Body Jumper – The Speakeasy

Body Jumper

Antonina watched the faces of the people she passed, looking for a certain darkness in their eyes. It was a sharpness with a certain gleam that penetrated everything those eyes looked at. She could recognize it instantly if she saw it. She knew it well. She saw it every day in the mirror, in her own eyes.

As she left Funston to walk down Clement Street, she hoisted the bag of groceries she’d collected from the Russian deli and the Irish bakery. Walking through the Avenues of San Francisco was like walking past the shops of countries from around the world. People bustled about shopping through most of the day. Antonina searched their faces for him as often as she could, watching the eyes of everyone. When she found him, she would make her personal nightmare end.

She entered her apartment in the old Victorian house, and put away her groceries. She read the paper on the cushion in the bay window until it was time. She referred to the crab-shaped device as, The Thing. She lay on her bed and placed it on her head, its legs affixing themselves to her scalp, and connected its cable into her tablet. She started a tablet app that controlled the device and tapped, “Engage.”

She stood beneath a wooden pole with signs pointing to various cities around the globe. It was a mental metaphor of her own creation, where her Control could meet with her. He arrived shortly after, his long black coat brushing at the endless expanse of sand as he approached. He could’ve looked like anything in her mindspace, but he still chose to reveal only darkness beneath his dusty hood. With a wave of his hand an image appeared of an old man dying of cancer in a hospital bed. Without a word, she moved toward the image, and with a flash of consciousness her mind took over the body of the dying man.

In an instant, she knew the agony of a cancer patient with hours to live. An orderly, working for The Consortium placed a gun in her hand, hidden beneath the sheets, and departed. After an hour, Senator Rush showed up and brushed his security detail aside before saying goodbye to an old friend. Antonina didn’t hesitate. She fired, and Senator Rush died immediately.

This was how The Consortium worked. They used the innocent and the infirm to conduct their assassinations. The process was perfect and untraceable and indefensible.

She cut the connection and woke up on her bed. She curled up into a ball and began to sob. As far as she knew, she had just killed the only honest politician in the US, and even knowing this she pulled the trigger anyway. She had to keep killing until she found him in the real world, the man with sharpness in his eyes.

When she first started, she believed she was working for the DIA/DARPA, doing good work to keep the world free. It was Vance Martinelli, a CIA operative who cornered her at The Bitter End pub, who revealed the truth to her. She actually worked for The Consortium, an organization that insured war in the middle-east and assured dependence on petroleum to further their business interests. She hadn’t believed Vance right away, but his evidence was unshakable and damning. She was one of three people in the world able to occupy another body. One worked for the CIA, the other was her Control. He could join her mindspace to give her the target body only if he was located within three blocks from her. He had to live nearby, and so she wandered the neighborhood, looking for him.

It was August when she found him. The middle-aged man looked away quickly, but she’d seen that gleam that no one else could perceive. Perhaps she could’ve shot him with her Glock right then and there, but then the Consortium would’ve retaliated immediately. Instead, she learned her Control’s habits with Martinelli’s help. Then she found of a dog that had contracted rabies in the neighborhood. She knew the signs. The perfect innocent.

On a moonless night, the Rottweiler miraculously escaped its pen and tore out the throat of the world’s most dangerous Body Jumper. Antonina smiled. Her skills had proven useful. “Karma’s a bitch, ain’t it?” she muttered, as she walked past the scene of police cars and an ambulance. Unlike other passing bystanders, she never looked back, she just kept on walking.
____________________________
Author’s notes:
Clement Street, beside Geary, in San Francisco really is a wonderful place to visit. You can find food from twenty countries there. I went there often and commonly stopped at The Bitter End for a pint and amazing Fish & Chips.

DIA = Defense Intelligence Agency
DARPA = Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Each week, The Speakeasy hosts a writing challenge for up to 750 words of flash fiction. This week, the story must END with the sentence, “She never looked back, she just kept on walking.” I’m battling stomach flu today so I apologize for the lack of a twist in the end. My tummy was doing all the twisting today. Hopefully, the dog was unexpected at least.

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About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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36 Responses to Body Jumper – The Speakeasy

  1. List of X says:

    It’s still a good story – another one of those I think you could turn into a novel if you wanted to. But for now, just get well. 🙂
    And I just was on Clement St. less than a month ago, at a place called Hard Knox Cafe.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Well, thank you. That makes me feel better. The story is just too big for only 750 words, so yeah, it needs a larger venue to be fully told. Good for you, to visit Clement st. I love it there. You probably know of the nearby Russian deli on Geary, It’s full of interesting foods and products. Thanks so much for writing in!

      Like

      • List of X says:

        I think there are more than one Russian deli on Geary. That area is called Little Russia, after all. 🙂 So do you actually live in SF, or just used to live/visit?

        Like

      • EagleAye says:

        I used to live there. One day, Shey and I went for Dim Sum, walked a ways and got sausages at the Russian deli, some buns at the Irish bakery, and finished with a pint at an Irish pub (LOTS of those there). I was amazed and pleased at all the diversity I was lucky to experience.

        Like

  2. tnkerr says:

    Good story – get well!

    Like

  3. Sue says:

    I was about to say the same – sounds like a great novel and while 750 might be too short it was sufficient to intrigue me grab me and hold me. Waiting for more – please

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Well yay! If I could hold on to your attention, then I still succeeded. Thanks for sharing that. This may be one of those stories I revisit for at least a regular-length short story. Thanks much for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Like

  4. Well, yeah, we’re glad you threw the dog in there, lol.

    Like

  5. Suzanne says:

    No need to apologize! Love that she used a rabid dog for the deed – seems like an especially unpleasant way to go. Great story!

    I hope you feel better soon. 🙂

    Like

  6. jannatwrites says:

    Hope you are feeling better! I wondered what she was going to do with the knowledge of who he was. The dog was a great way to get rid of him without her being involved!

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Thanks Janna! I am feeling better today. Yup, an unfortunate dog attack was a wonderful cover fro her so she could walk away. Thanks so much for reading!

      Like

  7. I hope you feel better today. The Rottweiler was an effective weapon. Good story…what’s next for her! The consortium will think of something, I’m sure. Maybe, your next installment?

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      With The Consortium’s chief Body Jumper dead, they’ll have a hard time getting back at her. She’ll probably go work for the CIA who will hide her as well as she can be hidden. There could be more stories about that, so stay tuned! Thanks much for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

      Like

  8. Silverleaf says:

    I thought The Bitter End must have been a creation of yours, until I read the notes. What a perfect name! And the dog was a great device. Hooray for you for writing through the flu. Hope you feel better.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Haha. Now you know how some of my ideas are inspired, because of places I’ve actually been to. The Bitter End was a great Irish bar. I loved it. She went with the dog because nobody would see that coming. Thanks for the encouragement. I’m feeling better. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

      Like

  9. I liked how you mixed the Scifi with the ordinary – like the Russian Deli and the Irish Bakery. I also liked the name “Funston” – that tortured woman needed at least one brief visit to someplace that contained the root word “fun”. This was a very enjoyable read. Thanks.

    P.S. I hope you feel better soon.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Yes, she really was tortured. She needed ordinary things to give her life a semblance of normalcy. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks so much for stopping in, and yes, I am feeling better, thank you. 🙂

      Like

  10. ardenrr says:

    Loved this! I could read much more about this character 🙂

    Like

  11. WOW. Just WOW. This was absolutely amazing and I think could possibly be one of your best yet. This could turn into a book…and be mesmerizing on the big screen. A blockbuster for sure. You need to write more on this one. It was riveting!!

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Oh my, thank you so very much! I’m glowing over here. I think I will explore this character a little more and see where it goes. Thanks so much for the encouraging words. I really do appreciate that. 🙂

      Like

  12. Meg says:

    Antonina is one smart cookie! Really enjoyed reading this.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Oh yes, she’s a very sharp operative. The CIA will soon be reaping the benefit of a very talented asset. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your impressions! 🙂

      Like

  13. EditMoi says:

    Wait, you did put the pun in at the end on purpose, right? Was the apology just meant to throw us off? (Feel better!) I want to join your mindspace. Let me know when you want an editor for your screenplay. 🙂

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Haha! Well, the twist in my belly was quite real, but now I’m feeling better. No jalapenos for me! I will definitely keep you in mind when I get some longer stories edited. I’d be proud to have you in my mindspace! Thanks so much for stopping in. 🙂

      Like

  14. Pingback: winners of the speakeasy at yeah write #163 | the speakeasy at yeah write

  15. tedstrutz says:

    I know t he area well, although I never fell into The a Bitter End. Good story..

    Like

  16. Lyn says:

    Oh yeah! Love it when the bad guy gets what he deserves. Three cheers for Antonia! Another great tale to keep us glued to our laptops Eric 😀

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. She learned from the best to assassinate without leaving a trace of evidence. He should’ve known she’d figure him out and kill him one day. Glad you were glued, but I hope you become unstuck now. 😉 Thanks much, Lyn!

      Like

  17. Indira says:

    Hope you are well now. Dog’s idea is brilliant. Liked it very much.

    Like

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