Saturday, December 19, 2009



Warning: If you are easily shocked with regard to contrary
points of view, conspiracy theories, offensive language,
political correctness, sex, violence, or anything else that
may offend your sensibilities or lack of open-mindedness,
or if you're a minor (but by no means limited to the
aforementioned), please do not read this novel. It's not
for you…

Note: This is a work of fiction. The events
described here are imaginary: the settings, events and
characters are fictitious,and/or are the product of the
author's imagination or used fictitiously, and any
resemblance to actual events or locales or persons
(living or dead) is entirely coincidental.

Copyright (C) 2006 by F. Scott Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

Sneak and Peek: A Fictional Blog

Installment Nine of "The Walls Have Ears: A Novel of America"

By F. Scott Sinclair

FBI Special Agent Edward Q. Sessions

My partner, Mike Ellsworth, sat glued to the steering
wheel while we maintained surveillance on a four storey
apartment house. There was supposed to be a sleeper
cell of suspected terrorists holding up on the second floor.
The NSA sent us an urgent alert that piqued our interest.
The suspects names were Luther James and Paul
Krugar. Both suspects were considered armed and

We were parked about a hundred yards down
the street near the entrance to a cul de sac that
had a large Willow tree that provided abundant
shade and concealment. Through the strands of
Weeping Willow whips—as I like to refer to
them—that draped themselves in a bow-shaped
fashion from the heavens downward, I could see
some activity in suspect one’s apartment.
The apartment house appeared to be an old
rectangular wood frame white Army barracks that
had been refurbished. Before we could do a sneak
and peek intrusion on our targets, we’d have to get at
least one of them out of their apartment for awhile. I
raised my secure cell phone, dialing my dispatcher,
and asked, “Can you have Ferguson give target
one a tickler call. Check the profile and redirect
to target two.”

“Will do, boss... We’ll hang-up before either
target can answer. Hopefully, one or other will
return the missed call,” the dispatcher said.

“That’s my boy. We’ll cross our fingers. Later,”
I said, as I shutoff the lit display of the cell phone.

“What’s up...?” my partner asked.

“Get ready. We’re about to make another

“Sneak and peak time!” Mike said with as
much enthusiasm as he could muster under the
circumstances. It was cold outside, and inside
as well... The car's cheap heater that went to the
lowest bidder spewed its warmth only periodically.

To my surprise, I saw the curtains in suspect
one’s apartment window being drawn closed,
and said, “Got some activity, Mike.”

As I pulled the binoculars from the bridge
of my nose, Mike says, “It’s a go then...?”

His pale expression and the mist emitted
from between his lips due to the chill, was a
sight to behold. A big question mark if I’d ever
seen one made of flesh and bone. I said, “Hold
your horses, Dick Tracy; your get out of jail free
burglary card isn’t validated until the suspects
depart the scene.”

He removed his hands from the steering wheel,
then pulled his brown leather gloves off, and
said, “Yeah, I hear you. But I’m going to get a
little practice time in with these lock picks,
and the rest of my U.S. government issued
burglary outfit.”

I said, facetiously, “Don’t they issue a sledge
hammer with that stuff?”

“That’s a different kit. Sneak and peak
paraphernalia is designed for clandestine
intrusion. Nobody’s ever supposed to know...
You know, KGB shit. Or’d you forget the
difference between black ops and white ops?”

“Never heard of white ops? Okay, I coined
the term. To me it means: legal black ops.”

“Clever,” I said, placing the binoculars
back on the bridge of my nose, resting the
round aperture lenses against the sockets of
my eyes, just below eyebrow level.

As Mike tinkered with his intrusive equipment,
I spotted the suspects leaving the apartment.
After hailing a taxi, they got in and headed south
on Spruce Street heading our way. “Better hit
the deck, partner. They’re headed this way.”

As we both slouched down in our seats, Mike
says, “Is the coast clear?”

The yellow Toyota Corolla cab passed us
very slowly. I thought I’d gotten a truly nondescript
vehicle with a phony license; but perhaps, being
too phony draws attention also. Finally, the cab
sped away. I said, “Yeah, the coast is clear...”

We both had our cockroach coveralls on. It
was time to play the local bug exterminator, and
I don’t mean electronic bugs. We have that kind
of exterminator also... Feeling more like KGB
agents than FBI agents, we gathered our equipment
from the trunk, and then looked around to survey
the terrain. It was near seven o’clock and most
of the neighborhood was beginning to rise and
shine. We waited a bit longer, then decided we’d
blend in with the morning traffic—so to speak—and
began our mission impossible: a sneak and peek
intrusion to find out who the bad guys were, and
what they’re up to.

I immediately pulled my cell phone out and
dialed our backup troops who were around the
corner in the exterminator van with a local
logo displayed on it. My hand felt like it was
about to become frostbitten as the wind whirled
by making the tip of my nose burn. Icicles
had formed on the eaves of the homes and
apartments that surrounded us; as well as
the branches of the Birch and Poplar trees
that seemed to decorate the majority of front
lawns and lawn parking strips throughout the
area. A moment later, Special Agent Lawrence
Phillips answered, and said, “Lester’s Bug and
Spray, may I help you?”

“Nice show, Phillips… It’s Show Time. We’re
on the corner of the cul de sac. Pick us up, partner.”

“That’s a roger, chief. We’ve got you in
our crosshairs…,” he said with a chuckle.

The van’s high beams flickered, and the two
of us hopped aboard the van through the rear doors.
Art Crenshaw helped us in and said, “We'll be
outside if you need us, and we’ll be watching your
backside. Pete’s crew will be outside spraying
the shrubs and termites in case anyone gets

They had electric heaters in the van that
made my face burn as the frozen flesh began to
defrost. As the grimace on my mug abated, I viewed
four computer monitors that would be keeping
an eye out for intruders as we did our sneak
and peek. Before I could comment, Crenshaw
says, “Len, who’s that coming across the lawn
towards Bob and George?”

“Beats me, sir…,” Leonard Morris said,
shrugging his shoulders through his
cashmere turtleneck sweater.

I grabbed Crenshaw by the forearm, and said,
“Let’s head her off before she makes a scene.

“Don’t you think that’s a bit hasty?”

His eyes surveyed mine, as I replied,
“It’s Gestapo time, ole buddy.”

Crenshaw made a face, then complied
with my request reluctantly as he said,
“I hope you know what you’re doing? I'd
hate to tell you what kind of shit we’ll be in
if you’ve diagnosed the situation wrong…”

Seeing his apparent nervousness, I
reassured him that what I was about to
do was both legal and necessary under the
circumstances. He nodded affirmatively as
we got out of the back of the van. Hurriedly,
we managed to intercept the woman who was
about to confront our crew spraying around
the foundation of the apartment.

I shouted, “Miss…?! Can we help you?”

With her hands on her hips, the slender
and high-cheek boned woman said caustically,
“You sure can… I’m the manager, and I
think you’d better answer my questions.”

“Everything’s all right. The owner,
Mr. Slater, asked us to fumigate the apartments.
Perhaps he hasn’t had time to notify you?”

“Not likely, he’s my husband. I just gave him
a kiss and he asked me to find out what the hell’s
going on! Explain yourselves,” she said, her hands
still on her hips waiting for my answer.

I had nothing to say at this point that would satisfy
her, that I knew. I had only one trump card, and
removed my badge and commission from my
pocket, and asked, “I’m special agent Sessions,
and this is agent Crenshaw. Please don’t be afraid.
We’re not going to harm anyone. May we talk
somewhere that’s not so conspicuous?”

Removing her hands from her hips, she
immediately sought something in the confines
of her apron. She pulled out a package of Virginia
Slims, removing one slender cigarette with a
shaking hand. The flame from the silver lighter
danced about as she tried to light it. Frustrated,
she took a deep breath, and said,
“I’m sorry. You’ve caught me off guard.”

“Here, let me help you…,” I said, taking
the lighter from her and steadying it for her.

After she’d taken a deep drag and exhaled,
the ensuing smoke rushing from her lips, as
she said, “Thanks. Please, come with me to
the house.”

As we entered the single story ranch style
home, I noticed the paint peeling off of the
siding like dandruff, and thought that her
house must have the same maintenance man
as her apartment. Pursing my lips, I said,
“Ms. Slater, we must notify you that you
are hereby restricted from telling anyone
that we’ve been here. And I mean anyone…”

“Not even my husband whose name you
seem to throw around as though it were your own?"

"That’s correct, Ms. Slater,” my partner said.

I had to get going, so I took agent Crenshaw
aside, and said, “Tell the little lady here the
facts and consequences if she mentions even
one word about this to anyone—ever.”

He nodded and turned towards Ms. Slater,
and said, “Agent Sessions here, has an
appointment with destiny before your
tenants return. I’m going to spell out the
facts of life to you…”

I smiled and excused myself, letting
myself out of the house. I immediately
rendezvoused with my accomplice in legal
crime on the second floor. Before I’d got
there, agent Ellsworth, had already
burglarized the apartment of our first
target. As he was searching through the
suspects drawers, I noticed a computer
beneath a stack of books. I perused the
notebooks next to the computer. “Hey,
Mike…! Christ, I’ve hit pay dirt.”

After quickly returning the contents
of the drawer Mike had examined, he
rushed over, and says, “Got something?”

“Shit…! Have I got somethin’? Take
a look yourself…”

His eyes bulged out of his head, as he
immediately removed the microfilm camera
from his pocket. “Man, this crap will hang
this bastard from the highest lamppost! Oh,
man, look at this…”

I took one of the other notebooks from
the pile, and said, “Damn, a fucking writer’s
diary! This bastard’s a writer?”

Raising his brows, Mike stared out the
window, and says, “And a friggin’ novelist at that…”

“Piss on it. Film it anyway, and we’ll use
his conspiracy shit against him based on the
fact that he’d made contact with a sleeper cell.
In this case, as seems to be standard operating
procedure: our suspects are guilty until proven
innocent! How’s that…?”

“Par for the course…”

“What’s that suppose to mean?”

“Forget it, we’ve got a whole lot of sneaking and
peeking to do. Onward Christian Soldiers…!”
he said sarcastically, as he prepared to copy the
notebook's hard drive.

I knew the conflict that was boiling within
my partner’s mind. His soul was being destroyed
by the KGB tactics that America had been
employing in order to stop the so-called War
on Terrorism. He might as well have said: the
War on Dissent. Oh well, as the man has confirmed
in his infinite wisdom: The Constitution is only a
goddamn piece of paper! I remember telling my
teacher in Junior High School that the Constitution
was a fantasy document, and mentioned the
McCarthy hearings to make my point. Boy,
that seemed to shut that bitch's mouth which
didn't help my grade any. If she only knew,
I'm experiencing the truth of my own words.

All I could say after pondering my thoughts
was, “I hear you… Now, let’s get busy.”

“Right…” he said, with about as much
enthusiasm as the French soccer team showed
after they lost to Italy. If I didn’t know him
better, I’d think he was about to give the closet
door a head butt like the Frenchman did near the
end of the FIFA championship.

We gathered our evidence and departed like
a couple of crooks who’d just been pardoned at
the last moment by the President of the United
States absolving our current and future crimes.
Land of the free, I thought. For some, perhaps…