The Mark

 

 

The two men never saw each other before; yet they each knew the other one existed and that someday they would meet.

 

THEN WHAT?

 

Just as expected Agent Dexter had gotten the phone call in the middle of the day, the caller said for him to retrieve an envelope from the usual spot, it would contain the information about the assignment aka The Mark.

 

Agent Dexter put on his favorite black baseball cap and went down to the post office store down the street from the hotel where he rented his room by the week. The postal clerk working the counter with the yellow golf shirt never looked up at him; he was talking on his cell phone, probably to his girlfriend or one of his golf buddies, Agent Dexter thought to himself as he walked past him over to the mailboxes.

 

The envelope was a little bigger than normal; he opened it up as he walked out of the store. As he was shuffling thru the contents a small cassette tape fell to the street. He looked around to see if anyone on the street had noticed, “Good, no one saw anything,” he thought. He looked at the tape and put it, along with the papers back into the envelope. He then tucked it securely under his arm and walked back to his room.

 

The lobby of his hotel was empty as usual, that was one of the reasons why he liked this place, no one here cared about anyone else He could come and go without attracting any attention.

 

He walked past the elevator towards the door for the stairwell; he would never take the elevator, elevators were a trap if he ever saw one.

 

Two steps at a time that’s how he liked to do it, it kept him hard and quick and in shape, quite often his line of work demanded that he be athletic and have stamina. He reached the door to his hotel room and took a moment to check and make sure the little piece of string he had wedged into the door hinge was still there, if it wasn’t then that meant his door had been opened while he was away. You always, always had to be careful in his line of work.

 

Good it was still there, he slipped his key into the door opened it quickly and stepped inside his neatly kept room. He always kept things neat, easy to pick up and go quickly if the need arose. You never know when you might have to leave town in a moment’s notice to do an assignment. He dumped out the contents of the envelope; spread out the papers, photos, the cash and the cassette tape onto his bed. Looking at the cash he smiled and reached down under his bed and pulled out his duffel bag, he put the cash in the inside pocket and zipped it closed. He sat back and looked at the photos of his target; The Mark was young and pretty, very pretty.

 

 

Meanwhile…

 

 

Agent Jones was talking on the phone when that rude dude with the black baseball hat walked past him again without as much as a nod hello. The rude dude went to his mailbox, got an envelope and walked outside the post office. Then the “IDIOT” dropped something on the street right outside his store. He was watching this all take place while listening to the caller on his phone telling him about his latest mark.

 

Agent Jones had been in this business a long time and he knew that there was competition out there. He never actually met the competition but he knew that day would soon come. The caller told him to go and get the envelope with the new mission information in it.

 

Agent Jones took the “out for lunch” sign from under the counter and placed it on the door. He went to get his envelope and then he hurried to the back office, closed and locked the door. He sat at his desk and turned the little lamp on and opened his envelope. The envelope had the usual photos of the mark, this one was young and pretty too. The upfront money that he always insisted and a cassette tape. The note inside instructed him to play the tape at the usual time during the mission. He reached under his desk and took out his duffel bag, placed the information in it and left the store, as he closed the door behind him he turned the sign around so it read “closed for the day.”

 

Agent Jones walked to his parked car and got in, he turned the key, and gunned the engine a little, that sounds nice, it is important to have a good fast automobile in this line of work. He had handpicked this car partly because of the power and handling, but he also really liked that is was painted completely black.

 

He must have been thinking of the mission and his driving when he pulled out of the garage. He was almost side swiped by some asshole in a red two seat convertible. He double checked to make sure all other idiots were gone and turned out of the parking garage and into the street where he became just another driver to everyone else.

 

 

Meanwhile…

 

 

Agent Dexter had memorized the photos of the mark, he remembered every line on her face, how she looked when she smiled and even her hair style, all this had become engrained in his memory. He took the photos and burned them in the trash can back in his hotel room. Always always get rid of anything that might incriminate him, he was a smart thinker.

 

He picked up his duffel bag and opened his room door; before he closed it he placed the string in the door hinge like he does every time he leaves his room. He took the stairs to the lobby two at a time and sprinted out thru the lobby like a ghost, he wouldn’t be back till much later and it was best not to attract any attention as to what time he was leaving the hotel.

 

Agent Dexter had a small red convertible car parked at the end of the street, he got in turned the key and smiled as the engine purred to life, and he shifted into gear and pulled out into traffic. He was tuning in the car stereo when he suddenly had to swerve hard to the left to avoid the idiot in the black car coming out of some underground parking lot, IDIOT!

 

Agent Jones got out the envelope and looked at the directions to where the mark lived. The address was a suburban home in a quiet section of town, perfect, these were always the easiest assignments, and best yet was that these Marks never saw him coming.

 

Agent Dexter drove out of the city towards the suburbs, he had written the address on his hand when he had burned the directions along with the photos in his hotel room, very smart of him, and he was pleased with himself today.

 

Agent Jones read his directions which said to take a left off the highway and a right onto Main Street, go ½ mile and turn left on Peachtree lane then right on Cobble Place to number 37 Cobble Place. That would be where the mark lived, easy enough, right?

 

Agent Dexter was going a little too fast down Main Street and he almost sped past a police car, he started sweating a lot and he wiped his hand on his forehead to catch the sweat, luckily the cop in the car was reading a newspaper and he was able to speed by unnoticed.

 

He made a right turn on Peachtree Lane and started looking for Cobble Place, he turned his hand over to look at the house number, OH NO, his hand, the sweat, he must have wiped it on his forehead by accident. I’ll pull over, no, no there’s no time, I don’t have time. He started to panic and reached for his duffel bag when his eyes caught his reflection in the rearview mirror. Holy crap, there it was, the house number was still on his forehead, it must have smudged on there when he sped past the cop and he wiped his brow.

 

Meanwhile…

 

Agent Jones was pulling down Cobble Place reading the house numbers, 29, 32, 33.

 

Agent Dexter was coming down Cobble Place at the exact same moment. He was looking at his head in the mirror for the house number, 35, no 39, aawwww, 37, 37 that’s it number 37.

He almost crashed right into the black car coming the other way, IDIOT he’s not even looking.

 

Agent Jones saw number 37 and drove past a few more houses so he could park discreetly and walk to the mark’s address without attracting attention.

 

Agent Dexter pulled right up in front of house number 37 and parked his car; he took a moment to wipe the black marker with the house number from his forehead. He got out of his car with the tape and a radio to play the tape in; he put on his wig and glasses on and stood for a moment to look around and make sure he wasn’t being watched.

 

Agent Jones was standing next to his car looking into the mirror and adjusting his hat with the wig in it and he was putting some makeup on his face as quick as he could.

 

 

The two men never saw each other.

 

 

 

The birthday party was in full swing when the doorbell rang, Sally and her sister both heard the doorbell at the same time, and they ran as fast as they could to the door. Sally the birthday girl got there first, she was in her favorite dress, and she really did look pretty. She opened the door and looked at the man in the doorway with the makeup and the radio in his hand; she stepped back a little when she saw the stranger reach into his duffel bag. She watched as he slowly pulled out the cassette tape and inserted it into the little boom box. There was a moment between them when their eyes met, Agent Dexter lived for this moment, the marks never knew what was coming, and it was exhilarating to him.

 

He put the tape in and pressed the play button.

 

Meanwhile…

 

Agent Jones could see someone in the doorway looking at the mark, he tried to get their attention but it was too late, he could see the agent from the other company leaning over to play the tape. He was too late.

 

 

Agent Dexter pressed play and the music started.

 

“Happy Happy Birthday, Happy Happy Day, I hope its a great one in each and every way.

 

Agent Dexter started dancing in the doorway for the little girl.

 

The Mark squealed in delight and said,” Mommy mommy look it’s a clown, oh mommy I love clowns,” thank you so much. This is the best birthday ever.

 

 

Agent Dexter smiled back at the little girl, he loved this job, he really did.

 

 

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