Every Wednesday from now until the end of the world, or the blog, I’m going to post a random bit of writing: a rhyme, something from an old folder or a work in progress, or if all else fails whatever random thing I scribbled down during the free-write warm up of my Tuesday Night Writers Club.
Circumstances conspired to prevent me offering something entirely new today. Therefore, I went hunting through the notebooks I’ve filled with free-writing exercises during past meetings for something to get the pulse racing. I came up with this: an all-action dose of thrills-and-spills that manages to come in at just 500 words…
– SPIES –
The apartment door banged open and a thin man lurched inside, chest heaving, closing it with quieter care. He sat at one of two desks, a laptop humming beside a computer tower, boards and cables exposed to the air.
He peered inside the desk drawer, flipped open the laptop screen. Windows showed surveillance footage: grey people jerking along corridors like badly animated puppets, grainy rooms with fisheyed proportions.
He drew a shuddering breath and waited.
Two figures entered a bedroom: man in black dinner jacket, woman in glamorous gown. Clothes came off in a series of erotic stills. She revealed a voluptuous figure, his strong and chiselled. They fell into tangled poses, one after another.
The thin man observed the tiny gymnasts with blank detachment.
Sudden movement was lost between frames: the scene changed to a tableaux of post-violence, the woman prone, a knife beside her slack hand half withdrawn from beneath a pillow. Still naked, the man searched the room in frozen beats – mattress, dresser, wardrobe – then he was dressing; silhouetted in the doorway; gone.
The woman shifted in her unconsciousness; he grunted contempt. In another window, the man entered an elevator. Floor numbers descended.
The doors parted and a second man entered, bulky with muscle. The scene became a montage of silent, crunching blows. The newcomer stooped over the womanizer, now slumped half out of sight, disembarked at the second floor.
“Package intercepted, elevator.” Static clicks in reply.
The thin man dismissed the fallen combatant and gave electronic chase, leaping between security feeds as the bulky victor descended a stairwell, strode through the hotel foyer, crossed a street busy with traffic even deep in the night, slipped into back-alleys.
“Now,” he said.
A shadow moved. As the muscular man turned, a flash. He fell.
The shadow moved into sight to search the body. The thin man smiled. A shape recognisable even in low-rez: his partner.
More shadows shifted at the mouth of the alley. “Six o-clock, danger,” he said.
New arrivals clustered the shadowy assassin, one limping. Five flashes from his partner’s gun, then he scurried back into darkness.
The thin man terminated surveillance and began erasing records. As he finished, the door opened. “Well done,” he said, closing the laptop.
“Near thing.” His partner placed a large, soft leather billfold on the other desk, withdrawing a sheaf of papers from inside. He flicked through them. “Everything.” He smiled.
“You shot them all,” the thin man said, behind him.
His partner’s smile of satisfaction faded. “All six.”
“But no time to reload,” the thin man said. He shook his head. “Good spies come prepared.” He opened the drawer of his desk and slipped one hand inside. “For anything.”
“Then may the best win,” his partner said, as the thin man drew an empty gun.