Thursday, May 24, 2007


Story time - Part 4

"Terry Harkness awoke from his slumber when he heard a slight sktch from the direction of the hotel room's closet. The former CIA operative with hair-trigger senses waited, as was his habit in these matters, a full five seconds; then he heard the slight noise again. Triangulating it with his keen ears, he deduced that it was being made by a shoe on the linoleum. Amateur, Harkness thought instinctively, you should've worn tennis sneakers. Automatically lunging for the gun he always kept nearby, a habit he'd acquired during his undercover days, Harkness spun and shot at the intruder while still trying to shake the cobwebs of slumber from his eyes.
"Unfortunately, the other man--he could see it was a man in the pale moonlight that filtered through the Venetian blinds of the window--was not as complete an amateur as he'd have preferred, and had begun moving evasively as soon as he'd realized that he'd blown his cover. Nonetheless, the bullet grazed his arm; but held in his other arm, Harkness beheld a rather nasty-looking handgun.
"'Who are you?' Harkness demanded.
"The reply consisted of a short, sustained burst of hot lead; catlike, Harkness avoided the... the... um..."
Hail of bullets.
Yeah, that sounds nice, "hail of--". Oh. You're back again.
In the print!
Well, now on second thought, maybe I'm now using too much flowery prose.
Oh, sure, as soon as I give you an idea, you hate it!
That's right, go off and sulk, maybe I'll have some peace and quiet here for once. "Harkness avoided the bullets and, with one powerful somersault, came within five feet of the assailant. Unlike him, he would not miss from this range.
"'Who sent you?' he pressed. 'Talk now, scumbag, or I'll shoot!'
Now it's time for a standoff.
A standoff? Why?
Due to the fact that the bad guy knows he won't dare shoot because he really wants answers.
Gee, I dunno, such an amateur shouldn't have that much reasoning power. He's just a simple thug.
Not so simple--you made him move before Harkness squeezed off his first shot, remember?
Weellll, OK, I'll grant you that. But I'm gonna give it a twist.
Suit yourself. I just want some respect.
Hang on, I just had another idea.
Any more interruptions and the only respect you'll be getting is the respect for the dead. Now Hush!
"'Drop the gun!' he commanded. The man complied.
"Harkness's mind was racing. 'Who are you?' he repeated. The man remained silent.
"'Who sent you?' he pressed. 'Talk now, scumbag, or I'll shoot!'
"His would-be killer grinned, revealing ugly, uneven teeth in a mouth exposed beneath the black stocking that covered the upper half of his face. 'You vun't dare kill me,' he said with a trace of a Hispanic accent."
Out of order! You are most definitely out of order, and after I finally get this bit finished, we are through for today!
"'You vant answers? Drop your gun, too.'
"'Now, who said anything about killing you?' Harkness asked innocently.
"Then he shot the assailant in the kneecap."
Bum bum bummm!!
Shaddap! This is MetFanMac, signing off!

TODAY'S BOOK: "Travels With Charley in Search of America", by John Steinbeck ((c) 1961)


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