Helen, by Brian Adams

Written by Brian Adams
Photo: © Depositphotos.com/Denisfilm

Helen finished the final strides of her daily five mile run at Thompson Park and began her cool-down walk. She had pushed the pace little today, but there wasn’t a drop of sweat to be found on her brow. A glance at her Casio pocket watch showed her time: twenty-six minutes even. “Now isn’t that wonderful?” she thought. “I can’t wait to tell all of my grandchildren.”

As she looked up from her watch, a figure lurked by the trees nearby. Upon further examination, he looked like the same man she had seen earlier in her run. He was tall, slim, and clean-shaven. Dressed in a black Adidas track suit, he appeared to be part mafioso, part American Ninja Warrior. He was fifty yards away, but Helen’s eagle eyes could see a change in his expression, realizing he had been spotted. Suddenly, he raised his phone to snap a photo and began to to run.

“Well, the nerve of that fellow!” she exclaimed as she began her pursuit of the mysterious stranger. The man looked back over his shoulder at Helen as he hurdled a picnic table, then headed toward the stream at the edge of the park.

“Sir, why are you taking my photograph?” she shouted politely, picking up the pace from a hard jog to a full sprint. The man looked behind him again, this time dropping some Werther’s Original butterscotch candies to distract his aging pursuer. It was of no use, though, as Helen already had her pockets lined with plenty of them. She closed in on her prey and tackled him with the gusto of an NFL linebacker.

“That was even better than I thought!” the man shouted.

“Excuse me?” Helen asked, now regretting her decision to forgo the additional Werther’s.

“I’ve been tracking you for weeks, Helen. You’re our best shot at this.”

“Best shot at what, exactly?”

“I’m Agent Jerry Attrix, FBI.”

“Oh, goodness. Hal and I watch CSI Miami every week with our grandchildren. Is that like what you do?” she inquired.

“A little. Except I don’t know anything about forensic science. I also rarely appear on television. Is that show really still on TV? Anyway, there’s a scam going on and these guys are targeting retirement homes. We need agents in the field, Helen. Agents like you. Meet me tomorrow at the corner of 48th and Main, 1:00 PM sharp. I’ll explain the rest.”

Helen dutifully showed up, though the meeting conflicted with her viewing of Steve Harvey. This pained her in ways she could not fully describe.

It was 1:00 PM on the dot, but Agent Attrix was nowhere to be found. Was this a put-on? Was she being punk’d by that handsome young Ashton Kutcher fellow? Was he making her miss Steve Harvey for no reason?

Suddenly, Helen sensed some activity above her. It was Agent Attrix, rapelling down the wall of the the Bank of America at their appointed meeting place.

“We have a monthly budget for dramatic entrances,” he explained, removing his carabiner. “You would have such a budget, as well, should you choose to accept our offer.”

Agent Attrix brought Helen to what appeared to be an abandoned warehouse. Once inside, she saw dozens of silver-haired men and women doing chin-ups, running sprints, and practicing hand-to-hand combat with each other.

“Fellow Agents!” Attrix announced loudly, “Our crown jewel is here and we’ve asked her to help us with Operation Silver Fox.” The men and women paused from their activities and began a dramatic slow-clap. They had heard about her, but had doubted her existence. Now Helen stood there in front of them.

“When do you need me?” she asked the agent. “Because I have to pick up my grandson Nicholas at 3:00 PM on Tuesdays. And really, 1:00-2:00 PM every weekday is off limits because…”

Agent Attrix pressed his index finger against Helen’s lips to shush her.

“Steve Harvey, of course. I’ve recorded today’s episode for you on your complimentary FBI DVR. We’ll do anything for you, Helen.”


Brian Adams is a financial professional who occasionally writes things, performs stand-up comedy, and directs music videos in order to scratch his artistic itch. You can find some of his videos on the Orange Aura Productions Facebook page.