Inktober Day 10 ~Crabby~

As a spy, my job is to be discreet. I must blend into the darkness, make no sound, be no more noticeable than a shadow in a dark room. I’m a master at my job. I’ve succeeded at every mission thrown my way, except for the current one. I need to follow a man with a red scar on his arm and a tatoo of a skull on his back. The problem is, it’s winter time. No one’s on the beach shirtless or even short sleeve, so I can’t find the clues. It’s tough case, but I know that my skills are top-level. So when I fail to sneak past my grandfather after coming home from a late-night search, disappointment floods me.

“You promised to be back by 10P.M.,” he says crabbily as he spins around to face me in his swivel chair. “You broke your promise.” He stands up too abruptly for a man his age. “Again.”

“I’m sorry, Robert,” I say, kicking my heel with my other foot. “I really want to ace this test. With all the studying and pop-quizzing with Jack, I lost track of the time.”

“Stop calling me Robert,” Grandpa says, sighing, sinking back into his chair. “Listen, I know you’re lying.”

“I’m—”

“No use stacking up the lies, Larry,” Grandpa warns. “I called Jack’s mom, and she said you weren’t there.”

“I sneaked in through the backdoor,” I lie. I juice all the spy training inside of me to make sure he can’t tell that it’s not the truth. But my body language doesn’t matter. He knows.

“I also called Jack,” he says, sighing.

Why? Why is he prying into things? Why so suspicious? And why does he know Jack’s phone number?

“Let’s cut to the chase,” he says. He stands up again, and this time he seems taller. Bigger. Stronger. “I know why you’ve been going out at night, why you carry a pistol in your backpack, why you have hundreds of pictures and newspaper cutouts of criminal masterminds. You are a spy.”

I back up into the wall and stumble on a pile of books. My head slams into the wall, and suddenly, I’m a child again, in the bathtub with Grandpa, playing with little rubber ducks.

“Grandpa, why do you have an ouchie on your arm?” little me asks.

“Nothing for you to worry about, Larry.”

Later, as we washed each other’s backs, I see something on his back. A big, black, skull.

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