Tainted Rendezvous – A Short John Garrison Adventure

April 16, 2013

Garrison entered the sparsely populated late night café and looked around.
“Quiet” he said loudly. “A little too quiet.” The waitress behind the nearby counter looked confused and then… turned on the radio. Garrison nodded gratefully. “Perfect” he smiled.

In the corner, sat a young woman wearing sunglasses, a trilby and a trench-coat. “Could she be my contact?” he thought. “There’s only one way to find out.”

“I hear the Californian sauvignon grapes are coming along nicely this year” he said as he cautiously sat down. She nodded.
“Yes, but shooting on the new Kevin Costner film is behind schedule.” That was correct response. Garrison smiled.
“I’m John Garrison. You must be Sandra Lovett.” The young woman removed her sunglasses and trilby – and glared at Garrison.
I said, shooting on the new Kevin Costner film is behind schedule!”
“Come on” pleaded Garrison, “we don’t have to go through all this, do we? I know who you are. You know who I am. Let’s just get down to business.” But the prissy little thing wasn’t letting it go.
“I know you have no respect for following protocol, Commander Garrison, but some of us actually like to do things by the book. Shooting on the new Kevin Costner film is behind schedule.”
“Jesus Christ. You pen pushers are all the same” he growled, but she remained steadfast. “OK, OK” he acquiesced. “Well, I’ve never known a Kevin Costner film to finish on schedule.” She was loving putting him through this. He could see it in her eyes. Her dark, dead eyes.
“Or on budget.” She added. Garrison sighed and shook his head.
“You can’t fault the man for – wanting to get everything perfect.”
“So, you’d call what he’s been doing recently, ‘perfect’?” Her spiteful grin just got bigger and bigger. This was Christmas and her birthday all rolled in to one.
“Look, do we really need to go through this?” But the ice queen didn’t thaw.
“So, you’d call what he’s been doing recently…” Garrison cut her off.
“Alright! Alright! Hold on a minute.”
“We’re nearly there. You can do it, Garrison. What comes next?” she gloated. Garrison was drawing a blank. He rooted in his pockets. “What are you doing?” she asked.
“I’m looking for my notebook.”
“You’re supposed to have this memorised!”
“I’m sorry if I’m a little too busy, doing actual spying -You know, what spies do? – to learn your stupid code.”
“We’re not starting until you recite every correct response.” This girl must have been thirty years younger than Garrison, without so much as a day in the field under her Gucci belt. But here she was sneering at this legend of the service. This titan of espionage. Sure his bones were a little creakier than they used to be. Sure his hair was a little greyer. But damn it, he deserved more respect than this. Unsure what to do next, Garrison pulled off his trademark move. He removed his gun from its holster and pointed it in her face. Now who’s calling the shots?

The staff and clientele gasped in horror. Sandra Lovett turned pale, the grin on her face quickly disappearing.
“Here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to reach into my pocket and hand you my expense receipts. And you – you’re going to take them – bring them back to your office – file them and issue you me with a cheque. Within 30 days. OK? ”
“Em –“ she squirmed. Now it was Garrison who’s Christmas Day Birthday it was. “We – we, eh…”
“What?! I can’t hear you?” he sneered.
“We don’t issues cheques anymore. We just transfer expenses directly into agents’ accounts now.”
“Perfect” smiled Garrison. “That’s even more convenient.” Lovett was shaking with sheer terror now.
“Yes. It’s easier for us… too.”

Garrison re-holstered his gun and left – buying a pastry and take away coffee on his way out, neatly folding the receipt into his wallet. After all – this was a business meeting.

The End.


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