I am running out of money at a rate of knots so I really need to get off my arse and get myself a job.
The bills are piling up and two are way overdue.
But first things first I am also running out of reading material plus I need to return a few books because the last thing I need is for the library police to get on my case.
So I grab my wallet and keys and head out the door.
I park my old rust bucket outside my local library and walk into my favourite place on earth.
I could happily wander the aisles for hours taking in the smell of thousands and thousands of books.
But today I am in a hurry so I throw my returns down the chute and walk over to the horror section.
The master of the genre Stephen King has a new novel out and I have been dying to get my hands on a copy for weeks.
So I am pleased to see ‘The Outsider’ sitting on the shelf waiting for me.
I grab it fast before someone beats me to it and make my way to the counter.
But I stop at the community noticeboard first because just maybe my new job is waiting for me as well.
But the board is full of notes about missing cats and dogs and different items for sale but then I notice a business card down in the left hand corner.
‘Are you handy on the tools and love to read? Because I have the perfect job for you.
Call Apex Industries today to start an exciting new chapter in your life’
Well of course I love to read but I am about as handy as tits on a bull so I put the card back and head home.
Tomorrow I will go to Centrelink and get myself a job.
Once at home I make myself a ham and cheese sandwich and settle down to read the kings latest classic.
Stephen King is known for his huge tomes and ‘The Outsider is no different.
It is as thick as a house brick and just as heavy.
I am soon lost in the story but when I reach page 219 I am surprised to see a business card marking the page.
And I nearly piss my pants when I see that it is the same business card I read at the library.
‘Well this is a bit creepy’ But then I laugh to myself ,obviously there must be more then one card in circulation it is just a coincidence that’s all.
But I still have a funny feeling deep down in my gut.
I put the business card on the coffee table and continue my reading until once again my concentration is broken ,this time by my mobile starts to chime.
The screen says PRIVATE NUMBER and I don’t usually answer private callers but maybe it is lotto ringing to tell me that I have won $ 10 million so I answer.
‘Hello am I speaking to Mr Warren Bigelow? ‘Um yes that that’s me’
‘Hi Warren my name is Daphne Pincombe and I am the owner of Apex Industries’
‘I was expecting a call from you today but you must have forgotten ,are you still interested in the position?’
I am dumbstruck and lost for words ‘Sorry but I didn’t apply for the position because I am not very handy even though I am a very good reader’
‘That doesn’t matter Warren the tools are very rarely used but I am positive that you are the perfect person to fill the position so can you start tonight say just before midnight?’
‘Um don’t I need to be interviewed first and maybe pass a medical?’
‘Oh no Warren that wont be necessary I know that you are just what I am looking for ,so can I expect you tonight?
And even though my stomach is doing backflips and I mind is in turmoil I find myself answering ‘Of course Mrs Pincombe I will be there’
‘What in the fuck just happened? Do I really have a new job?
But than my brain starts to do its job. How did the lady from Apex know my phone number? And how did she know that I had even read the business card?
But I push those thoughts to a small compartment in the back of my mind because I really do need to start earning some money.
So I pick up the business card again and I am pleased to see that Apex Industries are located only a few kilometres away at 219 Riverside Drive Reversby .
I am to charged up to sleep so I read for a few hours more have a shower and put on my best clothes then I jump into my car and drive off to start a new career.
And when I arrive at Apex Industries ten minutes later a little old lady is there to greet me Hello Warren I am Daphne and I am pleased to welcome you to Apex Industries’
‘It a very small company in fact you will be my only employee’
We shake hands and I follow my new boss into her office.
Mrs Pincombe is about seventy years old with grey hair very steady on her feet and she looks a lot like my own grandmother so I begin to relax.
”I am sorry for the late start Warren but I have found that a lot of my clients respond better to the readings when they are either asleep or when their minds are less active’
‘I have hired you Warren because you have a special talent that you are totally unaware of plus alas I am not getting any younger and I am starting to lose my ability to connect with the clients like I used to so I new a new pupil’
‘So Warren I need you to travel with me every night and heal our clients by the power of the voice and of the touch so that we may heal some damaged minds and souls’
But I warn you Warren that not all minds and souls can be saved some because they are beyond our reach or their minds are pure evil and then Warren I will ask you to end a life before they can do anymore harm to innocent people’
‘So Warren do you want to become my apprentice with the view of one day carrying on my work into the future once my time has come?
My head is spinning ,Mrs Pincombe just told me that I am to end a life if the need arises and what is this special talent that I supposedly possess?
So once again I find myself accepting her offer of employment and after signing a few documents I am ready to help Mrs Pincombe in any way that I can.
She smiles with gratitude ‘Thank you Warren you will never regret working for Apex Industries and that is a promise’
She hands me the keys to a shiny white transit van and we drive off into the night.
‘Okay Warren head towards Reversby hospital because we have an urgent case to attend to.
A patient there has been in a coma since falling off a horse ten years ago when she was ten years old but the doctors have informed her family that her condition is deteriorating fast so this will be your only chance to save her life’
‘I am sorry to throw you into the deep end Warren but there is no choice in the matter because if we cant save Rachel the world will be a lot worse off because Rachel was destined to become a leading scientist in finding a cure for cancer’
We arrive at the hospital and Mrs Pincombe opens the rear doors and I am astonished to find it for of books and magazine plus a small toolbox.
Mrs Pincombe noticing my looks laughs ‘Don’t worry Warren for this job no tools will be required’
It is now almost 1 am and the hospital is closed down for the night and as we approach the front door I notice two guards ‘Mrs Pincombe there is no way that they will let us in at this time at night’
‘Don’t worry Warren it has all been taken care of ‘ So when we reach the doors they slide open and we walk right past the guards without being noticed ‘What the fuck are we invisible? ‘Come on Warren Rachel is fading fast we have to hurry’
In room 110 Rachel Smith looks to be sleeping peacefully but Mrs Pincombe assures me that Rachel want see another day if we don’t act soon so she hands me a kids book titled ‘Black Beauty’ and tells me to start reading the book into Rachels ear.
Rachel used to love horses with a passion so hopefully you can awaken her mind and give back to her family’
I have been reading to Rachel for over six months now but with no effect and the doctors have done all they can for her so Warren now it is up to you’
I take a seat next to Rachel and start to read ‘Black Beauty’ while Mrs Pincombe paces around the room nervously.
But I cant see the sense in what I am doing ,how can reading a book save a life? But I read that book with everything that I have for over an hour with little success .
But then the room starts to start on different shapes and colours and I find myself in a field with a horse chewing on some grass.
‘That is Rachels horse Roscoe he has been put out to pasture since Rachels accident and he to needs to see her again so use your special talent Warren and reunite Rachel with her family and her horse’
What changing the shape and scenery of the room isn’t a special talent?
‘I don’t know what to do Mrs Pincombe what is my special talent?
‘I cant tell you Warren because I don’t know ,you will have to figure it out for yourself but be quick Warren there isn’t much time left’
Without thinking I stand in the middle of the room and hold both of my arms out straight.
I aim my fingers at Rachel’s head and blue sparks fly from the tips and strike Rachel over and over and her arms and legs flail as her head is impacted.
All of my strength has been spent so I sit next to Rachel and squeeze her hand and I feel her respond to my touch as her hand squeezes mine.
Then Rachel opens her eyes ‘Can I have a drink of water please? “Sure Rachel here you go’
As I put a cup to Rachels lips Mrs Pincombe presses the buzzer to summon the nurses ‘We need to leave now Warren our job here is done’
Back in the van I am floating with euphoria ‘Well done Warren you passed your first assignment with flying colours ,no pun intended’
I cant answer because I am still recovering from the ordeal but I manage a smile and Mrs Pincombe drives the van back to Apex Industries.
Over the following six months or so Mrs Pincombe and I travel in the van visiting people who need saving.
Sometimes I needed to open the toolbox and use a screwdriver or a hammer to enter a home unobserved but usually we entered by stealth alone.
Some clients responded to my reading their favourite book while others needed the whole treatment.
After another successful evening I asked Mrs Pincombe how she decided who to save and who couldn’t be saved
‘It isn’t up to me Warren I am just an ordinary citizen’ I try to say that she is anything but an ordinary citizen but she waves me off.
The decisions come from a higher power that visits me in my dreams and nightmares and when I wake all the information I need is etched deep in my brain.
Just before Christmas I am having a snooze in the afternoon when my phone rings ‘Warren I need you here at the office straightaway I had a visit in a nightmare last night and the news isn’t good so get here as soon as you can and I will fill you in’
I arrive at Apex Industries to find Mrs Pincombe in distress she is looking old and haggard ‘I am sorry for my appearance Warren but all of the visits to my mind over the years has finally taken its toll’
‘And the visit last night has left me with nothing left to give so on this job Warren you will be flying solo’
‘There is a predator on the loose and he is about enter our lives now hold my hand and I will tell you all about this evil piece of shit’
I listen intently as Mrs Pincombe whispers and tells me all about a serial rapist named Cedric Otis.
And as I listen my blood begins to boil ‘Mrs Pincombe maybe we should call the police and let them handle it’
‘ Warren you didn’t let me finish it is too late to involve the police because Cedric Otis has passed over to the other side but his evil spirit lives on’
Mrs Pincombe cant talk no more and collapses into a chair.
I have no time to lose so I call 000 and run out to the work van.
And this time I will need the toolbox.
Will I catch Cedric Otis evil spirit in time or will he create havoc all over Sydney town?
To find out the answer you will have to come back and read part two