fiction

The Pollen Ultimatum: A Rock Briscoe Mystery

Pollen

General Rance Templeton burst into the Oval Office like a frantic general bursting into an elliptically-shaped room.  “Mr. President,” he growled, his voice thick with whiskey, cigars, and other manly stuff.  “It’s bad.”

“Give it to me straight, Templeton!” The President said with a tone that conveyed that he was born in America and was not a Socialist.  “Is it bad?”

“Yes, sir.  It’s bad.  We believe the East Koreans have launched a chemical attack on the Continental United States!” the general said.

“But Alaska and Hawaii are okay?” asked Secretary of State Sherman Tillsbury, who was definitely a man.

“Dammit, Tillsbury, we’re talking about the real United States here!” The President exclaimed.  He put both hands on his desk – the one he’d never put his feet on – and sighed heavily.  Then he took off his glasses and said, “I’m only three days from retirement.  I’m getting too old for this.  Get me Rock Briscoe!”

single pollen

Deep in the woods of some state that can only be described as The Real America, a shirtless man fished while making love to a beautiful woman, but only in the normal way.  She ran her fingers over the deep lines on his tanned, muscly, oiled-up shoulders.  “Rock Briscoe, did you get all of these scars while doing top secret special operations to keep America safe because you’re the best?”

“That’s right, baby, but you know I can’t talk about it,” Briscoe said.  Just then his boat phone rang.  “Yes, Mr. President,” Briscoe said.  “I can be there in an hour.”  He looked at the hot babe in his bass boat.  “Sorry, honey.  You’re going to have to catch that big one without me.”

“Oh, Rock.  It’s extra sexy because you don’t mean fish,” she said.

single pollen

Washington D.C., 6800 hours. Super-Agent Briscoe is briefed in a concrete room with lots of monitors that make that bleepity bleep sound when people type.  Several young soldiers who obviously aren’t gay watch the monitors and occasionally say, “Sir, I’ve got something” and cup their hands over their ears.

“So, Briscoe, that’s the whole story,” General Templeton said.  “After many years of monitoring Internet searches, we’ve zeroed in on a thirteen year old East Korean boy living just outside of Wichita.”

“Why him?” Agent Briscoe asked.

The general pointed to the pile of tractor-feed paper and said, “Listen to all of those computer machines making the bleepity bleep sound, Briscoe!  Isn’t it obvious?  Look at his search history: ‘video game cheats,’ ‘video game cheats,’ ‘video game cheats.’ Thousands of times, and right here at the beginning of spring!”

Briscoe looked up, his jaw clenched.  “You don’t mean –“

“That’s right.  It’s code!  This kid launched the greatest chemical attack ever against the United States!  Just look at all that yellow coating the cars down there!”

“Oh. My. God,” Briscoe exclaimed.  “It’s – The Pollen Ultimatum!”

“And I was just three days from retirement,” the general said, pulling out a hankie and wiping his nose.

Categories: fiction, op-ed

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