a little case of history repeating

“You ought to speak to Judy, Charles.” said Kath over the marmalade. “I hadn’t realised you had up and left without telling her your plans. She’ll be worried surely?”

Charles finished his mouthful of kipper before answering.

“She can worry all she bloody well likes. You know as well as I do, I only married her to give me an heir. I’m pretty sure she only married me for my money too, so she’s probably hoping I’m dead in some Soho back alley.”

“God that is an awful thing to say Charles, even for you.”

At this moment the waitress appeared.

“There’s a telephone call for you Mr Yates. At the bar.”

Charles stood and walked with the waitress to the phone. It was a modern bakelite model in green. Charles put the receiver to his ear.

“Hello, Lord Yates speaking.” Charles said this loud enough for the waitress to hear the Lord part.

He stood and listened for a minute, then put the receiver down and walked back to his sister.

“Who was it?” she asked “Are you OK Charles? You’ve gone the colour of that glass of milk.”

“The police, Judy has been found dead in our house.”

drink to remember

Charles had made it through the briefing, lunch, an afternoon’s close quarter battle training and was now drinking an after dinner brandy, slowly, on his own in the officers mess. He wanted to continue to drink on his own. The mess sergeant behind the bar could see that and was leaving him alone, the drunk captain sat next to him, was not so astute.

“Come on old chap, cheer up, it can’t be all that bad can it?”

“I have told you already that I’d rather not talk to you about it. Now please leave me in peace captain.”

“Let me buy you another drink?”

Charles turned to the officer, handed him his unfinished drink and stood up.

“My wife is dead. I had a very small amount of love for this world, caused by my great love of her and what she had taught me. I wished to spend this evening, quietly remembering her in a way that she would have approved of. You sir have made that quite impossible. Good night.”

Charles walked from the mess, leaving the drunk officer reeling in his wake. He had a bottle in his quarters, he would continue his solemn remembrance there.

love on the boulevard

“Fifty ninth and fifth?” asked Charles

“Yeah that’s what I said Joe, fiddy ninth and fifth.” came the reply from the hot dog seller.

“Joe? I’m Charles”

“Joe, do you wanna dawg or not?” came the reply, although the not was pronounced more like nor-wart.

“Sir I think we just need to walk a few more streets to find the park.” Charles’ valet said from behind the pair. “I believe we are on 55th and fifth, so shouldn’t take too long.”

Charles turned away from the hotdog seller with a confused look on his face.

“Strange sorts these New Yorkers hey Jack?”

“Yes sir, they have their peculiarities.”

The two were walking down the wide New York street, it was a brightish morning.

“So last night Jack, what did you get up to on your evening off?”

This was a loaded question. He knew that his valet had taken one of Alexa’s maids out the previous night, he was intrigued to see how much Jack would let on.

“Nothing really sir, A walk by the east river and some dinner at a small french bistro I found.”

“French food hey Jack. A little fancy for a dinner on your own?”

pillow talk

It was 4am and Charlie was wide awake with Gina snoring gently next to him.

Charlie hadn’t really slept properly since discovering the bug on the front wall a few days earlier. He hadn’t said anything to Gina, as his professional paranoia had kicked in as soon as he had seen the bug and now everyone was a suspect. Gina more so, due to the bed incident.

What Charlie was laying in bed wondering, was, who would be watching him and why? Occasionally his brain would crash off and wonder whether his very arrival at this house had somehow been orchestrated by whoever was watching, at which point he’d had to take some deep breaths and calm himself down. He had also been working out how he could ascertain whether Gina was a watcher or a fellow watchee. He couldn’t see a way to do it without telling her about the bug, but he’d have to be careful to not let on to anyone watching, what he was doing.

He rolled over.

“Gina wake up, we need to talk.” he said. Then he clicked the TV on, turned the volume up very loud and pulled the duvet over their faces.

naughty weekend

Daniel was again being made damp by the passenger seat of a Jaguar. At least this time however, they had the top down and the sun was shining, so he was only getting damp from the bottom up.

They, they being himself and Red, his CIA counterpart and recently minted love interest, were headed out of the city for the weekend. Daniel didn’t know where they were heading, Red had organised it all secretly, it went a little against his training to be in a car with a known foreign agent, going to an unknown location. His mind was on other things, in other places and besides, the scenery in this part of the country, at this time of year, was astounding.

They were barrelling through the New Forest, on the outskirts of Brockenhurst heading south, Daniel was hoping they weren’t going to Lymington. He had spent many summer holidays there in his youth and his memories of the place were full of pederastic uncles and voluminous aunts, surrounded by cats and many pleated skirts. He was recalling one blighted Christmas there, mostly spent locked in a wardrobe, when he felt the car begin to slow.

“We’ve arrived!” said Red.

visitors in the night

Through the one eye Charles had open, he was trying to make out the shape of the shadow he could see being thrown under his door. With the one ear he had open, or at least not being smothered by the pillow, he was attempting to work out what the scratching noise coming from the door was.

He had thought about getting up and opening the door, but his room was bitterly cold and he was quite cozy in bed. If the door opened, he could be up and across the room in about a second and he thought the sight of a fast moving, naked, sixty year old man, would probably have some element of surprise on the person entering. Or at the very least, would give Charles some amusement.

After a while, the noise and shadow went away and Charles fell back to sleep.

He was roused, some hours later by a frantic hammering on the door.

“Good god, if the place isn’t burning down, I will be most angry!”

He opened the door to his sister and a maid.

“Charles, look at your door!”

Scratched into the wooden door were the words.

HELLO CHARLES LOVE PALE CLARA

death of a nihlist

“Ah Captain Yates, I was wondering when you’d be coming back.”

Charles returned the sergeants salute. “Yes sergeant, what can I do for you?”

“I have a letter and a telegram for you sir.”

“Well someone likes you, don’t they old chap.” Alex said, grabbing the letter from the sergeant. “Let’s see what they have to say!”

He ripped open the letter and began reading.

“Dear Charlie, how is the war? I have been thinking of you and longing for your touch…”

Charles grabbed the letter from Alex, Alex in return snatched the telegram from the sergeant.

“Well let’s see what the telegram says.”

“Dear Charles it is with sadness that I have to tell you that dear Alexa died last night. I believe she had written a letter informing you that she would be entering into hospital for treatment, but unfortunately this was not successful. Please get in touch when you can. Kate.

Oh god Charles, I’m sorry, if I’d known I wouldn’t of.”

“Give me the telegram Alex.” Charles cut him off.

Alex gave him the telegram.

“I’ll be in my quarters. I’ll see you at the briefing in the morning.”

The tears began as he walked away.