Mr. Piddle, by Bruce Markuson
Photo by Frederik Trovatten.com on Unsplash
“Sir may I see your papers?” the passport officer asked in English from behind the glass.
Constantine Pavlichenko answered in English, “Oh, certainly.”
The Passport officer continued, “And what brings you to Copenhagen.”
“I’m here on business.”
“Your business being?” the passport officer asked while looking at his computer screen.
“Auto parts sales and services.”
The passport officer slightly nodded his head, It was then that Constantine saw his own face. Not his new face but his old face on an Interpol alert displayed in the corner of the Passport officer’s computer screen.
“Welcome to Copenhagen, Mr. Piddle.”
Casually he walked along. No one tried to stop him.
After leaving the airport Constantine proceeded to walk down the street following the directions by memory. Stepping into the alleyway making sure no one saw him he found what he was looking for, an unmarked door with a security pad to the side of it. Punching in the key codes by memory he walked into the old and decrepit building. There he was greeted by a gentleman seated behind a desk staring at his open laptop computer gesturing to the chair in front of his desk.
“Mr. Smith,” he said greeting the gentleman.
“Mr. Piddle, welcome, you are right on time. I must say the plastic surgeon I arranged for you did an absolutely outstanding job. Your own mother would not recognize you. Please have a seat.”
“Mr. Smith, may I ask why have you brought me to Copenhagen. If you’re setting me up as an American citizen why bring me here.”
“Mr. Piddle, for the simple reason is that American security is very tight and well-controlled. And where there are weak points I know that there are Russian spies who exploit those weak points.
Here in Copenhagen, there are shall we say holes in their security. And I have learned how to exploit those holes well away from Russian eyes.
You see Mr. Piddle has made multiple trips here to Copenhagen while Constantine Pavlichenko has somehow fallen into a black hole of nothingness. You are not here, you were never here, and most importantly…”
Mr. Smith said with direct emphasis, “No one would ever be looking for you here. And it is here we can conduct our last order of business in this black hole of nothingness.”
“Well Mr. Smith, I must commend you. This Mr. Piddle identity you made for me completely passes every aspect of identity scrutiny. While my true name Constantine Pavlichenko sets off alarms anywhere in the world. Your Mr. Piddle persona passes all muster.”
“And that is precisely why you have paid me an exorbitant sum of money in advance, Mr. Piddle. You see a fake identity raises red flags everywhere. A true identity has no such weakness. Mr. Piddle is the true identity of someone who shall we say…”
Mr. Smith paused for a moment and continued, “Shall we say, is not using it at the moment. And I have made sure, absolutely sure, that no one is looking for this Mr. Piddle. So as long as you are not carrying any firearms you may pass through most any airport’s security.”
Constantine responded, “I see. You have stolen someone else’s true identity. Now Mr. Smith, do you have the bank accounts set up for Mr. Piddle? Here in this black hole of nothingness?”
“I do,” Mr. Smith answered.
He continued, “While Constantine Pavlichenko has obtained his fortune through the most unscrupulous of means.
Mr. Piddle is the most upstanding businessman and an upright citizen if I may add. He has made his fortune through the most honest of dealings in auto parts sales and services. All you need to do now, Mr. Piddle, is to transfer all your assets from your current Swiss and Caribbean Islands accounts to your most legitimate American bank accounts I have listed here.”
Mr. Smith turned his laptop around.
Constantine looked at the computer screen. It all checked out from his birthday on his fake birth certificate to the numbers on his fake social security card and his fake driver's license. By memory, he typed in the account numbers and then hit the transfer command.
Mr. Smith turned the laptop back around towards himself. “There, Mr. Piddle is now one point two billion dollars richer. He has no Russian government warrants for his arrest. And the Russian mob does not have a contract on his life.
While Constantine Pavlichenko simply disappeared into, as I said, that black hole of nothingness. Our business is complete.”
Constantine spoke up “Just one more thing, Why?’
“Excuse me, Mr. Piddle.” Mr. Smith asked inquisitively
He demanded, “Why? Why such an odd and stupid little name? Why not steal the surname of someone named Johnson, Williams, Brown, or why not just Smith like your name that could blend into a crowd? Mr. Smith, my God man, Adolf Poindexter Piddle sticks out like a sore thumb.”
Mr. Smith opened the drawer of his desk and addressed him by his true name, “Mr. Pavlichenko, please, I chose that name for the simple reason that Adolf Poindexter Piddle is “MY” true identity.”
He then proceeded to take a gun from the desk drawer, aimed it at Constantine Pavlichenko and fired three shots into his heart.
Bruce Markuson lives with his wife and two children in Milwaukee WI. He has a published novel as well as over a hundred and fifty other publications. Bruce is also working on a number of series. He enjoys writing and often finds himself with writer’s obsession. He says the best way to write is to have an ending then write to that ending.
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