He had to figure out what had to be done. He was out of time. The great black cloud of hopelessness was nearly upon him, threatening to rain despair and regret over his overworked excuse of a brain. The brain whose arrogance had summoned that very cloud.
Every single day he would think to himself that he could just return it tomorrow, and that it was no big deal at all!
Now he had just landed in the quicksand-like pool of consequences.
And he was getting swallowed up at an impossibly fast rate. Consequences surely were the most ravenous beast.
He stretched his hand out towards the light as his head disappeared under the quicksand of consequence, groping for a rope of salvation and forgiveness that was not there.
“Calm down, It’s just an overdue Library book!”
Just?Just! He stared at his ignorant misunderstanding friend in disbelief. He had only shouted the counter for that claim a dozen times! Was this fool even listening?
“No!” He declared, shouting into his friends face, spitting up a monsoon in the process. If he returns this book late – he would be forever branded with the mark of eternal shame, forced to reside with the wretched evil souls of the school in the darkest bowel of hopelessness – The detention room! He would be stuck like a cat in a bullpen – all the muscly hercules wannabes were going to send him catapulting to the edges of the known universe! And that’s not the worst part. After failure to comply with the martial law of the school, his radiant perfect record will be shattered with a black mark of shame, and all his A’s will be reduced to nothing! he would be forced to clean toilets for the rest of his sorry life!
He broke down sobbing like his mother had just died. “Why?” He shouted between sobs several times.
“Dude,” his interrupting friend interrupted, “you are just going to get a tardy slip!”
“Just?” He stood up in a burst of uncontrolled fury, “Do you understand the incredible power a tardy slip has over the destiny of a perfect student like myself? It will shatter all my dreams and -”
His interrupting friend cut him off, “Please don’t start.”
No, there was no more starting for him. He had reached the end of the road. The final frontier. The edge of the forsaken cliff. All that was left to do was fall into the endless void of failure.
“Tell you what,” The interrupting friend said, pulling the brakes on the train of doomed thoughts,”If you are too scared to turn it in, we could -”
“Could what?” The other exclaimed, “Tell me!” He begged, shaking his friend with the excitement of a raging sea on a dingy.
“Let me talk then!”
The ocean clamned.
The dingy shook his head to restore some very much needed balance.
“We could – well – break into school at night, put the book back on its shelf and destroy the record of you borrowing it so there is no evidence!”
Wait what? So the only solution was an anti-heist? Is that even a thing? In the unlikely event that it was, failure and capture would certainly mean infinite imprisonment in the fiery bowels of Tartarus for all eternity. But such were the consequences of the alternate passage.
“Excellent! Seeing as we have no other choice we should start preparing right now!”
“Wait really? I was just kidd-”
But the genius had already begun his master plan, inspired by the most recent daring thought-to-be-impossible steal ever attempted by man that had been masterminded by the one-and-only George Clooney himself.
“It’s showtime.” Clooney’s apprentice declared with a sinister smile.
“This is too tight.”, The interrupting friend wheezed out of his new matt-black removable skin.
“Just deal with it.”
Getting into the school was going to be tricky. The two desperados halted outside, forced to stop by the most famous anti-spy device in history – The one-and-only wire mesh fence. Clooney’s apprentice thrust out an equally famous shiny mini-wire cutter and began smacking his lips with the delicious thought of cutting fences, with the loudness of the largest foghorn. He was drooling like a toddler birthday boy as he cut the cake. Except this process was much slower. The toddler may have been a toddler sloth.
Wiggle, wiggle, clip. Wiggle, wiggle, clip. Wiggle, wiggle, clip.
“Will you quiet down?” The interrupting friend interrupted in a whispery-spy voice
Clooney’s apprentice scowled in an uncaring manner.
And they’re in! Finally.
Clooney’s apprentice skillfully dived down into a nearby bush, expertly lifted himself with his new camouflage in the unmistakable Tom-and-Jerry style, and tip-fingered to another bush before diving in it and doing the same several times before reaching the closed front entrance, completely undetected by even the most advanced IR technology.
Superb. Unparalleled. Unnecessarily complicated.
The interrupting friend rolled his eyes and waddled the entire way, squeaking up a chorus on the way.
“What are you doing?” The other exclaimed in a hushed whisper, “You could have busted operation anti-doomsday!”
“What are you talking about, there is nobody here!”
The interrupting friend stretched his arms out as if he was absorbing the love and acclamation of a cheering crowd, because he was their beloved rock-star.
Proof of the claim? The entire courtyard was indeed abandoned and purged of any other soul.
“Umm, there are snipers on the roof.”
Now there was the issue of opening a locked door. The pesky door chuckled and giggled like an over-excited child, fully aware of the consequences of delaying the anti-heist. And its intentions were –
“Hey, it’s open.”
The professional black figure rolled, somersaulted, crawled, compressed himself and walked back-facing the corridor’s walls. The other performed a maneuver that appeared to be a stroll-waddle hybrid, accompanied by an inconspicuous squeaking band.
Yes, the squeaking happened in a tune.
Finally! They had reached the doors that lead to salvation. The heavenly doors to the library! Clooney’s apprentice threw the door open and leaped in, landing with the ultimate spy battle-pose. The other failed to change his own locomotive strategy.
“I’ve been expecting you.”
The chair of the main desk had been facing away from our heros, until now.
The librarian turned to face them in an unmistakable ‘The Godfather’ way.
The ‘Oh-no! A bad guy!’ tune played all around them.
“I’m so sorry, I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t lose my record, The book was late and I had lots of work and-”
The librarian halted the rapping with a subtle raise of his hand.
“You could have just come clean. I would have forgiven you.”
Clooney’s apprentice gave an apologetic smile that would lead him nowhere, and approached the desk with the mischievous book in hands.
“And you just got dragged into this?” The librarian asked the other through his half-moon spectacles.
The other nodded.
He opened and stamped the book.
“However, you are still going to get in trouble for breaking into school.” the librarian rushed to change the subject.
Clooney’s apprentice’s shoulders fell, and he dropped to his knees, giving the librarian clenched hands and the most professional puppy-dog eyes he had ever given.
“Sorry, but this time you did not make the right choice. Detention!”
And Clooney’s apprentice fainted upon hearing the name of the terrible destiny that he had wanted to avoid so badly. He could hear the pits of tartarus calling his name. The hercules wannabes cracking their knuckles. The sound of all happiness being sucked into the void he was about to fall in.
“Bummer,” His now uncaring friend chimed in, “Let’s go home now, I’m hungry.”