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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Break (02/06/06)

TITLE: He Was a Russian Spy
By Daniel Hall


I was more than stunned when a male voice, whose owner I had not yet seen, whispered with a clearly foreign accent, "I am Russian spy."

I turned my head rightward and saw a newspaper held up by gloved hands. I had sat beside many such newspapers on similar park benches, but never one which claimed to be a Russian or a spy. I figured the holder must have audibly read a line from his paper.

I returned to my book. Two sentences later, the whisperer repeated, "I am Russian spy." Being so odd, yet so real, his whisper could not have been addressed to me. I glanced back at the paper and gloves. Below them, I noticed two short legs covered in black pants and shiny, black shoes which barely touched the ground. Everything was still. My mouth opened, but nothing exited. Another oddity suddenly divulged; his newspaper was upside down. I forgot how to blink.

"I am Russian spy." It came again without movement from the paper or its owner.

Again my mouth opened, and again nothing came out. I closed it, opened it, closed it, opened it. Silence. I took a breath, shook my head several times, and finally managed to say, "Are you talking to me?"

"Are you listening to me?" he asked still whispering.

I was terribly confused, but said, "I believe I heard you say that you're a Russian spy."

"You did," he assured me, "I am."

"Well . . . uh . . . good luck with that," I said and turned for a quick departure. His whisper stopped me.

"I like States of America. I break with my country."

I turned back to the paper and asked him to repeat.

"I broke with my country."


"Just. I was Russian spy."

"A nut," I thought and scanned for a bicycle officer to no avail. Assured of his insanity, I again wished him luck, and turned to leave. Again, his whisper stopped me.

"Pssst, I need job."

I looked back toward the paper which remained perfectly still. "Well, buddy, you're holding a newspaper," I said impatiently, "Turn it around and look in the classifieds." Inwardly, I confirmed his lunacy.

"I am spy," he whispered.

"Yes, I'm well aware of that."

"I am good spy."

"Okay. Have a nice day." I turned to leave.

"You need spy?" he asked still behind the paper.

I turned back to him. "Did you ask if I needed a spy?"

"Yes. I am good spy. I was Russian spy."

"Look, buddy," I said angrily, "You're nuts. I'm outta here." I stood, took a step, then mockingly said, "Do I need a Spy? Cuckoo!"

"No, no cook. I am good spy. I was Russian spy," he whispered loudly from behind the paper as I walked away.

"You're nuts!" I shouted and accelerated leaving his muffled whispers behind me. I refused to look back.

Weeks later at the mall, I had found a seat, while awaiting my wife. Five lonely minutes passed, when a man, dressed for business and seemingly worried, walked briskly by with a large bag. He passed on. A half minute later, a tiny man, wearing a black hat and sunglasses, his hands thrust into the pockets of a black suit, and being slightly bent and almost tip-toeing, moved stealthily by. I watched until he was gone. Five more lonely minutes followed, when the businessman startled me by sprinting passed and disappearing in the opposite direction. A few more minutes passed when the man in black came stealthily back, looking around as if he had lost something. He stopped a few yards before me and depressingly sighed.

"Rats . . . gone," he muttered with an accent.

A long pause followed. He stared ahead into space; I stared at him. He slowly removed his hands from his coat pockets. I noticed black gloves. A previously concealed newspaper jutted from his pocket. Then, with tremendous speed, he jerked the paper from his pocket and sat down, right next to me. I dared not look over, but heard the rustling of his paper. Finally, I peeked and saw a newspaper held up by black gloves.

"I am spy," came a whisper.

Infuriatingly shocked, I howled (which, I now remember, caused his legs to extend straight out below his paper), fled, have since eluded all newspapers, and have not seen him again, yet.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/14/06
This is HILARIOUS! I laughed out loud (and rolled my eyes...;-) ).
Phyllis Inniss02/16/06
A very funny story indeed.
Patricia Charlton02/16/06
God has gifted you with a great imagination. Have you thought of writing children's stories or a spy novel (laugh).
Marilyn Schnepp 02/18/06
At first I thought it was a child playing "Russian Spy"; (but I'm often wrong). Very funny story & I was glued to the very end! One goof (I think), should have been "past" instead of Passed..otherwise a brilliant piece of humor and very well written! Loved it!