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Espion Confus (Beef Wet Rub with Scallion Orthotics)

Main Ingredients:
distant cousin
beef broth

Spice Pack:
1 cup of anticipation
1/8 teaspoon of ennui

I was visited by someone claiming to be a distant cousin, "Rod Corbin." I had never heard my mom talk about a cousin of that name. He said they were from the Toledo Corbins, a third cousin, in the area for a dog show. The dog show, and he kept asking for milk, kind of made me pause. Was this one of Ed's friends, messing with me? My mom wasn't home, so I told him to come back in a couple days, maybe we could visit then.

I said goodbye and shook his hand. That was my mistake. I got sick that night. Diarrhea. Sweating. Very miserable.

I recall reading some 24 fan fiction, in which Jack Bauer got infected with microbes. Very fast acting (sweating and shaking, no diarrhea, Jack never uses the toilet). The bacteria made him traceable by some kind of spy drone that could smell the toxins. But he was able to mask his scent by rubbing himself in some sort glandular extract that he squeezed from the hindquarters of Kim's pug.

I wonder some time if maybe someone was trying to spy on me. Andrew, my mom's boyfriend, maybe he was trying to deal with me. Maybe that's why I got kicked off the plane. I hope he doesn't tell my mom about the dog milk. Is this a message or something more worrisome? I tried waiting, to ride out the illness. Boredom, delirium, or maybe the real need to shake the eyes that were possibly following me, inspired action.

Mom won't let me have a dog. I put some scallions in my shoes and scrubbed my skin with beef broth, confuse the sniffer drones. Barely standing, I stepped into bone-bleaching sunlight. As my eyes adjusted to their new habitat, I saw a man walk quickly away.

"Rod!" I called. It might have been him. He didn't look back. I decided to follow him...


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