The Ballad of Dick and Tess

Part I

“I love you,” She lied.

“I love you too,” He lied back.

“So how is ‘the man with a bitch in every port?’”

“How did you know that?” He asked, turning to face Tess.

She winked at him, “Let’s just say you got very drunk last night.” Tess rose and took a seat besides Dick on his $25,000 bed made of imported cherry blossom wood from Kyoto. “So, what’s her name?”

“His name actually, and it’s Quazi.”

“Business or pleasure?” Tess asked, letting her effervescent brunette locks drape across Dick Martin’s waxed chest.

Dick’s sharp blue eyes pierced through to the brilliant amber nestled in Tess’s pulchritudinous face, “Both,” Dick said with a mischievous smile.

“Both?”

“Well, it’s not everyday you get to meet the Queen of England.”

The Queen?” Tess asked with astonishment in her voice, and Mr. Martin nodded in response.

“Elizabeth II, or Prince Charles, and Quazi too if you believe me. Or I’m just a delusional chap.” He said as he finished buttoning his attire.

“You’re crazy.” She said.

He smiled, “I know.”

Tess threw herself onto Dick’s luxurious bed, and she sighed, “Dicky, come back to bed.” Her eyes pleaded with him, but Dicky had places to be and people to see.

“You know I can’t, Tess,” He replied as he adorned himself of his Talia suit.

“I know I can squeeze at least another five minutes out of your schedule,” Tess said with a devilish charm in her smile.

Dick Martin turned away from the mahogany mirror as he finished looping his tie, “And how is that, my dear?”

“Oh you’ll see, Dicky Martin,” Tess said with a wink, “You’ll see.

And with a soft chuckle Dicky left Tess in his flat with a spare key and a breakfast in bed.

After Tess had finished her gourmet crepes that Dick had personally prepared for her, her curiosity got the best of her, and to be fair, Tess was a very nosy socialite, but Dick knew that; however, Tess did manage to find Mr. Martin’s diary within five minutes of searching for it.

And she read it all.

And Tess was absolutely terrified by the things she learned of Dick Martin, her latest of paramores in a long line of lovers. And so Tess bolted from Mr. Martin’s flat as soon as she was modest and decent. “What a liar…” Tess grumbled beneath her breath.

“Taxi!” She hailed on the streets of London, and a cab pulled up beside her, “Where to Madam?”

“Anywhere but here; just start driving.” She responded.

“South Main alright, miss?” The cabby asked.

“Works for me,” Tess said.

“Perfect,” The Cabby said, “By the coffee shop work for you? I have a very important meeting with the royal family.”

“The Royal Family?” Tess asked, “With Prince Charles?”

“Yeah,” The Cabby extended his hand for Tess to shake, “Quasimodo, pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

“Quazi? Are you meeting with a Dick Martin?” Tess asked, blinking at the coincidence.

“How did you know?” Quazi asked her.

“Let’s just say I’m… psychic.”

“Really now?” Quazi asked, “What am I thinking of right now?”

“The $500,000 worth of opium you’ve smuggled into London from Hong Kong hidden above the right rear tire” She said.

And Quazi’s face turned pale white, “Oh shit! You really are Psychic! What about now?”

Tess gave it a wild guess, “Uhm… Chinese Food?”

“HOLY FUCK! You ARE psychic!” Quazi said.

“It’s alright. Your secrets are safe with me.” She pressed her face against the cold glass of the taxi cab’s window, “So what is Martin up to these days?”

“Well an English prince is paying top dollar for somme top shelf opiates from Afghanistan, so that’s all I know. I just work for the man, and he is The Man.” Quazi said with a slight chuckle in his voice.

“Well, I know that already. What is he doing today?” Tess asked.

“No Clue. That shit’s above my paygrade,” the cabby responded.

And so they sat in silence the rest of the way to the coffee shop on South Main St. in London of the UK.

And after Quazi dropped off Tess, he parked the car in a discrete location to retrieve his opium, and then he walked onto South Main St. of London. And when Tess was a far way off, and he asked her how she knew he’d be there.

“Sweet serendipity, love, sweet serendipity.” Tess told him.

“You didn’t rifle through my belongings and find my little blue book, did you?”

“Maybe,” Tess smiled, “maybe.”

“Well if you did, I may have to kill you.” He smiled back at her and winked as the waiter placed a cup of Earl Gray on the table with a hint of bergamot and citrus, “If you did.”


Dick Martin sipped on his Earl Gray as the waiter took down Tess’s order, “So Ms. Lockeson, did you read through my diary?”

She shook her head, “No, Mr. Martin, no I did not.”

Dicky laughed loudly, “Never play poker, Tess. You’re gonna lose every hand.” A jolt of panic bolted down Tess’s spine. She knew that he knew. And he knew that she knew that he knew.

“Don’t worry Tess. You didn’t find my black journal, I’m sure.” Dick assured her.

His words slightly alleviated Tess’s concerns, “So what’s in your black journal?” Tess asked.

“Well if I told you that, I really would have to kill you,” Dicky Martin said with a glare as cold as stone.

Tess got the message. “So how well do you know the royal family?”

Dick sat up straight, “Well Ms. Lockeson,” then he placed his empty cup of tea on the table, “You’re about to find out.”

Tess looked behind her to find a young Prince of England walking towards their little coffee table set out on the streets. He was wearing a Brooks Brothers suit as he carried an embossed brief case of genuine Tuscan Leather and set it down before their table.

The Prince nodded. “Mr. Martin, I presume.”

“Prince Charles,” Mr. Martin nodded back, “And William?”

“He had more important manners to attend to – I think something to do with someone by the name of Kate Middle- something or other. Anyhow, the flowers?”

Dick pointed behind Charles into the crowd, “Quazi is on his way as we speak.” And in five minutes the Cabby that had just dropped off Tess took a seat beside her as he carried a briefcase identical to the Prince’s.

With a nervous glance at Tess, Quazi exchanged brief cases with Prince Charles, both of them making very sure not to be noticed by anyone. The waiter had just returned with Tess’s coffee when Prince Charles rose from his seat as a buzzing began in the pocket of his jacket. “Please excuse me gents and madam, but business calls.”

And so they ordered for The Prince as he took his call, but Tess, being the intrusive gossip she is, listened intently to The Prince’s call. “… don’t care who he is! Kim Jong-Il is not going to get any blueprints for any weapons! Assassinate the twat if you need to, but DO NOT LET THE GODDAMN BLOODY GOOKS GET THOSE BLUEPRINTS!”

And Tess asked herself just what kind of Pandora’s Box she had opened when she read through Dicky’s diary.

“Please excuse me gentlemen, but it appears that I need to cut this meeting short,” The Prince said when he returned to the table. “It was a pleasure meeting you Ms…” He extended a hand towards Tess.

“Lockeson. Pleasure to meet you as well, your majesty.” She said, shaking The Prince’s hand. And with that he disappeared into the crowd.

“So we just sold drugs to The Crown Prince of England?” Quazi asked, taking a bite of his Western Omelette on an everything bagel.

Dick simply brought a finger to his lips as he nodded his head. “How’s the sandwich?”

“Oh my B, brotha. You know this chick can read minds right?”

“Oh really? Or maybe she simply lacks respect for others’ privacy.”

Tess’s cheeks flushed red, “In my defense it was right under your pillows.”

Dick wiped away the bit of the Parisian fare on his chin with an embroidered handkerchief. “Fair enough.”

“Uh… I can’t do that psychic shit y’all are up to, wanna fill a brotha in?”

Dick retrieved an envelope from his jacket and slid it across the table to Quazi, “How about I just give you $10,000 and not fill you in?”

Quazi shrugged his shoulders, “Works for me.”

Not long afterwards the waiter dropped off the check and Dick Martin left a very generous tip. Not long after that Quazi started heading back to his taxi, which left Tess alone with Dick at the table.

“So what’s your real name, Mr. Martin?” Tess asked him once they were alone, and Dick nearly spewed the tea from his mouth at her audacity.

“My, my. They told me you’d be nosy, but I had no idea you’d be so intrusive.” He said.

“Please? I’m really, really curious now.” But still the gentleman refused to budge.

“Pretty please with a cherry on top, Mr. Jared Greez?” Tess begged.

Dick’s jaw dropped open, and this time he did spill tea on his Talia suit. “Don’t use that name in public!” He hissed at Tess.

“Then tell me your name, Mr. Alex Watski.” She hissed back.

“Careful, girl. Curiosity killed the cat.” He said with daggers in his voice. Tess grew frightened at that, but her curiosity was greater than her fear of Dick Martin.

So she pressed on, “Agent-”

“003, double ‘O’ 3; just call me three.” Dick Martin said as he rose from the table.

“Wait! Do you-” But before she could finish her sentence Dick had already vanished into the crowd, just like The Prince of England.

Dick made a phone call to his superior once he made sure that Tess had lost sight of him. “Mr. Smith, my position and my cover as Dick Martin is compromised. Orders?”

Compromised?? Already?”

“You weren’t kidding; she’s very nosy.”

Dick Martin stepped into a covert alley where he knew the CIA kept a base of operations in London, “So how do you want me to handle this, Mr. Smith?” But then the call suddenly ended and Mr. Martin turned around to find agent 001 behind him.

“You said ‘compromised.’ Exactly how compromised is that?” Agent 001 asked him.

“Tess knows.”

“How much?”

“Everything since Stalingrad.”

“Even Washington D.C.?”

Dick gave a slow drawn out nod, and John Smith brought a palm to his face. “You bloody wanker…” Agent 001 said.

“My apologies, but-”

Mr. Smith cut him off, “Don’t apologize; just take care of it.”

“You don’t mean…” Dick began to ask, but Mr. John Smith had already read his mind.

“That is exactly what I mean, Mr. Faolan, and if you’re still loyal to the Queen, you will clean up your mess!

“What if I just-”

Agent Smith pushed upon a specific maroon brick that was a slightly darker hue of maroon than the crimson ones around it, and the wall parted like an elevator as the two MI6 agents stepped into the CIA base.

Agents Smith and Martin nodded at the security guards. “Afternoon, gents.” They said one after the other, and the guards nodded back in kind. The agents strolled past CIA clerks and spies as they made their way to the American Armory, and once they past the security screenings, Mr. Smith pulled a silenced 1911 Colt.45 from the shelves before pressing it into Dick’s hands. And their eyes met, and without a single word Dick knew exactly what he needed to do.

“Please 003, keep your bloody lust in check and don’t bring any more civilians into this.” Agent 001 said as they took the elevator back up.

“I can’t even-”

“Either you keep your bloody lust in check or I’ll take you to Buckingham Palace myself.”

The brick walls parted once more, and Dick debated whether he could simply lock her up instead, but he figured it best not to ask.

“Oh, and Mr. Martin, did Charles ever-”

BANG! Agent 001’s head exploded like a watermelon being smashed by a warhammer as they stepped into the alley. Agent 003 had managed to take cover behind a dumpster in time for the second bullet as the sniper reloaded his magazine, but Agent 001 was not quite as lucky.

“Fuckin’ Norks,” Dick cursed beneath his breath, “Bloody fuckin’ Norks.” And for a moment John Smith’s body stood still like a statue before it fell over backwards into a puddle of what was probably piss.

BANG! The next bullet rang against the dense metal of the dumpster as Dick pulled out his SAT phone and the 1911 Colt .45 Agent Smith had just given him.

“Quazi! Get to the American HQ ASAP! We got some bloody fuckin’ gooks on our hands! And get-” Dick cried out in pain as the sniper shot the phone out of his hand and bore through his shoulder. The blare of sirens began nearing in the distance, but with the rush hour of London traffic there was no way the police, or Quazi for that matter, could possibly get to him in time. And Dick was losing a lot of blood. A lot.

Dick took a look at the gaping hole where his shoulder blade once was, and he saw clear through to the other side. The crimson layers of bricks stained scarlet by his blood greeted him as he retreated behind the dumpster, out of the North Korean’s line of sight. Dick screamed in agony as though a thousand knives had been sown into his flesh, and as the sniper took another shot at him, Dick searched for the maroon brick with a desperation in his pale blue eyes, which were growing dimmer by the second.

BANG! Again another bullet whizzed past his head, grazing the lobe of his left ear and leaving a trickle of blood down his neck in its wake. Then he found it. Five feet above Agent Smith’s cadaver lay the maroon brick on the other side of the alley. And so, with what little strength he had left, Dick fired at the fourth story window where he had caught sight of the sniper’s nest, and Dick had barely the energy or power to take cover behind 001’s corpse by the time the sniper reloaded and fired again. But this time Dick had a human meat shield.

The bullets walloped into Agent Smith’s body like the punches of a veteran boxer, but Dick managed to push the brick in time and just miss the last bullet by the width of a single strand of hair. Agent 003 thanked God and the Queen for getting out of that mess alive, but he looked like he was going to die any second as he sprawled out against the elevator floor as it descended to the clandestine base of operations. Then he heard the crack of gunfire and the clash of steel, and when the elevator doors parted ways, the seventeen security guards he and Smith had greeted not ten minutes before all lay dead in a pool of their own blood.

But Dick knew he didn’t have time to mourn the loss of seventeen friends; he probably didn’t even have time to bandage his wounds. Regardless he grabbed the very first medkit he saw off the walls and made his way to the security office where he set the base on lockdown. “Code Red. This is NOT a drill. Code Red. This is NOT a drill. Code…” The loudspeaker boomed throughout every room as the bright red lights flashed on and off and Dick tied a tourniquet around his wound.

As Dick was tending to his injuries he heard a banging on the elevator walls he had just passed through. Then a clatter of stones followed by a loud thud met his ears. Someone had just jumped onto the roof of the elevator car.

Dick readied his gun as he finished taking care of his bullet wound, and a ricochet of stomps echoed down as the intruder attempted to break into the CIA base. Then the doors slid open and Dick unloaded the last of his magazine when the red lights flashed again. Then Dick realized he had just unloaded the last of his clip at Quazi, who thankfully had been using the North Korean sniper as a shield.

“Nigga! Watch where you fucking point that Colt!” Quazi said, holstering his magnum. But Dick had lost too much blood by then to stay conscious, nevermind offer a witty retort.  “How in the hell can you call a nigga for back-up then shoot at the- Oh Shit! That sniper got you bad!” Quazi rushed to finish taking care of Dick’s wounds as he slumped against the wall.

“Yo! Dick!” Quazi was getting worried. He had never known Dick Martin to ever be anything less than dependable, but right now Dick was exactly that. Agent 003 was out cold.

“Ya! Meechim nomduri pali nagga!” Quazi heard aways down the hall. “Tomonga su eenundeh, MOT SUMO!” North Koreans. Quite a lot of North Koreans to be accurate. At least that’s what Quazi thought it sounded like. He picked up an AK-74 from one of the now deceased security guards in response; he was gonna need it. As soon as the first Korean made his way round the corner, Quazi unleashed a hailstorm of bullets till the drums were empty.

When the smoke cleared, the flashing red lights revealed five Norks lying dead on the ground, but Quazi knew there were more waiting around the corner.

“Dicky! Yo Dicky, wake up!” Quazi yelled at agent 003. “Motherfucker, you do NOT pay me enough for this shit.” But the Jamaican’s words fell on deaf ears.

“Ya, Jongsun, hana pyuh!” One of the North Koreans shouted, and a grenade bounced down the hallway towards Quazi. Quazi prepared for a blast of shrapnel, but instead a flash of bright light burst forth, blinding Quazi and leaving him with an intense ringing in his ears. When his senses returned to him he found half a dozen men with half a dozen guns, all of them pointed at Quazi.

So Quazi, being Quazi, let his arms fall to the floor and threw his hands into the air, “Woah! I’m a sellsword, nigga; I fuckin’ surrender!”

“Ya, sersworld go moinge aruh?” One of the Norks asked.

“English motherfucker! Do you speak it? Cause-” One of the Koreans clocked back the hammer on the magnum and pressed it to Quazi’s temple.

“Shut the fuck up.” Said the Nork with the gun to Quazi’s head. “How’s that for English?”

Quazi gulped down his fear as beads of sweat trickled down his forehead. “Good English. Very good as a matter of-”

“SHUT THE FUCK UP!” The Nork roared into Quazi’s face. “Where are the blueprints?”

“The what now?” Quazi asked, glancing at his empty AK-74 on the ground.

“THE BLUEPRINTS!” Spit flew into Quazi’s face. “Where are the blueprints!?”

“What blueprints?” Quazi asked, “I don’t know jack sh-”

“Pali juguh!” The Nork said as he pulled the trigger on the handgun pressed against Quazi’s head.

BANG! The Nork fell over backwards with a bullet between his eyes. BANG! BANG! BANG! Quazi turned around to find all six North Koreans dead and Dick Martin with a smoking gun in his hand.

“Thank sweet Jesus you’re still kickin’, Dick.” Quazi said, catching his breath, but Dick was already out cold again. And so Quazi took him to a hospital. And while the doctors were operating on Dick, Quazi heard a buzzing from the inside pocket of the blood stained Talia suit. And Quazi, mildly concerned about his line of work, answered the phone.

“‘Ello?”

A North Korean responded, “We have Tess.”

(This story is currently available on Amazon for $2.99)

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