When we last left our hero, the elderly, ocassionally-senile secret agent Edgar Plome (ret.), he was busy preparing his home for the arrival of a death squad tasked with his extermination. Let’s see how said Death Squad fares against his wacky “boobytraps”…
“Let’s rock.” Death Squad 7 team leader B. Styles bared his teeth and kicked. As the splintering door swung inward, the eagle-eyed assassin spied a flash of fishing line up there at the top corner of the door frame. Boobytrap! He dived sideways into the crispy dead rose bushes. The men took his lead and dropped to the ground like satchels of horse feed. For a moment or two it was nothing but quiet. Then Styles climbed back up to his feet and carefully peeped into the open doorway. Frown. So the fishing line was connected to nothing other than a simple push broom handle, which, now that we’re on the subject, was, by way of door-yanking, lodged in the bottom of the door frame like a chin-up bar for cats.
Not another one of these senile Macaulay Culkin routines, thought Styles. He turned to T. Bennet, his right-hand man. “We got a Culkin scenario. No danger here. Go round back—Pattern Riker Delta.”
Styles watched as T. Bennet launched into the bramble at the side of the house. The resulting waft of Axe Body spray elbowed B. Styles in the nose. He sighed. With a little luck, T. Bennet will be a team leader himself one day—good man, hard worker, likes the first two seasons of “Battlestar Galactica.” Giddy, B. Styles gracefully hopped over the broom handle and entered the living room. The next man in line, M. Klutz, tried to replicate the trajectory of Style’s dainty hop, but somehow managed to catch his foot on the broom handle anyway. Arms flailing, rifle airborne, M. Klutz sailed headfirst through the sheetrock by the family portraits. There was a drizzle of sheetrock dust and it took M. Klutz a minute to free his head from between the studs in the wall. The men behind him absolutely lost their sh-t. They were slapping their knees and everything.
T. Bennet moved like a wet ferret around the weeds and branches and fronds that had, long ago, transformed the quaint walkway into a sort of unkempt bower. He emerged into the gone-to-pot backyard: lawn lumpy and dead and littered with candy wrappers; patio furnishings upended and sun-bleached; a impeccably curated cactus garden (?) with a pair of skid-marked underwear sitting like a beret on top of one of the best cactuses (?). “That’s a oh oh seven Victor,” whispered T. Bennet into his wireless radio headset (which had been out of batteries for two weeks and still was). Whipping his rifle left right up down left right, per hellish 12-week training bootcamp, his eyes circuited from the bushes to the windows to the roof to the bushes—everywhere but where he was actually walking. Twice he stepped in crusty old petrified dog poop and once he stepped on a crusty old petrified dog. T. Bennet grunted to himself—Damn, this guy’s whack! We’ll be doing him a favor exterminating him.
He got to the back door and turned the knob and pushed gently inward, eyes peeled for more tell-tale fishing wire. And, yep, there it was, in the upper corner of the doorframe, tugging tighter as the door eased inward. T. Bennet grinned and shook his head, thinking: Yep, more Culkin tomfoolery. He wondered what manner of wacky senile “Home Alone” trap lay ahead of him. Suddenly impatient with the door, he shoved it the rest of the way open. He heard the gunshot a split-second before he noticed the 1955 Luger—now issuing a silky band of blue smoke—propped up expertly on a birch shoe rack and pointed generally at the door. Bennet felt a warm sharp pain. He looked down at himself and saw that the bullet had struck his leg in the seams between the Kevlar patches. “Sonofa!” He collapsed to the floor clutching his thigh.
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