Two guns, one murderer one agent for protection, also unknown, Alex understood. Knowing who the agent was could tip the murderer off. Caught glancing that way too often would look suspicious, but one in twenty-two seemed a little under kill to him.
Alex stroked his gray, black goatee. What had he done last session that possibly inflamed one student to plan his demise?
He knew the new group would be arriving soon. This class was not the best. How could one agent protect him? The length of the classroom resembled a football field. To his fear-filled eyes, the hurdles of desks, chairs, and bodies became two hundred and fifty pound line backers, ready to charge. A quick swipe of his smooth head reminded him say nothing unkind today. No critiquing. The FBI’s parting remark to him on the phone today was to keep the class cool. Since he enjoyed living that was a seeable goal.
Several students sitting close had taken his class previously. Which one was filled with a bitter, chilling animosity? There was the little, southern, romantic belle. She sat in the back of the room today, dressed in black
Someone had gone to six different libraries made up fictitious accounts, labeled “the terminator”. The first came six weeks ago. “She’s dead,” it said. Five days later: “You’re next!” followed by “WRITER MAN.” “I’m coming” came last Sunday. “For you” came on Wednesday. The last e-mail came August first: “Very soon.”
It took three before the FBI took the threat seriously. Alex thought the first a classroom practical joke. The last five left blood dripping from exclamation points on keyboards at the libraries.
The two men directly in front of him looked like FBI agents. Not knowing who the enemy was a daunting surreal experience. A quick swipe of his bald head, Alex addressed the class. “About two more minutes and we’ll begin,” a simple statement delivered with a quirky upward twitch of the left side of his mouth.
Alex started the class with a quirk of his lips he listed his credentials, looking for friends or foes. No one looked sullen; a few apprehensive. The two women in back looked to be grandmothers. The younger carried some papers to the front of the class. She could be packing. Her khaki capri’s gapped at the back. The other grandmother and the child beside her had the same last names. If he had to decide, none of those three were foes or agents. The rest of the class was into insurance, underwriters of various degrees, one therapist and a few retirees.
Alex was afraid to answer questions for fear a gun would be waved in front of his face, but the young man who took his class last session, clean cut, blonde hair with glasses, had his empty hand in the air. It is funny how details in fear are so evident. .
Alex started the class on the writing assignment, giving him time to observe. The only one not writing with head-over-paper was the young girl. She wrote, paused, looked up, and studied the class. One lady left for a bathroom trip. As she came back, Alex froze as she reached into her pocket pulling out……lip gloss.
He turned glancing around the room. The man sitting third seat from the back fidgeted in his chair. The young girl tensed. Alex rubbed both sides of his forehead. The fidgety man stood reaching into the back of his pocket he pulled a revolver out pointing it at Alex. The thirteen-year old girl leapt, grabbing his arm like a sumo wrestler, the explosion hit the ceiling, not Alex! The gun skidded across the football field to land as his feet glancing up, the man was now cuffed. The child, or who he thought was a child, whipped her glasses off her face and planted her foot across his chest.
Alex looked at the man sprawled, cuffed on the floor. “Why?”
“Every night for five weeks she woke me up turning on the blasted light, with some stupid idea that just had to be jotted down. I couldn’t take it!” Tony drawled.
The class sat as statues, frozen in time as the police hauled him away. Alex stood before them, wanting to unfreeze them as gently as possible. Stroking his goatee as a favored friend, he finally spoke. “Well class, I hope to see you next week. Please remember: be kind to your spouse. W
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