Flash Friday 08/01/2013: Unwelcome Guests
“Look,” Paul said, his tone not representing the fact he had several assault rifles pointing his way. “All I’m saying is, every week this happens, and I’m sick to bloody death with it.”
“We’re very sorry,” Officer Smith said. “Recon says that the target was room 44 in the Highrise apartments.”
“Oh, don’t give me that. Every bloody week, there’s some terrorist or drug dealer or some evil overlord hiding in these apartments, and every bloody week The Higher Ups send a SWAT team to clear them out, and every bloody week you kick down MY door. The bloody hell is your intelligence thinking? Surely by now they’ve smelt a rat, that perhaps not every high-ranked criminal comes to the exact same room every time.”
“We were merely following orders,” Officer Smith said. He motioned the rest of the team to lower their weapons. “We acted on our best intel, and–”
“I know all that bloody stuff. Didn’t do my years in the armed forces without knowing that the bods in the suits are the wrong kind of people to make the call. All I’m asking is that, when you get the order to raid my home again, perhaps tell them that there might be a slight problem with their information. It’s bad enough that you managed to break in during Antiques Roadshow this time.” Paul waved a seat-ridden arm to the television. “Didn’t hear you coming.”
“You can hear us coming? But we act with utmost stealth.”
“You might do, but you can always hear it. There’s this really dramatic music, and there’ll be a bit where one of your squad members accidentally knocks a potted plant or a bottle on a handrail, and the music gets all tense while it wobbles to and fro before it settles. I can even hear your collective sigh when it doesn’t fall.”
“I see.” Officer Smith gave a sharp look to one of his squad mates, who was now making a life-long commitment never to walk past a big sleeping dog ever again. “I presume you didn’t hear us about to enter, given that you jumped a mile?”
“Nope, not this time. Too busy watching an Elizabethan desk get marked up for three-thousand quid less than it should have done. Usually you can hear a high-strung violin, this really annoying ‘Eeeeee’ noise. I know at that point to get out of the bath as soon as possible.”
“Well, I’m very sorry for the mistake,” Officer Smith said. “If you have any information to better rectify our intel, we’d be very grateful.”
“Sure. Which bod are you going for; the drugs dealer, the weapons dealer, or the psychopath?”
“Weapons dealer,” said Officer Smith. “On second thought, give us the details of the psychopath as well. Bound to get a bonus if we nab him too.”
“Go upstairs one flight, take a left, three doors down. You can tell which one it is because it’s got one of those eye-slot things on the doors and a lamp over it. Looks right shady, if you ask me. Good thing they’re finally getting nicked, he’s the one that plays rap music at three in the morning.” Paul gave a hefty sigh, sliding down his chair. “Bloody nuisance.”
“And the psychopath?”
“Right next door. Match made in Heaven, those two. Like a takeout next to a fat bloke, they are.” Paul looked down at his own tank-top covered gut. “Now there’s an idea for tonight.”
“Thank you very much,” Officer Smith said, signalling for the team to leave. “We appreciate your patience, and–oh.” He picked up the remains of what was Paul’s door. “I’m sorry, we’ll–”
“Don’t sweat it. That one was a replacement from the last SWAT team that kicked down my door. Just get a nice brown one. Think I’ll go for mahogany this time. I’ll probably change my mind in a week, but that’s not a problem, is it?”
“No,” Officer Smith said with disdain. “Well, we’ll be back to sort out this mess once we catch the actual criminals. Have a good day.”
“You too, lad.” Paul shuffled down in his chair as Officer Smith attempted to close the remainder of the door with little success. Once he was sure they were gone, he picked up the remote and hit the ‘mute’ button, closing his eyes and tuning his ears as best as he could. The tense music was back, more distant than usual. A deep stabbing bass, some heavy, war-like drums. The music died down, was replaced by a high-pitched ‘Eeeee’ from a violin, and suddenly burst into an action-packed piece as the sound of a door being destroyed echoed around the flat. Yelling, yelps of confusion, and begs for mercy filled the air.
“‘Bout time they did their bloody job right,” Paul said, turning the volume up.
Bonus Flash Fiction! When signing up for a writers group, one of the introductory questions was “Micro Fiction: Why is Nicole staring at him?” This was my entry:
“You haven’t looked into my eyes once,” Nicole said. “To be honest, I’m quite insulted.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, “but you neglected a key piece of information in your dating profile, and because of it, I can’t look at you.”
“And why’s that? Am I too fat for you? Are my eyes the wrong shade? I thought you loved me for who I am, but I guess you’re like the rest of them.”
“It’s nothing to do with that,” he said, covering his eyes like a blinker on a horse. “Just…when I accepted the date on your profile, I had no idea that you were a medusa.”
“So? You said you liked my garden, didn’t you? Well, you can stay there as long as you like. Look into my eyes.”
“I’m sorry, but when you said you wanted ‘a rock-solid man who’s okay with pet snakes’, this wasn’t what I had in mind.”
“Hmph. Fine. Last thing I want is a man who can’t commit. You’re paying the bill.” Nicole stood and left.
“Keep the change,” he muttered to himself, placing the money in the stone waiter’s hand.