Why I Stole It

April 28, 2010
As I sit back in the sleek leather chair up in headquarters, I can’t help but commend myself for the job I had just completed. We had been trying in vain to infiltrate Joe Fontelli’s private stores for months now, each agent returning with empty hands or not returning at all. Out of the corner of my eye I spy Janet, the jittery receptionist furtively sneaking glances at me. Am I really that big of a deal? I suppose so, I decide, leaning back in my chair with a faint smirk. Carson’s machine-fire voice rips through my thoughts, the way the boss of Secret Services is supposed to sound. “You may come in now, Agent Wiles.”
Obediently I stand up and follow him into his stark office, obviously disguised as a banker’s. He points to a much less comfortable straight-backed metal chair in front of his desk, and I sit stiffly. “Send in the contraband, Janet,” he drones into the intercom. In a moment, Janet tiptoes in, grasping a large metal safe. She rests it carefully on the desk and scampers out. Carson twists in a combination on the safe with sure fingers, places his palm on a scanner, and gingerly opens the safe. He reaches his hand in the way one reaches a hand into a snake’s nest and pulls out a small object nestled in his palm. He opens his hand slowly, cautiously. A small tube, no longer than a chapstick, with a green body and red cap is revealed.
“After months of failed missions, lost agents,” Carson whispers, gazing at the tube in reverence. “Fontelli’s deadliest weapon is safely in our hands.” I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. As far as I could tell, it was just a tube of Krazy glue. But I just do my job – get in, get out. Carson sees my skeptical look and barks impatiently, “Do you have any idea what this is, Wiles? One sniff of this stuff and it’ll be in your system, tracking your every move, your every word. Fontelli’s been spying on our agents, as well as every co in the city. He’s unstoppable. Or was, anyway. How did you do it?”
I shrug. “A few right hooks here, a couple of tazers there, and very quiet shoes.” Carson just looks at me expectantly. “That’s it,” I add. Sheesh, does anyone ask a surgeon to explain how he performs a procedure?
“Right then. You’re dismissed.” He places the tube back in the safe and slams the door. I gratefully stand and saunter out of the office, but in my peripheral vision I see an unfamiliar man dressed inconspicuously in a suit and dark glasses follow the safe to the back room. I keep walking – I’ve had enough for one day.

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