Randomly Generated Title: Foreigners With A Hat
Time: 45 Minutes! No longer! No, sir! That’s it!
They were an attractive pair. A darker-skinned man, tall and slender, was sipping from a wine glass with such elegance that it seemed practiced; His partner, a porcelain woman, kept adjusting her canary-yellow dress so that the folds were uniform. She seemed much too bashful to be wearing the ostentatious hat that sat low on her head. Delano Acardi’s icy eyes often glanced over his menu to make sure that it was, in fact, real, and not some wine-induced mirage. No, it was the hat that had been described to him. The owner of it was to die, and by this evening if possible.
“Have you decided what you wanted yet?” Chirped the waitress beside him. His eyes flickered to her, the rest of his body unmoving. It was frustrating when outsiders interrupted his focus. The blonde little thing took a step back with her hands up in a defensive posture, “I could come back…”
He took a deep breath, and upon the exhale a smile painted his handsome face, “No, I’ll take tonight’s special, please. And another drink as well.”
The girl nodded, fleeing his gaze as soon as she took the order.
The man that was accompanying his target revived their conversation. His name was Sebastiano Nicastro, and he, too, was wanted by the government for a list of crimes—ranging from double-crossing to forgery and hacking government computers—long enough to reach Delano’s knee. Acardi could not see much of his face from this seat, only thick black hair and the back of an ashy suit. The woman—the priority—was Ellen Chamberlain. She smiled, the red of her lips matching the large shimmering flower resting above the rim of her hat. Her crime… it deserved no trial.
“Tired. I’m always tired. I feel as though I’ve aged twenty years.”
“And you still look so beautiful,” Nicastro took her hand, careful to avoid the candle in-between them. “A vision.”
“Oh Sebastiano, you have done too much for me.” She pulled the hat downwards, trying to hide that nervous smile, “But there’s a chance for escape, you know. A way to get out of all this… running.”
Acardi couldn’t help but lean in, fingers caressing the stem of his glass.
“Really?” The man scoffed, “And what could possibly absolve you of all crimes?”
Acardi could barely hear her whisper—“Russia.”
“Russia?” Nicastro reeled away.
“Shhh,” she hissed, “Do you want the world to know?”
“Sorry, sorry,” he—much to Acardi’s disdain—quieted his tone,” What’s this about…you know.”
The woman looked into the man’s eyes, almost connecting with Acardi’s sitting just behind him. Delano quickly dropped his gaze, focusing on the little candle before him. His attention was drawn again, however, when he heard ruffling. She was digging through her purse. Acardi gripped onto the edge of the table, frosted eyes expecting a flash of silver. It appeared—but before he could defend himself he realized it was the silver of a pen. It was hard to contain his sigh of relief.
Her lithe hands pulled her napkin close, long fingers scribbling onto the cloth. Shit. Acardi rubbed his chin, pondering what it would take to see what was written. He couldn’t pretend to go to the restroom—it was in the opposite direction—and “tripping” into the table could pose a danger.
“Here you go!”
Acardi nearly fell from his plush seat. The little waitress rested the plate before him, keeping a shaky smile on all the while.
“Would you like anything else?”
He could not stop the harsh “No,” that escaped his thin lips. She nearly sprinted across the restaurant.
After a steadying breath, he pondered simply killing her outside of the restaurant and taking the napkin then. What was Russia doing to help these convicts? After reading her message, Sebastiano pulled away.
Though he could not see the man’s face, Acardi imagined a look of shock.
“You must be kidding.” He whispered.
“It’s the only way, my love. For us to survive…”
“It would be suicide.” Nicastro was about to stand when the woman grabbed onto his forearm.
“Please, Nicastro… Please do this for us. I’m tired of running. I just want to be with you. Alive with you, in love with you…”
“It would be hard to be alive with you when we would be walking into death.” Though his words were final, the man sat back down.
“You’re exaggerating—I think we could do it.”
“And how do you expect to kill one of the highest trained CIA agents in the U.S. government?”
Acardi stilled. An unfamiliar feeling was washing over him. Don’t be rash, Delano. There are at least six of you.
“It won’t be easy,” she admitted. “But I think if we lure him to our location…”
Every muscle clenched.
“…A restaurant, perhaps. A public place, where he thinks he could easily hide.”
“Oh?” The man leaned back, “Hide where?”
“Well, right behind you for instance.”
Acardi didn’t so much as breathe.
“But what would you do? How would you get him?” The man responded casually.
“Poison his food. Paralysis, I think.”
Acardi glanced down to his food and wine. His fingers roamed his chest, feeling the erratic beating of his heart. A clear look of betrayal flashed over his features. He stood, only to fall back down again. He tried to stand again and again, less successful with each attempt. His hand went to his lips, eyes wide.
“How do we poison him if we’re sitting down, dearest?”
“How about… we hire someone to play as me, you see…”
“She’ll have to have something distracting to hide her face. And of course there’s the low lighting to warp her features even more. And then…”
“And then…” A figure emerged from the corner of Acardi’s eye, “Take the position of a waitress. Someone the pretentious prick wouldn’t study very carefully.”
It was the blonde, a confident smirk replacing her timid smile. She sat in the seat across from him, the smirk unable to disappear. Her fingers tucked themselves under her blonde hair, pulling it all off in one swipe. Dark curls were released, bouncing onto her shoulders.
Acardi, unable to move, could only stare. The woman crossed her arms, obviously pleased.
“The great Delano Acardi. I used to be scared of you. Ha! But now…”
It took great effort, but he forced a mumble, “An…ow?”
“What now? You’ll find out soon enough. See, once you are a complete vegetable, we’ll send you right off to the Russian government. They wanted you alive.”
“You can’t stop us, Acardi. No one can. We’re going to be protected by the Russians. Get new faces, names—everything. The U.S., the CIA, they’re dying. Like you.”
Acardi glared beneath his brows, eyes twitching. Sebastiano finally stood, turned and walked towards them with that same smirk. He placed a kiss on the top of her head, “Good work, dear.”
“We’re going to be free. Start a new life. Hmm… Have a couple kids, maybe. Hey, we’ll name one after you.”
“Ou…ich.” Acardi spat weakly.
“Oh, I’m sorry, what was that?”
“You… bitch,” he repeated.
The couple before him froze. Acardi wiped his lips, gasping in fresh air with his thawed chest.
The woman’s eyes were wide enough to fall from their sockets. “But—How–?”
“God, weren’t you trained not to monologue?”
Acardi reached for his chest as he had just a minute ago. He popped another button off of his shirt off his shirt, tossing it into his mouth. It dissolved on his tongue almost immediately. He watched their surprise with a grin, “What? You thought I was just feeling myself up earlier?”
“You should have used an actual poison, love. Such as this one.” With barely any effort, Delano took out a small gun from his coat pocket, shot it twice, then returned it to its holster. The woman collapsed immediately. The man took a few steps forward, hand raised in a weak fist. When he was just a foot away, he fell into Acardi’s arms. Quickly, so as not to draw much more attention, he carried the dead weight back to its seat. The false Ellen stared up at him with a frozen expression.
Acardi glanced her over, a growing smirk on his face. He reached back into his jacket, causing the poor girl to scoot back, eyes squeezed shut.
“This should cover it.”
Her eyes reopened, watching him toss a few dollars onto the table.
“By the way,” he tucked his wallet away with a smile, “I love your hat.”