I wanted to share with you my latest spy-inspired pictures, made using my little black dresses. I’m really happy with how these came out. Enjoy! 😀
(is this song playing in your head yet?) 😛
And my favorite one of the whole shoot, edited a bit………
Also, I wrote a short story inspired by these photos…it’s kind of silly, but I thought it might be a good companion. 🙂
“What?!” I practically yelled as I read the newest mission assignment from headquarters.
“Is everything okay, Dex?” Raven asked and looked up from her book with concern.
“Yeah, I just think maybe headquarters thinks we’re some sort of miracle workers,” I replied. “This is ridiculous!” Raven waited patiently for me to explain. “Here, maybe you’d better read it.” I handed her the folder containing the photos and letter with our latest mission.
The man in this photo is Ricardo Oswald II. Unbeknownst to his millionaire father, Mr. Oswald is a jewel smuggler and thief. According to our inside sources, Mr. Oswald has just succeeded in smuggling the extremely valuable Blood Diamond into America. He intends to make a run with it for Mexico as soon as possible. His father, however, is holding a large dinner party at the Sonata Hotel, and Mr. Oswald is attending. We know that he is keeping the jewel close at all times, so it is likely that it will be stored in the hotel safe during this time. Mr. Oswald has no lack of funds, so it is also likely that he has hired many guards to prevent any invasion of the party. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to infiltrate the party and keep Oswald and his men distracted long enough to successfully take the Blood Diamond, replacing it with a fake that has a tracking device embedded in it.
Good luck, Mr. Charming.”
“Whew,” Raven whistled when she finished reading it. “That is a tall order.”
“No kidding,” I replied. “You have to be a millionaire to even set foot in the lobby of the Sonata!”
“If I know you,” Raven smiled. “You’ll figure out a way.” I smiled back weakly. Sometimes running a team of secret agents for F.L.A.M.E. is trying, but I’ve got a great group to work with. There hasn’t been a mission yet that we haven’t been able to tackle. I pressed a button on the underside of the coffee table, and a small beeping noise went off around the building. A few minutes later the other nine members of our group hurried into the room. Maddie and Apple were first to enter. Apple adjusted her glasses.
“New mission?” I nodded. Apple is pretty much the brains of our operation. She can logic out a solution to any problem, and her skills with gadgets can’t be rivaled.
“Ooooh, exciting!” Maddie grinned. Maddie can be optimistic about anything, and I think that’s part of why she’s so important to our team. Maddie never loses hope, and her jokes can make anyone smile. Just then, Ginger walked in with a tray of cookies.
“Anyone for some mission-debriefing cookies?” she inquired with a wink. We each reached for one, and I breathed in the aroma of chocolate chips and nuts. Ginger is an A-grade chef—and also our chemical expert. Ginger can make anything in the kitchen, from a three-course meal to a smoke bomb. As I was taking my first bite, Frankie, Ashlynn, and Hunter walked in and plopped down on the sofa.
“Mmmmm, walnuts!” Frankie exclaimed. “Voltageous!” Frankie is electrically enthusiastic, and her creative skills have gotten us out of many a scrape. Ashlynn raised an eyebrow.
“Everything okay, Dex?” She must have sensed my nervousness. Ashlynn is basically our “team mother”. She’s gentle and caring to everyone around her—not that she can’t take care of herself (she’s also a black belt in martial arts).
“Just fine,” I assured her. “This mission is just a bit of a doozy.”
“I’m sure we can do it, whatever it is,” Hunter stated confidently. Hunter is my right-hand guy, and I don’t know what I’d do without him.
Finally, Holly, Poppy, and Clawdeen scurried in.
“Sorry it took so long,” Clawdeen apologized in her thick Brooklyn accent. “We were working on some new gadgets. Check this out—it’s a mini laser hidden in a statement necklace!” Some people stereotype Clawdeen as an aggressive New Yorker fashionista, but she’s really a fiercely loyal friend who would fight to the death for her team members.
“I may have also been styling Holly’s hair,” Poppy admitted sheepishly. Poppy is always creating—she’s a plucky agent with a knack for delicate work.
“Soooooo, what’s the mission, Dexter?” Holly inquired. “I think we’re all here.” Twin sister to Poppy, Holly is a great writer and also a karate expert. She and her sister share more than their red hair; they also share a feisty personality.
I read the letter from headquarters, and everyone’s eyes widened.
“Wow,” Ginger said what everyone else was thinking.
“So, what’s the plan?” Maddie asked brightly. That’s Maddie for you—she’s never phased.
“Well, here’s what I’ve been thinking.” I slowly replied. “I can think of a few ways to sneak into a party like this uninvited, but we can’t all get in using the same way. First, Maddie and Ginger will go undercover as caterers. I’ve read in his personal file that Mr. Oswald’s father has quite a sweet tooth. I’m sure that if you bring some samples, he’ll want to hire ‘M & G’s Catering Service’.”
Maddie and Ginger grinned at each other. “I think we can manage that,” Ginger smiled.
“‘Samples’ is my middle name!” Maddie grinned.
“Okay,” I breathed. “On to phase two. After Mr. Oswald’s father hires you, I’m sure that he’ll allow you to look around the kitchen facilities. I’ll need one of you to slip out, find the guest list and add four names: me, Raven, Hunter, and Ashlynn.”
“Got it,” Ginger nodded.
“Clawdeen, can you and Poppy get us looking like millionaires for that party?” I asked.
“You betcha!” Clawdeen agreed. Poppy nodded.
“Apple and Holly,” I added. “I think our inside sources can get you jobs at the hotel. We need you there for any emergencies that might happen.”
“And Frankie, you’ll need to be waiting outside with the van at exactly the time we get the diamond. We can’t waste any time getting out of there—Oswald could close in with his goons at any time.”
“Gotcha,” she nodded.
We worked until Saturday—Clawdeen and Poppy put together some awesome outfits for Saturday and “M &G’s Catering Service” paid a visit to Mr. Oswald’s father, who was thrilled with the samples and eagerly hired them to cater the party.
Come Saturday night, the plan was beginning to come together. Ginger, Maddie, Holly, and Apple had gone to the Hotel earlier that day.
I put on the suit that Clawdeen had given me, and I stepped out of the dressing room to find Poppy taking the curlers out of Raven’s hair. She did look pretty—really pretty, to be exact. Clawdeen had found this flowy purple dress for her, and it matched her eyes perfectly. I shook my head a little—I didn’t want to look like I was staring. I looked over and saw a tuxedo-clad Hunter looking the same way at Ashlynn, who had just finished applying some sort of makeup to her face. I jokingly elbowed him, and he grinned back.
“Well, now, darling, are you ready to go to the Sonata?” Hunter asked sarcastically in a put-on British accent as he linked arms with Ashlynn.
“Why, I’d love to!” Ashlynn replied with a grin in another fake accent.
The four of us walked out to the limousine that F.L.A.M.E. had provided. Frankie waved from the driver’s seat. It seemed like only a few minutes before we were pulling up at the entrance to the Sonata. I breathed in deeply. I hoped that this would go well. If we failed, it would be mainly my fault, as the team leader.
Hunter and I escorted the girls in. It was a relief to see Holly working at the desk in the lobby. Keeping undercover, she showed no sign of recognition, only asking,
“Take your coat, ma’am?” As Raven and Ashlynn handed her their jackets, she slipped a note into Ashlynn’s hand. It read:
“GOING FINE. G & M IN KITCHEN.”
I breathed a small sigh of relief. At least that part of the plan was working. We had planned ahead that Ginger and Maddie would slip instant knock-out serum into one of the food trays, keeping it set aside.
As inconspicuously as possible, we entered the ballroom, were welcomed by Mr. Oswald himself (I think my heart skipped a beat at this point), and accepted tall flutes of punch from a large tray carried by Apple, who was wearing a red waitress uniform. All that we had to do now was wait for the right time.
An hour later, we had mingled, eaten finger foods, and introduced ourselves to countless rich people. (Not with our real names, of course.) I glanced nonchalantly at my watch, and excused us from a conversation we were having about private chefs with a lady adorned with so many diamonds that it practically blinded me to look at her. As Raven and I strolled over to the punch table where Ashlynn and Hunter were standing, Maddie walked out of the kitchen carrying a tray of small cakes with flowers made of frosting on their tops.
“Care for a petit-four?” She served us some, discreetly whispering as she did so. “Is it time? We have the trays ready.”
“I’d say so,” I replied. Ashlynn and Raven were exclaiming loudly over how wonderful the cakes were to cover up our conversation. “We’ll get started.”
I nodded to Raven, who exchanged glances with Hunter and Ashlynn. It was time for the part of the plan I was most nervous about—the diversions. They went to opposite ends of the large ballroom. At one end, Ashlynn began to mingle, then promptly pretended to faint right in the middle of a group of rich men. A series of cries arose, and a few of the guards ran over from where they were stationed at the ballroom doors. I turned my head to the other side of the room, where Hunter had just accidentally (on purpose) spilled a glass of cherry punch onto the dress of Crystal Stewart, an incredibly rich (and snooty) heiress. As she yowled about how it was designer and it cost more than most people’s houses, more of Oswald’s guards were drawn from their posts.
That’s four more guards gone, I thought. I glanced over to the other side of the room, where Raven quietly dropped her necklace into a flower pot in the corner, then began to exclaim loudly.
“Oh my! My necklace is gone! Help!” Four more guards ran in from the hall as everyone began searching the floor. I quickly nodded to Ginger and Maddie, who were standing at the door of the kitchen with their special trays of cakes. As all of the guards were otherwise engaged, they made their move. They dashed out and into the darkened hall, and made their way through the corridors to the door that led to the hotel safe. There were only two guards left; that was where the cakes came in.
“Hello!” Ginger smiled sweetly.
“Hello,” one of the guards replied gruffly. “And what exactly do you want?”
“We thought it was such a shame that you didn’t get to try any of the food from the party, so we brought you some,” Maddie responded with a kind smile.
“That’s nice, but I really don’t think the boss would like it,” the other guard frowned.
“Oh,” Ginger sighed dejectedly. She and Maddie slumped and began walking away.
“I guess that we just have to throw these away, then,” Maddie added. “They’ve already finished their dessert in the ballroom.”
“Well, it would be a crying shame if you had to throw all those away,” the first guard softened.
“You’re welcome to them,” Maddie encouraged. “They’re vanilla with raspberry buttercream!”
“Well, maybe just one,” the guards consented.
“Enjoy!” Ginger smiled. They handed off the trays, ducked back around the corner, and waited. Within a few minutes, they heard a loud ‘thud’, and turned to see that the guards had conked out from the knock-out serum in the cakes.
“They should be out cold for at least half an hour,” Maddie said.
“We don’t need that long,” Ginger replied confidently. She slipped on some gloves, removed a lock pick from her pocket, and set to work. Within a few minutes, the door was open and they were sneaking inside.
They worked silently, turning on a light and working at the safe.
“Jackpot!” Ginger whispered. The safe was open. Maddie, also gloved, handed her the fake Blood Diamond, whose facets cast a rainbow glow over the gray floor. Ginger took a small velvet lined box from the depths of the safe, and removed the real diamond. They made the switch, and deposited the real diamond into Maddie’s pocket.
“Now let’s get out of here!” Ginger whispered. Maddie nodded, and they silently closed the safe door, slipped back out of the room and into the corridor, leaving nothing behind them but two snoozing guards and a tray of smeared buttercream.
The commotion had died down, although Crystal Stewart was still whining loudly about her gown being ruined. I looked over and saw Maddie and Ginger, who nodded as they made their way to the back doors. I found Raven and the others, and we whisked ourselves to the back door, being careful to go along with the crowds so as not to be noticed. I breathed deeply. We were almost home free! But then a guard began to stop us. Before he could even spit out any questioning words, Ashlynn had karate-chopped him in the neck and he had fallen to the ground.
“Nice!” Hunter grinned. Ashlynn grinned back with a saucy salute.
Holly and Apple were waiting there, and we dashed out the door. There was Frankie with the van! We began to run for it as we heard yells of
“STOP THEM!” Gunshots followed and two huge men in bellhop uniforms were beginning to gain on us. I had no idea how they suspected us, but we had to act fast. I yanked out my gun, fired a few shots, and swung into the van just in time. I thought we were safe, but I suddenly realized that Raven’s dress had caught and she had fallen. Oswald and his goons were almost to her!
“Frankie, gas it!” I yelled. As she did so, I yanked Raven from the ground, using the momentum to swing her through the door. I pulled the door closed, but more shots were flying.
“Deploy the bullet-proof shields,” I ordered. Frankie pressed a button and a steel cover spread over the van. I looked back and saw Oswald and his men jumping into cars and beginning to follow us.
“You got it, Dex,” she smirked. She reached down and pulled a lever, and oil spilled out of a hidden pipe in the back of the van. I looked back as Oswald’s cars spun out of control while they slid on the oil.
“We lost them!” Hunter sighed in relief.
“And I lost part of my dress,” Raven weakly smiled, looking down at her ripped gown. “Clawdeen’s gonna kill me.”
“Well, just tell you her were saving the world while doing it,” I grinned. “Or at least saving a diamond.”
“By the way, thanks…a lot,” she sheepishly smiled. “You really saved my skin back there.” At that moment, Raven pecked me on the cheek with a kiss. I gently touched my cheek with my hand and stared at her in amazement.
“It–it was nothing,” I stuttered.
“But it was,” she replied softly, and slipped her small hand into mine.
The next morning, we all woke up bleary eyed and exhausted, but proud of our work and excited that we’d accomplished the mission. As Ginger flipped some hot blueberry pancakes out of the frying pan and onto my plate, the fax machine buzzed in the other room. I reluctantly left my stack of pancakes, and went to see what it was. It was a message from headquarters! They said that thanks to our work, Oswald was caught in Mexico and is now in custody.
I announced the good news to everyone, and they all cheered.
“I propose a toast!” Maddie exclaimed, holding up her glass of orange juice. “To Dexter, our leader!”
“Here, here!” everyone else chimed in. I blushed.
“And to buttercream frosting!” She finished. We burst into peals of laughter, and dug into the pancakes.
Yeah, I have a pretty great team.
I hope you enjoyed it! 😛 Now you know how my mind works (like a five year olds). 😉