Long, long ago, I started a manuscript called “The Bambi Ultimatum” about a Washington socialite whose influential father gets her a job as a remote viewing agent at the CIA. It was based on an actual program the agency had  where they tried to develop a network of psychic spies. The book is about half done, because I sold my first Western soon after I started it. That turned my attention elsewhere, but I’ve always loved the character and the book.

It was a contemporary paranormal, but last night, thanks to the accomplishments of the real CIA, it became a historical! In honor of our President, our troops and our intelligence community, I thought I’d post the book’s first few paragraphs, since they relate to a certain deceased terrorist leader:

The Bambi Ultimatum: Chapter One

It’s my job – my honest-to-God, five-days-a-week job – to stare into men’s eyes and figure out what they’re thinking.  Easy, right? 

Sex. 

That’s what they’re thinking about.  Every seven seconds, according to Psychology Today.

But that’s not what the boss is looking for.  I’m supposed to dig deeper than that, through all those layers of lust and nakidity, trophy bucks and beer, all the way down to the part of their brain where they’re taking in their surroundings.  Deciding their next move.  And, possibly, plotting to destroy the world.

A photo of my prime target hung in my cubicle, front and center, fastened just above my flat-screen monitor with four red push-pins.  He was tucking his chin in that coy Princess Di pose, looking up at the camera through his lashes like a bashful prom queen.  When I closed my eyes, his image lingered – the long face under the white turban, tapering to a tangled salt-and-pepper beard; brown eyes hooded under lowered brows; a beaked nose, canted slightly to the right.

He wasn’t much to look at, but at least I didn’t have to dig very far to find what I was looking for.  Thoughts of beer and trophy bucks had never crossed his mind, and plotting to destroy the world was right on top.

Remote Viewing Report #115879, Agent #30327, I typed.  I flexed my fingers, waiting for the world’s number one terrorist to speak to me across the miles.  Where are you? I thought, staring at his picture.  What are those eyes seeing right now?

No desert sands drifted through my mind’s eye.  No caparisoned camels loped across my mental movie screen.  And no distinctive Afghani rock formations appeared, signaling the location of my target.   

All I could see was lunch. 

Time for a break.