Saturday December 6th, 2014

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the complication.

Or, if you're joining us on our Secret Agent theme week journey, write some more. You can include a four line poem if you're able to (I wasn't).

I was rather disappointed with the craft fair today. Better location, more vendors, more foot traffic landed on the plus side of the equation. Freezing rain in the morning, more competition for dollars from better quality vendors, and fewer sales than last week on the minus.

The end result was okay, but I was hoping for better. I did sell another framed print though, so that helped. Not sure what my next steps might be at this point, but I've got time to figure that out.


Mrs. Rose Desmarais had spent the entirety of her morning studying financial reports - most of them legitimate, others less so - and now that lunch hour had arrived (twenty minutes ago) she was more than ready for a break.

Needless to say, she is not pleased to find a stranger - no matter the cost of his suit - entering her office.

"What. The. Hell." As mentioned, it had been a very long morning.

"And a fan-damned-tastic day to you too!" Pine calls out, twirling a pen in each hand as he approaches. His tie is no longer around his neck, having been used to secure the door knob to a nearby filing cabinet. His Texan accent is gone as well, with no audience present who he intends to leave alive.

"What do you think you're doing?" she demands as the distance between them shrinks faster than the marketing department's budget.

"I don't think," Pine replies with the barest suggestion of a smile. "I know."

He levels both pens at Rose's face as he leans across her desk. He clicks first the left, then the right to unleash a highly toxic combination. The left pen sprays its payload with a venomous hiss.

The right pen does nothing.


Greg said...

Selling framed prints sounds very impressive! It's a shame that you didn't get as many sales as you were hoping for, but at least you've scoped out the scene now and can plan for how you might do better next time :)
Ah, I see your intrepid agent is resourceful, adaptable, charming when he needs to be, and doesn't check that he's refilled his pens after each mission! I'm still curious about Rosie D as well, as she seems like a very tough cookie and well-protected... so what's she up to?

The complication
The pilot had announced, as a joke, "I'd just like to welcome you all to the flight today. Those of you who've flown with us before... should have known better," which has caused a dearth of laughter and a number of people to start looking mutinous, so the Easyjet crew had passed out small bottles of alcohol to try and leaven the mood. Goss had looked at his and noted that it was three months past the expiry date and decided not to drink it. As far as he'd been aware alcohol shouldn't even have an expiry date. The flight had been uneventful though, and the landing, though slightly bouncy, had at least been survivable.
Luggage reclaim was as soul-destroying as ever, with the rubber and steel carousels stretching out in a warehouse of a hall. The toilets were out of order, but there was an apologetic sign in front of them to explain the problem and provide directions to the nearest alternative toilets, which were apparently located in a Tim Horton's.
Rupert waited as the machinery wheezed into life and spat cases out from a elevated mouth onto the rotating rubber belt below and picked up a solid, heavy case that came out first. It had his name carefully stickered on to it, and what might have been a blood-spot on the edge of the sticker. Then he fled the hall, and headed for the car-rental desk.
"Rupert Harrington-Goss," he said the wide-faced, pleasantly-smiling man who was sitting there doodling World-War One airplanes on his notepad.
"Sidney Shellac," said the man, his smile broadening. He set down his pen and offered his hand. "Pleased to meet you!"
"Umm right," said Rupert, shaking the hand. "I'm actually here for my car."
"Picking up or setting down?"
"Uh, picking up." Rupert wondered if this was some kind of stalling tactic and quickly (and discretely) surveilled the airport. There was a woman with a crutch he didn't like the look of over at the coffee stand, but otherwise it was fairly empty. Perhaps the guy was just genuinely friendly?
"Goss, Goss," murmured the man tapping an unseen keyboard.
"Harrington-Goss," said Rupert. "Double-barrelled."
"Parents even fought over the name?" asked the man sounding sympathetic. His fingers rattled off a staccato blast of keystrokes like a tap-dancer on speed. "Ah, you've gone with the Husky!"
"I have?" Rupert had long since given up on trying to remember the names of types of car in all the countries he'd visited. He assumed that this would be some kind of utility vehicle, so when he'd signed the paperwork and found Dock C, he was rather surprised to find a dog-sled with 8 huskies waiting for him.
And, four hours later, when he halted for the night and realised that he'd forgotten to bring any food for the dogs, he found himself looking at eight hungry, hard-working dogs in the middle of nowhere with no way to let anyone know what might be happening.

David said...

The ride from the airport was quiet. The big man, who refused to give his name, focused on the road. The Barber could not understand why a man this large would be in a car this small. A Ford Fiesta. Yes, a rental car, but he should have chosen something a bit less conspicuous. The Barber tried to get comfortable. The cloth seats held him, but his muscles ached. Were on fire. They had not been the same in the last two years. Not since his last visit to this paradise. Damn humidity. Messes with his sinuses too. He just needed to pull it together for one more mission. Then something different.

He looked at the odometer. Only a mile or so left. Then the turn off and the point where he will need to actually start his work. He took stock of himself. The bag would stay in the car. Its contents would fit in his jacket. He pulled the bag from his feet and into his lap. Unzipped it. Reached in and found nothing. The bag was empty. He peered at the odometer. One mile past the turn off. He looked at the big man.

“The Beard wants to see you,” the big man stated.

Of course he did.

Marc said...

Greg - love the interaction with the rental agent. Rupert's suspicion is wonderfully conveyed.

David - oh dear, the Barber does not seem to be doing so well here. Very nicely crafted scene.