Club Dead

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The Mole

“There’s a mole in Club Dead.”

“A spy mole?”

“Exactly.”

“How do you know?”

“Carrie Unser told me.”

“She seems out of place in Club Dead.”

“Why? Can’t a senior working in the office have death issues?”

“I stand corrected. Your club challenges stereotypes too.”

“Too?”

“Your club is a phenomenon.”

“That’s a big word.”

“You know what that means.”

“When I hear ’phenomena’ I think of supernatural stuff, out of this world.”

“You are dealing with death.”

“But I mean out of the ordinary. Death is not rare. Phenomena are.”

“Your club is rare. Even people not attending are talking about it.”

“They also talk about the basketball team and shopping at the mall.”

“You refuse to acknowledge that you have tapped into something.”

“Don’t compliment me, Frank. I told you I can’t handle compliments.”

“Okay, Club Dead has done this. But you got it off the ground. As the numbers of people stopping by each week increases, Club Dead will be talked by as many people who talk about basketball and the mall combined. More people care about death than basketball. As they should.”

“Ho-hum.”

“Yes, yes, you don’t care. Do you care about the spy? You sound like you do.”

“I wonder if it’s Mr. Blok. He just called me to his office. He doesn’t need a mole.”

“It’s got to be Brink. The big girl in black. Draws a lot.”

“No, Brink is okay. I mean, she is dating Carrie, but no, she couldn’t be.”

“They’re a couple? Hmmm.”

“Hmm, what?”

“Well, just…”

“What is it with guys and girls liking girls?”

“There’s no ’it’.

“Right. And you’re transparent too.”

“More compliments coming my way.”

“Frank, I’m not getting down on you. It’s just when it comes to girls liking girls, you get all weird.”

“What do you mean weird?”

“Like you can’t just accept it. Like there’s got to be a reason. You become obsessed.”

“About what?”

“Oh, I don’t know, being threatened.”

“By what?”

“By not being the chosen one.”

“Now, CJ, I don’t think that’s fair, and -”

“..being titillated.”

“Now I will not be blamed for the faults of my gender - ”

“Forget it Frank. This isn’t important.”

“Right, we were talking about the spy. So, how did Carrie learn it?”

“Carrie has access to a lot of information working in the office.”

“Well, then she must know who controls this operation. Ask her.”

“Carrie is not much of a talker.”

“Well, are you going to approach Brink?”

“But I don’t think it’s her. Besides, I’m not sure I care enough.”

“Right, right, but now that you’ve told me, I want to know. I am, after all, a member.”

“You don’t qualify Frank. You couldn’t care less about death. You’re a virgin on this issue. You’re really being a voyeur, you know that?”

“You’re club is fluid enough to handle my presence. There are plenty of people gawking. Look, I’m not ironic, critical or contemptuous. I like to think I am a witness.”

“To what?”

“A phenomenon.”

“So why not just be a witness and watch Brink, since you suspect her. Maybe you’ll stumble upon her controller?”

“Maybe I could tap someone in Club Dead and let him sniff out something from Brink.”

“Why ’him’?”

“Could be a her.”

“Can I sit down?”

Standing, Fretwell, one opened eye and one closed eye, sat next to me.

“Do you ever open that eye?”

“Frank, you have to work on tact. Don’t listen to him Fretwell. He lacks manners.”

“It doesn’t bug me. Yes, Frank, I open it sometimes.”

“But at the meeting you said -”

“Yes, Frank, I know what I said.”

“And?”

“And it was for effect.”

“Effect?”

“I’m a dramatic person.”

“So you’re not preparing for death.”

“Oh, that story about the cemetery and my reaction was real enough. But the fact is, it’s hard to keep an eye closed. It’s tiring. When I get tired I close the other eye. Other times I open both. No one pays much attention to me.”

“Club Dead has a mole.”

“That’s interesting. Who is it?”

“Brink.”

“It’s not Brink,” I said.

“She scowls. Who she work for?”

“Don’t know. Want to help me find out?” Frank asked.

“Maybe. Who are you?”

“Frank.”

“You don’t seem a real part of the club. Why do you attend?”

“I have my interests.”

“You like CJ.”

“It’s that obvious?”

“You don’t hide yourself well. But she doesn’t like you.”

“That’s the second time I’ve been told that this week.”

“I’m right here boys. And I do like Frank.”

“Not the way he likes you.”

“Oh, there’s always one who loves more than the other.”

“That’s hardly a comforting thought.”

I drifted from Frank and Fretwell, doubting their capacity to discover the spy. But I saw that I cared. Why, I didn’t know.

Frank and Fretwell conspired.

Alone, I moved onto a different topic: Whether the term ‘nervous breakdown’ adequately described what I was feeling at this moment.
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