Awesome Totally Awesome The Mark

The Mark

By Nick Romeo

Mark Smith wakes up to the sound of his cell phone ringing. He looks at the screen, presses the talk button, and holds the phone to his ear.

“On the equator, popcorn cracks into rose-flavored mothballs 40.4298 to 80.0072 percent of the time,” the distorted deep voice mentions to Mark. The phone disconnects.

Mark’s eyes widen, and he gets out of bed, opens the closet, then pulls down on the coat hanger in the back. The clothing rack drops into the floor and the back wall of the closet opens. Mark steps into the secret room and picks out a Kevlar vest, two shoulder holsters, a belt which holds various knives and magazines, and a navy-blue suit with matching tie. He finishes getting dressed by placing a wallet-sized brick of C4 into the breast pocket of his suit coat. Mark presses a button on the door frame after exiting, and the closet returns to disguise mode.

It is now 0205 hours. He bolts across town in his black Impala, staring straight ahead and hardly blinking. Red and blue lights appear through the back window along with bright high-beams. Mark slows down and stops at a side street. The officer approaches the driver-side window, and addresses Mark, “Where are you going in such a hurry at this time?”

Mark keeps his eyes focused directly in front of him.

“Oh, you don’t want to talk to me?” The officer draws his gun and points it at the side of Mark’s head and speaks into his radio. “This is Officer Monturo, calling for backup. 10-46, I repeat, 10-46. Send backup!”

Mark does not move.

“Get out of the car slowly. Put your hands above your head.”

Still looking forward, Mark quickly grabs the officer’s arm and yanks him, so his head bounces off the roof. Officer Monturo falls to the ground unconscious, and Mark peels off squealing the tires.

Mark stands in front of the building, which houses the target. His watch reads “0251.” The doors are made of steel and heavy grade glass. Mark pulls out the C4 and places it in the center of both doors. Before he could press the button to detonate the C4, a man steps out from behind the building. He has long stringy hair, a bushy tangled beard, a brown trench coat with many tears and holes. He holds out a Styrofoam cup, “Can you spare any change?”

Mark pulls out both pistols but before he can aim, the man kicks them out of his hands. Mark throws a right hook. It’s blocked.

“Ha, so you think you have me figured out? My name is Shambles McScrambled, I am a Rank II Lambda – proven well in the field on three continents and undefeated. I have a message from The Alliance, ‘Your use has come to an end – prepare for nullification.’”

Shambles counters with two rapid jabs to Mark Smith’s abdomen, and a roundhouse kick to his jaw. Mark staggers backward. Shambles kicks again, but he ducks. His foot breaks apart several bricks from the wall behind Mark. Mark picks up one of the bricks, and wails it at Shambles. He punches it out of the air, shattering it into dust. Shambles kicks Mark in the face, knocking him onto his back. Shambles McScrambled pins Mark with his knees and repeatedly punches him in the face.

“The Alliance has been watching you Mark Smith. Your term is finished.”

Shambles wraps his blistered hands around Mark’s neck. Mark grabs his watch and pulls out a small pin, then punctures Shambles’ hand. He releases Mark, collapses to the ground, and convulses as white froth oozes from his mouth. Mark gets up, brushes off chunks of dirt from his suit, and twists a knob on his watch. The C4 detonates, flinging dust and glass shards. Mark’s phone rings as he steps through the open doorway.

Mark places the phone to his ear. “The blue fox went vegetarian after a discussion with a wombat scientist,” said the distorted deep voice.

Mark’s eyes widen, and he smashes the glass case in front of him. He removes a white rectangular cardboard box, and exits the building. He hears sirens approaching, as Mark steps over the still body of Shambles McScrambled. Mark clicks a button on his key fob, his black Impala explodes, while he steps into an alley to locate his gray Jeep Cherokee. Mark speeds away.

Less than five minutes later, Mark coasts up a driveway situated in the rear of a used furniture store, and flashes the high beams. The garage door opens. He pulls his Jeep inside, parks, and gets out of the vehicle. Two men approach wearing black trench coats, white shirts, gray ties, silver aviator sunglasses, and black slip-on loafers. They even share the same black hair color and style. The agents would look identical, except Number-1 stands two inches taller than Number-3.

“Right on time, as usual.” Number-1 states as he holds out his hand. “I will take the package now.”

Mark hands over the rectangular box. Number-1 opens it and gasps, “Perfect! There’s even a Bear Claw in here.”

Number-3 looks inside the box, “Ah, you got my favorite – jelly filled.” He pulls out a giant donut dripping red jelly and shedding powdered sugar. He bites off almost half of the treat, “Thishh ish delishishh.” Jelly and powdered sugar attach to his chin.

“These are for me. Don’t touch. That’s the last one you’re getting,” Number-1 asserts.

After clearing his mouth, “Remember whose resource this is,” Number-3 counters as he points at Mark. “Who brought him in? Who trained him? Who instituted the encoded words? Me.”

“Well, all I have to say is…” Number-1 pauses then shouts, “The baritone went deaf after watching The Smurfs.”

Mark’s eyes widen then he pulls out both pistols and fires round after round into Number-3.

“Yes!” Number-1 points at Mark Smith. “That’s why I love you – you are the best. This morning gets better and better, and the work day hasn’t even started yet. Now I can get that window seat in the office I always wanted.”

Mark stares straight ahead without blinking.

“Well, maybe I should share some food. You must have burnt a lot of calories. Would you like a cream filled, or jelly with sprinkles, or should I feed this decadent desert to the stupid squeaky mice in the ceiling?”

Mark’s eyes widen. He pulls out both pistols, and aims them at Number-1.

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