Francine Witte

Spy Story

Ginelle was tired of Greg’s cheating, and so she hired a spy. When the spy found no immediate evidence, she decided she liked the idea of having her own spy and kept him anyway. She named the spy Hector: a code name, she explained. Then she bought him a fedora.

Hector brought her disturbing reports about fecal matter in drinkable water, impurities in breathable air. And that was just the start.

Soon, Hector began to notice that Ginelle’s husband was staying out every Thursday night with no clear explanation. He said that might be worth his attention.

“Never you mind,” Ginelle told Hector. “We’re doing more important work.” Hector returned to his post at the mall. It turned out, just as Ginelle and Hector suspected, that there really was no video surveillance at the ATM.

Greg expanded his Thursday nights into weekends, and soon he was leaving Ginelle messages on the answering machine: Be back Wednesday for socks or Here’s my new address.

Hector pointed out that these are clear signs of a straying husband. Ginelle said she was tired of Hector’s fedora and was thinking about going a little more James Bond. “You’d have to drink martinis,” she said and mixed one up for him.

Hector said he would do whatever she paid him to do, but wasn’t she worried about her husband?

“What would you charge me to be my husband?” Ginelle asked him squarely.

“I’d have to crunch some numbers, “Hector said, sipping his martini. “I’ll get back to you by the end of the day.”

Francine Witte

Francine Witte is a poet and fiction writer. Her chapbook "Cold June" was selected by Robert Olen Butler as the winner of the 2010 Thomas A. Wilhelmus Award and was published by Ropewalk Press. Her poetry chapbook, "First Rain" was the winner of the Pecan Grove Press competition and was published in 2009. She is an English teacher in the NYC public school system. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Mark Larsen.