Back to James Cage Home Page
The Mind of Frank Rosseus Available at Smashwords

  

The Assignment Friday, May 11

I enter the elevator and press the button.  The door closes.  As the lift rises, background music plays softly.  The sound is Texas Rockabilly.  In the seven years I’ve been in this place I have never gone above the fourth level.  I am going uptown and exit the elevator at the ninety-ninth floor.

It is drab and dusty within the lower levels but the top level is very bright and clean.  The light bothers me.  With trepidation, I walk toward the large door at the end of the hallway and question, “Why have I been summoned?”

As I am about to knock on the greenish, blue door, it opens and I pass through.

At the large table in the center of the meeting hall, two beings sit in comfortable chairs.  Sunlight dashes through the shades.  I stop and stand uncomfortably before them in the middle of the room.  This is the first time I face The Chairman.  On his right side, The Chairman’s second in command sits.  He is known as The Cowboy.  The Cowboy removes his hat and rises from his seat.

The Cowboy opens a book and speaks, “You’ve been with us now for seven years.  You are punctual, follow orders and have made significant progress.  Your clean record and previous experience qualify you for this position.  You will replace someone who is unable to continue his life cycle.

The shades close.  A screen drops.  The video displays a man about forty years old, my height and build.  He appears to be very fit and in the prime of life.  He walks quickly across a street.  Suddenly he is hit by a yellow taxi cab.  After a sequence of scenes, the young man is spread out on an operating table in a hospital amphitheatre.

The Cowboy says, “You will become this man.  However, you will retain your own mind.”

The Chairman speaks, “You can option out.”

But I have no choice in the matter.  “I will take the assignment sir,” I answer.

In the fraction of a second that I accept the assignment, I awaken in a critical care recovery room.  The doctors are removing tubes from my nose and throat.  I am a living body.  Everything hurts and my throat is very dry.  I can sense the physicians are thrilled with the patient’s miraculous recovery from head trauma.  My body is banged up but there are no broken bones.  When the physicians leave the room, I look at the plastic bracelet on my left wrist.  I am in Beth Israel Hospital, New York City.  The date of admittance is May 11, 2012.  My name is Frank Rosseus. 

  Pancho Villa prays in Latin:  "Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.  Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, princeps militiae caelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute, in infernum detrude. Amen"