Operation Bed Tundy
How do you accidentally become an assassin?
Leave it to me to find out. One minute I’m driving down the fourlane and the next I’m being pulled over, silently cursing my lead foot (again). Many don’t believe me when I describe the leaden-ness of my foot. Can’t really blame them. I suppose the inability to distinguish between sixty and a-hundred-and-forty miles an hour would be hard to believe, to one on the outside looking in. And with a condition this unbelievable, your only recourse is to keep your mouth closed and take what comes. Explanation is futile.
Twelve tickets in six months.
I tense to think this might be the one that gets me time.
Imagine my surprise when a mitigating opportunity presented itself. I say mitigating because this option allowed me to forgo a court appearance. All I had to do was follow some government guys to a shady looking outpost (that looked more like an outhouse) in the middle of nowhere, and board an elevator car wherein I descended into an enormous underground compound replete with all kinds of futuristic tech.
They told me if I agreed to this super important mission all my tickets and subsequent charges would be waived forever. I should’ve taken the fact that they didn’t tell me what the mission was as a hint. If it was something pleasant, the payoff probably wouldn’t have been so generous. When I learned what it was, it was too late. I’d signed on, with no chance to renege.
The mission, should I choose to accept it—and stupidly I did—was to be a guinea pig for time travel. But not just any guinea pig. I was to travel back in time and assassinate none other than Ted Bundy, before his killing spree began.
Them twelve tickets weren’t looking so bad right about now.
I loaded into the time travel pod thing (I made straight Fs, so don’t judge me for not getting more technological), and prepared to probably die, but lo and behold I didn’t. The circles of light slid up and down my body, no de-atomization or nuthin. When the pod split open I found myself in an empty field. The giant oaks having surrounded the government outhouse (sorry, outpost) were twigs, and even the sky had that sepia-old look.
Now I’d been armed to the teeth with a bunch of gear, so I wasn’t totally defenseless in the belly of this new world. They’d printed and minted a bunch of money with the dates changed so not to rouse suspicion. Why couldn’t they have just used real old coins, you may ask. Well, real old coins are rare. They’re collectible for a reason. And I needed a lot. So the fake ones had to do. And it was the government that did it so…I don’t guess it’s illegal.
I found the beat I was supposed to walk and lingered there a while. Bundy apparently frequented that road.
It wasn’t long before a rust-bucket paid me enough mind to slow. A young-ish man with brown hair called out the window.
“Need a ride, Ma’am?”
I climbed aboard the rattletrap and settled into shotgun. The government dudes had given me a special needle of stuff to inject him with. Shooting was out of the question since any bodily trauma might damage his brain in the long-run. Oh yeah—they wanted me to bring his head back for scientific observation. Guess I forgot that part.
I still brought my own gun, just in case things went south. At ninety-three pounds soaking wet I’m not exactly apt to fight off a hulking man.
I smalltalked with Ted for a few minutes, an attempt to get his guard down. But before I could strike, the destination I’d made up came into view. Huh. Guess Boswell Gas Station was a real place.
Our ride now shortened by this unforeseen hitch, I reached for the needle. It was now or never. So, in other words, never. Ted read my movements a little too well and swerved his rust-bucket sharply, sending my head bashing into the window. I don’t even think he saw the needle, which meant... All the while I was planning to move in, he was apparently planning the same.
Regrets ebbed and flowed, as he slowed the car to a crawl. My original plan had been to force him to kidnap me at gunpoint. And before you say that sounds stupid: That way he’d have seen the gun from the jump and known not to mess with me. Also, nobody would’ve believed him if he managed to get away.
“Officer, it wasn’t my fault! She forced me to kidnap her—at gunpoint!”
No chance of that flying.
Alas, I’d gone with option B. And I was paying for it.
We wrestled back and forth, him grabbing me by the wrists and holding my arms apart. A headbut later and I was nearly out. Through my disorientation I could see him drawing a big hunting knife. He smiled at me, jaggedly.
“This is for your vocal cords, little deer.”
I didn’t know which half of his sentence I felt worse about. The part about severing my vocal cords or the creepy “little deer” addendum, which were it a physical being would need to be killed with fire, the ashes launched into deep space with twelve nukes attached.
Sorry. It just creeped me out.
In the throes of sadistic revelry (or maybe he had a stroke—I dunno’ what that was), he hesitated.
I swung my stiletto up and kicked him square in the neck, my heel possibly puncturing something. So much for no damage. But the government could suck it up. It was him or me.
As he sputtered and spat, blood slipping from the corners of his mouth, I took the wheel and hit the accelerator, launching us off into the grass, past a shabby treeline, and into a big reservoir of water.
I can’t win, can I?
As the waterline climbed up the windows and slowly immersed us, I rushed to open my door. Ted had me by the ankle, but that didn’t stop me from trying. I shoved and it parted away, sending a surge of muddy water gushing in. The tide smacked him upside the face and knocked him off me. I writhed my way out, swimming and swimming until I felt the ground kiss my feet.
From the grassy shore, I watched the water slowly suck Ted’s car under.
I was grateful to be alive—but hoo boi the government was not gonna’ be happy.
Then, something weird happened. Which in the context of this story, is saying something.
The tide coughed up a big hunk of something. I rushed over and poked it. It didn’t move.
Upon closer examination, I realized it was Ted. He was dead—waterlogged and bluish.
His brain probably wasn’t in the best of shape. I realized this.
I brandished the metal plate the government dudes had given me, holding it up to his neck. A click later and a blade had discharged, severing the head and encasing it in a bubble-like, malleable skin. The coating would preserve it.
After some time walking the backroads, a severed head tucked neatly under my arm (guess that’s why nobody offered to pick me up), I found my pod and climbed in. I was pretty eager to get back to the present, all things considered.
When I stepped out in the lab again, I presented the head. One of the scientist dudes examined it carefully, a look of great displeasure crossing his face.
I was quick to justify myself.
“He was gonna’ cut my vocal cords! I had to drive us off into that reservoir—”
The displeasure intensified.
“It’s not that…” the man garbled, indignantly.
“THIS IS NOT TED BUNDY!!!”
“You incipid, brainless embarrassment of a human being!”
“Do I still get my tickets waived?”
The scientist sent me a glare that was scarier than the one not-Ted Bundy had sent me.
“I can make this up to you,” I shrugged. “Maybe I could go after Jack the Ripper, or Jeffrey Dahmer, or the Zodiac Killer…”
“Jack the Ripper, Jeffrey Dahmer, and…”
“The Zodiac Killer?”
“What is a ‘Zodiac Killer’? You’re just making killers up at this point,” he pinched the slack between his eyes, exhaustedly. “You know what—get out.”
I tried to object, but he’d already shuffled me to the door.
“But dude! I think I—”
Long story short, the government wasn’t too terribly impressed with my work.
And my tickets did not get waived.