Short Stories

A Different Toon

I used to daydream about what life would be like inside of a cartoon but I never thought I’d actually become a character. I had been working with the Shadow Agency for about 11 years and they never ceased to amaze me with the missions they would have me carry out; this being no different. Freeman, the director of the Shadow Agency, called me into an office of about 12 people who looked like kids but had the demeanor of militants. They all stood up and saluted as I walked in and didn’t sit down until I did.

“What’s with the children?” I asked as I sat next to a serious seven year old.

“These are your allies, Kevin.” Freeman said as he made his way to the front of the projector. “We need you to bring down a familiar being, shall we say.”

Freeman pressed a button on the wall that lowered the projector screen and what was playing had me both confused and giddy.

“Eh, what’s up Doc?” A familiar phrase blurted from the screen as Freeman paused the video on a four- foot tall, gray-haired rabbit. I couldn’t help but smile at the five-second clip, an opposite reaction to my teenage allies who simply stared at Freeman, waiting on the next bit of information.

“Freeman, I don’t-“

“I’m going to explain.” He interrupted. Jack “Bugs Bunny” Rabbit and every character transmitted through the cartoon platform are all products of a terroristic influence. Bright colors and animated entertainment keep the youth hypnotized while messages of war and racism subtlety creep into their subconscious minds.”

I stared at Freeman for a moment, trying to grasp what he had just said. “So, you basically want me to catch a cartoon?”

“Not just catch.”

“Kill?”

“Precisely.”

Three hours later, the allies and I were strapped in the Cosmic Portal where we would soon be transferred to Bugs’ location. “Remember, the place you will arrive in is nothing like this world.” Freeman said before initiating the transfer sequence. “The only way you will be able to complete this mission is by using your brain and your allies.”

Before I could allow his words to sink in, my chair began vibrating furiously, matter started to deconstruct right in front of my face, and huge flashes of white light temporarily blinded me. A few seconds later, vibrant colors and a flood of sounds slowly crept back in as if I was experiencing a crescendo of reality or seeing and hearing for the first time. As the world came into focus I noticed the allies around me, waiting for me to adjust to the new world. The one I sat next to in the briefing room pushed a button on his watch and spoke into the receiver.

“He’s here.” The kid said.

“Ask Freeman if he has any Intel on Bugs’ last location before we make any moves.” I said.

The seven year old just looked at me blankly and pointed behind me. Before I could turn around, the crunching sound and oblong shadow had tipped off who it was. A furry finger tapped me on the shoulder and took one last bite with a fierce crunch.

“Eh, what’s up Doc?”

Short Stories

Infamous

Mic

Terri woke up with sore ribs, blurry vision, and Channel 11 news blaring from the television. “Unfortunately, police are still searching for the bomb in response to a threat received earlier today.”. Jeremy saw a woman smoking a cigarette on the couch, staring intensely at the TV. There was only one lamp on in the small motel room so he could only see her slim figure and that she was twirling a knife between her fingers. For a moment, Terri thought about lunging at the woman but not with the rope tightly binding his hands together.

“Why am I here?” He asked.

The woman turned to look at him but said nothing and turned her attention back towards the TV.  He immediately noticed her sex appeal even in a threatening situation. Nature had a way of making the most beautiful things in the world be the most deadly and she was no different. Her smooth, brown skin and soft curves disguised the ruthless demeanor she carried. Between the urgency in the reporter’s voice and the silence of this woman, Terri was beginning to panic.

The woman dialed a number and said a few words in a language that Terri couldn’t recognize. The woman got up and headed to the back room while mumbling some things to herself. Terri waited nervously as heard sounds of bags unzipping and metal pieces clanking together. The woman returned with a tripod, camera, laptop and a loaded gun.

“What do you want from me?”

“Only the truth.” She responded as she positioned the camera in front of Terri. A bright light shone from the lens as she powered the camera on and began typing on the laptop. Terri was confused at this point and had no idea what his fate would be. The woman turned the laptop towards Terri so that he could begin to see what this ordeal was all about. The images on the laptop left him speechless as he saw his daughter at school playing with the other kids.

“What the fu-”

“The bomb is here.” She said, pointing towards the closet in the corner of the classroom. “There are 47 innocent children at this school, including your daughter, and their lives are subject to your honesty. See, Mr. Tate, no one is excluded from the karmic debt they acquire. I’ve watched you lie to your wife, friends and family yet play this virtuous role that is only a surface reality. Today, the truth shall set you free. Or we’ll both watch your daughter’s body separate into little chunks.”

Terri looked at the woman with a blank stare, realizing what this was all about. He watched as the woman turned the TV up to hear the reporter give more dramatic news. “This just in! We have a live feed from the suspect.” Terri watched in horror as his face appeared on the television for millions to see.

“Question 1.” The woman said.

Short Stories

“That Moment” (Short Story)

That Moment

Jamie was looking for a lighter as Ryan began rambling about her once again. Judging from the glossy look in his eye and the slow drag he had in his voice, he was clearly high already.  As soon as he started to get a little buzzed, he would tend to get in his feelings about Leslie Peters. She had only been working with us for about 3 months and in that short amount of time Ryan had determined that he was damn near in love.

Ryan, being the shy type, would admire her from a distance, only expressing his feelings for her in daydreams or during breaks with Jamie. They would usually synchronize lunch breaks in order to meet at the car for a quick smoke session. They had been best friends since freshman year of college and became “420 friendly” around the same time.

Jamie turned the music down and took a long, deep hit before speaking. He turned to look at Ryan and said, “Do you know what the definition of insanity is bro?”

Ryan stared, half-way confused and replied, “It’s when you’ve gone crazy, and if you’re trying to say that I’m crazy for how I feel about her…“

Jamie sighed and took another couple of puffs while Ryan trailed off into some more emotional bullshit.

“…and all I really need is the perfect opportunity to say something. You feel me bro?”

“Yeah nigga whatever”, he said while passing the blunt back, “But listen, they say you’re considered insane when you repeat the same action and expect a different result.”

Ryan was silent, and then took a hit as if to allow what he was saying to sink in.

“Almost every time we smoke, one way or another, you end up talking about this girl and honestly bro, it’s starting to get on my nerves. If you like her, you can’t keep running your mouth about her to ME, you have to tell HER how you feel. And nigga don’t take this personal but you really being a lil’ bitch about the situation.

Jamie was the only person that could come at him like that. They had been patnas for so long that the trust was there and, on top of that, he was right. After an awkward 3 minutes of silence, Ryan calmly replied, “You right bro, I’m a get at her today.”

Now, of course, Jamie didn’t believe him but nodded in agreement anyway, not wanting to break his best friends’ spirits. “C’mon bro, we gotta get back.”

*

The brief ride on the elevator gave Ryan just enough time to over-think the situation at hand. Once again, he had committed to finally approaching her but this time he promised Jamie and, more importantly, himself that he would make his intentions known. The nerves were starting to creep in with each beep on the way up to the 8th floor, sweat began building around the top of his forehead, and even the voice inside of his head was stuttering while trying to rehearse what he had been practicing for the last 3 weeks.

Leslie normally got off early on Fridays so he knew he had about 30 minutes to make his move before she’d leave. Confident in the introduction he’d been practicing, all he needed was something to drink to battle the cottonmouth from smoking. Between the nerves and the Kush, Ryan was barely able to talk to himself his mouth was so dry. Should I go for the Sunkist orange or the Welch’s grape, he thought staring at the vending machine. It’s funny how hard it is to make decisions when you’re stoned.

Just as he was about to push the button for a Sprite, he heard a voice that made his heart flutter and then momentarily stop beating.

“Hey, Ryan how’s it going,” she spoke in a perky tone.

He didn’t have to turn around to know who it was. Her voice was as sweet as Skittles but stern enough to be Sour Patches. You would’ve thought it was raining inside the office’s break room the way the sweat instantly started running down his face. The rehearsed lines, the pep talk from Jamie and his confident demeanor had now all went to shit. But it was now or never.

Ryan licked his dry ass lips, took a deep breath and responded, “Hey Le-Leslie, what up-I mean, how are you?”

Leslie giggled to herself. “I’m ok, just ready to get the hell off. Today’s been crazy.” she said as she fixed a cup of coffee.

They were the only ones in the break room, an ideal situation for Ryan to make his move but he couldn’t think of the right thing to say. It’s like the introduction he came up with in the elevator proved to be disloyal and disappeared from his mind at the worst possible time. Nigga just say something, anything!

“Hey Leslie, I…umm…wanted to ask you something,” he managed to mumble.

“Yes, Ryan,” she answered, giggling.

     Damn she looks so good, he thought to himself. Ryan rarely ever made direct eye contact for this very reason. The mini-me behind his zipper was beginning to make an appearance revealing his attraction to her. He pleaded with himself to focus on anything besides THAT: Jesus, Granny, dead kitties, starving children in Africa, anything to decrease the tension below.

Noticing more co-workers coming down the hall ramped up his nervousness again, providing a small window of opportunity to look her dead in her eyes and finally explain his true feelings.

“Ryan?” She reiterated, getting a bit impatient at the awkward silence.

Ryan took a deep breath and started, “Leslie, I just wanted to tell you-”

     Riiiinnnnnnggggg. Leslie reached in her pocket and, without even looking at the screen, silenced it.

“You were saying?” she said, with a smile that released every butterfly that could have ever been hiding in his stomach.

Now or never he thought again. “Leslie, when you first started working here I thought you were-“

“Leslie! I’ve been calling you girl”, her boss blurted, coming up from behind him. “You were supposed to drop off that report before you left.”

Leslie shook her head quickly, realizing it slipped her mind. I’m so sorry, I totally forgot about that! Here, come with me and I’ll get it for you,” she said, heading back to her desk. “Catch up with you later Ryan?”

“Sure”

*

Jamie was doing his best to keep from laughing but between the left over high and Ryan’s sweat drenched dress shirt it was impossible. “Until you talk to her, yo’ new name is gon’ be Houdini mouth cause all them fucking words you rehearsed just disappeared” he said while laughing. “Houdini mouth”, he mumbled to himself, still laughing”

“Can you shut the fuck up?!” Ryan demanded as they both made their way to the elevator.

“Nigga, you shut the fuck up! Jamie snapped back, still giggling. “Shit, obviously that’s something you good at.”

Jamie was doing his best to contain his laughter in the elevator with other coworkers on board and all Ryan wanted to do at that point was to get to the other half of the blunt they had earlier. He was getting impatient with the elevator stopping on nearly every floor when the sound of Skittles and Sour Patches echoed beyond the elevator.

     No fucking way, he thought.

Sure enough, Leslie had somehow made it back into his presence. Ryan knew this had to be some sort of sign from God as he stood amazed at the Angel directly in front of him. Leslie gave him a quick smile, seeming surprised also, and then stepped inside of the packed elevator. Ryan immediately began losing the battle of laughter, nearly in tears in the corner of the elevator. “C’mon Houdini,” Jamie managed to whisper between snorts and tears, “It’s show time.”

Ryan didn’t acknowledge him but knew he was right. His body instantly felt light, full of adrenaline, and once again sweaty. He had to make a decision now or forever be considered a pussy. Without allowing his mind to convince his hands otherwise,  he jammed the emergency stop button and the elevator violently stopped between the 1st and 2nd floor. Leslie jerked back, landing right into Ryan’s arms and before she could respond to what was going on……