Bozart (Agent 33)
2017 Mike Bozart
a rare as of late, seasonally cold, frosty February 2017 Sunday
morning, I spied Monique, my sexy Filipina wife (Agent 32), reading a
previous short story (like this one) on our ancient Dell Inspiron
laptop computer in our basement bedroom in east Charlotte (NC, USA).
one are you reading, mahal?” [love in Tagalog] I asked as I
searched for our tablet computer. Maybe
it’s under one of these pillows.
title is Lake
Parkaar.” [my ailing alias]
that’s a recent one,” I said as I sat down on the side of our
I ask you a few questions, Agent 33?” Recording
charmingly inquisitive Agent 32. I’ve had my morning cup o’ java.
Some nascent brainwaves are oscillating now.” He
said that for the recorder. I just know he did.
number one: Why do you have to put ‘my ailing alias’ in brackets
– in every story – after I call you Parkaar?”
we may have a new reader – a keen new reader, no less, in our niche
of a niche – who still may be completely oblivious to my
quasi-Flemish sobriquet. That’s also why I have to state that you
are Agent 32, a cute Filipina with a codename of Monique, in every
installment. Each one of these short stories needs to be stocked as a
stand-alone tale.” Stocked?
As a what?
stand-alone tail? Just an ending with no body?” Ending
with nobody? Hope not.
yeah, something like that, I guess.” He
enough of that; let’s move on, Parkaarazzi. [sic]
Question two: Why do you have to put in all of these metric
conversions? Is it really necessary?”
believe it or not, we have some non-American readers, who probably
think that Fahrenheit is some strange mental disorder, and that feet
only go into socks and shoes.” He’s
obviously babbling for the future transcript now.
was unfazed. She cleared her throat. “Question three: You show the
thoughts of people – like me – in italics; but, how in the world
do you know that that is what we are, or were, really thinking, 33?”
assumed that you approved the drafts, Monique. As for the others, the
real and not-so-real ones, well, I’ve honed in on their neural
proclivities by employing Markov chains. I know their beans. Ok,
maybe I enjoyed some literary license.” Literary
a license were required to write, I think that you would be in big
trouble, Agent 33.” Yep.
so, maybe sow.”
I wonder how he spelled that second one. Guess I’ll see in about a
continued the interrogation as if she were in a court proceeding.
“Question four: Why do you use sic
in brackets? I’m not an English major, but isn’t that just for
we’re forging forth with a new genre, Agent 32 – hyper-technical
meta-fiction. It’s a requirement with all of the odd spellings and
peculiar phrasings. Must separate the puns from the errant runs. Some
are lovingly intentional.” I’ve
that’s it. I can’t take any more of this nonsense.” Is
it that annoying?
come on, Monique by the Creek. [the title of a misplaced short story]
One more question, adorable Agent 32. Reload and fire away.” A
way or a whey?
shifted her pink-camisoled torso in the swivel-type desk chair. “Ok,
question five – the final one at that: What is the purpose of these
short stories, Agent 33?” Let’s
go deep and long with this one.
… Ok, here we go. Imagine, if you will, that you are an ant on a
drone, Agent 32, and – ” What?!
ant?! I don’t want to be no stinking ant.” And,
wouldn’t an ant get blown off?
these drones can’t fly with more than a quarter-ounce [7.09 grams]
of additional weight. That’s not much of a payload. You’ll have
to pick a very lightweight creature, which narrows it down to insects
and spiders.” Spiders?
Yuck! No way!
I just be the built-in camera on the drone?”
camera can’t think. Well, at least not yet. At this juncture,
you’ll have to go bio-something, Monique.”
I’ll be a ladybug.”
choice. So, there you are Miss Ladybug –” Nope.
Backtrack. I’m a married ladybug, bana. [husband in Cebuano] Or,
did you conveniently forget?” Whoops!
could I ever forget, mahal?” You
sure that two ladybugs weigh less than a quarter of an ounce,
Parkaar. Thus, restart your longwinded answer with me right beside
you on that drone.”
so there we are – two ladybugs safely micro-strapped onto the
nosecone of this high-quality, cutting-edge – well, by today’s
standards – chalk-white drone.”
is this drone? What are we flying over?”
yes, yes. Well, I was just getting to that, Agent 32.”
then sneezed. “I’m ok. Continue, Agent 33.”
are hovering at – oh, let’s say, thirty feet [9.14 meters] or so
– above Lake Montonia on a nice autumn day.”
humans below us, 33?”
no humans below, 32. We don’t have to worry about being taken down
by gunshot. Well, at least not yet.” But,
so what happens next, Parkaar?”
as we are gazing at the tranquil surface of Lake Montonia in ladybug
form, the drone shifts into high gear, and begins to head towards the
Kings Pinnacle, 33?”
a little southwest of there, 32.”
this is the craziest answer ever to a simple question. But, please do
continue, Agent 33. Though, let’s not crash into the treetops.”
32. We don’t halve [sic]
time to crash.” Did
he say ‘have’ or ‘halve’? Oh, I’ll just let it go.
what are we two ladybugs thinking about while planted on this drone,
as it speeds towards the mountain ridge?”
that’s a tough call to answer, astute Agent 32. It’s inchoate and
indecipherable, and we don’t want to give the story away too soon.
But, as we quickly approach the granite outcrops, we now see –.”
gruesome fate, I’m sure.
large hawk swooping down to rip the drone to shreds in its
razor-sharp talons. Am I right?” She’s
already seen too many American horror flicks.
bit less menacing, Agent 32. There are some gentle people sitting on
the rocks.” Gentle
people with shotguns?
we make out who these gentle
people are? Do we know them?”
we certainly do. As the drone zooms in closer, the two people on that
cliff look a whole lot like – drumroll, please – us!” Us?
What in the freaking world?!
thought we were two ladybugs on a drone.” A
song title there.
were! And now, well, we’re back in human form enjoying a fall
afternoon on the ridge as the distant Interstate 85 traffic whizzes
by unaware of the drone that is now drifting backwards and crashing
into Lake Montonia. Yes, it looks like we switched off just in time.
That drone had a low charge. It was never going up and over.” Oh,
your complete and final answer to question five, Parkaarobfuscatti?”
and final? Now, we never want to use those kinds of adjectives on an
indeterminate flight of fancy.” Fancy?
you mean fantasy, Agent 33?”
fantasy on the cheap.” Oh,
my kano! [Filipino slang for American]
one last question, Parkaaroni.” [sic]
Agent 32. Random is fine.” Will
this be question six?
5(a): Who is/was controlling the drone in your little vignette of a
reply, Agent 33?”
Ernie the electronic earwig, of course. Who else! Monique, please
tell me that you knew that.”