My Kind of Town

Don Chapman

Spy school lessons

» Kaimuki

Fon Du had been well-trained in spycraft by his Te-Wu masters in Beijing. Experience in the field -- as if spying, even killing, for the Motherland were somehow akin to the work of a rice farmer in his field -- had proved those lessons to be true.

So as much as he wanted to go inside and wash the bird poop out of his hair, and then just gather himself... Even with whatever it was that was on the mini-dart (triple Prozac) the guy in black had shot into his neck and was clouding his thinking... Even though the coast was clear, years of training and experience made Fon Du linger there in the shadows of a large mango tree across 9th Avenue.

People forgot things all the time. They'd leave home, drive a block, a mile, whatever, suddenly remember they left something at home and turn around. Bodhicita was no doubt in an emotional, agitated state after his colleague the Devil Snake was seconds from raping and killing her -- until the intruder dressed in black arrived -- and who still opened a two-inch gash to her throat. If anyone would be absent-minded tonight, it was Bodhicita.

So Fon Du waited. And waited. It was another thing they taught at the Te-Wu academy. Waiting was part of the game, so find ways to keep your mind alert, focus on the duty at hand. With a headful of Prozac, Fon Du focused on the mating of two monster cockroaches. Fascinating, straight out of National Geographic or something.

A pair of headlights turned the corner, coming from the same direction his Mercedes had gone, the guy in black driving.

Before the lights picked him up, Fon Du pivoted, walked away, toward the bus stop on the corner. The headlights passed him -- a van -- and stopped at the sign, turned left and out of sight.

Again Fon Du waited at the bus stop until a bus approached.

Returning back down the street where she lived, he pressed the light button on his watch. It had been 25 minutes.

Chances were, given that Bodhicita left with an overnight bag, she was gone for a while, probably until tomorrow morning at least. That would give him time to get himself together again, to flush this lovely but dangerous drug from his system. He'd be gulping water for a while.

Still, he waited another five minutes before crossing the street, hurrying along the side of the house around to the back.

On the other side of the fence, the neighbor's dog barked. But it barked at everything, including mynah birds, and the owners ignored it.

His eyes fully adjusted to the dark, Fon Du reached down, lifted the plastic grass doormat. Sure enough, there was a key.

He slipped it into the door lock. It turned, the door opened. He stepped inside.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek. His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin. He can be e-mailed at dchapman@midweek.com



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