Sunday, March 30, 2008

through a child's eyes #19

Jason's agent tapped his pen on the table impatiently. He was scheduled to represent Alfonzo the Squirrel at a commercial audition later that day, and this meeting was already twenty minutes late in starting.
When the leader of the Bat Wings finally entered the room and sat down, Jason's agent began. "I want to formally thank the prestigious Senseis of the Bat Wing Ninjitsu Clan and the Tiger Claw Shadow Academy for joining us here today. My client has narrowed his interests down to your two assassination leagues, and is prepared to..."
"Enough talk. The Tiger Claws will give you room and board, state of the art weaponry, and a 'per kill' commission." Eleven-year-old clan leaders are notorious for being down to business.
"State of the art weaponry?! Let me show you what's standard issue for all Bat Wing members..." The boy pulled a jagged piece of scrap metal from the folds of his clothing and placed it on the table. ".. here's the usual ninja star.. a blowgun... these are smoke capsules..."
Jason spoke up. "Holy shit! Do those actually work?!"
"Well, they're just filled with powdered sugar, so.. no. If you really need to make an unseen escape, it's usually best to just kill everyone." The whole room nodded to acknowledge the wisdom of his words.
The other boy angrily broke in. "The Tiger Claws control the whole region of Atlantica."
Instinctually adjusting his tie, Jason's agent tried to adapt to the meeting's unusual flow. "Atlantica?"
"It's everything between 9th and 11th streets, as far west as the Taco Bell." The boy beamed with pride.
The Bat Wing leader wore a smug smile so stealthily that nobody saw it. "With us, you could have opportunities that go beyond killing. Perhaps you recognize me from the romantic sports comedy 'Love Rebounds'? I played Youthful Assassin Number Two."
Jason's agent restrained himself from accepting right then and there - he had been dying to represent film stars for years.
"Enough!" The Tiger Claw leader hit the table with his fist. "Timmy, get in here!"
Dressed in the full splendor of his ceremonial garb, a five-year-old boy entered the room.
The Bat Wing leader was outraged. "This is highly irregular!"
The other leader smirked. "This could be you Jason. Except your belt would be green, not yellow."
Sensing his client's approval, Jason's agent probed. "I see that the headband pictures an orange dog..."
Timmy yelled with clenched fists, "It's a tiger, 'cause we're ferocious!!"
The leader of the Tiger Claws smiled at his rival as he issued his killing blow. "Also, you should know that we have cable."
"My client will need his own T.V..."
"That's fine. We'll kill Timmy - you can have his."
In a desperate attempt to prove his worth, Timmy scratched at the air with precision and fervor, but his leader's mind wasn't changed. There was a lot of paperwork involved with the re-allocation of property, so assassination was the standard method for revoking one's T.V. privileges.

Monday, March 24, 2008

through a child's eyes #18

Detective Neil O'Connell stared Jason down stoically while his partner paced back and forth between them.
Sergeant McFarlane eyed O'Connell as he walked past, queuing the start of the next phase of the routine. Abruptly pivoting toward the table, he snatched up Jason's file. "Let's see here... both parents killed by an intruder, extended family didn't want him, ran away from boarding school at age eight, spent the last few months being trained by an elite group of suburban assassins... Oh, lookiee here - the kid won a spelling bee in first grade..."
Playing along, O'Connell smirked. "It looks like we've got a speller on our hands."
McFarlane slammed the file onto the table and finally addressed Jason directly. "Kid, I see scum like you in here every day. You're nothing but a 'street tough', and this one's going to get you more than a simple slap on the wrist!"
O'Connell took a step forward. "You're not going to spell your way out of this one, kid." In response to his partner's angry glare, O'Connell stepped back into his original position and folded his arms. There was a reason he was only allowed to play 'good cop'.

Jason clenched his fists in an attempt to keep from lashing out. Not only was the interrogation boring, but it was happening in the early afternoon - that's Prime Time for cartoon watchers. "You guys can't prove anything. Let me the fuck out of here!"
McFarlane sneered and crouched to play the tape taken from the security camera. Pointing at the television, he said, "You see that? That's you walking into the movie theater - we have you at the murder scene. You want motive?.. we know damn well that the victim liked to talk during movies. Hell.. we even have your fingerprints on the Skittle that killed her!"
Thinking about the cartoons he was missing, Jason was boiling in rage.
McFarlane pressed on. "What we don't know is why you killed her baby."
O'Connell jumped in. "I think you were worried about the baby growing up and seeking revenge."
"Fuck you guys!! I didn't kill anybody!"
Leaning against the television and shaking his head, McFarlane said, "You know.. I have a strong disrespect for baby killers, but if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a liar."

O'Connell turned to face the wall to get himself into character. "Look kid, I want to help you..."
Seizing the opportunity, Jason ripped a button from his shirt and threw it at McFarlane in a killing blow. The police should have recognized it as a concealed weapon - all kids his age wear shirts with snaps.
Turning to face him, O'Connell went on. "All you have to do is tell us..." Out of the corner of his eye, O'Connell saw his partner slumping over onto the television stand, which was about to give due to too much strain. Instinctually leaping in that direction, O'Connell cried, "The T.V....", but he wasn't able to get there in time.
O'Connell lost all composure as he looked over the corpse of his partner and the remains of the department's only television. Fighting the urge to reach for his gun, he screamed, "Willful destruction of State property... you'll burn for this!"