Friday, 3 September 2010

Wordzzle - Sleeper Part Six

OK – hello again and welcome to the end of another week and this week I’m a little bit later posting the next instalment of my ongoing saga.

So – for those of you who don’t know every week Raven sets a series of words: a set of five words, a set of ten words or all fifteen words if you feel lucky


Anyway – this week the words are:

10-word challenge: pyramid, laughter, orangutan, recycling, infinity, toilet paper, greasy dishes, Spanish, preparation, back-up
5 word challenge: carpet, cane, outer space, hand ball, ambitious

10 word challenge:

Sleeper – Part 6
(for a catch up you can read part1, part2, part3, part4 or even part5 by clicking the links)



After a while the walls were no longer white. Sophie stared at them blearily, trying to make sense of the swirl of colours. It had been six days since she had slept, but already it felt like infinity. There were precious few luxuries in the cell where they were keeping her: the mattress was old and worn and had semen stains engrained on its surface, the light flickered and buzzed but never went out and the toilet paper was so thin that a breath would break the surface. Every so often, just when they thought she was about to fall asleep they would drag her out of the cell and back into this room, firing question after question at her until the noise of it all crashed around in her head like greasy dishes falling from a waiter’s arms

Every time they asked a question she gave the same response: “I want to talk to Sir Keith”

“Why did you plant the bomb?”
“I want to talk to Sir Keith”
“Where is your friend now?”
“I want to talk to Sir Keith”

Sir Keith, her boss at the facility – the only person that just might be able to help her. She knew they would never let her talk to her – knew the only reason they hadn’t tried torture yet was because they had found the bomb and defused it.

Finally, just as she knew they would have to, they sent in Richard. He leaned over the table from the other side, leaning on his fists so that, in her sleep-deprived state, he looked like an orangutan about to groom her for fleas. The burst of laughter was out of her mouth before she could stop it, but the cold look in his eyes made it drain away. He sat down and connected his hands into a pyramid on the table, ‘Where’s your friend?’ he asked

‘I want to talk to Sir Keith’ Sophie responded, her voice tired and nearly worn-out

‘Sir Keith is not available at the moment’ he replied, sitting back. There was a slight hint of an accent in his voice, Greek or possibly Spanish – she was too tired to know the difference anymore, ‘So tell me: where is your friend?’

‘You mean Mark?’ Sophie asked, ‘You should know – you saw him last’

Richard smiled and shook his head, pulling a thin manila envelope from beneath the desk, pouring the few contents onto the desk and allowing himself a few moments of preparation as he spread them out. They were mostly pictures of herself and Mark, both together and separate in a variety of poses: at work, on the street, in a café. He pushed one of the pictures forward and looked at her for a long moment

‘Tell me, Miss Aldred: do you know what a sleeper is?’

Sophie nodded, ‘Of course I do: I’ve worked for the facility for six bloody years: it’s a high-level under-cover agent. Usually just sent to another country and left there awaiting code-worded orders to activate’ She paused, ‘but didn’t they all get withdrawn when the Soviet Union collapsed?’

Richard shook his head, ‘Come on Sophie, don’t expect me to think you are so naïve. Just because we’re all friends now doesn’t mean that we trust one another, besides’ he said, ‘not all were recalled.’ He shook his head, ‘Imagine that: the empire falls, your name is in the book that gets burned and you spend the next ten years living a lie waiting for orders that never come. It could really get your back up.’

‘Are you saying that you think I am a sleeper agent?’

Richard shrugged, ‘One of you: you or him. We’re still not quite sure to be honest. Your friend…’ he looked at the documents, ‘…Mark?’ Richard paused and looked at her for acknowledgment of the name, ‘the thing about him is that until six months before he met you he didn’t exist’

‘Bullshit’ Sophie exclaimed

Richard shook his head, ‘But the thing is that we still weren’t sure it was him that was the sleeper: the Russians weren’t the only country to put a few of their spies names into the recycling by mistake”

‘And so you set a trap’ Sophie nodded, her brain still processing the information. It was all too clear now. Richard must have told Mark, or whoever he was, that she was the spy: got him to plant the box on her to see where she went – and at the same time he had pretended to befriend her, to see if she would make some move that would give her away. Her eyes narrowed: there was still a chance, but she would have to play this carefully. She shook her head, 'Why should I trust you?' she asked, 'How can I possibly know that you're not the sleeper agent just trying to set me up?'

Richard shrugged, 'I never said I wasn't'

‘Please’ she said, ‘you have to let me talk to Sir Keith – he can explain everything: before it’s too late’

Richard shook his head, ‘No’ he replied, ‘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’

‘Very well’ Sophie said, realizing she had little choice, ‘I’ll tell you what I know’

10 comments:

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

ok - a quick word for anyone who's been following so far. Go back to the previous episodes and see if i ever refer directly to Mark by name. Oh certainly Sophie thinks of him as such, but whenever he is described he's just "he"

The Bug said...

Ooh you're a sneaky one! I think I'll wait until the end & then read them all straight through again.

Argent said...

I think Mark was Mike in eposide 1. Nicely graphical this week (the matress) blecchhh!.

Raven said...

Love how you weave the words in so smoothly. Can't wait to find out who's who and what the REAL story is...

Titus said...

A fan is panting for next week. Little choice.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Bug - probably best - will give me a chance to check everything is right as well!

Argent - thanks for pointing that out - i'm confused because i thought i'd checked continuity at the time and have now amended the mistake

Raven - if i'm ever really struggling i try to think of a way i can use the word in a descriptive way, as with Richard leaning over like an orangutan - that was the hardest this week

Titus - thanks for following the story

the watercats said...

I've been catching up with the story for these.. and you're just too effing clever!.. why aren't you writing for a living?... it's a crime that you're stuck in an office and not meandering round your own large country estate musing for a million pounds a year!

Lydia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lydia said...

Yes, what The Bug said is exactly what I will do also.
I am so caught up in this story, loving it so much, that when I started reading this new part after your intro comments and I came across the word "infinity" in bold font I sort of wondered why it was emphasized, but I figured you had a good reason and I would know it ultimately. A bit along I read "toilet paper" and thought Hmm, also given emphasis -- then suddenly remembered THIS IS A WORDZZLE, STUPID! And a fine Wordzzle it is indeed.

I need sleep. Will have to look up the word skive tomorrow, although I think I get the drift of how a VIP can anchor a day at work. :)

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

watercats - because i make up too much as i go along and have no plan or any level of actually completing things i start!

Lydia - i didn't use to highlight the wordzlle words, but for those playing along i guess it is interesting to see where they were utilized