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For Your Toys Only (Episode 25)

Episode Twenty-Five
Directed by Michael Ellis

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this last part, just so you know what went on. A day or two after New Year’s I got a pair of phone calls in one day. I was sitting quietly, on my own in a café when my cell phone rang. I looked at the number and picked decided to answer the phone.

“Yes?” I asked by means of answering.

“I thought you should know.” K said to me. “That things look like they’re going to change to some degree.”

“It seems I was wrong about the press tearing you apart, you’re being heralded as the hero of the age. I’ve told everyone that you’re on vacation for the moment, I didn’t want it to look like I’d fired you or anything, hope you don’t mind.”

“No, that’s fine.” I said. “How are things changing then?”

“It seems some of Santa’s people found the list of people who were in league with Christmas. They kindly gave it to me for my consideration.” K told me. “Now everyone who might have had an axe to grind against us wants to be our best friend, lest the list get leaked.”

“I’ve always said you can take a man’s freedom, strip him of dignity, but if you fuck with the holidays your ass is toast.” I commented. “Once you try to make people stop celebrating or tell them exactly how to celebrate, you’ll find yourself on the wrong end of some angry mother fuckers with big dildos and not enough lube.”

“Quite.” K agreed. “Would you like a copy of the list?”

“No.” I said. “Not in the least.”

“I’ll need you back on one day.” K said. “You know that don’t you?”

“I know you’ll ask.” I said. “We’ll see if I come back later.”

“You take care of yourself.”

“Yes sir.” I said, and listened as he hung up the phone.

It was an hour later that the second call came, this one was from a completely different person.

“Hello there Jack,” Grunch’s voice said as I answered the phone, “I have an interesting list of names in front of me. Have you heard about my list?”

“Yeah.” I said, trying not to sound like my blood had frozen. “I think I did.”

“Well I was just noticing you weren’t on this list, and I thought it was important to let you know about that.”

“Why is that important?” I asked.

“I’m glad you asked that.” He enthused. “Santa and I had a little heart to heart and it was explained that killing entire families was what made him so cranky. If I go after just the single offender he’s fine. So I thought you should know that I’m not going to come after you. I would rather you and I could come to an understanding on that point.”

“Sure.” I told him. “I quit the agency, whatever K is telling everyone.”

“Hmm.” He hummed. “Well, you know your own mind best of course.”

“Something wrong?” I asked.

“Just because I’m going to kill two dozen highly corrupt leaders of business and politics, this probably won’t be the end of it.”

“If it goes on, it’ll have to go on without me.” I said. “I’m done.”

“Well, it might end here and now anyway. See you on the front page.” And he hung up on me as well.

I looked at the phone and decided that it was time to start fresh. I dropped the phone on the ground and smashed it with the heel of my shoe. I then picked up all the pieces and dumped them in the nearest garbage bin. I had no idea what I was going to do next, but I would find something to keep myself occupied.

I started to walk into the Paris crowds, and got lost in the shuffle.

Final Note

Hi, this is Jenicia. I know if I don’t write this bit, you’ll never hear about it. Dad would never mention it after all since he ends his story the day he ‘lost’ his cell phone. It happened that first night, when we got home from Spain. Alice, dad’s girlfriend or whatever she is, flew over and met us at the Paris apartment. She’s been staying here with us too, which I guess is mostly okay.

The problem came when I went to the bathroom that night. I want to make it clear that I don’t go around sneaking through corridors listening at key holes. There is a bathroom upstairs and one downstairs in the Paris apartment. Actually, I think we’re supposed to call them flats here, but whatever. It just so happens that the big guest room is between my bed room and the bathroom, so I couldn’t help passing his room.

When I did, I heard some sounds that stopped me cold. I just stood there, with one foot half way through the air, listening to the sounds coming through the closed door.

“Ow!” Dad’s voice came suddenly.

“Well goddamnit Jack!” Alice’s voice demanded, “Where doesn’t it hurt?”

“Here!” He said, which was followed a moment later by him saying it again. “Here.”

“What about here?” My mother’s voice suddenly came through the door. “It would be more fun if it didn’t hurt here?”

“We could kiss it and make it better if it did.” Alice said and the two of them started giggling.

I turned and went down the stairs at that moment. No matter what else might go on, I didn’t need to hear any more of my parents engaging in whatever they were doing. It is my hope that she was talking about his knee or something, but I’m fairly certain she wasn’t.

I only add this part in because as far as I can tell, there has to be a spot in these stories where it’s clear that the hero got the girl. The only difference here is that the hero got both girls and I got to walk all the way down stairs to use the bathroom.


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