:
Jeremy Peterson lived a simple enough life. He was a member of the Organization but not in the same sense as the rest of them. Thankfully for a weasel like Jeremy it wasn’t that difficult to become an otherworldly paper pusher, which is exactly what he happened to be in his actual life before he died. In the confines of the Organization walls, however, he was a very obedient and mindful little servant. Except for the small part of him who knew that the work he was doing was wrong, whether he ever wanted to admit it or not. Light brown eyes thumbed through paperwork as he scanned shipping labels for the numerous boxes that he was in charge of shipping.
An unknown part of the Organization was the fact hat they had a way of dealing with rogue agents who didn’t wish to fall in line. They were able to remove their heads and ship them off to different warehouse they had around the world where they kept the brains of rogue agents would be subjected to biometric feed back training to recondition their brains to be better able to work. These heads were hen reunited with bodies the Organization kept on ice in separate facilities. This specific was only requested for the most heinous of offenders, the ones who wouldn’t budge against their humanity when it came to being locked away in purgatory.
Jeremys purpose was to make sure that the heads and bodies made it to where they were supposed to be heading, while also making sure that the paperwork on these bodies were filed appropriately. He would brag about how wonderful of a life it was to just stamp boxes with addresses all day and return to his cold and lonely life outside of work. He said that it made things simple and it kept him out of the field work. That was, however, until he met up with Fletcher.
Good ol’ Fletchy boy had found out about the recalibration effort to ensure that The Organization had entire control of their agents. He approached Jeremy who threated to call the authorities on him. Fletcher laughed, shoving the limp man into the wall, holding him there by the collar of his shirt. “Nah, I can see it in your eyes,” Fletcher said with a sneer as he shook his head. “I hate to tell you this, but if you have to tell someone that you’re going to do something before you uh… do it. It means you won’t. If you were going to call the “authorities” you’d have done it already.”
“That’s no-“ Jeremy tried to say before Fletcher smacked him across the mouth.
“Don’t lie, it’s not a good look for you.”
He dropped the man to his feet, situating himself within his own clothes. “Tell me about the heads.”
“Why? So you can continue on your fruitless quest to try and prevent in the inevitable?” Jeremy said as he wiped a dab of blood from the corner of his mouth.
“Yup.” Was all Fletcher said as he walked over to the water decanter in the corner of the room, serving himself a paper cup of cold water.
“What are you really doing here?” Jeremy said as he went to sit back behind his desk, shuffling papers around to look busy.
“Got a bone to pick with an agent in a not so great way. We go way back – y2k times.” Fletcher said as he crumpled the paper cup and tossed it, trying to make it to the trash can but ultimately missing it. “Heard her head was making the rounds for going AWOL.”
Jeremy rolled his eyes, flopping down into his desk chair. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” His voice waivered, no strength to be found in his tone or the glazed over look in his eyes. Fletchers reputation followed him, he really was the talk of the building most days. Jeremy was well aware that not doing what Fletcher wanted only meant more struggle in the long term. It was best to just do as he wished and let him be on his way, it was the only way that mitigated unnecessary suffering.
“I mean we can do this the hard way, or the hard way. I know what your body can be put through, and I’ve got all night really. Maybe we will start with your finger nails, and then just increase the pressure the longer you want to pretend like you actually give a damn about maintaining your reputation around this place.”
Jeremy slammed his hands down on the table, bringing himself to standing. His puffed out hot breaths of anger, frustration twisting his features. “Why me? Huh? Of all the God Damned targets that you could have, why did I come up on your radar?”
Fletcher leaned in, eye his counterpart with a joyful gleam in his eye. “Because you’re the guy. They’re getting ready to make you the lead on this whole head operation here. You’re gonna be the guy making the calls here real soon. And I’m here to enlist you into the resistance. There’s going to be some agents coming across your desk that will need recalibrating and I need you to make the call not to. Admit it, you don’t want to live this way. You know that it’s wrong and you only do what they tell you do because they hurt you, and continue to hurt you. I know. But imagine if they weren’t allowed to do that anymore – doesn’t that sound nice?”
Jeremy collapsed back into his chair, a morose look overcoming his face. He sighed, shaking his head as he brought his thumb and index finger to pinch at that bridge of his nose. “Alright, you’re right… f***. You’re so f***ing right.” He huffed and puffed as he shook his head. He wasn’t sure if it was because he Fletchers amazing way of making an entrance of the reputation that preceded him throughout The Organization but Jeremy was in. Begrudgingly so.
Obviously, there are a lot more dirtier details to their relationship but what it boiled down to was the fact that Fletcher gave Jeremy a large sheet of stickers with little red and orange sparrows all over him. Jeremy’s brow rose, very curious about what the hell he had just been gifted. Fletcher didn’t bother to tell Jeremy about the fact that he collected stationary with sparrows on it in honor of his mother, but reassured him that these sparrows were going to make sure they were able to safely communicate with one another. From then on Jeremy would mark all correspondence with the sparrows to let Fletcher know what was safe information that the Organization didn’t have yet, and what their next move was.
When Jeremy had heard a few guys bragging about sacking Fletcher at an old drug den, though, he was very curious as to what they were going to with him. So many times they had captured him before, and suddenly the idea of Fletcher rolling over on everyone he had snared in his liberating grasped dawned on Jeremy. That’s when he came to his office and noticed that there was some surprisingly questionable paperwork that had come across his desk. Apparently, there was shipment of heads leaving that day that needed immediate attention and shipped outside of the usual rotation. People at the top were worried that Fletcher had eyes on shipping schedules and they wanted to ensure that there wasn’t going to be a soul alive that would intervene in what they had planned for him.
However, they weren’t expecting Jeremy.
He was able to remember that one time Fletcher had told him to keep an eye out for a specific name. He never told Jeremy what was important about that name, only that if it ever came up. He did some research only to find out that the person Fletcher had been referring to was Amber Hemingway, a famous ABBA impersonator. Jeremy wasn’t able to piece together why this old woman was so important to Fletcher but he was able to make the executive decision that the only thing standing between Fletcher having his brain recalibrated was getting him into the hands of someone he trusted. Considering that Jeremy wasn’t in the business of keeping talking heads under his desk, he just assumed this girl was the next best shot. He looked up her P.O box online, and hoped for the best.
In the shipping room Jeremy opened up about seven boxes of heads. Each head drugged and unconscious, no doubt to ensure safe shipment. Fletchers head was off away from all of the others, in a different box than all of the rest. Jeremy knew they were being serious about getting him to where he was supposed to go and he just assumed that Fletcher was lucky that his inside person was the person in charge of the logistics. [[ Oh yeah hey hi! I am so glad that you have read this far, I’m really hoping you are enjoying yourself so far. This has been put here to tell you that you need to include your favorite fruit somewhere in your audition post so that I’m aware that you’ve read this short story thanks! ]] He placed a sparrow sticker on the inside of the lid of the box to hopefully bring his frenemy some comfort, and then changed the shipping label on the outside. Jeremy would lose his life for this, but his sacrifice wouldn’t be in vain. He was a key part in ensuring the survival of the rest of the world, washing his soul clean of his previously transpired sins.
A HEAD AT HIS SISTERS:
Amber very rarely picked up her own mail. It was actually very common for her secretary to do it and then leave it in the doorway of her house. Fletcher had heard the exchange between the post officer work and the secretary come to pick everything up. His eyes peeked open slowly as the drugs began to wear off. He could hear the whirling of machines around him but he had no clue where he was. He was going to start shouting before he realized that someone had poked a hole in the box on accident to let him some light. That’s where he saw the illuminated sticker that reassured him that he wasn’t in Organization clutches. But when he heard his sister Ambers spoken, that’s when he began to devise the best plan to scare the ever-loving sh*t out of her.
Inside the box his head remained, staying as quiet as he could. He could feel every single bump and lump of the trip but to see the look on Ambers horrified face as she opened a box with a head in it just brought him so much sadistic joy. He listened to a brief exchange between Amber and her secretary about menial things that didn’t truly matter and felt when he was carried inside.
“How strange, I very rarely get boxes that don’t come from Prime.” Amber said as she gauged how heavy the box was. “What’s in here? Rocks?” She giggled a big, giving it a shake. That’s when she slammed the box down on the table with a thud, resulting in a small, quiet, “ow!” to come from the confines of the brown walls.
Amber spun around, looking at the box curiously. She swore she heard it make a noise but she wasn’t able to process that it actually came from the inside the box. She looked around for something to open it, settling on a knife that she had pulled from the block in her kitchen. She spun the box around to gain a better angel before sinking the blade into the tape line. No sooner had she done that Fletcher began to scream loudly from the inside of the small box.
“OW! OH F***! OW, MY EYE!” He shouted out, giving up his plan of playing dead as she pulled the box open.
Amber began to scream like a little girl, letting the whole neighborhood know that she was upset.
Something in her, though, demanded to know what the hell was in that box and she began to rip it open. As she peeled the tape, pulling back the brown flaps, she found her brother… well… part of her brother, grinning up at her.
“Hey sis! Bet you barely recognize me with all the weight I’ve lost!”
Amber shrieked again, shoving the now open box to the floor. Fletcher hit the ground with a thud, his head rolling across her living room. She shrieked louder when she realized that what she was experiences was not, in fact, a hallucination.
“FLETCHER??!” She said breathlessly, slowly walking over the head of her brother that was now facing the wall. As she walked over to him, she heard him making some noise, and she assumed that she had broken him in her fit of rage. However, as she got closer, she realized that he was trying to push his head over by using his tongue. “What the f*** is going on here?” She said, her voice still frantic and shakey.
“I went on the Jenny Craig plan. Really helped me drop some useless weight.” He said sarcastically, still staring at the wall. “Guess there went my career in stand-up comedy.”
It took entirely too much convincing to get Amber to pick him up and place him onto the table, but she did. As she stood before him, her arms cross in front of her, she listened to everything that Fletcher told her. Everything about getting captured and the man that he had on the inside that was obviously in charge to getting Fletcher to her.
“I mean, okay I get that.” Amber said, feeling the toll of the experience weigh down her 65-year-old heart. “But what the hell am I supposed to do? Seriously, Fletcher, this is freaky, even for you.”
“We gotta get my body back.” Fletcher said, sitting on a serving tray on the table. Amber said it was because she didn’t want to chance him staining the oak of her table.
“Where do we even start looking?” She said, still concerned that there was living, breathing Halloween decoration now sitting on her table.
“I know just the person. I need you take me to [ B L A N K ]!”
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