Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

“So you’re telling me I turned in my forms and he hasn’t returned to work since with them? That was… what? A week ago, right? And I thought this was the best remote office. I need those forms processed!”   

“He—He may be on vacation. Let me check with management down at the main office, they can tell me for sure.”  

She agrees and waits. After sometime the associate returns grim faced.   

“They couldn’t talk long at the main office, they’re in the middle of a fire drill. But they did say — ”  

“I don’t care. I need my forms processed. I’m giving the go ahead to my private investigator. He’s going to find Garbell and get my forms processed.”  

She leaves before he can say another word.  

It wasn’t difficult for the PI to locate the home of Garbell. As soon as she obtained the information, the customer knocked on his door.   

Many signs showed he was home. The car parked in the driveway, the roaming shadow peeking through the blinds, the sound of a muffled, hurried voice. She knocks harder, closed fists of determination the longer she remained ignored.

The door flies open, revealing an unshaven, hollow-eyed, disheveled man beneath worn blankets draped upon his shoulders like a has-been King. He clutches his chest, a phone drops from his hand.  

“Mister Garbell, where’s my forms? I need my forms processed! You were supposed to do this last week.” He’s pushed to the side as she enters, spotting the manila folder on the entryway table with her name on it. “Ah ha!”  

The customer shakes her head in disapproval, watching Garbell on the floor.  

“No wonder you didn’t process my forms, you like to sleep on the job.” 

Emergency workers pour into the home.  

“Stand aside! We got a call about a suspected heart attack.” He spots Garbell face down on the floor. “That must be him!”  

The emergency worker looks at the customer.  

“Are you okay? He mentioned a strange person at his door was frightening his weak heart—” 

“Sir! We need you!”  

He rushes past the customer running to the aid of Garbell. She departs. Outside, another body lay in twisted silence on the ground. She steps over it while thumbing through her forms, returning to the remote office.

“I need these forms processed.”  

The customer hands over the manila folder examined with apprehension by the associate.

“Well, we can’t do that. After Bob Garbell died, we don’t have anyone else to complete these types of forms. Main office would ordinarily help with these things but turns out that fire drill was an actual fire, it’ll take a year to rebuild. Main office said they had a guy from another remote office that specializes in these forms, but on his way to pick them up from Bob’s house one ambulance that responded struck and killed him as he was crossing the street. It’s such a shame. Well, I’m sorry we couldn’t help further. Have a nice day.” 

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