Hostage SituationMature

By the time Marty and his friend arrive in a blaring of sirens and a screeching of tires, a police van is already parked next to the house with a line of officers setting their sights on the house. A few officers in SWAT uniform are up against the side wall of the house, their visor-heads gazing up at the bedroom window with trained guns in hand.

Marty steps from the vehicle, wishing he had a pair of black shades to throw over his eyes. But he settles for walking like a champ.

“You?” asks the officer in command. “Didn’t you get shot the last time I saw you?”

“Yeah, then he disarmed the masked men anyway,” adds another.

“And diffused the bombs.”

“Now just wait a minute—” tries the officer in charge, but he is interrupted by the young cop who had been watching Marty during the bomb diffusing.

“And his grandmother made an apple pie!”

The officer pauses in contemplation. Then he carefully avoids addressing this last comment. He turns to Marty. “Why aren’t you at least taking a break? I know about gunshots, and bulletproof vest or not, they can cripple a man.”

Marty smiles. “Not with the newest technology,” he says, “And that kind of technology is scarce in a regular police force.”

“That kind of technology is bloody expensive, that’s why.”

“Well not to worry. I’m taking it into overtime,” Marty says. He moves to slip past the police line, but the commanding officer stops him.

“Now you listen here. We’ve got this covered and we don’t need any help from you. And if you’ve got a problem with that, you better show us a little documentation. No one is above the law.”

Marty pauses, bites his lip, and then asks, “What’s the situation then, officer?”

The officer smirks. “We’ve got a dangerous 409,” he says smugly.

“Fantastic. Your secretary already told us that much. What is actually going on here? Has anyone seen the hostage, the weapons, or the criminals?”

The officer frowns. “We addressed the criminals with the megaphone and they responded. Then we heard a young female scream and a gunshot.”

“That means very little in this business. How do you know they’re not just watching scary movies with sound turned up? We need a visual here.”

The officer in charge takes a deep breath and Marty can hear the man's mind working as he counts to ten. Then Marty says on what would be number nine, “Give me that megaphone. I have a public service announcement to make.”

The officer in charge waves his hands in defeat and allows Marty to lift the megaphone to his lips.

“This song is dedicated to the retards hiding in a dead-end house while the cops surround them!” he announces. He breaks into a shrill singing voice. “Come out, come out wherever you are!”

The officer in command scratches his forehead and tries not to be embarrassed. Marty is only getting started.

“Come out, come out, wherever you aaaaare! Come out, and we’ll throw you behind jail baaaars! Come out and drop your fireaaaarms! Come out, and you won’t be haaaarmed!”

Marty stops and says in a deep gravelly voice. “Son. This is the end. There is nowhere left to run. Your mother is very disappointed in you. Turn yourself in.”

He pauses, but only moments after his call finishes echoing down the street, there is a response.

Who the fuck are you?” cries a voice from the upper bedroom window.

Marty responds in a deep and booming voice. “I am God.” And then for added effect, “You asshole.”

The man behind the voice takes a moment to process this. “What do you want?” he finally asks.

“I want a double pepperoni pizza with all the fixings,” Marty demands. But he doesn’t layer the humor on because he has a serious destination for this joke. “But you don’t have any pizza, do you? In fact, you don’t even have a crumb to gnaw on. And I bet your stomach is rumbling. It’s like an olden day siege my friend. And it’s not going to get you anywhere.” This step from humor to logic pleases the commanding officer, but he is a little curious as to how Marty could make such a bold statement. Most houses in such a decent neighborhood would have plenty of food stalking the cupboards. But Marty knows better than that.

In fact, after a minute of thought, Marty adds another point of advice. “And don’t drink the milk in the fridge. It’s sour.”

A full minute passes in silence before the voice yells down to the police line with a slight waver. “How do you know all this?”

Marty smiles. “I know far more than you could imagine. But let’s have this conversation in privacy.”

The man screams at this suggestion. “If anyone takes a step into this house, I will shoot this hostage in the bloody face!”

“Hey now,” Marty says in a hurt voice. “I wasn’t going to. I was just going to give you a call.” Marty flips open his cell phone and hits his home number. The police are watching in wonder now, and a few smiles flicker across their faces as a phone suddenly rings from the bedroom window.

“Answer it,” Marty demands. “It’s you mother.”

Marty lowers the megaphone and listens to the dial tone. Then he turns his back to the police line and walks a few paces into the middle of the cul-de-sac.

The man picks up. “I want a helicopter,” he demands.

“Sorry son, you’ve been naughty this year,” Marty spits. “But if you give yourself over right now, we’ll at least put a roof over your head. And four walls.”

“I have a hostage.”

“Put her on the phone. Now.”

The voice growls to a silence. “Why?”

“Because I don’t think you even have a hostage.” He can tell that a few officers are listening in on his side of the conversation, but Marty is fine with this at the moment.

“Ha! That’s what you think.”

“Yes. That’s what I just said, you moron. That’s what I think.”

“Well you’re wrong. I have in my possession…” the man moves to the window and shouts this to the whole crowd, “I have a precious six-year-old darling here!”

Marty lets out a hearty laugh. A few heads turn in the police line. He speaks calmly into the phone. “Where did you find her?”

“I stole her from her crib!”

“A six-year-old right out of her crib?” exclaims Marty. “You beast! She’s probably disabled too.” He shakes his head. “And what room was her crib located in?”

Every officer looks to Marty with sudden admiration. He would not test the criminal with such a question if he didn’t know the answer.

“…If you don’t believe me, then listen to this!”

The scream of a young girl comes from the bedroom window and all the cops let their faces fall grim. Marty only laughs harder.

“You wouldn’t even make it onto Cuddy’s Late Night Muppet Show for Insomniac Children with that voice!”

A few cops are shocked by these words, and they turn to Marty in doubt. Marty holds the cell phone to his ear and looks onwards. "Say a few words, sweetie," he says into the phone.

The young girl’s voice speaks into the phone. “Save me. Save me from these bad guys Mr. Police Officer.”

Marty cracks up further. “I am not only a secret agent,” he declares, “but I am also a voice actor when I feel the inspiration. And you’ve got to work on that voice if you want to hold up any more boring suburban houses.” Marty then announces to the police line, “He does not have a hostage folks! You can rest easy!”

The criminal spits fiercely into the phone, but Marty ignores him and walks to where he cannot be heard by the police.

“Okay man. Let’s take this one step at a time. Why are you in that house?”

The man continues to spit and foam into the phone, and then he gets angry and the phone goes dead. And from behind Marty’s back, the entire police line lets out a gasp. “He does have a hostage!” cries the officer in charge.

Marty turns slowly, his panicky mind actually dreading the possibility of seeing a six year old girl being dangled out of the window. But that is just not a possibility. Instead, Marty sees a full-grown black man hanging partly from the window with a gun to his head.

Marty is at first confused and rather taken aback by this turn of events, but everything soon flips like a coin when the man speaks. Ane he recognizes the man as well as he would recognize...whatever head would be on the flip-side of a coin. And he doesn't know either of their names. But names don't matter. Not when Marty can determine two crucial details from this man’s voice.

First, the man was the ‘voice-actor’ who pulled off the child’s voice. This means that he is actually the criminal’s accomplice. And more importantly, Marty recognizes the man from his voice and jacket. The man is the clumsy spy who was taken by the guard cat and shot with the fake guns!

Marty laughs joyously. “We were all expecting a six-year-old girl! So allow me to explain everything!”

All the police turn to Marty who claps his hands together, and the men at the window slowly allow a set of depressing expressions to come across their faces.

Marty takes the floor. And adds it to his collection.

The End

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