Funny Short Stories: “Get Highpants—Part 8 (of 8)
“Oh son. It is you,” cried Plome, his voice warbling with affection. But here’s the thing: while Edgar Plome had, at first, genuinely believed the tall, broad shouldered assassin was his long lost son, the accompanying rush of emotion had then caused Plome’s heart to jackhammer like mad in his chest. As usual, this convenient physiological reaction shotgunned a much-needed rush of oxygen into the old man’s ailing brain. Just like that, everything became clear to him; he understood that the assassin wasn’t, in fact, of his loins.
Therefore, when he said “Oh son. It is you” just now, it was just acting. Plome was well aware that the whole “I’m your father” schtick was the only thing keeping him from getting shot in the face. “Son! Son! Let me see your face!” he continued, relying not on the fog of senility, but the refined acting ability honed from years and years of high stakes undercover work. He moved closer to Styles and brought his hands close to the man’s cheeks, as if getting ready to pinch them.
“He’s going to pinch my cheeks,” thought Styles. He leveled his rifle, trained the barrel squarely on the fuzzy spot between Plome’s eyes. Hampered as always by his tendency to overthink things, he now overthought: “Okay, I will let him pinch my cheeks—just in case this whole ‘I’m your father thing’ has some merit. Which it doesn’t. How could it? I’m black, he’s white. Nevertheless, I’ll see this thing through. Then, depending on the emotional outcome of the impending pinch, I’ll either shoot him or cry and hug him. Because there’s a slight chance the physical contact of the cheek pinching will jar loose some truth heretofore locked deep within my subconscious, thus finally illuminating—“
But Styles couldn’t finish the thought because Edgar Plome had karate-chopped him in the neck. As Styles’s body fell dumbly to the floor, Plome, baring his teeth, hissing like a vampire, broke into a spry series of cartwheels which, by design, transported him across the living room toward the bay window, and freedom.
V. Bastid, the assassination squad clumsy rookie, was the first to open fire. But his aim wasn’t true. Each bullet went right through the spokes of Plome’s cartwheeling body, decorating the wall beyond with a slinky pattern of bullet holes. The other assassins joined in, guns blazing. For the next second or two Edgar Plome’s living room became a smoky Civil War battleground where you couldn’t see much, you could only hear it and smell it. A blinding crackle of heavy gunfire blazed in the smogginess, sent bullets ricocheting this way and that, finally to explode in puffs of wall plaster. The hanging boot snapped free of its string. The tarantula terrarium shattered.
It was a moment of real chaos, but Plome’s gymnastics, along with artful butt-ducks and arm-doges, kept him always ahead of the of the danger. The old man cartwheeled his way right through the bay window, which, quite conveniently, had already been drizzling apart thanks to some stray bullets. He landed on the grass in a standard Batman crouch. Glass shards hailed down on him, pelted his back. One of them stayed and wobbled in his backskin like a baby stegosaur plate.
He could barely feel it. He’d won. With nothing standing between himself and the boxy, tree-y suburban horizon, he POOF! blasted off into a cinematically blurry jog. At that point, even the rookie Bastid could see there was no stopping him. The continuous jogging would keep Plome’s mind sharp and his skill-set fresh. Three assassins, each with rattled nerves to begin with, wouldn’t have a chance of catching him.
Agent Edgar Plome (ret) had escaped.
And so yes, Agent Edgar Plome (ret) has escaped certain death at the hands Assassination Squad 7. And he ain’t done, not by damn sight. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, he’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, he’ll be there…and so on.
Now do go back and read this ostensibly funny short story from the very beginning: Part 1
Or catch of on last week’s episode here.