Short Story a Week # 4 – The Spy Who…Was Shot Dead?

This idea happened one day, while I was on break at work.  I’d like to say some divine inspiration lead to what I hope is a relatively witty take on the whole dramatic-speech-in-the-spy-genre-by-the-villain trope, but it was just a whim of mine.  It ended up being a little shy of 550 words, as I ran out of steam sooner than expected with this one.

Onwards to the story!

Johannes “Der Koenig” Klausser had been waiting for this moment for over a month, and it was playing out just as he had hoped.  He had the international man of mystery only known to criminal masterminds such as Der Koenig as The Phantom at gunpoint with his back against the cold, metal wall.  The Phantom had been, over the course of the past year, thwarting minor parts in Johannes’ plans for global conquest, and so he decided to set the bait and wait for such a fortuitous meeting.

“Tell me, Mister The Phantom,” Johannes said, brandishing his weapon of choice—a customized German Luger, a golden skull and crown emblazoned on its side—at The Phantom.  “What did you think you would accomplish by sneaking into my top-secret subterranean lair?”

“I’d tell you, but then you’d certainly kill me,” The Phantom replied.  He cleared his throat, and added, “It’s just Phantom if you’re going to insist on addressing me that way.  You can drop the ‘the’.”

“You would quite like that, wouldn’t you The Phantom?”  Johannes said.  The Phantom cringed.  “I’m afraid I’ll be killing you no matter what, but you will first know the extent of my genius plans for world domination.”  Johannes paused, and then forced his best maniacal laughter.  He had been told that was the thing to do in precisely this situation.

“What I’d like, just for once,” The Phantom said, stepping forward, “is one person, just one person, who doesn’t need to tell me every little detail—.”  A bang, the sound of metal pinging against metal, and a low grunt ended the Phantom’s thought.  Johannes stared at the growing red stain forming on The Phantom’s shirt and suit coat.  He looked down to the gun in his hand, then back to his suit coat.

“No,” Johannes said, shaking his head.  “No, no, no.  This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen.  Son of a bitch.”  He pressed a button on the side of his watch.  An otherwise well-hidden panel in the wall The Phantom had just been standing against opened and a muscular, middle-aged man in a tiny black shirt that had a more painted-on look to it.

“Yeah, boss?” he said, peering down over his sunglasses at Johannes.  Der Koenig cocked the gun and fired it past his lackey’s head.  The bullet ricocheted off of the metal wall and lodged itself in a computer console, which crackled, smoked, and sputtered into disuse.

“If I told you once,” Johannes said, his face turning red, “I’ve told you a million times!  I wanted my prop gun, the one with blanks in it!”  The lackey tilted his bald head, staring at Johannes quizzically.

“Do you have any idea how long it took to prepare that speech?  To gloat about how I was going to topple every major government?” Johannes said, his voice shaking with anger.  “I’m going to have to call the President of the United States.  Maybe the Prime Minister of England.  See when they have someone free next.”  The lackey opened his mouth to say something, but Johannes raised a hand in protest.

“You’re on lavatory duty until further notice.  Get out.  I need to sulk in private for a while.  Bloody amateurs.  No respect for this spy game at all.”

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