09 The recorder is yours now

Spin balance cover picture

The recorder is yours now


 Read and become familiar with it

Instructions are in the bag


 He asked me to help you


 First, I have to apologize

For my initial rudeness


 I was angry at you

Over Jonathan’s death


 He shouldn’t have talked to you

That’s why he’s gone


 I was angry with him as well

You were available



 I understand


 And you don’t have to be sorry

It's ok



 I didn’t say I was sorry

Or wrong


 You deserve an explanation

Don’t make more out of it


 So how can I help you Mr. Sparks?

My note said to help you



 Why did you use my name?






 Your message said no names

But today you’ve said mine

Several times


 Yet I’m not supposed to say yours?



 Do you know what I look like?



 I saw you at the funeral briefly



 Yes but today

Do you know what I look like today?






 That’s right

Because you followed my directions


 What makes you think they know

Who I am?



 What about me?



 Mr. Sparks

A vulture knows who you are


 You walked here in the open

With a scarf, big disguise


 You could of taken out an ad

In your paper


 Everyone near you is in danger


 That’s why

You’re not allowed to say my name




I didn’t ask for this


 I got a phone call

And ever since I’ve felt like

The turkey of honor in November



 It’s not your fault Mr. Sparks

They picked you



 You can call me Randall


 You have no idea how I wish

I’d just not answered that call


 I've been dragged away

By flood waters and now

I’m a threat to my girl



 You’re not very strong are you?



 I used to be

I thought I was


 I'm supposed to be



 Feel any better?



 Kind of



 Look Sparks all I know

Is Alan promised Jonathan

Then Alan asked me to help you


 So, help you with what?



 I don't know

And who’s Alan?



 A friend


 He was close to Jonathan

We worked on Jonathan’s project


 Until he went into the asylum

And Alan moved to England



 United Kingdom Allen?


 A package came

From the United Kingdom


 Dr. A. Phepps, Allen?

You know him?



 I Knew him

He’s dead




 Seems to be a pattern

For people around you


 He sent me a package too

And they killed him for it


 His last words said to help you



 Help me what?

Why me?



 I don’t know

But there was a key, an address

Your name and number



 My package was the same!

Some place in Minneapolis?



 I think mine said Saint Paul



 They must be breadcrumbs


 Dr. Warbel left us breadcrumbs



 I’ve heard Jonathan say that before



 So back here tomorrow?




Here has expired


 City Place Food Court

Tonight 6:30P.M.


 South-East corner of the park

Charles Street South to Park Plaza


 Can you make it?



 I know where it is




Find two adjacent tables

Push them together if you must


 I’ll find you


 Bring your recorder

Use the same protocol


 Record the address from your note

Then hide the note and key


 The keys were sent separately

Likely for a reason


 We must respect that



 I understand



 Wait five minutes to leave

Take out my ear buds

Let them drop



 See you tonight then?


 (But she couldn’t hear him

She’d already left)




Play me.wav


In a coffee bar

Randall read the manual

familiarizing himself

with the recorder


On it was a recording

titled ‘Play me.wav’

he pressed play


It was her voice



“These are the rules for recording

Assume it will be compromised


Be brief and specific

Omit names or numbers

No times secrets or plans

Nothing they might use


Once played, delete promptly


Keep the recorder with you

Carry spare batteries


Delete this now”



It was the first in a long time

Randall hadn’t felt alone


The instructions caused a dilemma


How to record the address

without risking it

so he left out the city




Food court 6:30P.M.


A petite dark figure approaches

hooded sweat jacket grey

black hair

Hollywood sunglasses


She sits adjacent and diagonal

at last face to face


Recorders at the ready

ear buds exchanged


Her head tilted

she removes her glasses

and everything stops


Words thoughts everything


In an instant

her voice from the recorder

makes perfect sense


Because she’s perfect




Dr. Lydia Erin Carnegie


Smart confident reserved

Deceptively beautiful


Pouting lips

Emerald fire eyes

Sense of sun




Soft spoken voice

Emotional larceny

Touches you


Forget it









Seconds take minutes

Grasp tolerance


Fall back




Exactly driven



Dry humor

You miss it


Second wave



Flushed vulnerable


Guilty embarrassed






Did she notice?






”Careful there paperboy”




“Try to keep up”


Moment without trust

A brief moment


String a few together




Editor’s cut 09005


 Randall’s focus on chaos in life

is witnessed from a safe sanctuary,

isolated from the events taking

place before him.


 Susan breached that comfort zone

and it was a lot of change to get

used to.


 Now he’s been drawn into the story

and for the second time his comfort

zone has been compromised.


 This time by a compelled attraction

he’d never expected.


In this instant, his equilibrium’s been

struck dumb.


 He’s shaken and ill equipped to

continue with any semblance of

grace or confidence.




Are you ok?



 Yeah um yes





 You were gone



 Yes I’m a


 It’s everything

All this




 These recorders



 Feel like wild game?






 The hunted?




That's it!



 Name’s Lydia

You can call me L

Jonathan did



 (Randall clears his throat)

I’m Randall





 That’s how it is at first Mr. Sparks


 The shock passes

Fear and anger to follow


 Think I'll call you Sparks



 Lydia, nice



 Jonathan said we couldn’t win

Then he went away


 Did he say anything about me?






 He was protecting me

He was a good man



 He was



 (she pauses)


Did he tell you about them?



The Civil?



 Is that what he called them?


 (she pauses)


 Play me your address now



 2516 Wabash Avenue 55114


 I left out the city

Because of your instructions


 It’s Minneapolis



 My address is different

It’s in Saint Paul


 We have to go there now



 Of course!



 Do you find this amusing Sparks?

Because I don’t



 No not amusing



 So when do we leave?



 Tomorrow 7:00A.M. Logan

Delta Air flight 819


 It leaves at 8:10A.M. sharp

7:00A.M. gives us time

To clear check in


 Be there early Sparks

You need to rent a car



 Delta 819?



 7:00A.M. or before


 Here’s your ticket

Your name is John Smith




You bought me a ticket


 How did you?



 Change the name at check-in

So it doesn't make the computer


 They'll write it in


 Rent a car under your name

Have it waiting when we land


 Rent it for several days


 They’ll hold the card number

Until the rental closes


 And bring cash Sparks


 It might buy some time

Before we’re traced


 I’ll meet you in Minneapolis

At the car kiosk


 Bring your key and the address


 Don’t miss the flight

And don’t look for me



 See you at the airport?



 No, you won’t


 You’ll see me at the car

In Minneapolis and not until


 I told you, don’t look for me


 Two targets are harder to track


 And don’t draw attention Sparks



 Thank you L

For helping me



 Do I have a choice Sparks?


 Do you?




In case Jonathan didn’t

Tell you


 Or you missed it

Let me explain what this is


 We are the prey


 They have bullets we don’t


 They know who you are

Probably me too


 We have neither


 I didn’t ask to be here

I don’t want to be hunted


 Those before us are dead

I wouldn’t bet on us


 As soon as I can get out

I’m gone and you should be too

If that’s possible


 My help Sparks

Could get us both killed


 So don’t read in

Don't assume anything

And don’t skip ahead


 Are my words not clear?






A path provided

Technological crumbs


Presumably left

By men without hope

In hopes that they might

Make a difference


Would the birds get there first?