Tag Archives: Drag’em To The Dungeon

Auschmann’s Arizona Adventure

Auschmann’s Arizona Adventure

By DJ Cline

Note: This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to real people, places or events is entirely coincidental. So get over yourself.

Nowah’s Aardvark

June 1, 2010 San Francisco

Reporter Nowah Guy was having lunch with the security detail for the Fredonian Ambassador at the Norton Hotel when Sharon Stope, the web manager of Happy Octopus called.

SHARON: Somebody doesn’t like you.

GUY: Excuse me?

SHARON: There’s a guy that’s been stalking you.

GUY: So? Turn it over to my people.

SHARON: He’s sent an e-mail detailing all the things he doesn’t like about your site. He rants for a couple of pages. Big text, little text, bold text, italic text, all caps. He needs not only a good psychiatrist but also a good web designer. It’ s a new loony record and I thought you should know about it. He thinks your site is too personal. Text from DJCline.com

GUY: Duh! It has my name on it.

SHARON: I didn’t say he was very bright. He also says that you are communicating secret messages to him. Oh, and he wants you to make him invisible.

GUY: Invisible?

SHARON: Yeah. Like I said, super crazy. The message is a little confused, but then so is he.

GUY: He could have contacted me directly. Never miss an opportunity to make a friend. Must be a coward too. Has there been a cyber attack?

SHARON: The usual. I think He’s just a nut but I wanted to give you a heads up.  His name is Walnut Sphinchter.

GUY: You’ re kidding right?

SHARON: Nope, That’s his name.

GUY: Thanks Sharon.

Nowah could not stop laughing at the name. Jack Jones, a former Navy SEAL and head of the security detail, wanted to know what was so funny. Nowah gave him the name.

JACK: Oh yeah, That’s quite a name. We’ve crossed paths before. Let me look on my cell phone. Hmm, his website has his face in shadow. With all this social networking he should stay home if he wants to be invisible. He was at the Ruritanian event last month hanging out with some money launderers. He looks like a middle-aged guy, well groomed, goes to the gym, confirmed bachelor type. Bob over their saw him back then and thought he was cute, but he said the fellow went home with two other guys.

BOB: Yeah. He went home with two Ruritanian bankers I had to tail. He lives in a creepy restored Victorian. Here’s a picture of it. Notice anything unusual?

GUY: Is that an actual hearse next to the house? Who does he think he is, Eddie Munster?

JACK: Hey Bob, you better look into this some more. Anybody showing up at a diplomatic event is in our jurisdiction.

GUY: You do what you have to; I’ll do what I want. For something like this I call Aaron Auschmann in Los Angeles.

JACK: Auschmann. Isn’t he dead?

GUY: No, we met last year at some lifetime achievement award. He’s close to a hundred years old now. Born in Germany, escaped before WWII, fought in the Resistance, got caught, escaped again. Went to Hollywood. Got blacklisted. Won awards and tried to retire. Recently Aaron’s wife died and he lost a lot of his money in the crash, so I’m trying to help out.

JACK: Is he, you know, lucid?

GUY: Oh yeah. Still alive, still funny and still working. Writers come to him with comedy problems. This crackpot is right up his alley. After what Auschmann has been though, he’s big on free speech and loves going after bullies.

Nowah dialed Aaron on his phone.

GUY: Aaron? This is Nowah Guy. Can you hear me?

AARON: I’m deaf but I’m not dead. Let me turn this thing up. How can I help you today?

GUY: Well, I’ve got a guy named Walnut Sphinchter and I want a fictional name for him.

AARON: Walnut Sphinchter? My god! How can I top that? Let me think. I used to know a camp commandant named Sphinchter; he was a baron and real bastard. How about Baron Von Aardvark?

GUY: That’s great. I’ll use it. I’ll send you the first draft and you can punch it up for the usual fee. This going to be so much fun!Text from DJCline.com

The Phoenix Papers

June 6, 2010 Phoenix Arizona

Aaron Auschmann lived so far in the future it frightened him.

He was chained to a metal table in a gray windowless interrogation room under the gaze of a camera with an unblinking red light. He was still in street clothes so there was a chance he could talk his way out of this. He knew that until they issue a uniform there is still a chance. Text from DJ Cline.com

It wasn’t his first time in custody. He counted dozens of times and countries where he had been “detained” for questioning. They always said they wanted the truth but that wasn’t what they wanted. They wanted a story they could believe in or at least have others believe. Something that would fit in a report.

Aaron’s life would never fit in a report. A life that takes a hundred years to live takes awhile to explain. He had outlived generations of friends and enemies. His life was outside most people’s frame of reference. So much had changed that it would be hard to explain to someone younger than his wristwatch. He then remembered that nobody wore watches anymore. They carried those damned phones.

They wanted papers. They didn’t know he wanted papers too. It was why he was in Arizona in the first place.

The door buzzed. Showtime. Text from DJCline.com

The Girl From Metropolis

June 1, 2010 West Hollywood California

Never take a date to the end of the world.

Aaron Auschmann was watching a restored version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis on his new television. While most people watched this 1927 science fiction classic for the special effects or the social relevance, Aaron was looking for someone he knew.

During a crowd scene in the futuristic city he looked for a girl he once dated named Elsa Wagner. A struggling actress, he suspected she dated him just so she could be introduced to someone in the movie business. When a friend hired him as an extra for the big climactic crowd scene, Aaron invited Elsa to come along. She was hired as an extra on the spot.

Years later he thought he saw her face on the screen. He paused the movie. The television was three meters across and had touch screen capability like monitors on a cable news channel. He walked across the living room to the screen and the spot where he thought Elsa was in the crowd. He placed his hands close together on the screen and then spread them apart. The image zoomed in. With his failing eyesight he loved being able to do this.

She was just a face in the crowd but it was the last time they were together. Elsa met another man that day on the set and he never saw her again. He learned a valuable lesson as a young man. Never take a date to the end of the world. He had always wondered what happened to her. It was likely her world had ended a long time ago.

The speaker from the front gate buzzed. The television image switched to a security camera image of a young woman. She was carrying a satchel with a white sign on it that he could not read.

“Mr. Auschmann? I’m Wendy Walmer from the U.S. Census Bureau. We have some questions. Can you come down and talk for few moments?”Text from DJCline.com

Taking Leave Of Your Census

June 1, 2010 West Hollywood California

Wendy Walmer from the U.S. Census Bureau was sweating in her polyester suit by the time she walked up Aaron Auschmann’s driveway. Aaron sat on the porch swing waiting for her to arrive.

WENDY: (catching her breath) May I sit down?

AARON: Of course! It’s nice to have visitors these days. What brings you here today? I thought I filled out the form correctly.

WENDY: You did and that’s what brought me here. The form said you were born in 1910. Is that true?

AARON: Yes, it’s true.

WENDY: Mr. Auschmann, there are over a hundred thousand Americans over hundred years old. If we can verify your age, you will get a certificate signed by the president. Do you have a birth certificate?

AARON: (looking back at the house) Well, I’ll take a look. It would be great to have something from him. Does it have to be a birth certificate?

WENDY: That would be a great start. We would need to verify it with independent sources. I’d like to ask you a few questions and then sign this form. When and where were you born?

AARON: Technically the Holy Roman Empire on January 1, 1910.

WENDY: The what?

AARON: Officially it was the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They thought the new name would be good for business.

WENDY: What was the name of the town? Was it in Austria?

AARON: It was a village; the name kept changing every time it changed hands. When I was born it was called Burgenstadt in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but it’s been part of Russia, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, you name it. They stopped putting up new signs at the city limits because we needed the firewood.

WENDY: Were you born in a hospital?

AARON: I think so. It was part of the orphanage. My mother died giving birth to me.

WENDY: I’m sorry.

AARON: It’s okay. Death was more fashionable back then. Everybody was doing it.

WENDY: Well, I think I’ve got everything I need for now. Please sign this and I’ll give you a copy with our contact information. Let us know when you find your documentation. We will be in touch.

Wendy gathered up her things and huffed on down the driveway. Aaron looked over his shoulder at the house. It had been ages since anyone had asked for his birth certificate. He hoped he hadn’t outlasted it.Text from DJCline.com

The Money Pit

June 2, 2010

Aaron Auschmann searched his house for his birth certificate. He went through his file cabinets from his days as a comedy writer in Hollywood. He found stuff that was still funny after fifty years but nothing that proved he was a hundred years old. He went to the garage and fired up his 1972 red Cadillac convertible and drove downtown to his bank to visit his safety deposit box. Maybe it was in there.

It wasn’t there. There was a large hole in the ground where the WestCoast Bank had been. The building had been torn down. One of the construction workers pointed him down the street to the Tarpit Bank.

Maria Maldonada was the bank manager that day. She saw a very short old man in a very big car try to maneuver into a handicapped parking spot, slam the car door and waddle inside. The car continued to knock and diesel when it finally backfired and came to rest.

AARON: My name is Aaron Auschmann. My bank is a hole in the ground.

MARIA: I think you will agree our bank is better.

AARON: “Our bank is better than a hole in the ground.” Is that a slogan? That’s nothing to brag about. Where is my safety deposit box? What the hell is going on? What happened to WestCoast Bank?

MARIA: It was bought by OffShore Bank, which was bought by Tarpit Bank a subsidiary of Netrosonics.

AARON: So where is my damn box?

MARIA: Let’s find out. May I have some identification?

AARON: Here’s my drivers license and my key number.

MARIA: One moment while check the computer. By the way, your driver’s license is expired. It also looks like you were born back in January of this year.

AARON: I’ve been busy being a hundred. I had a choice, either my drivers license expired or I did. Believe me, I wasn’t born yesterday. Frankly, I need to find my birth certificate and I think it was in my safety deposit box. I’ve got to find it.

MARIA: The computer says you had a perpetually funded box that has been put in our long-term storage facility in Phoenix.

AARON: Arizona! Can they send it back here?

MARIA: No sir. You must go there in person.

AARON: Call them and tell them I’m on my way.

And so Aaron Auschmann drove to Arizona without papers. Text from DJCline.com

Catch 22 (Kafka Remix)

June 3, 2010

The Tarpit Bank’s long-term storage facility was just another office park outside of Phoenix. Aaron could not believe he had to drive two days from Los Angeles for this. He expected Fort Knox and got what looked like an insurance office. Martina Martinez met him in the lobby.

MARTINA: Welcome Mr. Auschmann. How was your trip?

AARON: I won’t complain. Two days in the desert beats forty years. Where’s my box?

MARTINA: I’ll be happy to show you, but first I need three forms of identification.

AARON: Three? Here’s my driver’s license and key.

MARTINA: The key doesn’t count. This driver’s license is expired. Do you have a birth certificate or passport? We need a picture ID.

AARON: Yes but they are in the box.

MARTINA: Perhaps you have something else at home? You can certainly come back.

Aaron decided on his long experience with bureaucracy not to argue. He thanked her and then went back to his car. He did not want to drive all the way back to LA. He decided to call on an old friend who had helped him get papers before… in 1933. Text from DJCline.com

Red Wolf

March 1, 1933

Aaron Auschmann ran through the streets and alleys of Berlin evading the police. He was a wanted man with a price on his head. The Nazis had seized everything in his apartment, including his identity papers. He had to get out of the country fast. There was one man who could help him. They called him the Red Wolf.

Rudolph Wulf was a counterfeiter. His greatest claim to fame was during the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic as a child. He managed to forge the billion and trillion deutschmark notes before they were put in wide circulation. Realizing this was not sustainable, he switched to counterfeiting francs, pounds and dollars as foreign governments had more financial credibility.

Doing business with Wulf was a challenge. How do you pay a counterfeiter? With favors. Rudi said, “I can always make more money. Making friends is better. They appreciate better over time.”

Aaron ran along the back of an abandoned warehouse and knocked on a heavy steel door. A slot in the door opened.

DOOR: What do you want?”

AARON: (catching his breath) The wolf…is at…the door.

DOOR: He always is.

The door opened and Aaron was safe for a while. Text from DJCline.com

Ultimate Copies

June 4, 2010

Aaron Auschmann went to the last known address for Rudi Wulf, a small printer shop called Ultimate Copies in a run down Phoenix strip mall. Bobby Raven was the guy behind the counter, a tall man with long black hair in a ponytail with bits of gray strands running through it.

AARON: I’m looking for Rudi Wulf. I’m an old friend.

BOBBY: He’s not here. Do you want to leave a message?

AARON: Yes, the wolf is at the door.

BOBBY: Please have a seat over here.

At that moment a women wearing a prairie dress, a three cornered hat and nine millimeter strapped to her right side came in waving a bright neon yellow flyer. It was Penny Pinchluff.

PENNY: Do you make copies?

Bobby Raven looked around at all the copier equipment.

BOBBY: Yes. Can we help you?

PENNY: I need 5000 copies of this flyer for the big Guns Gold and God rally down the street tonight.

BOBBY: Tonight?

PENNY: Yes, we have to hurry, they are trying to build a mosque where that old abandoned church used to be. We can’t let foreigners move in and take over. It’s  terrible when people with different religions, laws, weapons, and disease try to force us from our homes and traditional way of life.

BOBBY: (He turned back to a man working at the color copier) Mohammed? Can you handle this? I have to take Mr. Auschmann to Mr. Wulf.

AARON: Bobby, can I stay and enjoy watching this awkward conversation? I cherish these moments.

BOBBY: You can, but if you want to talk to Mr. Wulf, we should hurry.

Three Escapes From One Dungeon

June 4, 2010

Aaron Auschmann led Bobby Raven to his Cadillac convertible in the parking lot at Ultimate Copies. They drove slowly down the highway.

BOBBY: So how long have you known Rudi Wulf?

AARON: We grew up in the same dungeon.

BOBBY: Dungeon? How old are you?

AARON: It was left over from the old days. Most of time we were in the orphanage, it just happened to be in a castle. Every castle has a dungeon. If you misbehaved the monks put you in there. They didn’t put you in irons. They just slammed the door and walked away.

BOBBY: It sounds terrible.

AARON: We didn’t know any better, I know the monks didn’t. Nowadays you’d call it child labor. They trained us on how to create illuminated manuscripts and copies of paintings.

BOBBY: That doesn’t sound like a useful skill.

AARON: It made money. The monks would sell the documents as originals to rich people. Rudi was very good. He could forge anything. Me? I made a joke and they put me alone in the dungeon.

BOBBY: What was the joke?

AARON: When I was ten, I was working on a pastoral painting and I put a shepherd a little too close to a sheep. The shepherd looked like one of our monks. All the other kids thought it was hilarious. I think it was my first big break in comedy. Of course they put me in the dungeon for a week.

One night there was a terrible storm. I was listening to the roar of the water as it ran under the drain in the floor. I was kind of worried that water might flood the room so I looked down at the drain. At that moment, lightning flashed and I saw something in the stones I had never seen before. Someone had carved little arrows in a circular direction around the grate.

There was a legend that the men who built the castle did not trust the king, so they built their own secret escape routes. When the castle was finished and the builders wanted to be paid, the king threw them in the dungeon. The men disappeared and then the king died soon after. The surviving family thought the castle was too spooky and so they gave it to the monks.

I tugged at the grate in that clockwise direction and it turned. I opened the grate like a rusty pickle jar lid. The lightning flashed again. As I looked down the drain I could see bits of lightning flash on the water. It must have flowed down to the river not more than a few meters away. I could escape like the Count of Monte Christo. I climbed down the hole, braced my feet on some well-placed stones, pulled the grate over my head, and screwed it back into place. I dropped into the water and wound up in the river where I almost drowned.

BOBBY: That’s quite a story.

AARON: It gets better. Before I left, I used my penknife to scratch “I’ll be back.” in the wall next to the window. It was just a message to throw them off, my flair for comedy. Rudi was left behind and said it spooked the hell out of everybody. I had no idea how true that statement would be.

BOBBY: There’s more?

AARON: Oh yeah, there’s always more. I had to escape from there two more times, this time with Rudi. Text from DJCline.com

Drag’em To The Dungeon

June 4, 2010

Aaron Auschmann and Bobby Raven traveled slowly down the highway in Aaron’s Cadillac convertible.

BOBBY: You escaped from the dungeon and got caught down the river?

AARON: Nope. I escaped the orphanage and had many adventures, including going to Hollywood. The war started and I wound up in the OSS because I spoke several languages and traveled extensively in Europe. I was working with various resistance groups in the area I grew up in. Rudi  never left Europe, he did a booming business in forged documents. The Nazis finally caught him and guess where they held him?

BOBBY: The same damn castle?

AARON: You guessed it. An SS officer named Baron Von Aardvark discovered the sweet setup the monks had and turned it into an art factory. He put Rudi in charge of creating fakes that were pawned off to wealthy bad guys. He took the originals and hid them some place. Rudi could not help putting a joke in one of the paintings and got thrown in the dungeon. This was toward the end of the war and sometimes prisoners were killed by the Germans before they could be liberated. I got word where he was, got myself captured and put in the same dungeon. We escaped through the drain and decided to make our way toward the advancing Russian front that was only a few kilometers away.

The Russian officer didn’t know what to do with us. So when his regiment retook the town a few days later, he thought the safest place to put us was… the dungeon. Late that night we escaped again, this time we headed toward the American front.

BOBBY: I don’t believe a word of this.

AARON: It happened. Rudi will back me up. Exactly where is Rudi?

BOBBY: Take the next exit. Text from DJCline.com

The Red Wolf Casino And Hospice

June 4, 2010

Aaron Auschmann and Bobby Raven turned off the highway in their Cadillac convertible, passing a sign that said “Welcome to the Red Wolf Casino And Hospice”

AARON: So Rudi is running a casino?

BOBBY: No, but he was a major investor. The Raven tribe runs it and the hospice. We had a growing problem and Rudi had an idea. People from places like Connecticut kept retiring to Arizona and when they died their families either buried them or scattered their ashes on what we considered our sacred land. Imagine if my grandmother died and I went to some church in Iowa and dumped her body on some altar. Not very respectful. More radical members of our tribe wanted to desecrate, spiritually cleanse or even curse such burial sites. Rudi had a solution where people who were going to scatter the ashes would do it with our blessing.

AARON: That’s quite a combo. Gamble to till you die. I take it Rudi is in the hospice.

BOBBY: He’s very frail but his mind is still sharp.

Bobby took Aaron straight to Rudi’s room. He was lying in hospital bed with a small oxygen mask over his nose.

RUDI: My god, Aaron, how are you?

AARON: I’ve been better. How about you?

RUDI: I can’t complain. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t in trouble. What’s up?

AARON: I’ll make it short. I turned a hundred. I want a certificate from the President. I need some of your ‘identity papers’ so I can get my real papers out of a safety deposit box here in Phoenix.

RUDI: (laughing) This is funny on so many levels! Bobby, let’s get back to the copy shop and get this man some ID. Everything. Driver’s license, birth certificate, you name it.

AARON: Rudi, shouldn’t you stay in bed?

RUDI: I have more fun out of bed these days. I love a good caper. Let’s go!

When A Good Plan Backfires

June 5, 2010

It was a good plan. Rudi Wulf and Bobby Raven pulled together the needed identification for Aaron Auschmann, including an updated California driver’s license. Bobby would drive Aaron’s 1972 red Cadillac convertible to the Tarpit Bank’s long-term storage facility in an office park outside of Phoenix. Rudi would ride along and wait in the car.

Martina Martinez met him in the lobby again. She approved his IDs and gave him access to his safety deposit box. Although it was in a completely new vault, it was the same old metal box. Everything was still there, including the his birth certificate. He packed all of it into a rolling briefcase and headed for the door.

As Aaron came of the building he saw Bobby trying to start the car. It had trouble turning over and belched blue smoke. Aaron put the suitcase in the front passenger seat and the got in the back with Rudi. They were laughing at the whole affair as they drove out of the parking lot when they heard sirens. Netrosonics Security Officer Gordo Loco pulled them over.

LOCO: Your vehicle does not seem safe.

AARON: It is my vehicle officer. We are on our way to have it fixed.

LOCO: (he turned back to Bobby) May I see a valid drivers license?

BOBBY: Excuse me, but you are not a policeman.

LOCO: But you are on private property. I can notify the police if you like. I need to see all your identification. According to Arizona law, I need to see your papers.

Rudi put his left hand up to his ear.

RUDI: What did you say?

LOCO: (in a loud voice) I NEED TO SEE YOUR PAPERS, OLD MAN!

The stress and memory of someone demanding to see his papers was too great. Rudi grimaced in pain he reached into his suit jacket to grab his chest. At that moment, the Cadillac, which had been dieseling and knocking, suddenly backfired loudly. Gordon Loco reflexively pulled out his gun… Text from DJCline.com

Squeezing The Lemon

June 6, 2010

Diana Lemon was a horrible person who did horrible things to people and was now worried that someone was about to do something horrible to her. She looked down at the video in her cell phone and saw something that frightened her, and that was hard to do.

Lemon was in a Phoenix hotel when she got the message from her Netrosonic’s long-term storage facility security staff. She was delivering cash to the God Guns And Gold Party, GGAG for short. Among her constantly shifting titles and responsibilities, she was a bagman for Netrosonics, delivering laundered money to intermediaries who used it to fund Astroturf grassroots organizations that furthered the interests of her employer. A recent Supreme Court decision allowed corporations to do whatever they want in complete secrecy, including campaign contributions. Lemon thought this was a moment of final victory for her line of work. Nothing could stop them now… until something like this happened.

They say you never hear the bullet that kills you. Lemon knew they were wrong. Her unhallowed career of creating a private world of private jets, private schools, private security guards, private hospitals where no one else had privacy was about to come undone. She looked at the video and knew this was a public relations nightmare from which there was no recovery. After years of sacrificing other people for the sake of expediency, it would be her turn.

The video ended with a little old man chained to a table in an interrogation room in one of their company’s private prisons. She knew that her encounter with this man would not end well for her.

Lemon would have no leverage with Aaron Auschmann. She had nothing he wanted. He would win because he had nothing to lose. Text from DJCline.com

The Hole In The Plot

June 6, 2010

LEMON: “You shot his birth certificate?”

Diana Lemon was with security officer Gordo Loco and lab technician Jason Chung in the CSI lab of Netrosonics long term storage facility outside of Phoenix. Chung held up Aaron Auschmann’s birth certificate, sealed in a plastic evidence bag but clearly showing a nine-millimeter hole in the center of it.

CHUNG: It’s a clean shot. Excellent marksmanship, if that’s what you were aiming for. Did the document make any sudden moves?

LOCO: Shut up!

CHUNG: You should shut up Loco. You could wind up in one of our own prisons, on the wrong side.

LEMON: Enough! We are lucky that Mr. Wulf is in our ICU down the hall and not our morgue. You damn near gave us all a heart attack. What can you tell me about this document?

CHUNG: It’s made of vellum. A real sheepskin at least a hundred years old. The calligraphy and language are consistent with illuminated documents in central or eastern Europe. Beautiful work. The end of an era actually. Most birth certificates from that period were beginning to be printed by governments and not by local churches. From what I can tell it’s authentic. It would be hard to repair.

LEMON: What about the other documents from the safety deposit box?

CHUNG: Let’s see. German passport from the 1930s is good but fake, it is consistent with what people used to get out of the country. I’m not sure about the Screen Writer’s Guild card because I’ve never seen one, but it is from about the same period. The US passport from 1940 is real.  So are the US Army WWII discharge papers. It looks like he was in the OSS. There is a subpoena from the House Un-American Activities Committee that is very real. So is this appeal to the State Department fighting deportation and the subsequent rejection by the Soviet Union. Why would you want a kick out a decorated war veteran? The Oscar and Emmy certificates are real but in poor shape. They are faded probably from hanging on a wall. This last document is a denied travel visa for wanting to visit a jailed dissident writer in China. I don’t know if this guy has a problem with authority, but it looks like authority usually has a problem with him.

Now the identification he was carrying were good fake IDs. The kind that most immigrants buy on the black market. I’m not sure you can charge someone with identity theft for trying to get their own documents. Do you want me to store all this?

LEMON: No. Put it all back the way it was except the birth certificate. Leave it in the plastic.

Loco’s police radio squawked.

LOCO: We got company.

LEMON: Who?

LOCO: Helicopter overhead. Government. There is also a limo and ambulance at the gate from some casino. They are both asking for a Mr. Bobby Raven, Rudi Wulf and Aaron Auschmann.

LEMON: Great. Cowboys AND Indians. Text from DJCline.com

Born Identity Confirmed

June 6, 2010 Phoenix Arizona

Aaron Auschmann was chained to a metal table in an gray windowless interrogation room under the gaze of a camera with an unblinking red light. The door buzzed and security guard Gordo Loco entered with Aaron’s bag from his safety deposit box. Netrosonics fixer Diana Lemon followed him carrying a somewhat larger briefcase and sat down across the table from Aaron.

AARON: I want my lawyer I demand to be released immediately.

LEMON: We need you to sign some routine paperwork before we begin.

AARON: I’m not looking at it. I’m not signing it. I’m going to sue you. Release me and my friends.

At that point the door buzzed and a man in black suit and tie carrying a thin briefcase came in.

LEMON: Who are you? Who let you in?

SMITH: I’m Mr. Smith from… the Census Bureau. I’m here to see Mr. Aaron Auschmann. Mr. Auschmann, are you all right?

AARON: No! I’m being held against my will. This company has seized my friends and property.

SMITH: I am here to see to your release and the arrest of any Netrosonics employees involved in this matter. I am also supposed to present you with this certificate signed by the president congratulating you on your one hundred years.

AARON: Great, but I thought I needed my birth certificate.

SMITH: We confirmed your age through your citizenship papers, military records and… other sources. I’m supposed to pass you an additional message from the top.

AARON: The top? What message?

Smith pulled out a funny looking Blackberry and held it so Aaron could read it. The message was:

“People give me a hard time about my birth certificate too. :-)” 

Next? Tower Of Gold

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.