Day 175 – The Spy – Part 3

Not bad for forty minutes work!

Word count: 1128

His insides were crumbling into a horrible, desolate void. Within the space of an hour he had lost his would-be-wife, his home and his life. Everything he had worked for over the last five years had been blasted out of existence. There would be no more nine-til-fives in the office. Gone were the weekends, the lazy summer afternoons. The home comforts of the tele, sofas, the weekly shop, being in Rachel’s arms: bound to memory. By the end of the night, he had to quickly reacquaint himself with the man he used to be.

As Harry darted down the back alley ways, the sly out of sight mouse that no one would ever notice, he was going through the training in his head. Within a matter of hours he would have to relearn everything he had been taught; everything he had learnt; everything he had given up. Harry had to remember how to act, how to react, how to follow and how to hide. From now on he was not Harry the office worker, the fiancé and the homeowner. He had to make his life dead to him; as if it were another person that he had killed – just like the others.

Harry slipped into a busy market. A tour bus of old ladies and grumpy men were being shunted through the little stalls of jewelry, groceries and crafts. He needed to lose himself in this crowd. He slipped in to the indoor market and pretended to be looking at something – anything. He meandered slowly. Create no suspicion. He was reciting his training to himself.

Primarily, he needed to discover if he was being followed. As he wandered around the stalls, his eyes roamed and scanned like radar. Twelve o’clock – man and woman arguing. Mid forties, seem too involved with each other to care of his presence. Nine o’clock, a man on his smart phone. Could be doing anything: add to watch list. Three more suspects spotted and four, eleven and seven: woman with mirror, applying makeup; man talking to stall owner, no eye contact; woman rummaging around in handbag, quite unnecessarily animated.

The marketplace was a battlefield, with mines deployed as frequently as pebbles on a beach. There was more than one way out of here, but there was no fathoming which way led to safety. With each beat of his heart, his eyes darted towards another direction and mechanically absorbed the information the view provided. There were so many faces; he was so out of practice.
“Harry!” a harsh, common voice screeched in his eardrum.
He knew exactly who it was.
“Stacey!” he feigned interest at the overweight and out-of-breath woman that had appeared before him.
Stacey owned one of the stalls around here, he had forgotten. In all the time he had lived here and come to this market, she would always seek out and find him. She loved him and Rachel. She was an odd, odd person.
“Harry, you doing some wedding shopping?” she grinned in a half-witted way. He pitied her, but he could not be distracted by such emotions now.
“Caught!” he joked, I’m sorry, I’m really sorry in fact – but I can’t stay. Rachel needs me home now and I’m not meant to be out here doing secret wedding shopping!”
Stacey shrugged her shoulders in towards each other and clasped her hands together, “How adorable! Love, eh? It’s so romantic!”
“Quite, er…”
“Well you best get off!”
As he turned to move away he clocked his stalker. Smartphone man. There was nothing he could do to avoid it. He was leaving the market and he was being followed. Harry quickened his pace and dodged the on-coming traffic more quickly, but he could sense a pair of eyes continually watching him.
“Harry?” he heard a loud, brash voice call out over the bustle of the crowd, “Yeah, he’s over there!”
Harry’s heart sank and he stopped briefly, closing his eyes in disbelief at what had just happened and what he needed to do. After a quick, cool breath, he began to sprint out of the market with proficient speed and energy. He was a gazelle being chased by a lion; but he was not going to be out-run or out-smarted.

There was an opening in the old village’s wall. It was an old doorway, crafted centuries ago. He slipped through that and appeared in the gardens on the other side. It was quiet here, contrary to what he had believed. It being a beautiful, sunny day, he had expected the garden to be teeming. It was only a small little square. Trees shrouded most of the place in a cooling shade but allowed a dazzling light to fall on the flowers like sparkling rain.

Harry dived into the bushes and scrambled through the thick twigs and leaves to get to the very back. A few moments later he heard footsteps, which slowed as they entered the garden. Harry held his breath, daring not to even sneak the tiniest morsel of air.

The Smartphone man walked slowly into the garden, keeping to the gravel pathway through the centre. There was an exit at the other end. He need only to casually walk through there and Harry might have a chance of escaping.

From where he crouched, Harry had only a partial view of what was going on. He observed through his ears more than his eyes. The smallest crunch of gravel taught him which way the man was facing, how quickly he was reacting to the world around him. The man was slow, confused. This man was not an experienced assassin. The way that he was unsure; he had forgotten to be conspicuous. After a few seconds, he continued through the archway at the other side, which would take him out by the canal.

Harry lingered, not wishing to discover another unwanted follower. He took the opportunity to take out his phone and call the man that had called him a little over two hours ago.

It rang. It rang again. Harry had questions bubbling inside him: they needed answers. Just as he thought there was going to be no answer, however, “Hello?”
“Tom. It’s Harry.”
“Oh,” his whisky drenched voice was soothing to Harry.
“Who is doing this to me? Who sold me out?”
“We don’t know, Harry. Are you being followed right now?”
“Yes, I need to get out! I’ve told Rachel to leave. What do I do?”
“You do what you were trained to do.”
“But I left – I left this for my life now!”
“You can never leave the service. You knew that.”
“Tom, don’t. Just don’t.”
“Ok,” Tom paused before continuing, “Meet me in London. Tomorrow night. Piccadilly. I will tell you what I’m not supposed to know.”

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~ by S.G. Mark on March 30, 2012.

One Response to “Day 175 – The Spy – Part 3”

  1. You’re right, not bad at all for forty minutes!

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