Friday, July 02, 2010

Writing Contest!

Let other people celebrate the 4th with a bbq or fireworks! We'll celebrate with a writing contest!

I have a copy of CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER CHILD, a hilarious and poignant collection of observational essays by the very talented Dan Tomasulo as a prize. Need further enticement?

Here's an excerpt:

My father was a spy, a double agent for the CIA and the FBI. To conceal his identity from foreign agents he worked as an electrician for Lever Brothers Soap Company.

He had all kinds of neat tools and gadgets that he said were electrician gear, but I knew they were for defusing bombs, hot-wiring cars, and planting wire taps. This was an excellent disguise for a man of his skill and talent.

He never talked about it. We never spoke about his missions, but I am sure he was in demand all over the world.

When he was on an assignment, the secret code he would give to Mom was that he was working a double. That meant that he would go into work at eight o’clock in the morning, work eight hours, then stay there for another eight hours and come home at midnight.

The cover story was that this would double the amount of time he was going to work at the soap factory. What it really meant was that he was a double agent.

He was probably going to protect a foreign ambassador, or maybe steal some secret documents. He might even have to stop an assassin from killing the president.

I love this book a lot! I think you will too. To get your mitts on a copy, enter the contest:

Tell a story in fewer than 1o1 words.

Use these words:

double agent

Post your entry into the comments section of this blog.

Contest starts now, and runs to midnight on Saturday July 3; 35 hours from now.



Yossi Mandel said...

Coffee gets spiked in Jersey. Just one more reason to stay away. Looking as haggard as RaggedyAnn, both of her were holding my manuscripts. Two mouths moved in unison – or moved randomly, I couldn’t tell. I was seeing double agent. Razzmatazz won’t sign me up for reading fees, no sir, girl or doll – payback is Jersey’s way. You’ll be crying “zio” this time tomorrow. If you can.

(I made a vow to start participating in the online world of creative writing only after I finished my first book. My way of taking all the advice to "JUST WRITE!" from agents etc. to heart. This looks so good, I had to break, just this once. I promise. I hope.)

Amy said...

Chloe’s Raggedy Ann doll was the perfect hiding place. I worked my fingers between the seam. The curling yarn hair would cover my work well. No one would think to look here for the chip.

I’m the world’s youngest double agent—in training. Living in Ohio on a Jersey farm has perks. (Coffee isn’t one of them. Stunts your growth.) There’s plenty of time, though. I practice my agentry on my older sister. What isn’t sinister about having one of those?

“Doug! Get down here this instant!” Chloe’s razzmatazz lipstick framed her lips like blood. In her hand: the doll.

Unknown said...

The woman entered the coffee shop with a little girl carrying a little rag doll by its arm.
“I’ve have a double agent espresso.”
“Mommy, mommy! Can RaggedyAnn get something too? She’s awful hungry since she came back from Jersey beach.”
The mother sighed and ordered something to amuse her daughter. “And I’ll have one assassin’s pie.” She looked down at the cds on the counter top as the cashier said to total. “Razzmatazz?” she thought to herself. “Band names just keep getting weirder and weirder.” The woman handed over the cash and waited till her order was filled.

BW said...

Everyone thought RaggedyAnn was an ordinary housewife living at the Jersey Shore. However, little did they know. She was a double agent from Russia. Her assignment was to watch American TV.

She watched CNN and othe news shows daily with her cup of coffee.

As she was watching one news show, she began yelling at the TV.

"Cut out the razzmatazz!! How dumb do you think I am. Even Barbie wouldn't fall for half the stuff you are telling the American public let alone a double agent.

Lumpy Dog said...

The bitch was a double agent.

She called herself Raggedy Ann, but she was really just Jersey trash. Pigtails and a plaid dress couldn't hide the stink that seemed lodged in her flesh. The stink of a Newark landfill.

She acted like we were friends, like sharing the occasional coffee and a slightly more occasional queen-size made us buddies.

Bullshit. We’re not tight just because I’ve rootied your toot and razzed your matazz.

So I killed her. I told her I knew, then I killed her.

And you know, coffee tastes better without the funk of old diapers and rotten bananas.

Laura said...

It takes a lot of razzmatazz to get Mama’s attention. Sometimes you wonder if she’s a spy, a double agent--someone who wears dark glasses to work and flies planes before coming home to New Jersey. Because nothing impresses her. Not even the space suit you made for Raggedy Ann--nothing.

But you’re going to get her attention today. You have a plan and a dance and a CD.

She’s in her chair, with a cup and the paper. You start the music and slide across the floor in your socks.

“Turn it down,” Mama says, and drinks her coffee.

joanQ6 said...

First came the scantily-clad baton twirlers, wearing sequins in all the right places and more makeup than a red-cheeked RaggedyAnn. Then the marching band high-stepped on the field with its usual razzmatazz. But Dan was already trotting his tightend butt straight for the lockerroom. All he wanted to do was strip off his jersey and avoid Coach Coffee’s halftime wrath.

Coach would get all up in his face and demand an explanation for that last dropped pass. Anything would do, except the truth.

Dan was a football double agent, forced to cover his gambling debts by throwing this championship game.

Erin Knightley said...

“Christ – you look like RaggedyAnn: The Prostitute Years.”

I glared at my partner before sloshing yesterday’s coffee out of my mug and refilling it with the fresh brew. “And I suppose you’d look like Fabio after a day on the Jersey Shore, wading through baby-oiled bodies and huffing enough hairspray to get even Lindsay Lohan high.”

“You bet I would. If I had to be undercover, I’d be smooth like Bond, double-agent extraordinaire,” Fowler responded, arching his hand through the air with all the razzmatazz of a drag-show announcer.



“Shut the hell up.”

Anonymous said...

“Raggedy Ann?” I blurted, practically spitting into my coffee cup. Mom stared at me from the other side of the kitchen table in her North Jersey condo.

“I’m sorry. That’s all I could think of.”

I sighed. “It’s awful. Where’s the razzmatazz?”

Mom reached for another chunk of cheese danish from the box of pastries I brought over. Vehemently refusing to take an entire one because she was “watching her figure”, she already plowed through two – bit by delicious bit. “Honey, it’s not like you’re secret double agent. You’re a stripper for Christ’s sake.”

She did have a point.

Unknown said...

“Can I have some coffee?” she asked.

“No,” I said.

“Can I stay up late?”

I had to laugh. Hope springs eternal. Every night the same question and the same answer. I almost said “no” again, but then, “Ask your mother,” I said.

My wife glared at me. “What are you, some sort of toddler double agent?” She turned to our daughter, “It’s bedtime. Get RaggedyAnn and Jersey Cow off the floor.”

“I can sing my ABC’s, Mommy, and dance! Wanna see?”

My wife was unmoved, “The razzmatazz is not going to work. It’s time for bed. Now.”

Jessianodel said...

I knew RaggedyAnn was a double agent. I’m not stupid. I hired her right after I got into Jersey.

She was gonna be my partner, so I could breakthrough in the coffee business. And now I find out she was working for another company all along. Razzmatazz. Hmph.

I’ll tell you what their coffee tastes like, crap! It needs to be spiked to force someone to drink it. Well, at least the name made sense.

It almost made a man reminisce about his childhood. But I wasn’t ready for a confessional. Not yet.

MarissaV said...

“You’re too heavy for this.”

“I don’t know whatch your talkin’ ‘bout.”

“Pick up your feet RaggedyAnn and hold your breath. It reeks.”

“I’s drinkin’ razzmatazz juice.”

“Get him some coffee, Jules.”

“That’s all we need, a hyper drunk.”

“Pick your feet up, Jersey boy.”

“Last year he shot fireworks off from his hotel balcony. Told the cops he was a double agent and begged them not to tell his wife.”

“Don’t you shalk ‘bout me. I’m right here.”

“What’s in his pocket, Billy?”

“Looks like an American flag koozie.”

“And de rochets red glare…”

“Oh, geesh, here we go again.”

jcavanaugh said...

I sipped my coffee as I waited for my meeting. The New Jersey bed-and-breakfast was decorated with various Raggedy Ann dolls, all staring at me with their creepy button-eyes. It added to the unease I felt from my contact being late.

The unease was warranted.

“Well, this place lacks the razzamatazz of the Four Seasons, but it certainly is pleasant to run into you.” Travis O’Riley slid into the chair across from me, his left hand grasping my right, his right hand holding the gun he’d taken from me at our last encounter. “So, Ms. Double Agent, time to discuss your betrayal. I can’t believe we almost let you slip away.”

Jared Larson said...

We were at Six Flags in Jersey. I thought I’d show my baby girl a little of daddy’s ole’ razzmatazz on the bumper cars. With my coffee in one hand and my fingers wrapped around the wheel, we started cruising. We’d gone maybe ten feet when some squirt pummeled his car into the back of our ride. My little girl jumped up, “Don’t hurt my daddy!”
She shoved Raggedy Ann into my arms and took the wheel. She was like a double agent, taking out every little kid in that joint. Me… I just sat back and enjoyed the fun.

Cat said...

Razzmatazz by Pulp was still echoing in ReggedyAnn’s head from the night before. What on earth possessed her to go to that little bar in Jersey? Oh, that’s right. She followed Andy to that hole in the wall and found him in the clutches of that double agent bimbo Chatty Cathy. She took a deep sip of her coffee letting its warmth calm the churning in her stomach. Now if it would calm the pounding in her head too, she’d be set. Taking in a deep breath, she wondered what her next step would be...shot gun or seam ripper?

Tessa Quin said...

“RaggedyAnn, can you hear me? Over.”

“I hear you, Jersey” RaggedyAnn whispered into the walky-talky. “Do you see the target?”

“You’re supposed to say ‘over’ - over.” Jersey peered around the couch. The big man still drank his coffee.

“Razzmatazz is still immobile. He has a meeting at 17.00—that’s in—“Jersey looked at his watch, “two minutes.” He crawled along the carpet and darted to the TV.

The man glanced over his shoulder. “Hey Annette. Where’s your brother?”

“Over there, dad.” RaggedyAnn pointed at Jersey.

Jersey sighed. Girls just can’t be trusted. They always go double agent on you.

Kelsey said...

Deep in the heart of Jersey, living the life of both a double agent and a coffee addict, lived a girl who went by the top-secret code name of RaggedyAnn. To keep her cover, R.A. dto keep her instinctual razzmatazz tightly controlled.

One night as she was stopping at the café down the street from her apartment, R.A. realized it was karaoke night. She looked longingly at the stage, her heart aching. But, no, there was a Russian spy she had to follow, she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t draw attention to herself.

R.A. left the café, sighing. Maybe tomorrow…

Andrea Coleman said...

“What the Raggedy Ann is that?” I asked, watching a bundle fall from the bridge.

“I liked you before you gave up cursing.” My partner answered without looking away from her binoculars. She looked like a bug-eyed insect posing as a double agent.

“Coulda’ said what the razz—”
“Not razzmatazz. That’s worse. That’s disrespectful to the dead guy.” She nodded toward the canvas bag that had just landed.

“Dead guy?” I bellied over the remains of cold coffee and nearly into my partner’s lap. “I thought it was illegal trash dumping.”

“Could be both. You’re not in Jersey anymore, kiddo.”

DK Whisman said...

Exactly 100:

The smell greeted me first in the kitchen. Something about the bra in the sink told me that it wasn't just coffee that was brewing.

"You raggedy--"

"Ann!" Mat screamed. He struggled to pull up his pants.

"You're home early," he tried to apologize as if that somehow excused it. Like my early day was to blame for him being a marital double agent with busty Jersey Miller from two houses down.

“You may want to get your bra, Jersey,” I pulled a rolling pin from a nearby drawer. “If you'll excuse us, I have to razz Mat azz.”

[soccerboy] said...

I fell out my hotel bed like a RaggedyAnn doll. It was 2AM and there was no coffee to be found in…

“Where am I?” I asked the hotel’s night clerk, with a long look.

“Jersey.” He said, understanding.

“New Jersey…?”

He laughed.

He said he’d make a pot of coffee for us. I was chatty and he was lonely. He was mystified by my razzmatazz and didn’t see me poison his coffee. He was selling intel to enemy spies and thought I was a buyer.

But I was a double agent.

He quietly fell to the floor. Dead.

Ang said...

I needed coffee desperately – no, espresso – perhaps even a double. A gent courteously opened the door to the corner shop before I ran headlong into it. I gave him a groggy but appreciative smile.

Jersey was no Seattle, but at least coffee was easy enough to find. Once the caffeine kicked in, I wouldn’t feel so much like Raggedy Ann.

I overheard a woman order a half-caf skinny soy hazelnut latte – too much razzmatazz for me! My doorman ordered the daily special, then turned and asked if he could buy me a cup, too. Soy Girl scowled, but I beamed.

Blee Bonn said...

My daughter passes me a box from her dad’s closet. “Here’s another one.”

I open it, toss out the receipts and stale gum. I save the medals and his picture IDs from his time in the Army. When I set them down the names on the IDs catch my eye. They aren’t his. Neither is the Jersey address.

“What’s wrong,” asks Amy. “You look like a possessed RaggedyAnn doll.”

I pass her the IDs. “Coffee.”

She looks at me funny. Then she looks at the IDs. “Holy crap! Is dad a double agent?”


“Cut the Razzmatazz, mom.”

“Coffee, black. Please.”

Karin said...

”Whazzup, Ann? Whatever happened to your beautiful hair?”
”Like it?”
”Frankly I liked the razzmatazz hue better. More RaggedyAnn that way.”
”Not razzmatazz, Andy, crimson. This is for my new job.” She took her brothers hand. ”I need some coffee. This place has delicious Jersey wonders.”
”Please Ann don’t do that job. It’s not safe.”
”You know I have to. Very few persons are fluent both in Jèrriais and Norman French. We have to make sure that we can stay out of that stifling EU grip. I’ll be a great double agent, don’t you think? Black hair and all.”

Scott Daniel said...

“They’re on to me,” the vampire known as Raggedy Ann said.

I sipped my coffee, a rich hazelnut and the house specialty of “Jersey,” Livingston’s most frequented café. I shifted slightly in my chair and tried not to look concerned. “Impossible. Werewolves are just suspicious by nature, Ann. You’ve been a double-agent how long?”

“Thirty years,” she said. Raggedy Ann made a face as if she smelled rotten eggs and pointed at my cup. “How do you drink that stuff?”

“As opposed to Razzmatazz?” I countered. Razzmatazz, the code name for blood.

Katt said...

The Fine Print staff watched, amazed by the razzmatazz caused by Raggedy Ann - a coffee colored kitten with a double agent, Jersey kind of mind.
The kitten had her nails dug into the doorjamb, refusing to be dragged into Janet's office.
"What is wrong with you?" I asked.
RA whispered, 'she said at Surrey that she kills kittens.'
"Idiot. She said, No kittens were killed."
'huh, whadda ya think she feeds the snake, shark's fin soup?'
I tried to look confident as I stepped across the threshold.
RA hummed the Jaws theme and I wished I'd made an electronic submission.

JD Horn said...

Celie’s sister once owned a RaggedyAnn that was made so, when inverted, it became a RaggedyAndy. Of course that was back when Celie was still known as Charlie.

Celie had coveted that doll more than any of her sister’s other girly possessions. It was like she, a double agent showing one side to the world, but with a totally different person underneath.

Lacking any stronger liquor, Celie downed some sweet Razzmatazz, knowing full well she would be better off having coffee. Instinctually she pulled on a loose-fitting Jersey to hide her breasts during her first visit home as a woman.

Marjorie said...

All the Real Housewives of New Jersey sat in Panera drinking coffee. The door burst open and in walked RaggedyAnn.

"Hello, you has beens," she smirked. "You are all so yesterday. Looks like your TV agent was a double agent. In September, Barbie and Ginny and Cabbage Patch Biker Chick and I will be starring in The Real Housewives of Toyland."

"Lanie will make a guest appearance and Rebecca will do a cameo if she can manage to time travel. You think you got razzmatazz? Wait until you see Cabbage Patch Causcasian boy zumba. Bite me, bitches!"

Andy Hertzenberg said...

I take a sip of my burnt coffee, my tired eyes catching him from the dark street. He walks in, his long coat swooshing behind him. We barley make eye contact but he slides into the booth across from me. I nod at him and he pulls a wrinkled file from his coat and pushes it my way. When I’m sure it’s safe I take my first look and gasp. “He’s a double agent at the Razzmatazz?” I ask feeling horrified. He nods tearfully. “But he told me he was working for Raggedy Ann in Jersey,” I cry.

Anonymous said...

Ann sat doubled up, fingering the hem of her raggedy, coffee-stained jersey. “Stop razzing me about entering that blog contest, Ma,” she complained. “I still want to win, even if the agent is a Tasmanian devil.”

Andy Hertzenberg said...

Being a Real Estate agent by day and Literary Agent by night is no easy feat. But the tough streets of Jersey need me, so I push on. I see a full coffee cup threatening to spill all over an unsuspecting manuscript and I do a quick action dive to save it. The burn of the drink bites at my skin painfully. “Thanks, “ a woman that resembles Raggedy Ann says. I bow silently. The razzmatazz of the city lights illuminate me as I wink at a child. It’s all in a day’s work for a double agent.

Andy Hertzenberg said...

“Just let it go, Drake,” I say before downing my coffee.

“It’s just, you look so much like her,” Drake says seeming amused. I frown.

“Please ,” I beg. “It’s a doll. Can we be done with it? I’ve got a meeting in Jersey and I can’t be late.” He kisses me goodbye and watches me leave, never noticing me scoop Raggedy Ann up and slip her in my coat. As soon as I’m out of sight I pull her up for air.

“What the razzmatazz?” she says fixing her dress agitatedly.

“Shh,” I warn, feeling like a double agent.

Andy Hertzenberg said...

“No, Clara,” I said fighting to restrain the restless toddler.

“Me want Raggedy Ann!” she screams.

“Okay, okay, just be still,” I said, wondering how I got here. It was my summer break. I was supposed to be sipping coffee across from a hot date or partying in Jersey under the razzmatazz of too much hair spray and orange tan. I sighed as the little girl finally settled down.

“Look,” she said, forcing a pair of sunglasses onto her face. “I a double agent.”

“That’s right,” I said, her silly words reminding me why I was here.

Stephen Duncan said...

Susan logged in her avatar name to the IM and waited. RaggedyAnn409. Her best yet. It was easy to remember and reminded us that everything needed to be clean. In Jersey she’d used razzmatazzShore, but her reality show fascination had thankfully gone the way of her fake tan. She enjoyed the work, Susan. And that’s what I liked about her. No fuss. No opinions. Simple simplicity. Double agents double crossed before my coffee has a chance to cool.

The screen refreshed. “Got him,” she said.

“Tell him what we know and tell him what we want.”

“Hundred grand?”

“Make it two.”

arbyn said...

“Here, try this. You’ve never tasted anything like it.”

“Nice! What do you call this fantastic drink?”

“There’s no name, it’s a unique creation.”

“Well then we must come up with one. I’ve got it! Let’s pull two books off the shelf and combine titles. You know, the same way Raggedy Ann’s name was created.”

“Worth a shot. Ready, set, now!”

“What did you pull?”

“Big Jersey Poetry Book. You?”

“Dope Double Agent.”

“So, what, we’ll call it Big Dope?”

"Hmm... Poetry Agent?"

“Enough of this razzmatazz. Let’s just call it coffee.”

Fanfreakingtastic Flower said...

He tucked Raggedy Ann under her arm. Yesterday she’d remade the doll, with glitter and foil and a new name - Razzmatazz.

Into the kitchen for a midnight cup of coffee, double the cream. The carton offered him the buff brown face of a Jersey cow. She stared at him, her eyes benevolent, like those illustrations of Jesus. God’s agent on earth, always with the bland, limitless eyes. Either the illustrations got it wrong or Jesus never healed the sick. He stared past the cartoon cow, into the bedroom, to the girl beyond. Took a sip of coffee.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

She was all razzmatazz, from the top of her Raggedy Ann red head (as fake as Las Vegas) to the tips of her diamond-studded toenails.

“You stay away from that kind,” Marlon said in his South Jersey drawl, pausing only to throw back a swig of black coffee. “Those girls are trouble. They don’t even speak English right.”

I sat in nubile innocence, the backs of my knees sweating against the vinyl upholstery of Marlon’s van, hands tucked under my skinny thighs.

“Double agent,” Marlon said. “Bats her eyelashes today. Tomorrow, by Mary our Mother, you’ll need a new shirt.”

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

For almost my entire childhood RaggetyAnn sat on my bed, resting against my pillow.

When I was little she was the first to listen to my stories about the double agent with the razzmatazz bumper sticker on his Schwinn. Drenched in tears from my first broken heart she was the one I held when I was lonely in the middle of the night.

So, when Java our coffee colored lab chewed Raggety’s head off I buried my precious doll.

Tears on rock hard red Jersey clay turned the soil soft but did not make the task any easier.

Anonymous said...

“You look tired. All the double—”

“Agent’s life is what it is.” He could still taste the bitterness of his morning coffee.

“I guess you get used to it.”

“They found something.” He offered her a worn RaggedyAnn doll, limp and damp and smelling of decay.


“Washed up on Jersey Beach.”

She held the doll close, ran her fingers through its faded red hair. How her girl’s eyes had shone when she first saw it. Her name will be Razzmatazz, Momma.


Waves of despair washed over the last of her hope. “Yes.”

No, he’d never get used to this.

Judith Mercado said...

“You want a RaggedyAnn? What’s that?”

My mother of course asked that in Spanish, the only language she spoke.

“It’s a doll. Her name is Ann. She’s a little raggedy.”

“!Por Dios! I’ll never understand these americanos. Why give kids torn up toys?”

“No …”

“And I want a 007 double agent costume for Halloween,” my brother said.


Papi walked in just then, brandishing a letter. “María Luísa is moving to Jersey. She found a job in a factory called Razzmatazz.”

“What’s that mean?” mami asked.

Her father shrugged. “Can I have some coffee?”

Spiced Apple Eye said...

The dial clicked and the radio broadcast the Lone Ranger show. Soon a commercial announced, "get your decoder ring by mailing in Cream of Wheat boxtops."

"You don't believe all that razzmatazz about becoming a double agent, do you Sprout?"

Glenna clutched her RaggedyAnn to her nose to block the smell of liquor laced coffee and shook her head.

She dreamed of that ring though and sending a message to the Lone Ranger, "take me to Jersey where Grandma lives. She drinks her coffee black and never gets scary."

waridi woman said...

She dangles ungainly from the armpit, trying valiantly not to breath or think about organic blue mountain coffee sipped so delightfully just a few hours ago, making a reverse commute. The crises is averted momentarily when a hand grabs her hair and sits her on a tiny chair.

"I bet this never happens to Barbie." She rants. "So much for new marketing hype of "RaggedyAnn 2.0 A Double Agent for troubled times" A whole bunch of razzmatazz that went nowhere."

"I should fire the morons who thought of this campaign. Being shoved into some child with questionable hygiene, I'm literally New Jersey!"

Katie Drake said...

Breath, sip, don’t fidget. The café’s dainty coffee cup was in danger of falling on the cobbled patio.
“Another mademoiselle?” The waiter asked. I nodded. “More of the same, or should I add a little razzmatazz, ay?”
“Oui,” I nodded again, saying little to hide the Jersey in my voice. A spy-a double agent-even a new one, shouldn’t forget the code. I played the message again in my head. Tall and dark. He’ll and ask if you’re the one selling the RaggedyAnn doll. Say no, its RaggedyAndy. He’ll say too bad. If it goes well follow him to the rendezvous point.

Katie Drake said...

“Jazz hands, jazz hands,” Miss Jersey’s eyes bugged, “not a razzamatazz!” She stomped her feet like a child, tap shoes clacking on the wooden stage.

We’d practiced for so many hours my arms and legs could belong to RaggedyAnn, all floppy and soft. Life as a double agent was bound to be hard, but this was torture. Why did the Triad need to know about Miss Jersey? All I could report about her was a habit of holding nerve racking auditions, body breaking practices, and worse, enforcing a diet of grapefruit, plain yogurt, and the occasional treat of black coffee.

Katherine Tomlinson said...

The bait was concealed inside a coffee can located by the register of Razzmatazz and all that Jazz, a south Jersey store that sold vintage vinyl. The coded message was rolled up and stuffed into an empty ball point barrel, then concealed among the random collection of leaky pens and stubby pencils filling the can. The double agent, a cross-dresser his handlers called RaggedyAnn in reports but privately dubbed “Raggedy Ass,” pocketed the pen while the clerk rang up a near-mint copy of John Coltrane’s “Blue Train.” That was the confirmation his watchers needed. A minute later, the traitor was dead.

laughingwolf said...

RaggedyAnn claimed to be a double agent, but despite all the razzmatazz we knew she only served double/double coffees... in Jersey.

Joe Mix said...

"Gimme a double," Agent Isaacson said. The stakeout had been going on for seven hours and it was Isaacson's turn to make the coffee run. In Jersey the Dunkin' Donuts were everywhere, so he'd left Rogers and that damn music in the car and hoofed it the ten blocks. As if it wasn't enough that he was ragged, Yanni was the only thing Rogers would listen to. Keeps him calm during the stakeouts, he'd say. Bunch of razzmatazz, Isaacson thought. As the twerp behind the counter handed him his cup, Isaacson's radio crackled. "Showtime," Rogers said.

Anonymous said...

“What do you think?” Hanna asked, wearing striped dress.

RaggedyAnn meets The Real Housewives of New Jersey, I thought. “Too much razzmatazz.”

“Cut it out with the SAT words!”

“I like them,” I said. “And the SATs weren’t bad.”

“You double agent! You’re allied with that librarian who yelled at me for bringing coffee into the library, weren’t you?”

I laughed. “You spilled the coffee.”

“He overreacted. Ready to go?” I wasn’t buying a dress; prom was for vampires only.

Hanna walked too gracefully and I thought about the fate of that librarian who had dared take her coffee away.

Simon Hay said...

“You’re looking a bit raggedy, Ann.” Gabrielle’s been calling me Ann for centuries.

“Nice jersey, a little razzmatazz and gay. If that’s a coffee stain, I’d use double the amount they tell you to use.” I’m surprised he has an opinion about laundry. He’s His agent, and he’s either here to kill me, or take me home.

I can smell Dan and sex on the sheets in the basket. His scent overpowers the ammonia and is as visible to me as dust motes hanging in sunlight.

“I won’t go back Gab.”

“I know.”

I try to remember Dan’s smile . . .

Master P said...

He nearly snorted the beer out of his nose.

“Jesus Christ, Ann, you look raggedy as hell!”

She didn’t disagree and waved to the bartender. “Coffee ,” she called. “Black.”

“Working like a pack mule again?”

“Double that for starters. Being an agent isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” She blew at the coffee. “Just today I read a manuscript called ‘Jersey Razzmatazz’. Know what it was about?”

He shook his head.

“A cross-dressing tattooed Octomom midget who hoards recipes from Atlanta housewives fresh out of meth detox.”


I’m gonna make a freaking killing,” she said with a smile.

abogash said...

I almost spit my coffee across the bistro table.

"If he's a double agent from Jersey I'm Raggedy Ann!"

My disbelief didn't phase my friend Janet. Her newest author, three hundred pounds of sweaty nerd who couldn't hold eye contact had gone to the men's room. "He is, I swear. Or was - I guess would be more accurate."

I snorted which I never do. "Yeah. Okay. You signed him and now you regret your double agent doesn't have ah - more razzmatazz or whatever for publicity."

"Well." She sighed. "He might not look the part but his book is great!"

LiliTufel said...

Dan placed Natalia’s drunken Raggedy Ann body on the bed. He stared at her shapely legs and almond hair. I can’t believe you’re the target, he thought.

Natalia’s eyelashes fluttered.

“Have some coffee.”

She stroked his hand and took the cup. “So you’re my contact?”

“And you’re the girl with the razzmatazz daylily tattoo.”

“I am.” She examined the Moroccan suite.

“I’m escorting you to your new home in the US. You can’t stay here. The people in your organization want you dead.”

She laughed. “The US is already my home. I was born in Jersey.”

“So you’re a double agent.”

Master P said...

It’s what the other cops called the dead girl: Raggedy Ann. He didn’t like it but stayed silent. He could still see her bloated fish lips swollen in the searing Jersey sun. It was a memory that remained for twenty years.

But now he knew the killer.

An agent of death who shot the wrong target. Razz Matazz was retired but his past was more alive than the victims splattered on the streets with bullet holes in their heads.

“A double cappuccino,” said the white haired man into the speaker.

No coffee today, he thought as the Luger brought justice.

Lyra said...

Thick strands of her RaggedyAnn mop swung past her eyes catching in her lashes.
"You have to cut down on the coffee. Your hair is vibrating."
"All double agents drink this much coffee. It makes me appear older, sophisticated." Janet chewed her hair.
"In what sense?"
"New-York-City-private-eye sense."
"More like Jersey Housewives sense."
"Shut up. You coming or not?"
"My mom said no..."
"Don't let her rule your life. You're twelve for God's sake."
"She thinks you're a bad influence, full of razzmatazz."
"What does that even mean? Everyone needs a friend like me. Let's go."

Anonymous said...

Julie watched Ann shuffle into the convenience store. No one would guess her friend was once the most hunted double agent on five continents.

"Looking a bit raggedy, Ann," she teased.

"Tired. Coffee?"

Julie poured, then pushed a pack of gum across the counter. "We got a new flavor. Razzmatazz!" Ann loved gum, said she'd missed it, being away.

"What's it taste like?"

"Like jazz and dancing and... freedom!"

Ann smiled. "I'm going away for a bit."


"Up to Jersey."

"Sure. Jersey. Be safe."

Ann nodded, walked out.

Julie stared at the abandoned pack of gum and thought, freedom.

Melissa Guernsey said...

She looked more like a Raggedy Ann doll than a double agent standing in line wearing a slashed jersey t-shirt. Someone should tell her the eighties are over. She ordered a razzmatazz, a coffee drink all the young hipsters think is cool.

Never thought I would see the day where women with purple hair, tattoos and peek-a-boo jeans would be the norm. I must be getting old, wiser is debatable.

She sat at the counter texting. I miss eavesdropping on face to face conversations. Taking a twenty something hack with a laptop everywhere is embarrassing.

Bullets still kill the same.

Anonymous said...

Fuck coffee, there’s nothing like snorting coke when Jersey Shore is on.

Some people like RaggedyAnn or Razzmatazz, but I’m a double agent, I prefer RaggedyAzz, which is a hybrid strain straight out of Bogotá.

It makes Snookie look like a white chick.

I'm serious.

Dawn Simon said...

"What was your first clue?" she asked, no longer faking a Jersey accent.

"The way you ordered your coffee. And your hair. So few girls have red yarn hair these days."

"Andy says it's my best feature. He calls it my razzmatazz."

He tightened the rope, tying her to the chair. "A double agent with too much razzmatazz winds up dead, RaggedyAnn. You don't exactly blend."

"If you get me across the border, Andy will bring you my original apron. It's vintage and worth a bundle on eBay."

"Sorry, dollface. I already promised your stuffing to Geppetto."

Anonymous said...

He coughed as I held, limp as Raggedy Ann.

“Double… double…” he shuddered, then continued coughing.

“Double what?” I burst out, exasperated. “Double agent? Double-shot mocha latte? Double, double toil and trouble??”

He’d been like this since I found him, face down in the coffee he’d spilled.

He shook his head feebly, waving off my attempts to discover what he meant. I rolled my eyes towards the ceiling, then took a calming breath as I stared out his window at the Jersey Shore.

He took a deep breath, eyes shining, and exhaled it all in one, drawn out word. “Razzmatazzzz….”

CourtneyC said...

A typo renders my previous entry incomprehensible...I wrote "Java Juice," but should have said "Jamba Juice" which offers my son's standard choice of smoothie: Razzmatazz.

Any chance I can re-enter with the following?

I can't relate to the kids on MTV's Jersey Shore. For one thing, their skin is the same orange as my RaggedyAnn doll from the 70's. For another, I have been old enough to drink coffee a few decades longer than any of those kids have been alive.
I'm feeling ancient these days, but still trying to be relevant—at least, more than my folks were. I'm firmly straddling my parent's generation and my child's. I'm a double agent. What one thinks of as an old TV show, the other orders at Jamba Juice: Razzmatazz, my man. Dig it.
Digg it?

Cruella Collett said...

Inquiring my baby girl how she had graduated from coffee to Razzmatazz never occurred to me. She came home one morning, looking like a RaggedyAnn with her shirt torn and her glasses askew.

“Where do you think you’re going, young lady?” I demanded as she headed upstairs.

“To the Soviet Union to work as a double agent,” she said with the sarcasm of someone who had been caught drunk for the first time.

“Did you two go into the city?”
I pictured drug dealers and armed robbery.

“No, mom,” she replied, “Jimmy date raped me right here in New Jersey.”

CJS said...


"I'll have a triple grande skinny mocha latte," Raggedy Ann rattled off her order. A chuckle behind her made her turn. It was Andy, a mail clerk at her father’s doll factory.

"That foofoo drink barely qualifies as coffee." His button eyes sparkled. Raggedy Ann didn't know Andy was a double agent for her father's hated rival.

Twenty minutes later, hyped up on caffeine and dazzled by Andy's razzmatazz, she blurted out her father's most guarded secret -- the color formula for his dolls' famous red hair.

"Thanks for the tip, doll face," Andy smirked before escaping toward the Jersey Turnpike.

Rick Anderson said...

Moonlight seeped through her silken jersey shaping a silhouette of flesh she longed to share. Slowly lifting the garment above her head, arms fully extended, she surrendered into the custody of adultery’s most powerful double agents: obsessive desire and sudden opportunity.

Sounds of love gushed from them like razzmatazz from an all night jazz joint, filling the empty places of their lives, revealing secrets they never knew existed.

They blended together like cream into coffee, swirling as one in the froth of forbidden love until they lie naked, raggedy ‘an completely, deliriously, exhausted.

ALee said...

It was nearing midnight and the air still felt like an August day in Jersey.

His sense of preservation forced him to arrive early. Coffee at a nearby diner kept him company while he watched. Razzmatazz was an odd name for a seaside establishment. The waitress explained it was the name of the owner’s boat, now resting on the ocean floor.

He carried no identification, but his name was Riley.

It was almost time to meet RaggedyAnn. The only thing he knew about her was that she was a double agent.

That, and the fact he was going to kill her.

Hilary said...

Annie loaded the tray with James’ coffee – his favorite, from that cafe in Jersey. She thought of the way he would smile and rumple her hair when she came in.

“Come here, little Raggedy Ann,” he’d say.

He’d push her backward and follow her down.

She would draw in the last breath he exhaled, and carry it with her when she left. Annie might be a double agent, but she could be kind. She could be in love.

She couldn’t kill him without a final bit of that razzmatazz.

Then she would carry him away.

Oh God. Jimmy ...

Unknown said...

Raggedy Ann, beloved first grade teacher, lay prone on a snow covered rooftop; the crosshairs of her high powered scope embraced the chiseled and earnest face of her F.B.I. partner, Nick Jersey. Oblivious, he sipped coffee and chewed on a pen while perusing the file of Katya Demarkova, suspected double agent for the KGB.

Her finger caressed the chilled steel of the trigger. She damned his dogged attention to the details which had sealed his fate. As commanded the bullet found it’s target. Later, while the children danced and clucked to Razzmatazz, she’d spare a thought for her deceased lover

John Ross Harvey said...

The double agent was fed up and tired by the razzmatazz of events seeing him spill coffee on his Brazil football jersey after a loss to Netherlands. He needed to rest his worn Raggedy Anne battered body and recover from the loss.

Julie Weathers said...

RaggedyAnn. That's what they called me in school.

We're sorcerers, but Mother believed in working, so I got a job in a coffee shop called Double Agent in Jersey. I learned everything about coffee beans and service from Mr. Jenkins. He appreciated my work ethic so much he let me buy Double Agent from him when he retired.

He believed there were two agents of success; great coffee and royal service.

Twenty years later, Starbucks wants to buy me out, but they don't understand. My coffee really is magically delicious.

“Razzmatazz!” Blue mists covered the beans in the warehouse.

Nancy Coffelt said...

“Well, razz ma tazz.” Margo’s Alabama drawl preceded her as she catwalked into the bar, hockey jersey skimming her spandexed thighs. “Look what the cat brought in.” She shook her mop of Raggedy Ann-hued dreads and bared her throat in a guffaw.

She slid onto the stool to my right. “Whatcha havin’?”


“The usual.” She winked at the bartender. “No, make it a double. Agent Leroy,” Margo laid her hand on my leg, “what say I turn myself in?”

It wasn’t like I had any other offers. I slammed down the last of my coffee. “Drink up, baby.”

Dave said...

Dead easy. He’d picked the lock in seconds, and now he was in her apartment.

But what a dump. And she called herself a player. Then: a watery hiss. Good. She was home.

In the bathroom, he stood before the mirror for a few moments, silently rehearsing. Then he spun around and poked his head between the shower curtains.

“Okay if I don’t include RaggedyAnn, double agent, Jersey, coffee, and razzmatazz in my entry? They mess up my creativity, my spontaneity, my–-”

“I don’t mean to be rude,” Janet said. “But this really isn’t a good time...”

AmyShojai said...

“My snake ate it.”

“Ate what?” I sipped. Pretended a calm I didn’t feel.

“RaggedyAnn. Snake ate the head off.”

My hand jerked. Coffee splashed the front of my Cowboy’s jersey.

She grinned. “Didja scald yer razzmatazz?”

Damn! “Sweetie, I’ll get a new doll. A shark doll.”

“I demand trust, you Texas sonofabitch. And emergency snake surgery ain’t cheap.”

She knew. Crap. “But I love you. Just wanted some insider hints. How about a double agent fee?”

Her eyes glittered. “Not a bad idea.” She paused. “Suzie T loves dolls. Know what I mean? Y’all?”

I smiled back.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

The coffee colored jersey, the one with razzmatazz in gold glitter across the front; it still smelled of her perfume, my heart ached. It had been a difficult day. I needed a drink. At the bar I ordered vodka on the rocks.

“While you’re pouring,” I said, “why not make it a double.”
Agent Smith walked across the lounge. Tragedy had left me frazzled and a bit raggedy. Ann, the bartender placed the drink in front of me.

“We know who murdered your sister,” the agent said.

I was in handcuffs with an Absolute chaser.

Pam said...

It was just a stupid RaggedyAnn doll that had caused all the trouble. Her mother had ridden all the way to Jersey to purchase the antique doll. And now it was destroyed.

The coffee cup had sat dangerously near the perky doll without anyone noticing, especially her. She was so clutzy someone should have noticed. Then it happened, the stupid cup got in her way. Surely, it was a double agent sent to destroy her life. Now she was left to deal with all the razzmatazz surrounding the injured doll. What a life!

Jason Beymer said...

She waddles into Starbucks, the word "Love" stretched across her RaggedyAnn butt cheeks like pulled taffy. New Jersey winters are made for coffee and warmth; "Love" is only a byproduct. The barista says good morning to her, the RaggedyAnn says, "Razzmatazz, triple shot, no foam." She waits for her drink, hikes up her "Love" and catches me staring. Do you want to partake in "Love?" her eyes ask. I hold up my wedding band in reply. I'm no double agent who can juggle both those cheeks and the cold, disinterested ones at home. Disappointed, Love leaves, letting in the cold.

Terri Coop said...



“The password is razzmatazz.”

“No it’s not. That’s yesterday’s password.”

“Crud. Can I borrow your codebook?”

Standing, I’d had enough.

“Sit down! Both of you, now,” I said.

“Okay class, what’s wrong with that?” I asked the group.

“Um, he didn’t know today’s code is RaggedyAnn?”

“The other guy didn’t shoot him for not knowing the code?”

I sighed. Recruiting double agents had gotten tougher since the end of the Cold War.

Sipping my coffee, I thought about how far I had fallen. Once the toast of the KGB, I now taught at the “Jersey School for Spies.”

Mary Frame said...

I took a swallow of coffee just as my daughter’s RaggedyAnn doll pulled herself onto the table, making me wish for razzmatazz and vodka instead.

“What is it, Ann?”

“No need to get snippy with me just because it’s early.” One cotton hand moved to her hip. “It’s Andy. He won’t listen to me.”

“Why don’t you talk to Barbie. She’s good with relationship advice.”

“What, that Benny? She’d use the information against me. She’s a double agent. I saw her hangin’ with GI Joe.”

I rolled my eyes. I knew I shouldn’t have let Ann watch Jersey Shore.

PDXsays said...

Jersey sheets sticking to my cheek, I wake eyeball to eyeball with RaggedyAnn on the wallpaper. My fellow double agent sits in a miniature club chair, upholstered to match the décor. “Jean, you left a trail a Boy Scout could follow.”

“Don’t give me that razzmatazz before coffee, Ray.” Downstairs, the TV blares Saturday cartoons. I see his piece has the silencer on, too. Hand under pillow, I pull the trigger and feathers plume before my face as Ray crumples. “We didn’t need any cover for this one.”

I leave the way I came- the window with the neighbor’s dog barking

Byron said...

Sipping his coffee in the dingy diner off the Jersey freeway, Barry wondered at how he got there. It was only two weeks since he found the microphone in the RaggedyAnn doll, but since then his life was irreparably altered. His wife, a double agent for Canada, was lost to him, gone to live there. Worse, their daughter went with her. Sure, their marriage had gone stale, but this? He sipped again. When did she turn? He thought back. It must have been that damm convention in Toronto three years ago. All that razzmatazz went to her head. Those damn Canadians.

Anonymous said...

Streetwise Raggedy Ann, dirty, sipping coffee in the food court, scandalized glares from teenagers dressed in the fashionable razzmatazz.
She looked like his own daughter had … which was why he did what he did.
He slipped into the table next to hers, said, “Double agent?”
She shivered, and answered, “I won't survive another Jersey winter. Not at his hands.”
“Fair enough. Come on, we've got a place for you to live.”

R.E. McDermott said...

The money’s in Jersey. The island, not the state. The Brits are good at hiding money and they’re nicer than the Swiss.

“I’m no traitor,” I said over coffee. “My info is commercial, not military.”

My contact just smiled.

Marcie shouldn’t work visually. Wild red hair. A too wide mouth. Think Raggedy Ann.

On a Victoria’s Secret body.

It worked.

“What if you’re caught?” I asked.

She shrugged. “I’ll become a double agent. All smoke and mirrors and razzmatazz.”

“Be serious.”

“I’m serious. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep us together.”

A lie, but I wanted to believe it.

Unknown said...

One round eye drooped as the other stared ahead. Road signs whizzed past the car as the speed increased. She barely fit inside the seatbelt but her inherited Jersey 'tude kept her head held high. Her hand clutched a sheet of paper with written words: Your man prefers blonds.

He's the double agent but she's on a mission. She found him sitting at Moe's, yarn hair spiraled as black coffee stains seeped down his chin. Pulp's Razzmatzz played as she jerked him from the booth.

"You prefer reds!" The door slammed shut and RaggedyAnn and Andy were never seen again.

Shane Stewart said...

Heidi Holland wanted out. Tired of the lies and living the life of a double agent, she was ready to spill it all to her boyfriend, Agent Teak Armstrong.

Razzmatazz and fancy pearls was not her style and she was fed up working for rubles of the KGB. She felt like a twenty year old RaggedyAnn doll plucked from a New Jersey landfill.

Tonight was supposed to be a special night of fine dining and a walk through Central Park beneath the rapports and sounds of freedom. But that changed before the after dinner coffee was served when she tearfully confided to man she loved so much. Consequences or not, she knew he would help her. And he did..., with his last breath.

Anonymous said...

Revised for a shorter word count:

Ann sat doubled up in her raggedy, coffee-stained jersey. “Stop razzing me, Ma. Tasmanian devils make great pets.”

Michele Shaw said...

Ann smoothed her dress and prepared for battle. This time, she was getting in.

The burly guard opened the door after three sharp knocks, but tried to slam it closed before she could speak.

Not today, thought Ann. She stuck her foot in the doorway and leaned in.

"You have to let me see Agent Reid."

"Sorry, mam. No can do. That package underneath those cups looks suspiciously like a manuscript."

"No, really. Tell her it's Ann, with her favorite coffee from Jersey."

"What flavor? Not, Raggedy Query again."

"No. Razzmatazz with double espresso."

"Correct. Enter the lair."

Unknown said...

My double scoop coffee ice cream hits the ground. Splat. It looks like melting Jersey cowpie. Appropriate, since that’s how I feel.

They’re still laughing at Keith’s joke. Look at Ann, all raggedy-ass clothes bought third-hand at the Razzmatazz Thrift Store. I didn’t know they made “Rolled in Shit” hair color.

The bonfire and sticky spilt beer call, and they wander off. Keith stays behind for more.

I spit in his face.

His eyes dart as the paralyzing agent works. He can’t even scream. My tongue flickers. The air tastes like terror.

I unhinge my jaw. Pop.

Howe and Rorhus said...

Dear Agent Razzmatazz,

I can’t believe I fell for the oldest trick in publishing. You must think I fell off a Jersey turnip truck. When I got your rejection letter, I couldn’t believe you were dumb enough to pass up the next ‘Grisham meets Pynchon’ fiction novel.

Imagine my surprise when I saw my book, Coffee with Zombies, at Amazon under another author’s name! I knew I shouldn’t have queried you without making you sign a non-disclosure agreement first. You’re a literary double agent, and I’m gonna sue the stilettos right off your feet.


Christina Auret said...

“What the hell is this?”
Bob looked at the teenager sitting next to him. Her hair was sticking out in all directions. She looked like a Raggedy Ann that had gone through the wash.
The last few days had been rough, so he tried calm: “It’s a heard of cows, Jerseys.”
“I know that, Bob, but what the hell are they doing in the middle of the road?”
The cows were crossing the road.
“Have some coffee,” Bob said as he reached back for the flask.
Being a double agent was tough. Retrieving a frightened teenager was a whole different razzmatazz.

Ava said...

Raggedy Ann's heart beat faster. Keeping her panic from showing, she accepted the offered coffee, smiling at Jersey. Why had she trusted him? Andy and the Cat with the Fiddle had tried to warn her.

Looking at him, knowing the truth, she was disgusted. Duped by his razzmatazz and those chocolate brown eyes. She believed every word, even that preposterous story about jumping over the moon. All lies, pillow talk stories designed to break her defenses.

The proof of his perfidy nestled in her pocket. Jersey, her love, a double agent.

Anonymous said...

"I'll never forgive Barbie!" cried Raggedy Ann, spilling coffee as the rest of the toys looked on.
"Turned on that razzmatazz and stole my Andy."
"Now what?" asked T-Rex.
Rags zeroed in on Ken, re-decorating the Dream House.
Ken put the chaise down, shaking his head, “Keep her bony butt in Jersey, this is all mine now."
“It can be yours forever."
Ken straightened his ascot. "What did you have in mind?"
Rags grinned, "Pose as a double agent and convince her to come home.” She brandished a knife, "so I can get rid of that cheatin’ bitch for good."

Anonymous said...

As I walked outside my family's new house in Jersey, I saw her sitting next to the mailbox of the house in front of ours, sitting next to her, a Raggedy Ann doll.
Us being only 8, I ran across the street to introduce myself.
She only stared, gave me a razzmatazz look, pointed towards your doll and said, "This is LeeAnn," then she lowered her voice as if the doll could hear her "But don't let her fool you, she's actually a hard core double agent that survives by only drinking black coffee."

Hart Johnson said...

Nobody believed Ty when he told his family he was moving to Jersey to be a Barrisa. Coffee made him jittery and people made him nervous. He was skittish at the razzamatazz of human interaction. Nobody doubted it.

He hid his grin as his mother told him he was welcome home whenever it got too much. She'd have a heart attack to learn he was training to be a double agent, code name Raggedy Ann.

jjdebenedictis said...

The bartender eyed Malcolm. "Dacy's gents don't bring their kids on a hit."

"She's sick. Can't leave her at home. Gimme a double."

"A gent hires a sitter."

"Do gents find one on an hour's notice?"

"My froat hurts worse." Erin lifted her doll. "RaggedyAnn feels sneezy and coffee."

"Daddy's working, baby. You warm? Where's your Jersey?"

"The car. Can I have a whisky?"

He gave her stink-eye instead. "Mummy lets you taste her razzmatazz?"

Erin brightened. "Mummy lets me squeeze the trigger sometimes. Can I wit' you?"

Malcolm groaned.

The bartender's look softened. "Rough, juggling a two-income family, hey?"

April said...

It had been a long time since I had held the old Raggedy Ann doll for comfort. It brought back the time when I played double agent between my parents. Being shuttled from house to house and having two Christmases had a lot less razzmatazz then it would seem. Weekends with Dad in Jersey were basically weekends with the television. Weeks with mom were filled mostly with me pouring her coffee to sober her up and to listen to her rant about how meeting my dad was where her life went wrong.

JHickam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catherine said...

Ann drug her raggedy ass back to New York after a weekend in Jersey. Too much party. Too many doubles. She needed a cup of New York coffee in liquid, solid, frozen, or gas form; it didn't matter. Hell, she'd even mainline it as long as they didn't put that vile raspberry liqueur in it.

"I said Irish it up and you used Razzmatazz? What kind of assistant are you?" Ann threw the cup across the room, leaving a brown blob on the wall.

"I really need some godsends like that sharkly agent, Janet Reid."

Theamarie said...

“Punk ass Raggedy Anns.”

Blonde, brunette, redheaded with freckles in uniforms and saddle shoes.

“Nothin’ but double agents for the Devil.”

Saw clear through their perky razzmatazz. Coffee and a Jersey accent wouldn’t stand a chance in that sea of southern cream.

Unless the coffee stayed strong.

One snuck smile to me out one of those tight, whispering groups. I saw fake.

Or worse, curiosity.

“And I aint about to be nobody’s zoo exhibit.”

Blondie went red when I didn’t smile back. Just stared at her.


Starting over.

One kidney bean in a bowl of steamed rice.

Anonymous said...

Woops, my last revision left a word out. One more try:

Ann sat doubled up in her raggedy, coffee-stained jersey. “Stop razzing me, Ma. Yes, my agent fled to Tasmania. So?”

Laura Roberts said...

Born in Jersey City at the height of the Cold War, I've always been a double agent. Even when I was a child, my dithering at Raggedy Ann's tea parties was just a cover-up for curious parents checking up on me. At the age of 7 I was already sending communiques to superiors at the coffee shop on the corner, checking in for a glass of milk and a cookie while revealing intimate details about my peers' parents, and all that razzmatazz. Is it any wonder I went on to become this century's Mata Hari, the greatest of feminine spies?