THE BLACK LOBSTER

LONG, LONG TIME
When Anetta wakes up the next morning, “what,” she started to say, sleepily confused, but stopped when she heard a clanking sound coming in the room. Blinking her eyes open just a bit, but keeping them mostly closed due to the glare of the sun, she peeked out at the blurry image before her of me holding a mug of coffee. starting to become aware of her surroundings she realized she was in my bedroom, lying in my bed, with light pouring in from the wall port hole opening out to the deck overlooking the harbor.
 I quickly realized she wasn’t wearing anything more than the sheet, which was pushed down to her waist. I turned away Squinting against the bright sun light, I could just make out the image of Julie standing next to the bed waging her finger at me, and all the memories of what had happened yesterday came crashing through my mind: I was almost dizzy at the rush of memories, and squeezed my eyes shut tightly. “Morning, your highness,”
Anetta opened her eyes to just slits again, and tried to look at me through all that bright sun. “M-morning, Daniel,” she whispered, my voice hoarse. “I have a terrible hangover,” and immediately puked all over me.
Whatever romantic ideas she had for me came up with it. But after sobering up she let me know that she would always be in love with me.
I dropped her off at the hotel where Carlos stood waiting anxiously. When he saw Anetta’s embarrassed face he relaxed. I guess he knew nothing happened having seen she would not even make eye contact. He turned to me with a wry smile, “Thank you for taking care of her. I forget that she can be very childish Sometimes, especially when it comes to boys.”
“You know nothing happened, right.”
“I said she was childish around boys. You sir are a man.”
OLD MAN
When I got back to the boat I started to straighten up. It didn’t take rocket science to figure out things were developing in a rather strange way. Too many coincidences and I didn’t even believe in happenchance. Besides my considerable training in espionage was telling me something was aloft. Tom Hughes found dead with a Russian Hooker, Anetta showing up at the Restaurant and the pièce de résistance; Cocker in Nova Scotia.
My penchant for keeping all my old files, illegally, was handy as I broke out the Laptop and started reviewing my reports and it didn’t take long for me to get back to my involvement in the incident in Cairo; Felix DeMayhem’s assassination.

THE BLACK LOBSTER

IN GOOD HANDS
Upon arriving in the boat at Wells Harbor, the weather had completely changed. It got so bad they had to rescheduled her local interview the next morning. Carlos informed her the airline put the crew up in a hotel room, and they’d be staying overnight. He asked to speak to me. “I just want to thank you. I’d be so nervous if she were out in that storm alone. But with you there to take care of her, I know she’ll be in good hands.”
“You don’t have to thank me, it will be my pleasure.”
She noticed I had only one bed. He told her to take it, that I’d take some blankets and sleep on the floor in a make-shift bed in my storage cubicle.
“Don’t be silly we can share the bed.”
I hesitated, “I don’t think your parents would like that.”
She smiled and giggled at me, “Then we won’t tell them.”
Oh, man
How was I going to get through this night? It was only around 10 at night when we finished eating, so we hung out chatting and drinking, lots of drinking. Whenever she giggled and laughed, if she was trying to entice me into making a move, so far it wasn’t working. So far.
“Finally, it’s time for bed.” I kept my clothes on while I fixed a bed on the floor. “Don’t be silly. This bed is big enough for both of us, and you don’t have to sleep with your clothes on. I won’t tell my parents I promise”, she smiled at me.
The drinks were having their way with my head. she was downright dangerous, and I knew I had to put those thoughts out of my head. She raised up on one elbow to turn on the TV with the remote that was on the table on the side of the bed. She flipped through the channels, but nothing was on worth seeing so she shut the TV.
IT FIGURES
She was still facing me, her head on the pillow, eyes closed, relaxed, and dozed off. During the night, I awoke to find her snuggled up against me on the floor, in a spooning position and my hand was cupping her chest. HOW DID THEY GET THERE? Her back was against my chest, her nightshirt raised up above her waist. not feeling right about holding her like that I moved my hand away and shifted position and rolled over the other way in an attempt to get up.
My movement must have awaked her, and she spoke, “Please don’t go.” She turned to face me, “Snuggle” she pressed her warm body against me and putting her arm around the back of my neck and one leg over mines and pressed her body against me.
“You shouldn’t be doing that” I said to her trying to sound like an adult.
“Why not?” She kissed my chest, moving up to kiss my neck.
“It’s not right, I’m old enough to be your father.”
She giggled, smiling at me as she asked, “Don’t you like me?” SHE WAS SO DAMNED CUTE! AND HOT! “I said Don’t you like me?” she asked again puzzled.
“Of course, I like you, and that’s exactly why I don’t feel right about it.”
“My boyfriend can’t keep his hands off me,”
“Carlos?”
“What? No. He’s a different species.”
I was still hesitant.
She moaned softly, her mouth so near my ear I could feel her warm breath, “Daniel please kiss me.” she pleaded.
Against my better judgement, I gave in to the urge, what was the harm in that? Just some innocent kissing. I whispered to her. “Just a kiss.”
She raised her head up and kissed my lips and then looked me in the eyes. “Nice.”
“I don’t even know you.” I said out of frustration.
“Yes, you do. You’ve known me my whole life. The last time we kissed is still a very pleasant memory.”
“When, have we met before?”
“Don’t you remember? You like my mother,” and then she admitted who she was. “I’m Julie Summers daughter.
I was amazed by the height and distance I could get jumping off the floor.
I’d spend the rest of the time trying to fight her off. Luckily, she ended up drinking too much and passing out.

THE BLACK LOBSTER

TWILIGHT TIME
Moody Beach’s beautiful rocky shores made for a perfect evening to have a photo shoot for one of the hottest models I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.
The skies began to blend into the beautiful shades of sunset colors, and they melted into the brilliant blue water. The waves rolled over the edge of the beach making rhythmic percussion sounds. I was lost in the sights and the sounds that surrounded me A model she was; her flowing black hair extends to the middle of her back and her skin sort of resembles a nude work of natural art; her body’s gorgeousness was accentuated with a smile created by full lips adorned with ruby red grape fruit colored lipstick.
The photographer made a great job on her visage and velvety skin with a very good rendition of expression and tones. her standing totally naked in a pose. fit, beautiful, and sexy to die for as modeled for the photographer.
The camera shutter clicked with each shot, capturing her present beauty to be shared with the world. He took a few action shots of her, making sure to photograph her hair blowing in the wind, the mist of the beach kissing her skin, and the water splashing around her as she ran through it laughing.
Now she’s lying on the shore, body glistening under the dusky sky due to the water that had washed upon it. He snapped several photos of her relaxing on her side as she props herself up and looks off to the distance. He has her sit back, hands behind her back holding herself up again while facing the sea.
She strikes the pose perfectly and made eye contact with me a seductive look in her eyes as her legs and feet rub against each other. I can’t help but feel awkward as I watch the water wash over her beautiful French-tipped pedicured toes; capturing her long and slender legs as she stares me down.
“That’s a wrap,” said Steve calmly putting his equipment down. “That was an amazing scene” he said “are you sure you haven’t done this type of thing before?”
She laughed Carlos handed her a towel. She wrapped it around her and wrapped one around her head.
“Have you found what you’ve been looking for dear?” Carlos asked her.
“You’re not jealous are you.” She said surprised.
“And what if I am, would you care? Would it matter?”
“Of cause my love. What are you trying to tell me?”
“You look so happy, and I’ve tried so hard to make you happy. He’s done it without even trying.”
“Oh Carlos, you have no idea what he has done for me and my family. It goes way back. I owe him more than you could ever imagine. Please don’t be mad at me. I promise I’ll tell you all about it. Do you believe me? Do you trust me?” Carlos looked on totally render speechless. She kissed him on the cheek. “And now I’m going to spend some one-on-one time with Daniel,” she was so excited! She changed into a pair of jeans and fitted cotton shirt. “Now you’re in trouble Mister.”
She smiled as she stares at me and suggested we get takeout food and eat on my yacht since she was departing the next day and she wanted to see it. The yacht that is.
 

THE BLACK LOBSTER

EBB TIDE

I made my way over the famous Footbridge to Moody Beach when I saw Anetta on the beach strolling toward me. I was struck, once again, by how gorgeous she was. She made her way to greet me. As we walk I find myself glancing at her and admiring the two-piece firefly yellow bikini that was fortunate enough to cover her body. Anetta had her navel, tongue and nose pierced, she also had a tattoo on her lower right back.

            “I don’t think I’d ever seen anything so beautiful.” She said about our surrounding.

            “I was thinking the same thing.” Not my best line mind you but I had to say something.

Anetta led me to a chair and sat down next to me. I was rehearsing all the thoughts and ideas that had drifted through my brain so far when I saw something in her eyes that drew me deeper. They sparkled when she talked. But, there was also a stressed-out look in them. I heard someone from behind me calling her name. “Well, Anetta you finally showed,” Carlos said, walking over to us.

            “Oh, knock it off Carlos. I needed time to think. This is the first time I’ve seen any sights since I got here. I believe if I can honestly connect with people, that’s where I’m going to find out who I really am.”

           Carlos seemed to be genuinely concerned.  And then, A guy with camera equipment yelled. “This is it,” he pointed as the moon lit the crest of the waves, “This is the shot we’ve been waiting for. Please get ready gorgeous.”

            “Anetta strip off before we start on your make-up.” Carlos suggested. I was a little surprised at that request, “Oh the shoot was in the nude. “

“I should leave?” I was embarrassed,

            “No please, stay, I want you to see me at work.” Anetta said her smiling at me made it clear she planned it this way.

            Carlos explained that she would need a base foundation all over before she got photographed. Anetta started to strip out of her clothes, both Carlos and the camera person didn’t take much notice and they merely continued getting everything ready. Once she was nude, Anetta sat in the chair while Carlos got started on the foundation.

           Carlos suggested it would be easier to do the rest if Anetta stood up. She just stood there with her legs apart as he knelt in front of her working up her legs with the foundation cream.  Then he was working down her back and sides.

         
Lightly tanned, with pale patches showing her bikini lines. With her blue eyes, the naked girl looking back at me seems naïve yet a tad precocious, she stretched and gave me a spectacular view of a lovely female body. It was as if she wanted me to notice her body’s reaction when certain part got hard from the nippy and breezy November weather.

THE BLACK LOBSTER

JISTA SMIGGIN
It was good to see the restaurant get some needed upgrades. It’s located near the wells beach, so the new sign could be seen from there. The previous owner was Lady Kay’s uncle who ran it until triple bypass convinced him to retire. That’s when I entered the picture. I bought the place, but carried on the family tradition.
Everything always runs well even in my absence. My house keeper Maria has been with me for 30 years; her son and daughter have taken to Maine and call it home. The other member of the house is Mousetrap, a feral cat. He wandered in one rainy night and lives in the basement. I found soon after he had gotten rid of our rodent problem single handedly.
The easiest sell of Maine seafood is the Maine lobster. Maine Lobsters are caught year around. The soft-shell Maine lobster season starts around June and ends in December, soft shell is notoriously less expensive and sweeter but are not as easy to ship. But they’re worth the trouble to keep the locals happy.
Then there’s Francoise my secret weapon. I let him run the show. He was one of the best chef’s in Canada Before his gambling debts forced him to begin a career in crime. He was spending time in prison when I got him a work release. He must remain in my employ or face being returned to the slammer. His mother, sister, and niece all live local in Wells and make up my polished bistro staff. And he makes our house specialty dish: BOUILLABAISSE
Bouillabaisse consists of the two verbs bolhir to boil and abaissar to simmer usually with sea water. The fish and broth are brought to the table separately and served together in large soup plates. Add fish, prawns and mussels to the soup and cook, covered, for a further 2-3 minutes or until seafood is just cooked and mussels open. Savor shrimp, monkfish, striped bass, cuttlefish, are in this bouillabaisse fish stew.
The only problem is my insistence he use mussels, and clams from a recipe I got from The Martha Stewart Show. Try telling a Mainer that.
“Mon Ami, you don’t put clams and mussels in Bouillabaisse. That ain’t chowdah. They have a name for you. A SUMMA VISITAH WHO STAYS YEAR-ROUND. You can only be a true Mainah if ya were born in the State o’ Maine. It doesn’t mattah if ya lived there for thirty years, if you weren’t born in Maine, ya can’t be a Mainah.”
“Now tell me, is the bouillabaisse just as good?”
“It’s passable,” Francoise admitted. “But this is a dish that is dead, gone. There is no more true bouillabaisse, because there is no fish from the Mediterranean. For the bouillabaisse, you must have the rascasse, the tender flesh of the scorpion fish. Today they just use hunks of monk. They smother it in saffron and garlic, they only need jista smiggin. You could eat a woman soaked in those and it would be just as good.”
Then there’s the infamous Black Lobster commercials. I cleverly use both verbal and visual cues, our brand name, logo, and the product itself; LOBSTER throughout the commercial. But it’s my personal touch and very bad Maine slogans that delivers it.

THE BLACK LOBSTER

C’EST MA CHANSON
I walked over to the band’s table and had to stop and just look at Anetta. She had a cute little nose, beautiful brown eyes and an amazing smile that looks both cute and sexy at the same time. She caught me looking at her and called me over. “Sit please.” She pulled a chair out and I sat in it.
I watch in amazement as she pulled her chair close to mine. I reasoned that she wanted to talk, and it being loud moved near to me. But, honestly, I just about lost it when I inhaled her perfume and I wanted her to be as near to me as she could get.
She opened the wine and poured us both a glass, and proposed a toast. “Here’s to finally finding what I needed,” said Anetta, smiling. “To us!” Anetta then devoured her dinner eating two large lobsters with all the fixings and two large baskets full of a heathy helping of long neck clams.
After dinner, she remained at the table but moved next to the piano bar and requested several songs which happen to be favorite tunes of mine and the band’s forte. After a few drinks, she was very talkative, in fact I couldn’t shut her up.
“I have to confess something to you. I was looking for you.”
“meuh?
“Do you have any plans for the next few days?”
“I’ve got nothing but time.”
“Every time I come to Maine I spend some time at Moody Beach. Nobody knows about it, and it’s fabulous.” She tore a page out of a tablet, borrowed my pencil and began to write. “I’m inviting you to my photo shoot which is closed to the public. I’m going to draw you a map of how to get there. It’s not far away, so you can walk there. I want you to arrive just before sunset. I have work to do but I’m going to make the evening well worth it.”
“Wow,” What do you say to that?
Suddenly she stood up. “I have a special surprise just for you.” She boomed, looked at Carlos who came and handed her a vintage mandolin. She walked to the stage, whispered to the band and they smiled. It would figure if she was an amazing singer.
The light dimmed, and her hair softly framed her face and she closed her eyes. She strummed a few chords on her mandolin. The band started playing. She opened her eyes slowly, and then the most magical sound emerged from her gorgeous mouth. She sang gently in French “C’EST MA CHANSON,”
The sound of her voice carried around the room in waves, bouncing around wildly. Her serenading was feathery, vulnerable yet strong at the same time. It was hypnotizing, almost like melodic drug, the sweet vowels leaving her mouth being mesmerizing and powerful. When she stopped singing, everyone could still hear the last note her lips had touched.
WHO IS THIS WOMAN?

THE BLACK LOBSTER

LONG COOL WOMAN
Sunday’s are festive around the restaurant. For some reason, whole families come out to eat here. It’s the same menu. Maybe the food, really is good.
Also, we open the bar section after hours for jazz on Sunday nights. The guys in the band are called the Three J’s Quartet, a nod to my days in the spy business though they have no idea what I’m talking about.
Lady Kay met me at the door. She was on her way to The Ogunquit Playhouse. She had been very busy this season having had parts in both Strategy the Musical and Only in America. This time she had a lead role as Lucy’s mom in the musical version of The Family Way. The Playhouse is a regional theater still producing live musicals and one of the last remaining theatres from the old Straw-Hat Circuit, also referred to as Summer Stock.
I took part in a ferocious game of Badminton with Francoise’s Niece Sophie. A beautiful girl who somehow turned seventeen even though it seems like she was just 11. She’s been trying her best to beat me. Every time she gets better and better. It’s only a matter of time before she does.
She was determined, even though she knows I was the Badminton Champion of the Airforce Academy two years in a row. The game was tight; her own direction was not to go easy on her. After the game, clearly frustrated she through her rack in the air and stormed off the court. She snatched a bottle of beer from the nearby cooler and downed it. I gave her a fixed stare.
“What?” She tossed the empty bottle in the recycle bin. “I’m allowed.” She picked up her racquet and when to go inside.
I picked up her birdie and called out to her. “You forgot her shuttlecock.” I tossed it to her and she caught it.
“Next time we’ll have to play with yours,” She winked and sashayed through the doorway.
“Go to jail, go directly to jail, to not pass go, do not collect 200.00 dollars and you lose a turn.”
That evening in the restaurant this stunning brunette walked in and somehow, I knew she was trouble. She was accompanied by a well-dressed man who looked directly at me and pointed. The woman saw me, and He stood in front of her and they argued for a moment. The guy turned and looked at me again. I heard him say something like “are you sure?” The next moment he came over to me with an apologetic look on his face.
“My name is Carlos. This is Anetta, international fashion model.” He said pointing toward her, “I’m know we don’t have reservations for this evening, but she wants to know if you can somehow fit her in.”
Being nosey Maria immediately informed me we were booked up. Then I remembered the band’s table. “I got a spot if you don’t mind sitting with the band next to the stage?”
He quickly went to her and returned stating she was more than happy to sit there. The Slim and sexy 5’5″ brunette stunner was wearing a Super-sexy ribbed dress with a plunge neck and strappy open back. Every mouth in the place dropped open. When she made it to the band’s table they all stood for her as she took her seat.
Upon greeting her she was giddy almost overjoyed to meet me. The staff looked on stunned and I was genuinely embarrassed by this beautiful woman’s interest in me.
“You sure it’s okay if we shared your table?”
“I’m happy to have you.” I Don’t think that came out, right?
Carlos came over to me and went to hand me an envelope, but I waved his hand away. HECK I should be paying him, he shrugged and sat at the bar. I signaled Maria to give him drinks on the house and she frowned at me, bless her heart.

THE BLACK LOBSTER

THE NEW NORMAL
“What a great trip.” I said as Kay rolled her eyes, “WAKE UP IN THE MORNING, GET ON THE FERRY, the man on the radio said. AND BACK TO MAINE IN THE EVENING. IT’S HIGH-SPEED AND GREAT FUN FOR CUSTOMERS OF ALL AGES. THE CAT IS BACK.  The boat was really cool; we even saw some Humpback Whales. What a great trip.”
“Well it would have been great if they had overnight instead of on a daylight schedule.” Kay remarked.
I Decided to take US 1 from Bar Harbor back down to Wells. Driving US Coastal 1 is at a slower pace than the interstate and I was in no hurry it was a beautiful fall day and we could stop at lots of small towns and the closer one gets to them you start to get some nice views. And we were in my newly restored 1967 Morgan Plus 4 2dr Drop Head Coupe Roadster. JOHN STEED EAT YOUR HEART OUT
We drove through Ellsworth to Fort Knox where the Penobscot Narrows Bridge which is a 2,120 feet long cable-stayed bridge that carries US 1 over the Penobscot River.
“That was the real reason you wanted to go this way,” Kay said pointing to the bridge, “Admit it.”
“But it’s a beautiful bridge.”
“We saw this beautiful bridge on the way to Acadia. You insisted we take an elevator to the observation deck at the top for fantastic foliage views. But It’s completely glass encased at the top so all we could see was sun glare.”
“What are you getting at exactly? I found the bridge amazing and decided to check it out on the way back. What’s the problem?”
“I’m your hostage.”
“Don’t worry we’re just passing by, we’re not stopping.”
When I recommended, we take this route back from Bar Harbor Kay was absolutely against the idea. “You can only go 35mph and It’s a pedestrian-friendly state and you must stop if anyone sticks their toe in the street, which can add a little stress to a driver who is trying to see sights, drive, and not kill someone.”
Okay I get it, she was born in Maine. That’s like me going over the George Washington Bridge back home. The thrill is gone. “You win next time we go 95. I’m sure I’ll have Route 1 out of my system by then.”
“Next time, will we have just one-bedroom next time?”
“I thought you liked your privacy.”
“Daniel what is going on between us?”
“What are you asking?”
“Don’t you want us to be a real couple?”
“Woo, what brought this on?”
“The way you gushed over your friend’s family photos. You looked so envious. Is that what you really want?”
I didn’t answer because I didn’t know what to say.
“Now he shuts up.”

 

THE BLACK LOBSTER

PARALLAX VIEW
“I have the mark in my sight.” How could I miss her in red. I wanted to joke that the target will see the girl and start to run, but I thought better of it.
A crowd piled out the entrance of the restaurant and I grimaced, too much collateral was going to make a hard target.
“What are you waiting for?” Cocker barked.
“The mark hasn’t verified the target yet. Don’t rush me.” At that moment, the red dressed lady approach one of the men.
“Take the shot.” Cocker was edgy.
“Too much collateral. I still don’t have a clear shot.”
Cocker pulled out his 9mm and pointed it against my temple. “Take the shot.”
“Are you going to kill me?”
Cocker drew back the hammer and placed his finger on the trigger. “I said take the goddam shot.”
“Keep your pants on Sargent.” I said calmly without looking back at him even though I probably just made him madder. “I’m not a butcher. I’m waiting for a clear shot.”
The target suddenly moved forward into the clear. For a spilt second, he looked up in our direction as if he knew we were there. I got a good look at him.
“You’re not going to like this, but It’s a no go, I recognize the target.”
“I don’t give a damn. Take the shot.”
“And he’s under protection, He’s one of ours.” Suddenly Cocker’s hand was shaking. “Look, I’m a field agent. That could be me down there. Or you. I sure wouldn’t want some dickhead shooting me while I was undercover.”
Just then I heard the unmistakable sound of a toggle lock of a Luger pistol. Marley had put his gun against the back of Cockers’ head. “Stand down Sargent.” At first Cocker, didn’t budge. “For God Sake Cocker, don’t make me kill you.”
Cocker leered at Marley, “So, that’s the way it is huh?” He Took his weapon from my head, “Fair enough.” He calmly walked toward the entryway on the roof without a word.
I slid down and sat on the pavement. “Thank you, old friend.  “Still carrying that old luger?” I asked.
Marley looked at me, “Hopefully you’d done the same for me, who was the target?”
“COUNT FELIX DE MAYHEM.”
I got up from my bunk and made a trip to the frig for a beer. I sat on the deck of the ferry boat looking out at the Bay of Fundy as the boats rocked back and forth in the ocean current. SO PEACEFUL. This was what I really wanted, or that’s what I kept telling myself.
So why care about what happened to Tommy? Truth be told he wasn’t a nice guy. He’d use anyone if it suited him. HECK, he was a living ASSHOLE. No, it wasn’t him it was Cocker. I’m sure I don’t have ESP, but I just know his showing up at the same time as Tommy’s murder was a bad omen of things to come.
Maybe it’s coincidence but my gut tells me it has something to do with DeMayhem. He was gunned down in Cairo by members of the other side less than a week after the sanction, so I only postponed his demise. And come to think of it Tom Hughes was the courier I replaced that day. A chance occurrence, I don’t buy it. Every bone in my body told me so. What really happened 15 years ago? I downed my brew and finally got some sleep.

THE BLACK LOBSTER

CHAPTER EIGHT
THEY PUT DOWN OLD DOGS DON’T THEY
I started to assemble my rifle. “What’s our Kill echelon?” I asked Cocker just to annoy him.
“What do you think, Extreme prejudice.” Cocker barked.
“Besides, whoever it is probably deserved it.” I noticed Cocker was staring at me. “Is there something you want to ask?”
“What kind of weapon are you using?”
“A standard M90 upgraded semi-automatic sniper rifle. Not the best on the lot but extremely accurate at this range.”
 “That means nothing to me.”
“I believe the designation for this is an Enhanced Model 90. A gas operated sniper rifle. The rifle itself is based on the EM90SR, first introduced as the M89SR by the Israel Defense Forces. That rifle is originally based on the American M14 rifle. The Enhanced “90-Rifle is much shorter even with a sound suppressor attached, making it easy to conceal. It is relatively light, and more accurate than other sniper rifles.”
“Enough.” Cocker snapped. He was satisfied but I wasn’t done.
“The CIA modified the design for its field agents. Only a small number were used, mostly in undercover units in the Middle East. It was successful both in urban warfare and on the battlefield. They made some adjustments, such as adding a new carbon fiber stock, and it was renamed from the EM90SR probably to avoid litigations and getting sued.”
“Okay, so you know your weapons, McAllister.”
“As I’ve said, I have done this before.”
“Touché Mac.” Marley added with a wink.
A couple of hours passed as Cocker paced nervously back and forth. I could swear I heard his brain working as he pondered what had transpired.
 Marley snickered. “In my experience, there’s always one guy who refuses to deviate from the plan. Cocker fits the mold, don’t you agree, in fact he could be the poster child.”
“Who do you think it is?” I asked Marley.
“SOME OLD DOG, OF NO LONGER USE, BEING PUT DOWN.”
“Well, for what it’s worth I am an excellent shot. The victim won’t feel a thing.”
“That’s good enough for me.”  Marley said, then he recited; CARLSON OFFERED TO KILL THE DOG QUICKLY BY SHOOTING IT IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD. RELUCTANTLY, CANDY GAVE IN. CARLSON TAKES THE DOG OUTSIDE, PROMISING SLIM THAT HE WILL BURY THE CORPSE. AFTER A FEW AWKWARD MOMENTS OF SILENCE, THE MEN HEAR A SHOT RING OUT, AND CANDY TURNS HIS FACE TO THE WALL.”
“JOHN STEIBECK; Of MICE AND MEN.” I attributed.
“That’s correct.” Marley said approving of my fluency.
“Any reason?” I wanted to know.
“Sort of apropos don’t you think.”
“Are you predicting your own future?” I asked. While waiting for his response I surveyed the kill zone through the scope. Then I saw a woman in a dress. “Don’t tell me the mark is wearing red?”
“That’s also correct.” Marley answered.
I look away from the scope, “Not too obvious. We better hope the target is an amateur. Any idiot could tell this is a trap.”
Cocker bolted back over to us his face red with rage. “Cut the crap and GET ready it’s time.”