I’ve been stumped on what to blog about for the past few weeks, so you might get more of these random things I’ve written.
This is the first chapter of a Super Secret Agent (Babes in Spyland) story I wrote for Nanowrimo a few years ago. It makes me giggle!
It’s never been edited, so please excuse the choppiness and the spelling/grammatical errors I missed.
Sunshine pressed into the trees, sending dark shadows onto the ground. Shadows where anything could be hiding.
Super Secret Agent Bunnynose crouched behind a rock, peering around the edge of the jagged stone, her eyes searching for her prey.
“Anything?” Super Secret Milkshakes’ voice asked in Bunnynose’s ear.
“Negative,” Bunnynose said. She let go of the barrel of the giant tranquilizer gun and smacked a mosquito off of her neck. “You?” she asked Milkshakes as she wiped the remains of the blood sucking insect on her jeans.
Bunnynose grit her teeth, then glared as a familiar chuckle came through her earpiece.
“Are you laughing?” Bunnynose asked.
“This isn’t really funny.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” Milkshakes said. Bunnynose could imagine her fellow agent scratching her chin for dramatic effect. “We are literally out here trying to find a kitty cat.”
“Excuse me?” Bunnynose asked, leaning the other way to check the dirt path. “Kitty cat?”
“You know, like they used to show in old stories. Fire or police men rescuing a cat from a tree.”
“Those were actually kittens,” Bunnynose said, looking the other way again. “Not several hundred pounds of lost cougar.”
“They said she’s docile.”
Bunnynose snorted. “Yeah, right.”
“You still have your back-up pistol, don’t you?”
“Course,” Bunnynose said. “Like I’m going to trust some tranquilizer gun. If I’m about to get eaten, that kitty cat, as you call her, will have a whole new set of problems.”
Milkshakes sighed. “We’re supposed to take her back alive.”
“Unharmed,” Bunnynose said. “The contract said unharmed. But I’m not one to quibble.” She smacked another mosquito. “I’m getting eaten alive out here.”
“You should have eaten that broccoli. I’ve heard they don’t like the smell.”
“Neither do I, which is why I didn’t—”
“Hold up,” Milkshakes said.
Bunnynose straightened, staying behind the rock. “You have contact?”
“Yeah. She’s in the brush on the north side of the trail. Heading right for you.”
Bunnynose looked up and noted the direction the wind was pushing the leaves above. “I’m going to be upwind of her. She’ll smell me.”
“Yeah, you can be my distraction.”
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“Totally. Now go get the kitty’s attention, and don’t shoot her.”
“I’ll shoot whoever I want,” Bunnynose grumbled as she glanced at the rock. A quick inspection and a few seconds was all it took for her to be on top of it, pulling the giant weapon off of her back and aiming it at the trail. For good measure, Bunnynose took a protein bar out of her pocket, pulled off the wrapper and tossed it ten yards down the path, toward Milkshakes.
Sweat began to trickle down Bunnynose’s back and through her hair, but she didn’t move. A few seconds later, the twittering birds and rustling rodents went silent.
The brush from the direction Milkshakes had indicated began to rustle. A moment later, the light brown fur of the cougar emerged. First a paw, then a nose, then the rest of her.
Bunnynose gave her radio one tap.
Milkshakes answered with one of her own.
The cougar was smaller than Bunnynose would have imagined, but the sleek muscles under her taunt fur told Bunnynose that this animal, while supposedly house trained, could chase her down and kill her without having to breathe very hard.
It took a moment for Bunnynose to remember the cougar’s name.
Who named a giant killing machine Nancy?
She gave herself the luxury of an internal eye roll as she watched Nancy stop and sniff the air around her.
Bunnynose already had the tranquilizer gun up and ready, but she didn’t want to shoot from this far away. She had no idea how accurate the weapon was, or how far it would really go. Nancy’s owner had said it would shoot accurately at fifty paces, which made Bunnynose believe that the man had gotten it off of D-Bay from someone who had found it at a garage sale.
Nancy’s nostrils flared, and her ears twitched. Bunnynose couldn’t see the cat’s tail, but it was probably twitching as well.
“Come on,” Bunnynose whispered as she willed Nancy to notice the protein bar.
Again, the owner had assured the agents that Nancy would come right too them if they had one of her favorite treats. Peanut butter and chocolate with nuts. Bunnynose had been tempted to eat it herself, but had refrained. Even though she and Milkshakes had only had time for a gas station stop on their way here. Bahama Mama’s only went so far in the realm of hunger satisfaction. Plus, their pebble ice machine had been busted.
“Why are we here again?” she muttered.
“Because Mud needs a favor from this guy.”
“Why am I always on favor duty?”
“You’re just really luckily.”
Nancy took two steps forward, exposing her whole body.
Bunnynose was a millisecond from tapping her radio to tell Milkshakes that Nancy was in place, when the cat stopped, and then sat.
Suddenly looking bored, Nancy raised a paw and licked the side of it. Then, as only a cat can, she began cleaning her head.
It if didn’t look so cute, Bunnynose would have groaned.
“What’s going on?” Milkshakes whispered.
“Apparently it’s bath time,” Bunnynose said. She watched Nancy, but the cat gave no indication that she heard the agents.
“Did you put the bait out?”
Bunnynose tapped once.
“Did you unwrap it?”
“Is Nancy cleaning her head?”
“Are you still mad about the pebble ice?”
Tap. Tap. Tap.
“Oh, I know you hate me. But you’ll forgive me when we go and get some ice cream.”
Three more taps.
Bunnynose glared at nothing in particular. While she liked Milkshakes, the other woman could be infuriating. What made it worse was that Milkshakes was almost always right.
Once Nancy had finished with her head, she suddenly turned and started licking her back, in a display that would have made any Yoga instructor envious.
“Still cleaning?” Milkshakes asked.
“Can you get to her?”
“You got on that rock, didn’t you?”
Bunnynose sighed. Tap.
“Okay, I’ll come up from behind, but if she stops tell me.”
Bunnynose kept her eyes on the cat, but also watched for moving brush. Milkshakes had offered to take the lower half of the little wooded area, so now she would have to climb back up.
The distance between her and the cat had to be at least thirty yards. The protein bar lay only ten yards from Bunnynose. She once again willed the cat to come for it.
At that moment, Nancy stopped cleaning, and Bunnynose saw the brush about twenty yards beyond the cat move.
Bunnynose tapped the radio once.
The bushes went still.
Nancy’s tail whipped back and forth, hitting the hard dirt path with an audible thump.
Bunnynose sighed and glanced back at her perch. Maybe she could get down without making too much noise, but it would have to be on the far side of the rock, and she didn’t want to leave the cat of her sight for that long.
A gust of wind hit Bunnynose, from behind. She smiled when a moment later, Nancy’s nostrils flared again. The cat’s attention turned to the path, and her eyes landed on the protein bar. She licked her chops.
It took another ten seconds of looking bored before Nancy rose to all fours and began to pad toward the treat. As if she knew she was being hunted—and Bunnynose wouldn’t be at all surprised—Nancy varied her pace and direction, approaching the protein bar as if she had no idea it was there.
Where did cats get that from?
Bunnynose shook her head and lowered her eye to the sight of the tranquilizer gun. Nancy got bigger, and Bunnynose could see the feline’s dark eyes through the scope.
Bunnynose had been through a lot of strange things in her life, many of which had left her a little paranoid. She didn’t deny it when the others poked fun at her for it, which they did less and less, because her paranoia kept saving them. So to look in the cat’s eyes, Bunnynose recognized the look of caution.
Nancy did know they were there, and she knew that this was a trap.
So why come out?
Bunnynose opened her other eye and glanced around, wondering if this was some elaborate trick. Was Mud still angry about her getting caught by Lady Cluck? That had been months ago. And Bunnynose had practically been a model agent since then.
Well, except for the ultimate fighter tournament. But she’d been undercover. It wasn’t her fault she’d actually won.
Bunnynose tapped twice. Then once.
Milkshakes could see it too.
“Let me try,” Milkshakes said softly. “Cover me.”
Bunnynose didn’t bother to ask of the other woman was crazy. They all knew the answer to that one.
Nancy had arrived at the protein bar. She glanced one way, then another, before putting her head down and gobbling up the treat.
Bunnynose once again closed an eye and watched as Nancy chewed. Just like most dogs, the big cat began to lick her own mouth, probably trying to get every last ounce of peanut butter frosting.
“You soaked that, right?” Milkshakes asked.
The last year had seen vast improvements in the SSA’s science department. Mostly due to she and Sugar Lips having saved the mad scientist from Lady Cluck. He’d send her the formula for a fast acting downer that she’d then soaked the bar in. He claimed it would work in less than five minutes. Looking at the cat’s eyes glaze over, Bunnynose would have to tell him that it took less than two. Even for several hundred pounds of cat.
The bushes moved again.
Nancy flicked an ear, but kept licking.
Agent Milkshakes emerged. Like always she was dressed in form fitting but stretchable jeans, knee high boots and a graphic t-shirt. This one had a Doctor Whom reference on it.
“Good kitty,” Milkshakes said in a soothing voice.
Nancy’s ears both went back.
“That’s right, I’m back here.”
Milkshakes kept going forward. Slowly, but steadily.
Bunnynose’s finger moved to the trigger of the tranquilizer gun. If nothing else, she would get the big cat’s attention before her partner lost a limb.
Milkshakes had another bar in her hand, this one also soaked.
“Look what I have for you,” Milkshakes said.
Nancy finally turned her head all the way around and regarded Milkshakes.
“Good kitty,” Milkshakes said again. “You want this?” She waved the bar.
Nancy flicked her tail a couple of times.
“Keep that gun ready,” Milkshakes said in the same, soothing voice.”
Milkshakes got closer, going in a lazy circle about ten feet away from Nancy. If she was afraid, she was doing a good job of not showing it.
Nancy’s head followed Milkshakes. Her eyes finally settling on the bar.
“You want this?” Milkshakes asked. She crouched down and held it out.
Bunnynose grit her teeth as Nancy approached.
The great cat slinked forward, staying low to the ground, watching.
Milkshakes managed to look a little bored.
Nancy kept coming, apparently the appeal of a second treat too much to pass up.
Bunnynose could relate. But she kept her finger ready.
“You’re a good girl, aren’t you?” Milkshakes said.
Nancy took another step forward, then another, until her nose was inches away from the bar. Her great tongue came out of her mouth and licked it.
“Oh, you like the frosting the most?” Milkshakes asked. “Well, I don’t blame you.”
Nancy sat on the ground and continued to lick. Her head seemed to get heavier and heavier.
“There you go,” Milkshakes said as she reached at and scratched Nancy between the ears. Nancy froze, and Bunnynose could have sworn she heard a growl. But Milkshakes kept scratching. And, after a moment, the cat continued with the bar.
Milkshakes waved Bunnynose down.
Bunnynose climbed back down and came around the rock, the gun still raised.
“You’re not going to need that,” Milkshakes said. She smiled.
Bunnynose didn’t lower the weapon. She circled around, noting that Nancy’s ear twitched once. But the cat stayed put.
“Who’s a good girl?” Milkshakes asked again.
A low rumble came from the cat.
“Is she purring?” Bunnynose asked, finally lowering the gun.
“She is.” Milkshakes grinned. “Come scratch her head.”
Bunnynose came up next to Milkshakes, and saw that Nancy was almost out. She reached out and pushed her fingers into the cougar’s fur.
She’d expected it to be rough, but then she remembered where the beast had come from, which meant this cat probably got more in the way of beauty treatment in one month than Bunnynose did in a year.
The purring grew louder.
“She likes you,” Milkshakes said.
“She’s on drugs.”
Nancy’s tail began to twitch.
Bunnynose pulled her hand away. She knew what that meant. She stood and put her hand to the radio on her neck. “We have the target.”
“Is my baby alright?” a man’s frantic voice asked.
Bunnynose sighed. “She’s fine. Almost asleep.”
“Oh thank goodness.”
Bunnynose looked back to share an eye roll with milkshakes, but found Nancy right in front of her. It took everything she had not to yelp and jump back.
Nancy regarded her, and with stumbling steps, bumped her head against Bunnynose’s leg, then pushed her whole body past Bunnynose.
“You’ve been marked,” Milkshakes said with a grin.
Bunnynose glared at the cat, now flopped down in the sun, dozing. “She just knows I’m allergic.”