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April 24, 2012 / whirlingneedles

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, Day 2!

It’s day 2 in the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week! All this week, bloggers are writing posts with given topics. I’ll be doing a week-long story, using the topics to shape the story. Did you miss yesterday’s post? If so, go back and read the beginning of the story.

Day 2 is a photography challenge. I had intended to take some pictures that artistically looked at how Agent K foiled the aliens, but it was pouring all day on the day I had planned to take pictures. So instead, the story will be slightly altered to take advantage of the wildcard challenge. I haven’t been hiking in a long time, but I used to take my dog (Agent K-9) up to Sleeping Giant Mountain, on top of which is a stone lookout tower. If the weather cooperates, maybe soon I’ll take my knitting up there and enjoy the view. On with the story!

Agent K got into her car and closed the door with a sigh. Finally the class was over. She leaned back and pressed her hands over her eyes in an attempt to block out the bright colors from the class. It didn’t work – the colors still popped and danced across her retina. She wondered if she would ever see normally again. After a few minutes, she gave up and accepted that she would probably have the afterimages for the rest of her life. She pulled out the ball bands that had been cleverly palmed off onto her by the class teacher and examined them.

The ball bands were by themselves unremarkable. From the outside of the bands, they looked like ordinary labels. On the inside, though, there were strange drawings, hieroglyphics almost. Agent K turned them this way and that, but couldn’t make heads or tails of them. The geeks in the lab would have to deal with them.

She shrugged and tucked the ball bands into her jacket pocket. As she started the car and pulled out of the parking lot, a large black van pulled out of the lot from across the street and pulled into traffic behind her.

She sighed. Just how dumb did the aliens think she was? She shifted into merged onto the highway and shifted into high gear. Weaving in and out of traffic, she looked back to see the van easily keeping pace. She had to find a way to lose them and get these ball bands back to Headquarters.

After a few minutes of thought, she yanked the steering wheel suddenly to the right and, tires screeching and horns honking in protest, cut across three lanes of traffic to take the next exit. She checked the rear view mirror – the van was still there. Good.

She led the van through the small town where they had left the highway, making sure to keep the van in sight behind her the whole way. She couldn’t risk losing it now and having her scent picked up again later. She led the van through the small town where they had left the highway, dodging down alleys and making sudden turns, all the while leading the van on. Finally, up ahead she spotted the park entrance that she had been heading for.

She zoomed into a parking space and took off running towards the hiking trail. She knew this trail like the back of her hand, having brought Agent K-9 here many times for walkies. At the top of the trail was a small stone tower overlooking a deep valley full of woods and streams.

Agent K paused for breath, chest heaving as she listened for pursuit. The sounds of aliens struggling through the underbrush filtered through the trees, and she continued up the trail, panting slightly.

She reached the top of the trail and entered the cool stone tower. She could no longer hear the sounds of pursuit, but she knew that the aliens would be along shortly. She climbed slowly up the weathered stone steps to the top of the tower and gazed out across the valley. It had turned out to be a beautiful spring day, and the trees were beginning to spread their leaves after the long winter. It would be hazy later this afternoon, but at just that moment everything was perfect.

Well, almost perfect. She sneezed violently and, wiping her streaming nose and eyes, fervently hoped that she had some antihistamines in the car.

At that moment, though, a cold voice said "Give me the ball bands!"

She turned reluctantly from the peaceful vista and stared defiantly into the eyestalk of an angry alien. He was considerably worse for wear after the hike up to the tower. A small branch was embedded in his slimy foot, a leaf stuck up behind his eyestalk like a feather in a Native American headdress, and a tentacle was distastefully brushing pollen off his eyestalk.

"Why would I give you the ball bands?" asked Agent K.

"Because I have a ray gun," replied the alien, waving a tentacle holding this in her face. "Enough of these games, I want those ball bands and I want them now!"

"Any particular ball bands?" asked Agent K sweetly.

"The ball bands you got from the class teacher this morning!" the alien shouted in frustration. "You think you can lose me in traffic, or dodge me in town, or try to escape through the woods? Well, you’re trapped now, missy, and I want those ball bands! I know you haven’t interpreted them yet, and if I take them from you the Agency will never know when we will strike! BWAHAHAHA!"

Agent K waited for his maniacal laughter to subside before saying dejectedly, "Well, I guess I don’t have much choice." She pulled the ball bands out of her jacket pocket. "Oops…"

Just then, a small gust of wind blew the bands out of her pocket and over the tower parapet. She watched as the paper seemed to hover for a second on the breeze before plunging down into the valley. The bands were quickly lost to sight among the trees.

With a roar of rage, the alien leapt for the edge of the tower only to have the papers slip through his tentacles. While he was preoccupied, Agent K slipped around the slimy lime green body and dashed down the stairs out of the tower. She could hear alien curses being flung from the tower but made it to the tree line just ahead of the laser guns blasts. A small tree directly behind her burst into flames when a bright blue beam struck it.

Agent K knew that the alien would be right behind her, but she also knew that aliens had difficulty navigating downward slopes. She should be okay as long as she hurried.

She slid down the last few feet of the trail, skidding on a handful of loose gravel. She had been careful to park her car at an angle to facilitate a quick getaway, and now all she had to do was jump in the driver’s seat, crank the engine, and speed off out of the park with a spray of gravel.

As the car merged back onto the highway, she slid a finger between the car seat and the center console. The precious ball bands were right where she had left them, hastily tucked down out of sight before she raced up the trail. It had been a gamble that the alien would chase her rather than search the car, but it was a gamble she had won.

Now it was off to the Agency to see of anyone could decipher the strange characters.

To be continued…


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