~*~Play It Once Again, Sam~*~

~*~Play It Once Again, Sam~*~

Play It Once Again, Sam

[Rated PG; By: AndrBernar]

Summary: Play It Once Again, Sam Summary: Play It Once Again, Sam (Rated PG) Gene Hackman returns as Sam Colton to save the day.

Play It Once Again, Sam

Narrated by Humphrey Bogart: "When we left Sam and Linda, they were in Sam's apartment. A month has passed. The apartment looks the same, but curtains hang on the living room windows, and a vase with artificial cloth flowers graces the center of the kitchen table. There's Sam, sitting at the kitchen table, reading the paper. Sam forgets the vase is there and sometimes knocks it over when he turns the pages of the paper. Linda thought of moving the vase several times, but she thinks Sam looks cute when he's aggravated. Dames. You can't live with 'em, you can't shoot 'em. Linda's in the easy chair, sewing a button on Sam's shirt. There goes the vase again. See that look of strained patience on Sam's face as he sets the vase aright? Linda's heart wells up with love every time she sees that look. It kinda gets ya right in the ticker. Linda keeps to her sewing, but she's watching him and smiling. Sam never once complained about the vase, and Linda's starting to feel guilty. There she goes. She's gonna move the vase. Oh, yeh, and they're married now."

"More coffee, Sam?" asked Linda as she picked up the vase from the table and placed it on the counter.

"No thanks," said Sam.

Linda walked over to Sam and placed her hands on the top of his shoulders then leaned to hug him from behind as he read the paper.

"Titanic is on tonight. I could watch that again," said Sam.

"You know, I might be one of a few people who never saw that movie," said Linda.

"You're kidding," said Sam.

"Remember The Poseidon Adventure?" asked Linda. She placed a kiss on the left corner of Sam's mouth, her favorite spot. She took Sam's coffee cup from the table and brought it over to the sink. "That was so upsetting with the boat tipping over and that big wave. I know I don't want to see Titanic. And that poor rabbi. He gets killed after helping all those people," said Linda.

"Linda, that wasn't a rabbi," said Sam over his shoulder.

Humphrey Bogart: "Thank God, the phone rings."

'I'll get it," said Sam. He stood and turned toward the kitchen counter behind him and answered the phone on the second ring. "Hello," said Sam.

"Sam, Jim. I know you're off today. I hate to take you away from Linda, but could you come right over?" asked Jim Blake, the Director of the CIA, Sam's boss.

"I'll be right there," said Sam. He placed the phone on the receiver then went over to Linda at the sink and wrapped his arms around her from behind. She leaned back against Sam, put the dish towel she was holding down on the counter then turned into his arms.

"I've got to go in," said Sam, hugging Linda close to him.

"I heard. And if you have to leave right away, you better stop holding me like this," said Linda. "Oh, Sam, if I were any crazier about you, they'd have to cart me away."

"I'd never the sign the papers," said Sam, smiling. They kissed passionately then both pulled back.

"You better stop," said Linda.

"Right," said Sam, and he smacked her lightly on the bottom.

Sam entered Jim Blake's office. Jim was just hanging up the phone. "Sam. Thanks for coming in. How's Linda?" Jim rose and they shook hands.

"Great," said Sam, as he sat in the chair facing Blake's desk. "I've got curtains now."

Jim smiled, and he and Sam bantered back and forth for a minute about their wives.

Humphrey Bogart: "Men never understood a dame's preoccupation with curtains, but it's one of those things that comes along with the package, like lipstick, perfume, and finding one of her earrings in your sock after putting your shoe on. Look at them, laughing like idiots. Yeh, poor Sam. He was caught: hook, line and sinker."

"Sam, one of our agents thinks he spotted Salih Mohammed in New York early this morning," said Jim.

"Damn, Jim. Isn't that the guy responsible for the 1986 Mustard /Tabun testing?" asked Sam.

"Yes. Approximately 9,000 Iranians killed. He was also involved in the biological incidents in the early 90s. And Operations tells us this guy's been brushing up on Engineering and detonation devices. I need you to go to New York," said Jim

"Where exactly in New York was this guy spotted?" asked Sam.

"Grand Central," said Jim.

Sam entered his apartment. "Linda?" called Sam. He hated to tell Linda he had to leave in an hour.

"Hi. I'm in the bedroom," said Linda.

Sam walked to the bedroom, and there was Linda, standing on a chair, hanging curtains on the bedroom window.

"More curtains?" asked Sam, as he stood in the bedroom doorway.

"Sam, we don't want anyone seeing us when we make love," explained Linda.

"Linda, we're on the fifth floor," said Sam, as he sat on the bed and removed his shoes.

"Well, what if a bird flies by and whistles," said Linda, "You know how jealous you get."

"I don't get jealous," said Sam.

"Well I do," said Linda.

"Oh, so now the bird's whistling at me," said Sam

"If I were a bird, I'd whistle at you, Sam," said Linda, smiling, as she got down from the chair. She walked over and sat next to Sam on the bed. Sam started taking off his socks.

"What are you doing?" asked Linda.

"What does it look like I'm doing?" asked Sam, playfully.

"Well, I'm no genius, but are you taking your socks off?" asked Linda.

"And that's just the beginning," said Sam, and he turned and kissed Linda, pressing her down gently onto the bed.

"Linda, do you think the birds can hear us?" whispered Sam.

"Oh, Sam," said Linda, smiling.

"Yes, Love?" asked Sam, kissing her on the side of her neck.

"You knock my socks off," said Linda.

"That's my intention," said Sam.

Later, Linda, wearing Sam's robe, sat on Sam's suitcase while he clicked the latches shut.

"Oh, Sam, I don't think I can bear to be without you," said Linda.

"And me you," said Sam. He helped Linda down, and they walked together to the door.

"Are you driving to the airport?" asked Linda.

"No, a car's coming for me," said Sam. He put the suitcase down and placed his arms around Linda's waist. Linda put her arms around Sam's neck, and they kissed.

"Why don't you redecorate the place while I'm gone," suggested Sam. His heart broke, thinking she was feeling the pain he now was feeling. Linda loved him totally and completely, and he her, and he hadn't realized how hard this was going to be until he stood there at the door.

"Oh, Sam, you're so good. You're just trying to give me something to keep me busy," said Linda, trying hard to smile.

"I just want to keep you thinking about us," said Sam.

"Always," said Linda, fighting back tears. She reached up and kissed the left corner of Sam's mouth. "Be careful shaving around there."

Sam picked up his suitcase and put his right arm around Linda. He leaned to kiss her lightly, and then he was gone. Linda leaned back against the closed door, and she never felt so lost in her life.

Humphrey Bogart: "Okay, enough with the mushy stuff. When Sam arrived in New York, rain poured down from leaden skies as he exited the taxi and ran to the door of the hotel. The thunder, pounding in the distance, seemed to argue with the screaming street noises from the buses and the lousy cab drivers, who screeched to avoid hitting possible customers. In the shadows along the wall sat a derelict, one of the forgotten who crawls the streets at night praying for a miracle or a swig of whiskey. His coat, once thick and red, was now thin and colorless, and the few remnants of faded red threads, more brown now like dried blood, wove their way lifelessly through the other limp, gray threads like decrepit old men, weaving their way through broken headstones in an ancient cemetery, no longer caring if they lived or died. It was one damn depressing coat."

The next morning, Sam left his hotel wearing a long black raincoat and carrying a navy duffle bag. Trying his best to avoid the deeper puddles, he crossed the street and walked the few blocks toward the subway. He went down the subway stairs, walked along the subway platform and entered a work area. He opened the duffle bag and took out an orange work helmet. He rolled up his raincoat and placed it in the duffle bag then shoved the duffle bag under a wooden crate that had been pushed up against the wall. He left the work area and continued to walk along the platform, placing the work helmet on his head.

An engineering expert himself, Sam had studied plans to determine where explosives would be placed to take down the New York City transit system. He spent the day walking subway and train tracks and mingling with the employees in the guise of a workman.

For the next two days, Sam's routine was basically the same, and he had come up with nothing. On the third evening, Sam sat at the counter of a small diner not far from his hotel. He had taken off his work helmet and had tucked it inside the front of his jacket. A young couple sitting next to Sam at the counter was bickering over a fender bender they had had earlier that day.

"Well if you hadn'ta pointed to the left and said, 'Watch out for that guy,' I never woulda hit that damn pole on the right!" complained the young man.

"Oh, so now it's my fault?" asked his companion.

"Yeh, you're always pointin' at somethin'," said the disgruntled driver.

"Since when do you ever pay attention to anything I say?" asked the girl, as the two rose to leave.

A weary-eyed waitress approached Sam to take his order. "Have you decided?" she asked. Sam glanced up and smiled. "Yes, I'll have ham and cheese on rye with mustard and a cup of coffee."

When the waitress returned with his sandwich, headlights from a passing vehicle shone in through the door as someone entered the diner and glinted off several of the many pins the waitress wore on the lapel of her uniform. One was the American flag, another a replica of the Statue of Liberty, and these sat among a variety of other pins of various shapes and colors. The smallest pin at first was undeterminable, but as the waitress refilled his coffee, Sam noticed the first letter on the pin had been worn away, and the pin read, "rooklyn Bridge." Sam hurriedly placed some cash on the counter, grabbed half of his sandwich, thanked the waitress and quickly left the diner.

He ran to the nearest pay phone and called Jim Blake.

Within the hour, hundreds of CIA agents were all over the bridges of New York, and one hundred and ten detonation devices were located in strategic locations throughout the New York bridge network. Also found were drop-tanks, each capable of releasing 2,000 liters of anthrax.

Sam wanted to call Linda to let her know he was coming home but fought the urge, deciding he wanted to surprise her.

Sam was just about to put his key in the lock when Linda opened the door, heading out with a small bag of trash.

"Sam, Sam, Sam!" cried Linda, "Oh, Sam, you're home! Oh, Sam!" she couldn't stop kissing him or hugging him or looking at him. She had dropped the bag of trash, and it lay unnoticed on the floor.

"Linda, my Linda!" said Sam, grinning ear to ear.

"Oh, Sam, I missed you so," said Linda.

They kissed passionately, not able to get enough of each other. Sam took Linda's hand and walked her into the bedroom.

On the window ledge outside the Coltons' bedroom window sat two pigeons, Harold and Henrietta.

"What's that noise?" asked Harold.

"I think they're mating," said Henrietta.

"Why are they laughing?" asked Harold. "What an odd species. Mating should be perfunctory." Harold had been spending some late nights, talking with the owls. "I don't know why humans make such a hullabaloo about mating."

"Yes," sighed Henrietta. She had learned long ago to keep her beak shut.

"Hey, Henrietta. The movie The Birds is on tonight. Let's fly around to the front of the building to the guy next door's living room window to see if he has it on," suggested Harold.

"Okay," said Henrietta, "I love that scene were the eagle lands on that little girl's head."

"Henrietta, there were no eagles in The Birds!" said Harold.

Humphrey Bogart: "Love: the biggest mystery of the ages. Some say it's a human need, others say it's Nature's way of populating the species. Either way, you can't get around it. It sticks to you like a piece of tape ripped from a new DVD. It follows you everywhere like a hungry, zealous mosquito on a warm, damp night in a lazy southern town in Georgia just off the dank, dreary swamps of the . . . .

++The End++

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Last Updated: 18 March 2003.
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