There’s a man who can make you completely disappear without a trace.
People pay him for that service. They pay to be hidden, removed from the grid.
Harry MachPelah is the man you go to when turning off your phone and paying cash-only isn’t enough.
I sat with him last night in his parlor room and was fortunate enough to be granted an interview.
Strange News: So you make people disappear. Like, poof, they’re gone. How do you do it?
Harry MachPelah: I was always good at hiding things. Making things disappear. But, I have since found the perfect tool.
SN: The portal?
HM: That’s right. Once a client steps through they are free from the constraints of this society. Of credit cards, iPhones, the NSA and GPS.
SN: What’s on the other side?
HM: That’s for paying customers to know.
SN: It says here you used to work for the local mob. What was it you were called?
HM: I was a cleaner. I cleaned up after them. Disposed of weapons. Of bodies. Made sure there was no mess, no evidence, left behind.
SN: Are you doing the same thing now? Taking your client’s money and sending them through a portal to , where, Hell? The bottom of the ocean?
HM: Nothing so melodramatic.
SN: How did you come across the portal?
HM: Oh, nothing as silly as an accident [laughs]. It’s been in the family for ages. Passed down from parent to child, moved from house to house. My great-grandfather used it as a roadside attraction. The Pelah Portal! One dollar to throw a baseball inside. If it came back, you would double your money.
SN: Did any of the balls ever come back?
HM: Oh god no. Of course not. He was a sly bastard. Never gambled with money unless it was a sure win.
SN: So, what’s on the other side?
HM: As far as I know…whatever the customer wants it to be.
SN: You’ve never looked?
HM: I’ve looked once. It was like being in the shower with the lights off. But, I think that is just the threshold. Once through that, I imagine, it’s whatever you want it to be.
SN: Ever thought about disappearing in it yourself.
HM: Me? No. No. I’ve got nothing to hide.
The interview ended when one of his clients came in. She had a small bag with her.
She surrendered her phone, her wallet, and any other identification she had on her.
Sometimes you just get tired of the life you’ve been leading. Too many mistakes, maybe. Maybe you made a wrong choice somewhere down the line and now you want to explore the other alternatives.
MachPelah opens the portal and she walks through without looking back.