Agent Zaimonev

I’ve decided to start posting a little of my short fiction, because why not? I’ll start with an old story that’s been popular with my readers. It isn’t long. Enjoy!

Agent Zaimonev

In a dimly lit basement room, Agent Zaimonev pulled on his cigarette and gazed at the unnamed prisoner before him. The chance of a lifetime had come to him, and he was in danger of letting it slip away. The secrets this man held could make his career.

Months of careful preparation, wiretaps, and double-blind infiltrations had led to the moment when he had proved his worth to the organization by bringing in the operative known only as “Figure K.” Figure K was connected, somehow, to every plot the enemy had attempted against his employer. Yet now that he had the man, he feared that his opportunity was about to vanish. Three days of expert interrogation, using every wicked trick his craft had taught him, plus several more of his own invention, had so far failed. The prisoner slumped within his bindings in the chair before him, bruised, confused, sleep-deprived, and injected with a dozen exotic chemicals — yet he had given up nothing. By the end of the second day, Zaimonev had begun to feel a terrible respect for the man. His training and experience told him that nobody could hold out this long — yet here, against all possibility, was Figure K. The information he possessed must have had astonishing value, if it was worth protecting to such extremes.

The prisoner was reaching the limits of his endurance, and Zaimonev feared that the man would die without revealing his secrets. The thought filled him with dread; the consequences of failure would be catastrophic to his organization. But his face showed nothing. He was a professional. Stoically, he set aside his cigarette and prepared for another round of questioning.

His cell phone rang. It would be headquarters, looking for intel. “The unicorn met the fairy elf,” he spoke into it, giving the first half of the friend-or-foe identifier, known only to his team’s most trusted agents. He immediately heard the correct response: “Tea party in the shady meadow.” Shocked, Zaimonev dropped the telephone.

The response had come from Figure K.

Zaimonev stared in open-mouthed amazement at his prisoner. The prisoner, equally surprised, stared back.  “You mean—” Zaimonev whispered, “we work for the same employer?”

“Yes,” said Figure K. “Miss Linwood’s fourth-grade girls’ soccer team. I was on a deep-cover infiltration of Mrs. Kendall’s team to gather intelligence for next week’s game.” Zaimonev could see that K was spending the last of his strength to speak. “I had to make it look like I was really one of them,” he gasped. “Those little girls really play for keeps.” And with a final wheeze, he died.

“Oh,” said Agent Zaimonev, stunned, then paused briefly. “Sorry about the testicle clamps, comrade.”


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