Woot! I’m done with the week 10 prompt for The Chrysalis Experiment! The prompt is: Stop reading these words before it’s too late.
Side note: I am totally cool with being up for consideration for the weekly pick thingy :)
Bert frowned as he dragged the rake back, pulling leaves with it. Why was he left to rake his backyard when he paid some gardener to come in once a week and take care of this stuff? He shouldn’t be here getting dirty, he should be out somewhere, even if that somewhere was hanging out at work on his day off. He could be demonstrating to his bosses that he loved his job and that it would hurt them to get rid of him. He knew that all across America, Abercrombie and Fitch was getting rid of their male models, the ones that stood in the door ways with no shirts, pants down so far it was almost lewd. But he looked hot and he liked his job. He was a model but he could actually spend his days seeing the people who drooled over him. Sure, he wasn’t in to the chicks that stopped walking past the store front just to drool at his chiseled abs, his delicious hip lines… If Bert kept along this line of thought, he would start drooling. He was hot even to himself.
He grumbled as he pulled another rakeful of leaves into the pile he was making. He paused for a moment to stare at the small pile. What was he going to do with these leaves when he was done? Was he expected to shove them into a trash bag and haul them somewhere? If so, then where? And did he want to ruin his dish gloves just to get rid of some leaves.
“Stupid gardener getting sick.” He kicked the pile, sending leaves flying. “I shouldn’t have to do this!” He threw the rake to the ground and stamped into the house.
Once he closed the door, he let out a long sigh and ran a dusty hand through his hair. He needed a shower. He needed a new gardener, one who had a back up for when he was sick.
“Shower,” he told himself. “Then you’ll feel better.”
He carried himself upstairs, started the water, and got in. The hot water running over his tense muscles did what it always did: it relaxed him and washed his worries away. The shower had always been the place he ran to when things got too much to handle. The first time he had a crush on a guy, the time his dad came home drunk and broke every coffee cup in the house, the first time he hooked up with a guy… well, that was a completely different story that just gave a completely new meaning to his shower.
He turned the water off and got out, setting his mind to other trains of thought. Like checking his email. He dried off then grabbed a pair of sweats from one of his drawers and pulled them on. He padded down the stairs to the desk top set up in his study. He wiggled the mouse and got on the internet.
“Viagra… porn… how to grow your dick in three days… porn…. Why would I want to look at girls getting it on? Yuck!” He checked off each offending email and deleted them. “Forward… forward… forward… Does no one love me?” He was about to exit out of his email when a new email popped up. He didn’t know who the sender was, but the subject caught his interest. “‘The Game has begun’…”
“‘Dear Bert Sommer,
‘Before I get any further into this email, I would like to tell you to stop reading these words before it’s too late. What follows will change your life; but will it be for the better, or for the worst? I guess it all depends on how you take it.’
‘My name is Vincent P. Rice. I have chosen five people, you included, to come to my new resort opening in Hell, Michigan. It’s a small community, but I hope to bring in more tourists by opening this resort. Before I open, though, I would like to bring in a few specially chosen people to try out the facilities and give me a report on both them and my staff.
‘I have attached photos of my resort. I hope this titillates your fancy.
‘If you are interested, please respond and your fully paid tickets will be mailed to you.
‘I hope to hear from you, Bert.
‘Vincent P. Rice’”
Bert sat back in his chair and stared at the screen. He did have a vacation coming up, and he did need some time away. “It could be a scam, though,” he told himself, arms crossed over his bare chest. “But then, he could be real. This guy could have seen me at the store and asked the boss who I was. It’s not hard to get my information, I’m sure.”
He leaned forward and clicked on the first picture. “Oh, nice.” He grinned softly and clicked through the other pictures. They all showed plush rooms, a gym, a pool, a nice lobby, a small restaurant, a spa.
“This would be like heaven,” he swooned.
He pressed reply and sent a note along saying that he was interested. What was life if he didn’t take some risks? It was just boring.
The next day his tickets came in the mail and a week later he was climbing onto an airplane, his seat in first class, center row between two other plush chairs. “I don’t think I’ve ever flown first class before,” he told the stewardess, who smiled at him.
“I’ll make sure you have a very good time then, sir.”
Bert blinked and watched her walk away. Was she hitting on him? She would be greatly disappointed if she wanted to join the mile high club with him.
He shrugged it off and settled back in his seat, closing his eyes. In only a few hours, he was going to be at a plush hotel taking advantage of the spa. Or he could be dead, but he didn’t let that kind of thought sneak in. Instead, he wondered if the two seats on either side of him were going to be filled with hot guys.
The plane was moving before he felt the air of people sitting in the chairs next to him. And they sat down at the exact same time. He blinked his eyes open then yelped at the sight of two buff men in suits with dark sunglasses covering their eyes. He could see the spiral wire coming from behind their ear where the ear phone sent messages to them. He sat up and looked around. The first class cabin was empty. He swallowed hard and pressed the button for the stewardess, but no one came.
“Bert Sommer?” one man said in a deep voice, pulling him back into the plush chair.
“I didn’t do anything!” he cried, trying to calm himself. If he didn’t, he was going to end up hyperventilating. “Please! I’m just going to a resort! For a vacation! I’m not doing anything wrong!” He began to cry.
The two men in suits exchanged looks then both looked at Bert. The second guy put a hand gently on Bert’s arm. “Sir, please stop crying. You didn’t do anything wrong.”
Bert looked up at the man, sniffling. “R-really? Then why are you h-here?”
“We need your help to catch a one ‘Vincent P. Rice’,” the first guy said.
Bert turned and looked at him. “That’s the guy who owns the resort I’m going to.”
The suited men nodded.
“Who are you guys?”
“I’m Agent Riley,” the second guy introduced himself. “And this is Agent White.”
“Are you guys with the FBI?” Bert asked as he wiped his tears away, finding himself a little calmer now. At least calm enough to not be bawling.
“CIA, actually,” Riley said with a nod.
“CIA. This must be big then. What do you need me for?”
“We need you to find out what his plans are. He’s been up to some questionable activity later and we believe that this ‘resort’ is a cover up for something bigger, but we don’t know what.”
Bert sniffled. “So this is like… an espionage mission?”
“Yes,” White said. “You are going to be our spy. No one will suspect the gay model of being a spy.”
Bert frowned. “What does being gay have anything to do with this?” He was offended.
“White, I told you not to bring that into this.”
“I didn’t think it was such a big deal.”
“How would you feel if I said that no one would suspect you of ever working out because you’re a straight guy?” Bert interjected.
White frowned. “Jeez, sorry. I was just saying… Touchy much?”
“Back to the real subject at hand,” Riley said, taking over the situation before it got any more out of hand. “We need you to find out his plan so we can stop whatever he’s doing. He’s been encumbering us for at least a year now and this is the first chance we’ve had to actually do anything.”
Bert nodded slowly, letting it roll over in his mind. “All right. I’ll do it.”
The agents grinned.
“But how do I do it?”
“Enjoy yourself. Just be your flamboyant, happy, lovely self. Do what you’re supposed to do, but when you’ve got the chance, find his office, sneak into it, and find any papers you can. Try to get information out of the staff without being obvious. We’ve seen you work; you have a very inviting personality. You can get anything out of anyone.” Riley nodded looking at the model. “Easy enough, right?”
Bert nodded slowly. “Sounds like it. But anything that sounds easy, isn’t. Can I have a clue as to what I’m looking for?”
“Anything that could be pertinent. Anything that looks suspicious. Anything that’s obviously out place.” White shrugged. “We’ll leave it up to your discretion as to what you collect.”
Both agents stood.
“Enjoy your flight and your vacation, Mr. Sommer,” Riley said, then nodded.
Bert watched as they left the first class cabin. It suddenly felt very alone.
“You called for me?” the stewardess asked, leaning over the chair Riley had just been sitting in. “What can I get you?”
“Um… can I have a couple cans of tomato juice? No cup, just the cans. And a pillow and blanket, please.”
The stewardess nodded. “Of course. I’ll be right back.”
Bert leaned back in the chair as she left. The email had been right; this was going to change his life. Maybe he should have stopped reading when he was warned.
Too late now. All he could do was sit back, relax, and enjoy the trip.
So… the whole plot is going to end up coming in parts. When I came up with the idea for it, I didn’t think it would be all that long. If I were doing this story just for the Chrysalis Experiment, then I would have just made it longer, but since I’m using this for my writers group as well, I can’t have it be that long. Hopefully that’s ok with the TCE >.>;; Here are the prompts from writers group: rake, demonstrate, flamboyant, espionage, titillate, encumber.
Anyhow, stay tuned for the next exciting challenge in this saga! (Everyone else is allowed to butcher saga, so I will to :()