Ark Of The Witch

by Robert S. Seppälä ISBN-13: 978-145-246-944-7 Copyright 2012 Robert S. Seppälä

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Chapter 1 _______________

Karl dragged himself from his bed before sun up and staggered into the kitchen. He squinted over last weeks mail, rummaging through all of the junk until he found the letter from his grandmothers estate. He slowly pulled out an old skeleton key from the envelope as he went over the letter, grandma deeded him the old farm up north. He suddenly felt ill, that he had hardly visited her for nearly ten years. He was her favorite, yet he couldn't even make it to her damn funeral. He had been wrapped up with Ellen for a decade. She cleaned him out and he was bitter. "What a fucking tool." he thought. He had given her everything she wanted, a house with a wine cellar, she had to have a wine cellar, jewelery, designer clothes, and an Escalade. "Who fucking drives an Escalade, pimps and whore's?!" he muttered to himself. His debts piled a mile high keeping up appearances for her, and that thin veil of appreciation quickly dissipated as the economy soured and his salary and pension were sacrificed. Putting the letter and key back into the envelope, Karl slowly opened the refrigerator, it was nearly empty, and what could be found was now stale, moldy, and spoiling. He stared at the contents for a moment, so long they had lingered past their due dates, well past their welcome, and so had he. He slumped against the marble counter top and his dark mood was suddenly shattered by a mess of empty beer cans as they crashed to the floor, echoing about his empty home.

"Son of a bitch!" he said as he quickly began picking them all up. He quickly snatched up a can that was nearly full before its entire contents could spill across the floor, holding it over the sink as the foam billowed over the lip of the can and onto his hand. And without a second thought, he slurped at the gushing foam then forced the old skunked contents down with a wince, wiping his mouth with his forearm. Suddenly Karl fell forward into the sink, puking up the foul beer and last nights dinner. Panting and gasping with his head hanging in the sink, he moaned as he turned the faucet on, drinking the cool running water while simultaneously throwing it over his face and onto the back of his neck, and then staggered out onto the patio to slouch onto his favorite chair to have a smoke. The morning sun began to shine onto his withering garden, and he ventured into it with some despair. Grabbing the hoe that had been laying in the same spot for nearly a month, he began clearing the weeds now beginning to cover the rows, stopping only occasionally to pull some by hand. Most of the tomatoes were rotten, then through the low canopy of dead vegetation a bright red orb stood out, and he stepped between the rows and knelt before the lone plant with a chuckle. Pulling the bright red tomato from the vine, he sunk his teeth into it, savoring every bite and then grabbed several more. Wiping the cold sweat from his brow he leaned against his hoe for a moment, then walked back to the patio. "Fucking gold mine." His mobile phone rang intermittently from the patio table, right where he had left it the night before, along with a cooler still half filled with ice cold beer. His spirits temporarily felt lifted as he sat back in his favorite chair, cracking a beer and feasting on fresh tomatoes, and smoking, all simultaneously and seemingly juggling all of them at once. He looked non-nonchalantly at his phone that kept ringing as he sipped his beer before finally picking it up. "Hello." he answered "Karl, where the hell have you been, I've been trying to reach you for two days?"

Rising slowly from his chair, Karl's mood again began to gray. "Bill, how's it going?" "We have got some major issues, I'm on my way to the office!" "Bill it's Sunday, what the hell are you talking about?" "I'm talking about the Lehman account, I was finishing up some internal audits Friday afternoon, and I just have to get back down to the damn office and start going over this before tomorrow morning." Bill said in nervous voice. Karl's eyes widened as he clutched his phone. "Karl?" "Calm down Bill, what's going on?" "The fucking Lehman account, Karl, it's looks like there are ten's and ten's of thousands of dollars missing, I just don't have anymore time to talk." Bill replied in desperation. "Bill, I'm no longer an employee remember?" "You were on the fucking account too!" "Bill calm down, you probably missed something. Look, why don't you swing by so we can go over it together, if something's amiss then we'll take it up together tomorrow with the VP after we've done our own thorough audit ok? If there are any accounting errors, I'll take full responsibility for them. It's the least I can do for you." "Well alright, I'll be there in a half hour." Bill answered. Karl walked back into the kitchen, ringing his hands through his hair, and immediately showered and got dressed inside of ten minutes. Pacing to the front door, Karl looked outside and then shut the door abruptly, and did so several more times in the span of just a few minutes. "Calm down." he thought to himself. But he couldn't, between his anxiety and incessant chain smoking, an hour rolled by. Thinking the worst, Karl went to his bedroom closet and began tearing through all of his belongings, and suddenly his pounding heart stopped and sunk into his stomach as

the doorbell began to ring. He froze, just listening to the non stop ringing and knocking on the door that echoed throughout the hall and into his room. Finally taking a deep breath, he went to the door. "Bill, come on in." Bill swiftly brushed past him through the foyer with a stack of files in his hand. "Its all right here!" Following Bill to the living room, he stood silent for a moment watching Bill fumbling through his files. He had never seen Bill so rattled, he was usually very reserved and mild mannered, and he never cussed. He was coming unglued. "Alright, well, show me what you got?" he said as he sat next to Bill. File by file, Bill went over every last detail, purchases, deposits, expenditures, cash, all with a fine tooth comb like a machine. He had been in the business far too long and fatigued himself in the expanse of the losses and missing equities. Karl sat back listening intently, slowly going over the files as Bill rifled through each one. Bill had been talking so fast it was hard to keep up, and Karl found his mind wandering erratically, yet his face was stone cold and he hardly made any gesture. "Alright, so what the hell does this mean Bill?" he finally asked. "What does this mean, it means there's nearly a quarter million dollars missing from the account, and it's my ass if I can't figure it out!" "So what are you saying, that someone's been skimming?" "It looks it, I don't fucking know!" He needed to delay Bill, he still had the building keys, rising from his leather sofa he began to pace as he rubbed his chin whiskers, realizing no matter what the outcome, he would be throwing Bill under the bus.

"Has my office been cleaned out yet?" "No, nobodies even been in there yet, and I just haven't had the time to consolidate or reconcile any of your files with mine." Karl turned away to the fireplace for a moment grabbing a bottle of bourbon and a dusty glass that had been sitting there since last Christmas. Casually blowing out the dust and wiping it with his t-shirt, he filled it to the top and handed it to Bill. "Here." "It's a little early don't you think?" "Just drink it." he said as Bill quickly took down half of it before he could even finish his sentence. "Nobody could of been commingling, that's impossible Bill, we're the only ones with access to the account, and I haven't even been with the firm for three months. Look, I'm sure you missed something at the office. Tomorrow morning I can go over it one more time with you ok? Just go home and relax." "No, I can't wait till tomorrow." Bill replied as he stood up abruptly and started walking for the door. "Where are you going?" "To the office, I've got to get this sorted out!" Karl watched Bill walk to the door in a stride that seemed to take an age, and his mind began to race. "Bill hold up, I'll go with you, just let me grab my wallet!" "Ok thanks." Bill said as he hung halfway out the door. Karl went to bedroom, grabbing his wallet from the nightstand, pausing for a moment as he blankly stared into the mirror. "Karl, lets go!" Bill shouted from the front door. Karl exited the bedroom and slowly walked to the foyer. "You ready?" Bill said. "Bill wait a second ok?" "What, come on lets go?" Bill replied with one hand on the door.

"Let me explain." "Explain what?" "Look Bill, I can fix this." "Fix what?" "I only needed a little money to..." "You what?!" "Look, I only needed some money to cover some expenses, Ellen is killing with this divorce!" "You!" Bill replied aghast. "They're foreclosing on the house, I just need to get ahead of all this fucking shit Bill!" Bill backed toward the door, immediately Karl took him by the elbow. "I was gonna put the money back! I just transferred some money around to a couple different accounts, most of it is still there, trust me." "You were flashing accounts and writing bogus checks weren't you?! Fuck that!" "Nobody was supposed to know! They let me go before I could fix everything!" "Get your fucking hands off me!" Bill screamed as he pulled away. "Bill, how long have you known me?!" "I am not going down with you, fuck you!" Bill screamed as he quickly turned away to walk out. Overcome by his anxiety, Karl grabbed Bill from behind pulling him back into the house, over powering him. Viciously their struggle escalated into a full blown fist fight, but Karl's desperation was too great for Bill to overcome. Winded and emotional, Karl found himself slapping the lifeless head of Bill onto a bloody pool on the foyer floor. Anguish fell over him as he began to sob, standing over his old friend with his bloody hands.

"Why Bill!? Why wouldn't you just hear me out, I told you, I fucking told you I was gonna put the money back!?” he screamed as he backed away into his room. Murder so foul and ever so bitter, and so it was Karl came to find as he wiped the tears streaming down his face, inadvertently wiping the blood from his hands onto his mouth. He convulsed and spat as he ran into the bathroom, struggling to cleanse the blood from his hands. And it suddenly dawned upon him, how easily dirt washes away, much more so than blood. He pulled a bottle of scotch from the medicine cabinet, taking down nearly half the bottle in only a few swigs and looked out the doorway and down the hall as he threw himself down on the floor and leaned back against his dresser. Robert S. Seppälä, is an independent film producer and author from Detroit, Michigan. Having just wrapped up principle production on the feature film, Ark Of The Witch, starring Tiffany Shepis, and from the outset of this publication, Robert is currently in various stages of film production and authorship for the additional novella's and film directly related to Ark Of The Witch.

Smashwords edition for Ark Of The Witch is available here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/144157

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