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’