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The Way To Do Business

by Pat Boone

A bald eagle drifted lazily high in the overcast sky, no doubt hunting for breakfast. Donnie's suspicions were verified as he watched the eagle dive into the lake. He admired the eagle's powerful wings and talons, as the eagle mercilessly pulled a large lake trout from its home. The eagle then transported his meal over the towering pines behind Donnie. Probably to feed the next generation of hunters, he thought.

Donnie respected eagles. Much like the eagle, silent attacks had been Donnie's specialty since he was a child himself. He was born to hunt the parasite.

He picked up the cordless telephone at his right hand and dialed a number. How many times had he dialed this over the years? Too many to count.

The phone rang five times, six times, on the seventh ring, the man picked up, paused, and then uttered those same familiar words, "Dis is him. Speak."

"Yeah, I uh, haeve another job for you," instructed Donnie.

"Details?" came the reply.

Donnie opened up a small black binder sitting on the cracked side table next to his chair. Flipping to the appropriate page, he read off the details. "'The Mole' lives in apartment 1244. He frequents the local taverns in the evenings to gather his prey, if you know what I mean. I need the parasite taken out. It's far too overconfident for my likin'. You know what I'm sayin'?"

"I get it clear enough," said the monotone voice.

"Do a good job on dis one, and you get a bonus. "

"Understood." Click.

The line went silent for a few moments, and then dial tone. He hit 'Off', and placed the phone back on the broken table to his right.

Donnie relied on that telephone to carry out his countless number of daily tasks. His old man would not have approved. He was traditional. He always insisted upon face-to-face exchanges because "it was more real".

His old man left him in charge of the family business, and the telephone was the single most important tool for getting work done efficiently. An added benefit was that it concealed identity, which was important in their line of business.

Now Donnie was the old man sending his only son to remove another parasite for the family. Bedebedebedebe, his telephone beckoned.

"Hello," answered Donnie.

He observed a fish jumping at the water's surface to nibble at some breakfast of his own, as a voice mumbled on the other end of the line.

"Make it Tuesday," said Donnie, "and dis time, if he does not deliver, tell'em I will send in da clowns. He will understand dat." Donnie hung up the phone again.

A beautiful orange-yellow sun peeked over the trees on the far side of the lake. A perfect reflection formed on the surface of the lake brilliant enough for Donnie to put his sunglasses on. What would the day bring?

Donnie's family outnumbered the stars in the sky so the possibilities were endless as to what troubles and tribulations would come. Regardless, he would handle every one of them gracefully, because that was his job. With problems out of the way, his family accomplished a greater good, as any family should. Bedebedebedebe.

"Hello," came the docile reply. "Calm down, Bobby. I do not underst -"

Silence. The phone slowly sagged from Donnie's ear. He gazed out onto the lake. A single tear rolled down his face, reflecting the brilliant sunlight coming to rest on his smoothly shaved chin.

His son had attempted to rid 'The Mole' of his parasite, but without thought, the parasite-infested man killed him in cold blood. How could this be?

"Aaaaargh!" screamed Donnie, his voice echoing around the lake. A brace of frightened ducks took flight, trying to escape whatever predator produced that noise.

Donnie heaved the telephone as far as he could into the still water. It splashed hard creating ripples that soon covered the entire lake. Angry and weeping bitterly, he violently whipped his arm around sending the old broken table tumbling off the dock into the water below.

His hands furiously beat against the chair arms. His old man was right, face-to-face exchanges were the only way to do business effectively. From now on, he would work personally with man to defeat the parasite once and for all.

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