LIVING ROOM—DAY: B. Styles heard the gunshot and the resulting high-pitched “Sonofa!” Whole thing kicked him into a much higher gear. Damnit that’s right, he remembered now, This is the ex-agent that kept himself in tip-top shape by jogging jogging jogging. Scouting report implied he still had windows of lucidity, i.e. this ain’t no fish in a barrel job. Styles winced at his own carelessness. Yes, some of these “traps” were clearly the work of a wildly senile man—the boot hanging from string in the middle of the living room being a prime example—but others might be actual “Jason Bourne” deathtraps brilliantly disguised to look like senile old man traps. Telling the two apart could be tricky.
“Some of these traps are live,” he hollered over his shoulder to the other men. “Tread with caution.” He moved deeper into the house, following the muzzle of his rock steady Georgia B2 carbine.
Squad member M. Klutz—the same guy that had, seconds before, put his own head through the sheetrock—approached the hanging boot and started flicking at it. Flick flick. Boot seemed empty. Whilst flicking it, M. Klutz noticed a glass terrarium sitting on a small table next to the couch. The bottom of the tank was carpeted with pine shavings. There was a mini hollowed-out log in there too. The mesh metal lid had been removed and was on the floor propped up sideways against the table leg. M. Klutz raised an eyebrow. A hamster tank sans hamsters? An iguana habitat sans iguana? While he was staring at the empty tank sparring with these thoughts, a grotesque tiger-striped tarantula galloped out of the throat of the hanging boot, down the toe, and onto M. Klutz’s hand. It wasted no time. It dracula’d him hard right through the thin fabric of his glove. M. Klutz could feel two distinct streams of hot liquid plunge into his arm blood and it felt like two mini Super Soaker 500s plugged directly into his hand veins, spraying until no more pressure. The room started spinning. “Stop,” he said to the tarantula. But it came out more like Slllopp. And then he collapsed to the floor with a smiled plastered on his blue, twitching lips.
B. Styles, followed close behind by his safety buddy, R.C. Nutmeg, lunged pantherlike into the kitchen. His rifle went up down left right. “Clear!” he barked. Clear of senile ex-agents, that is. Not clear of Holy Crap discoveries. During his 1 millisecond eyeball scan Styles had made no less than two such discoveries. One, the refrigerator door featured one of those blue “Men’s” bathroom plaques you often see on the doors in public buildings, complete with man silhouette. It had been (probably) crazy-glued in place, slightly out of level, right there on the face of the door, and there was half-a-roll of toilet paper right there on the floor too. The second Holy Crap thing B. Styles noticed in the kitchen was that his beloved protege, T. Bennet, was down there on the floor earthworming in a pool of blood.
“Clear the bedrooms,” said Styles to his safety buddy. “Treat all Culkin traps as hot, got it?”
“That’s affirm,” and R.C. Nutmeg disappeared down the hallway.
Styles squatted down to T. Bennet. He noticed now that the pool of blood wasn’t just a pool of blood—there were these weird orange chunks in it too. And some penne pasta?
T. Bennet stopped grimacing long enough to raise his head, look at Styles, and, without a trace of emotion on his face or in his tone, say, “I threw up.” There were chunks still on his chin.
Initially taken aback by the sheer intimacy of Bennet’s revelation, Styles mustered up a friendly smile and said, “Oh. Well, that’s, that’s okay. I won’t tell anyone you threw up.” And then he thought about it for a second and said, “Hey, what just happened exactly reminded me of that scene in Jurassic Park 1 right after the first T-Rex encounter. You know, when little Tim is in the car up in the tree and Dr. Grant climbed up and—“
But T. Bennet was already laughing, because he totally knew the obscure movie moment Styles was talking about. It was things like this that made these dudes such good friends.
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