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Meeting My Agent

        So we get together in this restaurant in the World Trade Center, and Ronnie gives me the bad news about the proposal.
        "No," says Ronnie.
        Just like that. Flat no.
        "Why?" I say.
        Thinking to myself: I need the advance, you bastard!
        "It's just not credible," said Ronnie. "They out the spy? For, like ... what's the word? Pique?"
        "Yeah," I say. "It's refreshing, original."
        "No," says Ronnie. "It's not original. It's nutso. The government doesn't out its own spies. We don't betray our own side, not without, you know, motivation. Someone sells out for a million bucks, something like that."
         "But that's what makes this so original," I say. "I've created unique monsters. They've disconnected from ... what can I call it? The protocols of necessity, shall we say. Make sense?"
        "No," says Ronnie. "It doesn't."
        "The smallest thing," I persist. "The smallest thing, they'll set it up so people are killed, tortured, thrown in jail ... they out her, it's headline news, her contacts get rounded up -"
        "Yeah, yeah, sticks in orifices," says Ronnie, impatiently, cutting me off. "That's your problem. You're just wacko. You're just too much into this stuff. I mean, this is one sick fantasy. People getting disappeared, beaten up, deported off to these, these - "
        "Torture camps. The overseas torture camps."
        "Yeah, that. And the bit about the guy with the gunshot wounds ...."
        "That's just how I see it," I protest. "You know my ethos."
        "Yeah, yeah," says Ronnie. "The reality thing. But you gotta accept, this isn't reality, this is just, like I said, just -"
        "My demented imagination."
        "Yeah, that."
        And, five minutes later, Ronnie is gone. Leaving me with the bill for the dead duck and the oyster shells. Alone in the restaurant, looking out at the view of the blue sky and an airplane.

the end


Staple was close to running late for the interview, but, as he ducked into the elevator, he figured he could just make it. And then some bastard - there was no other word for it - some bastard


        After my sister was raped, we put her in the car and drove her through South Central Los Angeles, she in shock by then, not just from the violation but from the knife wounds.

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Hugh Cook

MEETING MY AGENT first posted 2003 October 09 Thursday. Copyright © 2003 Hugh Cook - all rights reserved.

Having firt appeared in English when published online in 2003, this story of 307 words first appeared in print in 2005 when the author was honored to have it published in a Hungarian translation in the science fiction magazine Galactica, ed. Nemeth Attila, in the issue of August 2005 (p71), under the title Találkozom az ügynökömmel. "World Trade Center" apparently translates into Hungarian as "World Trade Centerben".