Originally written as a school english class assignment; a short comedy story about just an average guy getting in a whole of trouble with a Belarussian assassin. Enjoy!
I stepped outside onto the wet street for my smoke break. It was a relief to get out of the office, away from the tedious paper work that just didn’t seem to end despite the moaning ecologists claiming we were running out of trees. Judging by the amount of paper I would go through in a week, they’re not running out fast enough. I lit up the cigarette and inhaled that wonderful smoke that my lungs hated but my brain loved which rendered the lungs’ opinion useless, thankfully. The light drizzled dotted my shirt with wet spots, my tie fluttering every now and then when the wind would randomly pick up. I stood against the building, hand in pocket watching people shuffle about. The people were complaining about being wet as if they weren’t expecting it and it had ruined all their plans. Yep, this was definitely Ireland. I took another long drag, God knows I needed it.
“Here, hold this for me, thanks”.
Next thing I knew I was holding a silver metal briefcase that a man, whom I didn’t get a very good look at, handed to me. I didn’t have time to say anything before he had vanished into the crowd.
“Hey! Wait!” I called, getting several strange looks ranging from confusion to resentment.
I scanned the crowd for the man and I walked out to stand in the middle of the street to see if I could see him. Looking over the heads of the people and over their umbrellas, I could see nothing of him. I didn’t even know what colour hair he had... or if he even had hair, for that matter.
I looked down at the case he had handed me and I brought up to my chest. It was a very nice briefcase I had to say, very shiny indeed. There was a numbered lock on either side of where it should open, so there was no hope of me getting it open. I was well aware it would be rude to rummage around in it, but that thought spent very little time in my mind before curiosity assumed control.
I fiddled around with a few numbers in little hope it would work, but just so I could at least say that I tried. After ‘123’ and ‘000’ failed, I gave up and decided to just put the briefcase down. As I set it down, it came right back up with my hand.
The feck had put glue on the handle. My hand was stuck to it; or rather it was stuck to my hand. I strained against it but the harder I pulled, the more my skin threatened to peel off with the handle and I can safely say I was still fond of my skin during this time.
“Bollocks”. I felt that rounded everything up quite nicely.
I headed back into the office and decided to ask Sharon, the secretary, if she knew how to help. Secretaries seemed to know what to do with everything so I figured it was the best place to start. I took one last drag of smoke before flicking it to the ground and stamping it out.
I walked through the needlessly modern glass doors and down the needlessly modern white corridor. I came up to the very shiny metal reception desk.
“Sharon? I’ve got a problem” I casually said to her, as if this was a daily occurrence.
“What’ve you broken this time?” She spoke with a hint of impatience but also amusement, she was enjoying this somewhat.
“What’s that meant to mean? It was hardly my fault the photocopier cracked! Still got a cut on my arse because of that, I should sue you know” I rambled on.
“And how would you explain the fifty copies of your ass now floating around Houston to the jury? Hmm?” She had a point, I guess.
“Irrelevant” I told her, shaking my free hand, “I need you to help get me off- I mean get my hand off this thing” and I presented my left hand onto the desk, briefcase included.
“That’s a very nice briefcase” She stated with a sort of musical rise in her tone.
“Yeah, yeah I know it is, but the handle is glued to my hand” I told her impatiently. She looked at me like a cow looks at an on-coming train; blankly.
“You were only outside for five minutes”. I came to the wrong person here.
“And some langer handed me this with glue on the handle and he ran off!” I explained to her, I was starting to regret this.
“Why did he do that I wonder” She mused to herself, looking up the ceiling, “Was he good looking?”
“I’m going upstairs” I moaned, I gave up “Thanks for all your wonderful help.”
“That’s what I’m her for” She replied very happily.
“So let me get this straight” Alan said, probably for the fourth time, “Some git ran up to ye, handed ye that there case and legged it?” I think I understood the gist of what he said despite his incomprehensible accent.
“That’s exactly it Alan, now can you help me?” I asked, frustrated that after an hour I had only managed to confuse the janitor.
“No bother, but ye’ll have to come down to the basement, I got some stuff there that might help. That glue don’t look too strong sure, ye must have some soft hands” He spoke with speed and wonderfully odd expressions.
“What?” I looked at my hand, “My hands are normal hands! Man hands!”
“Right so, whatever pleases ye, follow me sure” He mumbled and headed over to the lift, me in close pursuit with the suitcase in closer pursuit of me.
He hit the down button and the doors immediately opened up and we stepped in. Alan swiped his card in the slot and hit ‘Floor 1’.
“Just gotta ask yer one if the windows will want another go-over,” he told me as if this was a great ordeal of massive importance.
“Yeah, sure, no bother” I sighed, not making any attempt to hide how fed-up I was.
The doors slid shut and the lift moved down reluctantly, everything in this city moaned about its job.
The lift let out a soft polite ding as we reached the first floor. As Alan walked out I could see a man in a very expensive, but very dirty, looking suit talking to Sharon. She looked over at me and pointed, nodding to the large bald man and saying something to him. He looked over me and I gave a look of bewilderment in return.
He glanced down my left side.
Suddenly, he was brandishing a black small gun which seemed to come out of nowhere, and was shooting at me. Everything happened too fast for me to make out clearly.
I heard five loud shots and dived into a corner of the lift, punching in any button I could reach on the panel. I heard a man’s voice, Alan’s in particular, yell out and the inside of the lift was repainted a very appealing rose-red colour.
“JESUS CHRIST!!!” I yelped, sparks suddenly bouncing off the doors of the lift from the bullets as they slid shut.
I sat there, my heart threatening to burst through my ribs. Blood dripped from my face onto my, now red, shirt. I couldn’t move an inch.
What the hell just happened!? I thought to myself, trying to make sense of what had just unfolded. The facts that I had just been shot at by a bald guy, Alan was probably dead and was partially all over me and there was a briefcase stuck to my hand were the only things I could think of.
The lift let out a soft ding and the doors slid open. I gingerly peeked out of the lift. I had reached the dim basement.
Ok, Ok, stay calm I thought to myself I can get to the car park from here, and when I get outside I can ring the Garda. This seemed like a good idea, so I went about making it happen.
I stood up; so far the plan was a complete success. I wandered out of the lift into the dimly lit room. I headed for the exit door which was bathed in a light green glow. I walked with great caution, the briefcase shaking in my hand.
I heard footsteps. I turned around to hear them come from behind the door leading to the stairs.
“Oh crap… oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap” I stuttered, glued to the spot. It wasn’t until I heard the footsteps get worryingly loud, not that they weren’t worrying before it was just that the louder they got the more worried I did, that my legs responded to my panicked commands and had me belting towards the exit. I flung it open and leapt outside it.
“COME HERE” a voice yelled from inside the room I had just left.
“NO!” I yelled back and shut the exit door. That’ll show him I thought.
I ran as fast as I could through the maze of the car park, running in and out between cars which people apparently didn’t know how to park. As I ran, the windscreen just in front of me exploded into a thousand pieces. The fact that safety glass doesn’t shatter wasn’t what worried me, what did worry me, however, was the bullet that had shattered the non-shatter glass.
I held my arms across my head as I ran but ended up battering myself with the briefcase. I stumbled a few feet but regained my balance and kept running, instinctively having a tight grip on the suitcase. Several car windows exploded alongside me and sparks burst out of the ground as I was being fired upon until I heard the beautiful sound of an empty magazine, but still I kept running. I’ve seen this movie, I thought to myself. He’ll probably have more bullets than he can possibly carry.
I turned a sharp right and could see the entrance to the car park up a slope ahead of me. I felt a sudden sweep of victory as I ran towards it, as if I was winning a race.
I burst out into the daylight and ran for a few metres along the street before quickly side-stepping into a newsagents. I slumped down onto the tiled floor, catching breath as the briefcase clattered down with me. As I looked up, I was the centre of attention in the shop. I looked around in confusion as to why I was being stared at, until I looked at myself in a window reflection.
There was a big red wet splatter of blood on my chest and streaks along my face, and it was obvious that it wasn’t my blood.
“Yes, yes hello! There’s a man here who just killed someone and he’s got a case with a gun in it!!” a woman’s voice shouted anxiously into a phone.
Aww, this is not going to be my day I thought to myself, and I just booted it out there as fast as I could. Nobody would ever listen to me, why would they? It was raining so they had enough of their own problems. I should only be worrying about the rain, for that matter. Not some bald guy trying to blast me out of it.
As I stepped out of the place I looked left and right quickly, relieved to see I couldn’t see the man. I decided to run up to the pedestrianised streets and grab new clothes in Penny’s. So I did just that.
Twenty minutes later I was in a plain black t-shirt and blue jeans. I had washed my face and hair off in a bathroom sink. I was fairly proud that I managed to pull a t-shirt on, briefcase in hand. Buttoning up the jeans was what proved to be a challenge. I gained a new loathing for button-up flies that day.
As I walked down the street, I walked into a shopping centre to try collect my thoughts. I went in and sat down on a bench.
“Alright” I muttered to myself, “A man gives me a suitcase with glue on the handle. Another man tries to kill me and chases me and shoots at me. Whatever is in this suitcase is bad news so I… Bugger me sideways” He was here.
At the other end of the centre I could see the bald man striding in my direction, in a new clean suit. I doubted he went to Penny’s.
I got up swiftly, battering my knee on the briefcase and ran out into the street. I stopped and couldn’t decide which way to run. After a very rapid ‘eenie-meenie-miney-mo’ I ran left and then pulled down a smaller street. My legs burned as I ran and dodged people walked against my direction.
I looked behind me and I could see him in pursuit and gaining up on me very quickly. With this new burst of fear induced adrenaline, I gained no extra speed whatsoever and continued to run as fast as I could down the street.
“STOP” I could hear him yell “GARDA SÍOCHÁNA!!”
Oh great, now I’m really screwed if people believe him, which they will. Look at him! He’s in a Dolce Gabbana suit! Dolce fricken Gabbana! Probably wears Gucci socks too.
Suddenly people around me were glaring at me with disgust, but at least they got out of my way, which was good. But looking back, the people had cleared a path for him and he was now looking down the sight of his black handgun.
I darted suddenly to my right, crossing the road, as he shot and missed me. He seemed to be doing that a lot. Not that I was complaining, it just seemed odd for such a fancy looking man to have a bad shot, I’m not exactly the most limber of men.
I continued running and another gunshot ripped through the air and the wall beside me had a small burst of dust and stone from it as the bullet narrowly missed my head. I pushed myself further, the briefcase constantly crashing against my leg. The street was coming to a T-junction and I had decided to turn left. I could see from here that it was a crowded street, so I hoped that I could lose him there. My left hand suddenly jolted and the jolt ran up along my arm into my shoulder, I did my best to ignore whatever had just happened. I reached the end of the street and waited until I was in the middle of the crowd before I ran left, weaving in and out of the people. I looked back and could see the man’s bald shiny head above most everyone else’s, not that there were many bald shiny heads, usually just plain ol’ bald, as he seemingly couldn’t see me. I took advantage of this and bent to a crouch as I ran in between people. I veered off and wandered into a coffee shop, slowly walking to the very back, out of sight from the door and took a seat. I rested the briefcase on my lap and slumped in my seat, catching my breath with deep breaths.
A waitress came up to me with a slight look of concern, “Can I get you anything, sir?” she asked in a polite tone you could tell she had used a thousand times before.
“There’s a list of things you could get me right now” I told her without thinking.
She held the same expression of waiting.
“Sorry, I’ll have five latté’s please, extra sugar” I ordered.
“Yes sir, they’ll be here within five minutes or so” She informed me and walked off with a very good posture.
I continued to breathe heavily for a few minutes. I suddenly remembered my original plan and rummaged around my pockets with my free hand in search of my phone. I couldn’t find it. It wasn’t in my pockets.
But I had it coming out of the office… in… my other… pants.
I started to mentally kick myself. I had my wallet because that was in my right pocket of my other pants but my phone was in the left which I didn’t search because of the stupid damn briefcase.
I punched the case, “Stupid thing causing me all this crap”.
“Hey, what happened to your suitcase, man?” a man’s voice asked.
I looked over to who asked. It was some teenager with dreadlocks having coffee, he pointed to the case, “What’s with the bullet hole?”
“What?” I looked down at the case which had a very small neat round dent in its corner. That’s what hit my arm! I realised. I turned to look back at the guy who questioned it.
“I was… err… out hunting” I stuttered. This should be fun I mused.
The man looked lost. “Hunting? With a suitcase?” he inquired.
“I carry my bullets in it” I simply explained.
“So… why is there a bullet hole in the suitcase?”
“The deer shot back”. My coffee’s had arrived. I thanked the waitress as she set down the coffee and the bill on my table. I didn’t bother to keep up my previous conversation; instead I very happily wolfed down my coffee, giving me a pleasant buzz feeling and a warm stomach.
When I had finished the coffee I slouched back in my seat briefcase in hand, as if by choice, on my lap and I just gazed around the room. It was a very nice looking coffee shop, so nice, I knew that I was going to be paying much more than I should be paying for coffee, but I didn’t care. There were mostly students here, some by themselves reading, some in groups reading, and then there were the appropriate amount of middle aged men gazing wistfully at today’s young women.
After quite some time, I figured that staying in one place wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I then realised how stupid of a thought that was, of course staying here would get me nowhere, I wouldn’t be going anywhere.
I left a few ten’s on the table and I got up and walked out. I really didn’t care how much I left there; chances were I was still getting paid by the hour for this back at the office. Looking out on the street, it seemed to be clear of fancy bald headed men. Except that one but he was Chinese.
I walked down the street for about five metres when a firm grip was planted on my left shoulder.
“Bollocks” This, once again, rounded things up nicely.
I looked up behind me to find the bald man smiling at me.
“Hello, my friend” He spoke with a heavy Russian accent, suitably sinister, “I would very much like for you to walk with me to the Stephen Green” By the way he suggested it, I didn’t anticipate a picnic.
“Um… yes, sir” I squeaked, manly bravado had escaped me at this point as we began our stroll to the park.The park was void of people, save the odd jogger or dog-walker; the lonely people. The Russian and I stood along the edge of the pond.
“You have reached the end of the line, my friend” He told me, looking blankly ahead, “I would very much you to give me what does not belong to you”
“Ok, look, you seem like a very nice man” I spluttered, “And I love Russia!”
“I am from Belarus”
“Oh… well… yes, there too! Wonderful place!” I babbled.
“You haven been to my country?” He asked, I suddenly had his attention.
“Um… yes! Last year! I went to see the… to the see… the lakes! I went to see the beautiful lakes and… and the forests!” I was desperately running low on ideas.
“What lake did you see, comrade?”
“The… the… Ok, I lied, please don’t kill me! I have a wife and children!” I begged.
“No you don’t”
“I have a plant and two fish!” I pleaded.
“Then they shall die of starvation” He simply stated, “You have been running since we caught you in Ukraine and…”
“I have never been to Ukraine!!” I told him “A nutcase gave me this blasted briefcase an hour ago!”
“You are lying, why else would you have run away?” He spoke very confidently.
“You were trying to shoot me!!”
“I suppose I was, yes. But can you prove you are not lying, my friend?” He offered.
“Look!” I shook my hand violently, “It’s stuck to me! I don’t even know what’s in this thing! I can’t even get the fecking code!!”
“Your profanities do not please me, comrade” He took my hand and gave the briefcase a tug, it seemed to be a light tug for him but it nearly took my arm off.
“You are telling truth, but how do I know you did not do glue yourself?” He asked a new suspicion in his voice.
“Do not start a sentence with because, that is not so good grammar” He told me, oddly enough.
“Erm... Well have ‘I’ ever shot back at you when you chased my across Belakraine or whatever?” I reasoned.
“Many times, yes”
“There you go! Search me! I have no gun!” I explained victoriously.
“Well then my job has become much easier” With that, he pointed his gun at my head, “I am sure your plant and fishes will miss you dearly, comrade. Good…”
He was cut off when I was suddenly sprayed with blood. The Belarussian slumped down onto the ground before me and slid into the pond, which did not please the ducks. I opened my eyes slowly, everything a slight tint of red. I looked to the pond to get a glimpse of the leather shoes sink into the water. Such nice socks, too.
I looked around for a reason as to what had just happened.
A solitary figure was walking towards me, the small glow of a cigarette glowing every now and then, followed by puffs of smoke.
“Good afternoon” a heavy American voice called out. The man stopped a few yards in front of me, short tight hair and moustache a lovely brown colour you only see a few hours after each meal. “I see you’ve met our friend, Cecil here”
“… Cecil?” I floundered “His name was… Cecil?”
“Correct, he was sent to get that fine shiny suitcase there that I gave you bud” He explained calmly.
“Wait wait wait… That was you?” I stuttered in outrage, “You’re the git that put me through this crap!?”
“I saved you in the end, didn’t I? You just helped the United States of America in their greatest international covert war,” he said with pride and dignity.
“Fantastic, get this thing off me” I demanded.
“That’s what she said,” he laughed.
I didn’t laugh.
“Just a joke son, here I’ve got the solution” He said, stepping over to me with a small bottle with a clear liquid inside. He poured it over my hand and the briefcase dropped on the grass. I held my hand and rubbed the palm, feeling the muscles stretch from being stuck for so long.
“You’re welcome. Your friend back at the office will be alright, he was only shot in the arm. He told us he’ll ‘walk it off sure’” He explained, putting away the bottle and picking up the briefcase “You can go back to work bud, it’ll be like none of this happened” And with that, he started walking off.
I stood there in complete disbelief, speechless.
“Hey! Hey wait! Who the hell are you!?” I called out, walking towards him.
He stalled, fumbled around in his pocket and took out a card that he flicked towards me, and continued his walk. “Tom Power, kid. Have a nice day now”
As he went away, I looked down at the card;
‘Tom Power, International Ambassador, Green Peace. -Fight the war on deforestisation-’