Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Nina knew her

mother would never understand how she and her husband could have parted company without even a word, but it was the nature of their work. They were individuals who found each other, only to find they had much more in common than they even realized. Each worked for a shadow agency, whose job was to maintain a modicum of peace through covert methods. They weren't even sure if they worked for different agencies. It was all about channels. Nina was sure that Stavros had escaped as soon as she saw the plume of dust and smoke ascend into the air over Glenloch Dell. A community built to camouflage the agencies safe houses. She and he had worked out the timing of their escapes to the minutest detail. She looked at some sort of crusty scum near the baseboard of the motel room. A line of ants traveled back and fro carrying large white crumbs of something the maid had missed while vacuuming. From the looks of this room, maidservice was not the priority.

Laying back on the spread that spelled faintly of washing powder and old ass, Nina drifted into a dreamless sleep. The thunks, whirs and bams of the hotel, oddly reassuring in their regularness. She started as a foreign scrape illicited from outside the window. She'd spent the vast part of her career in nondescript hotels like this one. She knew the normal sounds and those that were out of place. Placing the gun between the waistband of her jeans and the small of her back the cold of the steel gave her a chill. She strode purposely to the window. Gingerly she pushed the curtain back to see an old man with spindly legs trying to pull his walker out of a repurposed van. She thought she should go help him, when a vigorous looking blond woman approached.

"Here dad let me get that for you," said the woman as she reached in and wrested the walker from the car. Nina took note of how the woman's muscular shoulders bunched with the effort. She thought that perhaps the woman simply took care of her father, but Nina had not lived this long leaving anything to chance.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Nina sat on the side of

the bed at the nondescript Motel 6. She'd managed to lose the gunman. The semi automatic lay on the bed next to her. Her forehead rested in her hands.
The doorknob of the room jiggled. She grabbed the automatic and rolled silently into a crouch between the wall and the bed. She said nothing.

"Ma'am, ma'am, it'a housekeeping" The accent had some sort of lilt, as if the woman was from the islands.
Nina called out while pointing her silenced weapon at the door. "No housekeeping, thank you."
"You sure ma'am"
"Yes, I'm sure," said Nina, not lowering her weapon. She listened as the woman's cart creaked. She slumped back against the wall in the space between the bed and closed her eyes. She looked at her bare wrist. She crushed the receiver and discarded the pieces. She couldn't take any chances.

Monday, October 09, 2006

As Nina slipped from the bed, in one stealthy move, she reached under the bed and retrieved a black leather case. Slipping soundlessly into the bathroom, Nina spoke into the receiver on her wrist.
"Breach, I repeat, breach."
Pulling open the medicine cabinet and pulling out the innards she removed a bag. Something slammed into the bedroom door so hard that bits of plaster dropped from the ceiling and hung in Nina's hair. Brushing them away, she quickly replaced the medicine cabinet. Turning the toilet flusher a quarter turn caused the floor to slide apart revealing stairs. Grabbing her case and tucking a gun from the bag into her waist band, she raced down the stairs. Motion sensors lit the way as she moved forward. Before her feet made contact with the cold concrete, the floor above was back in tact. She slowed, the dark alley ahead illuminated by the eerie glow of the dim lights. Drawing her gun she entered the alley. After three short steps she arrived at an underground parking area. A basic white jeep sat waiting. Nina quickly pressed a button on the transmitter on her wrist and the car unlocked. Sliding in, she pressed another and the car engine stuttered to life. She wondered where Stavros had gone. The echo of voices jarred her from her reverie. She gunned the engine and drove forward. Miraculously the earth parted and the jeep drove out into the bright sunlight. A metallic ping shook the car and it fishtailed. They were shooting. She couldn't chance getting into a gun battle here but they had no compunction. She goosed the accelerator and the jeep shot forward. She knew they were trying to anticipate her next move. She hoped they couldn't since she wasn't entirely sure what she do next. She'd gotten soft, playing house, thinking she could get out.

Friday, September 01, 2006

In one fluid motion...

He dropped to his knees and edged toward the door. Checking back over his shoulder he saw Nina bound out of bed while removing a black leather case from beneath the bed. They both knew the stakes. Looking out, the dark hallway yawned before him. He heard the back and front stairs creak almost simultaneously. How many were there? Who had sent them? Who were they coming for? In his 15 years with the agency, his private sanctuary had never been breached. Perhaps Nina was the target. He’d have to save those musings for later. He maneuvered back into the room and quietly locked the door behind him. Entering his closet, he pulled down on a clothes hanger and the back wall slid aside. Once inside the small anteroom, he pushed the wall securely into place and made his way down a narrow staircase. Alighting from the stairs he was in a small dressing chamber. A small wardrobe sat to the right of the stairs. He quickly removed a custom made suit. The suits were made by a grandmother who lived on the outskirts of town and got most of her clientele from a small ad placed in the back of Soldier of Fortune magazine. Deftly slipping into the pants, he pressed in a series of characters on a touchpad on the wall behind the stairwell. He watched as a drawer slid out of the wall revealing a multitude of weapons. He was no James Bond but he could hold his own. Placing the weapons in the pants specially made pockets, he slid the drawer shut and checked his ammo supply. He quickly surveyed the knives in the leather sheath that was sewn into the jacket. Mrs. Turner was a genius. “Perfect.” No one could tell he wasn’t a business man heading for the office. The floor shook as a percussion grenade took out the door upstairs. Who were these guys? Stepping onto a round platform he pressed a bobble headed duck and began to descend into an earthen tunnel. The heavy dank odor of fecund earth and mold filled his nose. Small animals peered at him from burrows as he passed. The platform came to rest in front of a door. As he pressed an alphanumeric code the door slid open to reveal a modest car and a jeep. Each vehicle had been manufactured at a facility outside of Northern Virginia. They had been created to withstand even the most vicious assault. Once the door closed behind him he input a detonation code. On the flat panel of the LED screen a series of numbers began to count backwards. Throughout the house were a series of depth charges which were carefully calibrated to create a modest but deadly implosion. Tomorrow’s news would report that a gas leak had leveled a home in one of the newest of Houston’s master planned communities. Stavros climbed into the Jeep and drove through a warren of tunnels that brought him out of a garage next to a modest stucco home that served as a safe house for many who defected to the United States through Houston.
By the time the house collapsed, he was already five miles into his trek up FM 249.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

He could feel fluid filling the blistered skin. Gingerly

He rubbed the fluid filled sac with his finger. The smell of blood assailed his nostrils. Holding his hands out in front of his face he noticed for the first time the crusted blood that streaked his palms. The gun clattered to the ground as he slowly turned his hands. The back of his hands was caked with dried blood and dirt. Looking around hurriedly, he grabbed the gun. Where had the blood come from? The man he'd shot, across the room, lay prone. The blood couldn't have come from him. The last thing Stavros remembered was Nina telling him to check for an intruder.
"Stavvy get up!"
"What, I'm sleepin' here. What can't wait 'til the morning?"
"I hear something downstairs."
"Well we're up here. Maybe if we don't bother it, it won't bother us."
Stavros turned over and snuggled deeper into his pillow, trying desperately to coersce Halle Berry back into his Ferrari. The jab of Nina's sharp little elbow jarred him back to wakefulness.
"Don't play Stavros, I hear something."
"Okay, Okay," grumbled Stavros as he placed his feet on the floor. Even fearing the worst, Nina could not help but notice the heavy muscles of Stavros' back.
"Hurry back baby," she called, as a wave of lust pulsed through her. Stavros turned and looked at her as he stepped into a pair of ratty sweat pants. Standing up again and looking down at her, he rubbed the ripped flesh of his abdomen and reminded her.
"I don't have to go at all." Then he heard the bumping. Placing his fingers to his lips and reaching into the nightstand, he pulled out the automatic. The smell of gun oil and cordite lay in the suddenly heavy air. As he disengaged the safety something crashed to the floor.