Accursed Improvisation

I took a deep breath, surprised at how easily I’d convinced everyone into thinking I was on their side.  Patrick always said the theater lost a great actress when I joined his team of elites.

When there was a team of elites.  Ezra, Patrick and I, as far as I knew, we were all that was left of the Resistance.

I followed Henry around, picking up all the minutia of the inner Secretist clockwork.  From the inside, it worked just like any other organization: committee upon committee, mountains of paperwork, prototypes, plots, & schemes galore.  The only difference was the fact that this one happened to control the world and all who lived in it.

At the end of the day I slouched in a chair in a lobby, exhausted, when a pair of gentlemen approached me; I recognised them to be in the Cabinet. I stood in respect.

“Evening sirs," I said in greeting, nodding.

“Evening,” the older of the pair replied. “Lazlo, isn’t it?”

I nodded. “I’m surprised you remembered.”

The younger bespectacled counterpart laughed. “How can you forget a name like Lazlo?”

“Good point sir.”

“We just were curious about your background," the younger said.

The older nodded.  "You seem to be an interesting individual.”

Uh-oh. I hoped Ezra was right in the fact I was a good storyteller.

“I lived in the back-country until fairly recently,” I invented quickly.

“Really? I’ve never seen records.”

“I ran away as a boy,” I continued, catching myself before I said girl. “After a while, my parents assumed me dead, so I disappeared from record.  I changed my name & took to wandering.  I gained experience through my travels.”

“Odd method of education,” the younger noted.

“Would you get lonely?” the elder asked with some concern.

“Quite the contrary. I took to singing, & people say I’m fairly good.”

“Could you sing something?” they asked eagerly.

"If you insist."  I took a deep breath and launched into “Puttin on the Ritz,” complete with dance steps.

I must admit I drew quite the crowd.  When I finished the gathered officials erupted into applause.  I smiled and half-bowed.

“I thought I’d find you here!”  The crowd parted for Henry, who briskly approached me.  I nodded in acknowledgement.  “I hate to draw you away, but I have to speak with you of an important matter. Privately.”

“Certainly sir.” I followed, noticing an odd glint in his eye.  I gulped in spite of myself.

Why did I have such a bad feeling about this?

The End

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