(Vintage) Spy Story

[This looks like some sort of sci-fi tragedy in the making. Emphasis on “in the making,” as this is all I ever wrote of what was meant to be a book.]

Spy Story

Kenneth Burchfiel


Jan. 6, 2025- 8:45 AM

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.

It was all that Roger could think of. Today was the biggest day of his life. Finally, everything he had worked for would be complete. Everything. There would be no more sub-missions, no more training videos. He wouldn’t have to spend one more darned day doing a computer simulation. But it all came down to this mission. This one mission.

He examined his surroundings. He had been dropped off at the foot of the mountain, so as to detract the least attention. At a time like this, right in the middle of hostile enemy territory, attention to him was the least thing he wanted. That, and freezing to death in the stealth suit prepared to him, or as he liked to call it, “tin foil tights.” But he’d find a way to manage. He hoped.

His first goal was to find the infamous outer entrance to the control center, where Avex was carrying out their operations. He had nothing helping him with this except for a sturdy pair of gloves and his own mind- two things, that, while nice to have around, were not enough to do the job. He’d have to find a computer and hack into it, although that would easily give himself away. No, this job had to be done with the simplest materials.

Think like a criminal, Roger thought to himself. If I was the head of the Avex operation, where would I place an outer entrance to my lair? Just as he was looking around, he noticed a patch of oddly colored snow. It could just be a dog relieving itself in the snow, but Roger had to try everything. He dug a tunnel and crawled under the snow, which, luckily for him was very light. He could move it out of his way for ease, and besides occasionally popping his head out to make sure he was going in the right direction, his passage was fairly quick and easy.

When Roger was about two yards away from the area, which, even up close, could not be made out for anything, he took a metal detector out of his pocket. Crouching under the snow, he waved it around the area. Just when he thought his search was for nothing, he heard a beep. Then two beeps. Jackpot.

Hastily digging the snow out of the way, he tunneled the final two yards. His fingers hit on exactly what he expected- the top of a standard grate. Probably for a air purification system- that would explain the oddly colored snow, and the slightly rotten smell he sniffed as he brushed away the rest of the snow.

Finally, the entrance was found. He opened the grate with a high-powered laser. Cutting through the metal like a knife through cheese, he had his outer entrance in no time.

This was it. Everything he had done in his life was for this. And, for his revenge.

May 16, 2006

1:15 PM

8th grade. Roger didn’t know if anything more boring was ever invented. Well, that lecture they had had earlier the day on voting regulations came pretty close. But wait- wouldn’t that count as 8th grade? Ugh. It hurt his mind just thinking about it. What was he supposed to be learning about? Triple linear combinations? Sounded like bowling allies.

The muggy peace of sixth period was broken abruptly by a loud bang. Did someone drop a binder outside? A balloon pop? But the loud bangs continued. And now, there was no doubt to what it was…


The entire class panicked. The piercing screams of the female students was deafening, as was the continued gunfire. All thought going through Roger’s mind was broken by one human instinct: STAY ALIVE.

But why was he getting up from his desk? Why was he running towards the door? What were his feet doing? He couldn’t seem to stop them. Something very odd was going inside his mind… or was he even thinking at all? The teacher screamed at him to stop, but feared for her life to stop him. Roger, still not knowing if this was some idiotic form of courage, opened the door and sprinted out.

He didn’t even pause to look across the halls at the madman. He sprinted head on across the hall and out the door on the other end. Just his luck that math class was right across the hall from the back exit to the school.

He let out a sigh of relief. But at the same time, he felt like he had to do something. He could hear sirens in the distance. Should he wait? Wouldn’t the policemen be able to stop the gunner? Not affording to take the chance, he picked up a stone from the gravel pathway, and stepped quietly back outside.

If Roger had stopped at that exact moment, he probably would have fainted. In the span of thirty seconds, he had gone from daydreaming in math class to attempting to assassinate the gunner poised outside of his school hallway. And there the guy was, holding a sizeable gun. The man was turned away from him. This was his one and only chance; a miss would probably get him killed, a direct shot would make him a hero. And by the way circumstances looked, there was no middle ground.

Time was running out. He cocked the rock back and threw it with all the might he could muster. He heard a pop, and then saw the gunman reeling over to the side, blood streaming out of his head. Roger felt more triumph and agony in those few seconds of consciousness then he had ever felt in his entire life.

Now he fainted.

May 17, 2006

8:51 AM

Roger woke up with a throbbing pain in his head. Looking up and to the sides of his bed, he realized he was in a hospital.

His mom, seeing he had woken up, shrieked excitedly. “He’s awake! Roger’s awake!”

What? He was still having trouble putting thoughts together. He watched as his father, sister and a hospital attendant rushed over to the bed.

“Wha… where am I?” He asked drearily, right out of the movie script.


Tears started streaming down his cheeks, and he braced himself for the massive bear hug that always followed. Just when he felt his lungs ready to collapse, she let go.

“Oh, Roger… tell me you’re okay.”

“Mom, I’m fine. Sheesh,” Roger said instinctively, as if stopping a gunman in his school with a rock was an everyday occurrence. “Can we leave now?”

“As soon as you’re ready, my dear.”

In the weeks that followed, Roger became sort of a celebrity at his school. He had never been very popular, or well known, for that matter, but now his wrists were so sore from scribbling out autographs that he had to borrow ice packs for them from the school nurse. He had received countless proposals from girls, most of which he did not even know the name of. Eventually, the buzz cooled down, but he was still commonly mentioned for the rest of the school year as “the rock guy.”


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