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Feature Story September 6, 2002
 
The Ghosts of 9 / 11
an out-of-this-world eXile exclusive!
 
Page 2 of 7
 
One grizzled exec spoke up: "Whaddaya think shredders are for, damn it?" he asked in a Texas twang. "We can pulp every piece of paper in the damn building!"

"We've done that already," shrieked the cowardly number-cruncher. "But there are copies of every document in the NY warehouse! By the time we get a shredding team in, the Fed's'll be there!"

Mike thought, "I know that warehouse!" He tried rapping the table to get everyone's attention -- but his hand went right through. In amazement he tried again, and found his ghostly body passed easily through wood, metal and plastic. "Jesus Christ, what the Hell's going on?" he wondered.

There was no answer; but Mike felt a greater power propelling him through time and space, back to New York, leaving him standing next to a forklift full of documents. A poorly-dressed slacker, with "Union" written all over his weak features, was slowly feeding documents from the forklift into a shredder.

"Damn it, shred faster!" screamed Mike -- but the slacker could neither hear nor see him. A whistle sounded and the slacker, looking at his cheap domestic watch, punched the air and shouted, "Miller Time!"

"Come back, you bum! You're fired!" shouted Michael -- but the slacker had vanished. Mike looked in horror at the huge stacks of Enron documents still unshredded.

"Let's roll," he said quietly, and grabbed a stack of documents.

To his horror, his hand passed right through the fatal papers. Mike tried again and again, concentrating fiercely on moving objects by sheer willpower, using all the lessons learned in many an afternoon on the driving range.

After an hour, he managed to master his telekinetic powers. Guided by his invisible hands, piles of documents floated from forklift to shredder all through that long night.

Mike was just feeding the last pile of incriminating numbers into the shredder when he heard noises outside. Floating to the window, he saw Federal vans discharging grim-visaged, hate-filled auditors. Mike smiled proudly. "You're too late, suckers!" he whispered. Then he felt himself pulled again through time and space, to reappear in Enron's Houston HQ.

Everyone in the boardroom was looking to the head of the table, where former CEO Kenneth Lay was just hanging up a phone. The ex-CEO broke into a slow grin: "I don't know how it happened, boys, but the whole NY shee-bang got shredded before the Feds got there."

Lay continued: "Of course we'll have to make a few sacrifices -- you, you and you," he said, pointing to three of the lesser executives around the table. "But I've talked to Jeb, and he assures me that it won't reach any higher than middle management." The entire table broke into spontaneous applause, with even the three sacrifices joining in.

Lay continued thoughtfully, "I still don't know how they managed it. Somebody up there must like us."

Standing invisible in the corner, Mike smiled wryly. "Somebody sure does," he whispered. "Well, I guess my work here is done."

No sooner had he spoken than he felt the same invisible power pulling him through time and space toward another threatened entrepreneur, this time the folks at World.Com in Mississippi. Proud of his new mission, and the deep wisdom acquired as he passed from life to death, Mike nodded and whispered, "Let's roll."

JERRY PERNDOCK

Jerry had been married only three months when the towers were struck. His last thought, as his world collapsed in fire and smoke, was for his new bride: "Jesus, she'll blow everything on some crap investment!" he thought as he fell to his death.

Jolene O'Dell-Perndock, Jerry's widow, shared much with her husband -- but not his skill in picking investments. Jerry had spent many a cozy evening teasing Jolene good-naturedly on her ignorance of financial matters. "You are truly fucking hopeless!" he'd say, chuckling. "Don't think you're ever gonna touch a dime of the 401K! In your hands, the whole fucking egg would vanish overnight and I'd never be able to retire to that gated golf community in Scotsdale."


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