Greetings once again for another wordzzle challenge and I think that we’re finally getting somewhere close to the end of the story – just a few loose ends to tie up and we’ll finally get some kind of answer soon
But in the meantime, and for those of you who don’t already know, each week Raven sets a total of 15 words: 5 for a mini challenge, 10 for a main challenge and all fifteen for the mega challenge – the task is to write a story, poem, song or short few paragraphs utilising said words as best one can. It’s a great challenge because it forces you to think in different ways in order to get the job done.
And as recent readers may be aware I have been embarking on a short piece of fiction that has now reached its seventh and penultimate episode (it can’t go on much longer or all the plot strands will just unweave)
Yet another twist this week – so for those of you who want to catch up here are links to Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6
If you enjoy reading my useage of the words why not go and have a go yourself?
Words for this week's 10-word challenge are: charm, judge, flowers, mixed nuts, earthquake, politics, sugar and spice, bricks and mortar, neurosurgeon, blinking lights, plastic bag
And for the mini: lawn mower, sheets and towels, smashed, bookcase, pinky finger
And before we start…apologies to Cheggers (bless ‘im), and to everyone else’s names that I seem to have pilfered along the way :)
Sleeper, Part 7 (10 word challenge)
Lies within lies within lies.
Sir Keith Chegwin sat back into the plush leather seats of the Bentley and threw the remains of his cigar out the window. His head was aching from the blinking lights of the street and the files on the seat next to him were making him long for a drink.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier – but who was the spy?
Lies: that was the problem. First you lied to the people at work, then you lied to your family and finally you lied to yourself until you no longer knew the truth anymore. He had long suspected that the true answer to the question “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” was that you watched everyone and everyone watched you.
And now he had to judge which one of the people shown in the pictures in front of him was the spy – if any - and for which side...now he had to decide if any of them had planted the bomb or if all of this mess was just so much paranoia. Could this just be a case of too many people jumping at shadows?
He lifted the first picture with shaking hands, hands that had once been as stable as the best neurosurgeon and pulled the first file out of its plastic bag.
Mark Smith – at least that’s what it said on the file. The notes said that he didn’t exist until five years ago, but there was some doubt about that now, an inferrence that the file had been tampered with: but who by and what for. He still hadn’t been found – but there were vague reports of sightings near the coast. Would an agent really let himself be seen?
Sophie Aldred – she’d worked for the Facility for nearly ten years now. Her face was familiar, but that didn’t explain why she had done nothing but ask for him since she had been taken in. He studied her face for a while and decided it was not without charm – was she really an innocent dupe or was there something more going on. Perhaps he would have to talk to her after all
Then there was Richard Devine – until three days ago heading the investigation into the bomb and then, like an earthquake, the evidence had started to collapse and look suspiciously handy. He had approached Mark (or whatever his name was, Sir Keith silently mused) and tried to recruit him – his story being that he was playing politics to try and see which one of the two, Sophie or Mark, would betray the other. It had been done before – but Richard wouldn’t be the first agent to try and implicate someone else to take attention from himself and when the evidence of the files being tampered had come through he too had been arrested.
But then Richard was the type of agent that were the bricks and mortar of the facility these days. Not the old Etonians of yesteryear where you were recruited on background, firmness of handshake and social standing – but the James Bond generation, always looking for their own personal Blofeld
Sir Keith threw down the files in disgust: it was a right old bag of mixed nuts and no mistake - no way to sort it out without hours of investigation that he felt no sense of keenness for. Sleepers: he hated the whole idea of it. You put someone deep enough under cover for long enough and sooner or later the margins become blurred.
He turned to the transcripts of the interview between Richard and Sophie again. Much of it was just the repeated request to talk to himself – and then:
RD: tell me where your friend is. I can hold you here indefinitely if you don’t. If you tell me what I want to know then I will let you speak to Sir Keith
SA: Very well – I’ll tell you what I know
What had mostly followed was a very plausible account of how she had met Mark, how she had come to work for the Facility, her relationship with both Mark and Richard – but that one phrase kept coming back to him
SA: Our relationship could be a bit weird. Like Sugar and Spice – somehow it worked…for a while.
All the best analysts had gone over the transcripts and had found nothing – but Sir Keith felt sure that if there was a message there then it was a message for him.
He sat back in his seat and reached for the thermos flask of not-entirely-coffee and took a sip, still mulling the words over. Sugar and spice. There was just a hint of memory of those words – like the words of the old rhyme: sugar and spice and all things nice – that’s what little girls are…’
He nearly choked on the coffee, jolting out of his chair as the hot liquid caught his skin. He leaned forward and pressed the car phone into life, barely allowing enough time for the person to answer
‘Get me Snyder, fast!’ he yelled, ‘Tell him that Operation Littlegirl is totally fucked!’