Charlie’s newly found power had gone a little to Charlie’s head. He was currently sat in a very nice German luxury car, driving at speed down a country road. He wasn’t really sure where he was going, he couldn’t work the Sat Nav in the car as it didn’t recognise his voice and unbeknownst to him, the car had called the police to tell them it had been stolen and would shortly be providing them ongoing GPS references of its location.
In short, Charlie was fucked, but was having far too much fun driving fast to care.
At the quite literal rate he was going, he would make it back to the city in no time at all and was looking forward to getting back to his flat, to hopefully spend at least one night there before they came for him. He had realised that there was no hope of escape and had decided to just push the envelope until it broke, or someone glued the flap closed on him.
The scenery was glorious. British countryside at its finest. Completely useless for anything other than looking at, but it was excelling wonderfully at this purpose as Charlie hooned through it.
Red apologised for being late, circumstances out of her control at the agency, had delayed her. They had eaten dinner together, but at separate times, due to the disparity between when they ordered and were now walking arm in arm down one of London’s back streets.
“The job has been called forward.” Daniel said.
“Oh.” came Red’s reply. “What are you going to do?”
“Do? What do you mean? I’m doing as we discussed, I just need to work out a way to get the target to believe what I am saying.”
“You’ve told him then?”
“Yes today, he reacted as I expected, perhaps I just need to go and explain again in person. Fancy giving me a ride?”
“Sure, the car’s around the corner. Where do you need to go?”
“I’m going to visit our man at home. Make sure he understands the weight of the situation.”
“Well I can think of worse ideas, you’ll have to direct me.”
They jumped in Red’s car and were soon parked in the very nice bit of West London, that Daniel’s boss called home. Red leant over and kissed Daniel on the cheek.
“Good luck, I think you’ll need it.”
The wake had consisted of all the usual tropes and well worn commiserations and was now winding down. Charles and his immediate-ish relations, had drunk the correct amount and were now stood, slightly aside from most of the other guests, reminiscing on their lives as people often are wont to do.
Alex was currently relaying his and Charles’ misadventures in France during the first war. He was making it funny, but Charles’ recollection was anything but humorous. He was not however going to put a dampener on Alex’s monologue, as it was enthralling those around him and distracting them from what Charles was doing.
Charles had spotted someone he didn’t recognise. This wasn’t altogether unsurprising, as there were a lot of people present in his house, but this person wasn’t mingling with the other guests as would be expected.
“Excuse me, one moment.” Charles said to the small group. They barely moved their attention from Alex.
Charles moved slowly down the room, pretending to check his guests were well refreshed, making a beeline towards the unfamiliar man.
“Do you need a top up old chap?” Charles asked the man.
“I think I am fine, thank you.”
The man sounded German.
The three survivors of the downed plane, had made their way to a barn of a nearby farm to assess the situation and try to work out where they were. Remarkably the three of them had received no major injuries in the crash and other than the bruised ego of the pilot, all were fighting fit.
They had come down a little east of an occupied village, which itself was about 20 miles behind the German front line. The three had decided that the best bet, being that they were in German military uniforms. Would be to head to the village, try to commandeer a vehicle under the guise of getting back to their unit, then use that to get to an airfield, steal a plane and get home. There was no way they would be able to complete the original mission as planned now.
“What can go wrong?” Alex said to the other two men as they readied themselves to leave the barn.
“You said that about the plane.” Charles responded.
The pilot finished marking up his map, detailing where the plane had gone down and joined the cousins by the door.
“After you.” he said, gesturing to Charles.
The days the couple had spent in London, had been as pleasurable to Charles as the time they had spent in New York. Seeing the city with Alexa, made the place seem fresh and new again. Her joie de vivre was catching and Charles’ entire staff, after a cool start, had grown to love the yankee house guest. Even cook, despite several attempts to persuade Charles of the dangers of the American’s loose morals, had eventually succumbed to Alexa’s warm charms.
They were now at Paddington Station, awaiting the arrival of the train that would take them into the country and on to Charles’ family seat. Most of the staff had gone down the day before, to ensure the house was ready. So Charles and Alexa were travelling alone, something both were revelling in. During his time in America, Charles had forgotten how many staff were actually in his employment and how little privacy this meant he really had.
“So Charles, what excitement awaits me at Casa Del Yates?” Swimming, Polo?” asked Alexa.
“Swimming! Christ, there’s no swimming bath at the house, don’t think they were invented when Capability Brown designed the gardens.”
“Capability who now? What a delightful name!”
“Oi, you gonna pay for that mate?”
Charlie froze in the doorway. “No” Charlie continued walking.
As he walked down the road a smile spread across his face, he could get used to this life. Before the smile spread too far though, he heard the sound of running feet behind him, he turned to see who it was, just as the hand that was meant to land on his shoulder reached out to grab him. Luckily, this caused the pursuing shopkeeper to miss grabbing Charlie completely and now, being caught off balance, meant Charlie, with the gentlest of pushes, sent the shopkeeper clattering on to the pavement.
Charlie looked at the man on the floor with quite a sense of achievement. It had been a long time since he had been taught that move and he was surprised to have pulled it off so effortlessly.
Charlie and the shopkeeper exchanged looks for a moment.
“Don’t do that again.” Charlie said. “I don’t want to have to hurt you.”
The shopkeeper took his advice and stayed on the ground, watching as he walked past him. Charlie had never felt this powerful in his whole life, the smile began to creep back.
Charlie woke up with a start, just as the cop that the train driver had called clipped the handcuffs on to his wrist. He had been dreaming, Charlie wasn’t sure whether this was a good sign or not. A potential semaphore message from the future that he was going to descend into the pits of a psychological breakdown and find himself in the custody of an organisation, whose track record of care of inmates, was so low, that no one ever questioned it, in case they then ended up in custody and receiving the same treatment.
He stood and began to unfold the stiffness from his back. It was daylight outside the lineside hut he had found to sleep in. He had finished the last of the supplies that had been packed in the bag and he was hungry and thirsty. He licked his dried lips and stuck his head out of the doorway, there was nothing in either direction, so he turned right and resumed walking.
“There’ll be a town soon.” he said to himself, looking around trying to see the sun through the clouds to give him some idea of time of day, but it was no use.