Tag Archives: spy

2035. The secret agent

Mariana was a student at university. She was approached by a young man whom she had never met before. He asked if they might have a conversation in private and with the greatest confidence. Mariana agreed and said maybe they could go to the café for a coffee. At least other people would be about and she would feel more comfortable.

The young man was very pleasant; in fact quite charming. He was quite good-looking too Mariana thought. He agreed to the coffee and off they went. He said he worked as an undercover agent within the university. He only pretended to be studying myrmecology. He had no intention of becoming a myrmecologist. He needed someone, a complete stranger, to do a small task. Would Mariana be prepared to help?

Mariana said she would, depending of course on what the task might be and how time consuming. After all, she had her exams in edaphology coming up in a month.

The task, said Max (for that was his name), is simply to go to a particular student party, casually approach a specified person, and say a pre-set phrase. They would hand you an envelope. She was to bring it to this same café at eleven the next morning and give it to him.

That was simple! The secret phrase was “Do you wear pyjamas in bed or nothing at all?” and the specific person was a man.  He would be wearing a white shirt with rolled sleeves, light blue jeans with patches, and have one of those old-fashion windup watches on his wrist. The party was this evening.

The room at the party was quite crowded. Mariana wandered around the party-goers for quite some time looking for her man. It was quite difficult because there were a lot of students at the party that she knew of course, and they all wanted her to stop and talk about nothing. The trouble was that there seemed to be two men in the room with white shirts and rolled up sleeves, patched jeans, and a wrist watch. Mariana approached the one she thought looked the most like a spy.

“Hi,” she said.

“Hi”, he said.

“Do you wear pyjamas in bed or nothing at all?”

“WTF?” said the young man but not in abbreviated form. And then he repeated in a louder and cynical voice, “Do I wear pyjamas in bed or nothing at all?”

“Shhh! Sorry,” said Mariana. Clearly she had picked the wrong one of the two. It was rather embarrassing. She approached the second guy.

“Hi,” she said.

“Hi”, he said.

“Do you wear pyjamas in bed or nothing at all?” whispered Mariana.

They guy pulled a small envelope from his back pocket and handed it to her. It wasn’t sealed. “Make sure you read what’s inside,” he said.

Mariana took out the slip of paper inside the envelope and read it:

 “Happy 21st Birthday, Mariana!”

The whole room burst into “Happy Birthday dear Mariana”.

“We knew if we told you,” said Mariana’s friend Angelina stepping forward from nowhere, “we knew if you heard we were having your 21st birthday party that you’d say you had your edaphology exams coming up in a month. So we planned this.”

Then Max, the fellow who had initiated the whole scheme, announced that he didn’t wear pyjamas but would she like to meet in the café tomorrow at eleven anyway?

And that is how the myrmecologist and the edaphologist met and lived happily ever after.

2033. Trudy knew

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Inese of Making Memories. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, please leave your suggestion in the comments – only one suggestion per person!)

Trudy knew better than to be alone with Mr Hughes. No, he wasn’t one of those. Nor was he one of those.

Trudy and Mr Hughes went way back. She had always called him Mr Hughes, even though they were roughly the same age and had been neighbours for a long time. These days he had retired, as had Trudy, but his cognitive processes were more than slightly on the wane. Trudy leaned towards kindness, but it was disconcerting that in his dotage Mr Hughes was calling on her nearly every day, and sometimes twice a day.

Throughout the years Trudy never knew what Mr Hughes did. She had asked but he would never really say. He tried once to explain that he worked as a “handyman”, but where and how he did so was never properly explained.

Now in his current state Trudy found out; he had been a spy working for the police department. His job was simply to suss out the burglars, and tax avoiders, and bigamists, and so on.  Did Trudy want to know about the Chesterton Family down the road? Possibly not, but she got a blow by blow account nonetheless. And the Browns. And the Archers. And the Cuthbert household. The list and narratives of private information went on and on.

Then things got worse. He had spent some time in the secret service and started to tell Trudy some highly scary political things. Not only did Trudy not want to know, but she was frightened to know. Knowledge of such things can put one in danger. Trudy informed the police.

Some people came and took Mr Hughes away. It was a sad tragedy several days later when Mr Hughes fell off his roof while cleaning the spouting.

“But he wasn’t even home,” observed Trudy.

It wasn’t long before Trudy herself was visited by the same people who had taken Mr Hughes away.

1583. Dropped dead

Yeah, well, I was walking down the street when this guy walking along in front of me dropped dead. Just like that. He didn’t have time to turn around and say Help! or pop into a shop he was passing and say Can I have a drink of water? or something. Just PLOP and he was dead. Lying flat on the pavement.

Of course everyone rushed to his aid. He must’ve hurt himself in the fall because there was quite a bit of blood. There were enough people helping him so I moved on. Too many cooks spoil the broth as the saying goes. So I thought it better that I don’t get in the way. Besides, if I’m to be really honest, I don’t know much about first aid. Anyway, when a guy drops dead he’s dead, and I saw he was good and proper dead as I passed.

You often don’t know what’s going to happen next half the time. The guy could’ve been a Chinese spy or anything for all I know. Although he didn’t look Chinese. He might’ve been a Russian spy. They look more like us. You never know these days who is walking right in front of you.

I dare say it could have been captured on video camera. Streets have these cameras for security, but as far as I know this section of street doesn’t have any security cameras because I checked it out.

I see in the paper that the police are calling for witnesses. Apparently he was a foreign national working as a double agent. It’s funny how things come out in the wash. The guy didn’t have a heart attack. He was shot slap-bang in the back the police said.

Must’ve been shot by the guy walking behind him!

1444. Egbert checks the mail

The highlight of aging Egbert’s day was to wander out to the gate to check the mailbox. Even though the mail delivery van came past sometime between 10 and 11 o’clock in the morning, Egbert put off checking until around about 2 o’clock; sometimes as late as 3 o’clock. It was good to extend the excitement of anticipation a little. Once the mailbox had been checked and there was nothing there, all excitement had gone; all anticipation had gone.

These days there were never any bills. Most of that was done on line. So things arriving in the mail were almost certainly personal letters of one sort or another.

Who knows? Perhaps a distant elderly aunt had bequeathed him a fortune. Perhaps he’d won a free supermarket trolley dash; five minutes to gather as much free stuff as possible. Perhaps it was a letter out of the blue from an old school chum of years ago. Anything was possible.

On this particularly day he checked the mail. He was a little later than usual. It was about 4 in the afternoon. There was a letter for him there. He didn’t recognize the handwriting. How exciting!

Egbert waited until he was back in the house before opening it. It was an envelope of white powder. Egbert had been a government spy back in earlier days. These days the government were having a “clean-up”.

1371. Undercover

Everyone knew that Tommy wasn’t really an undercover agent, although he pretended to be. He would come into a room sometimes and say something enigmatic, like “The robin is on the bough” or “The curling rod is no good for a doctors’ conference”. He clearly intended these to sound like some secret code that only an anonymous agent in the room would understand. It was a bit silly but kind of fun! Most went along with it.

People would go up to Tommy and tell him all sorts of things. If they knew he was a real spy they would’ve made their facts up to put him off the scent. But since he wasn’t a real spy, but only a pretend, they frequently related who had stolen what and who avoided their income tax and where the best place was to get illegal drugs and so on.

That was why Tommy was in fact the most successful undercover agent in the country.

1020. Denis the hacker


Denis was a master hacker. He could hack into anyone’s computer. He just had to sit at home and hack away. It might be naughty, but it was pretty phenomenal.

Then one day Denis was hacking away and discovered that someone else was hacking into his own computer. What right did they have to do that? They were clearly changing items on his grocery list.

Naturally, Denis was outraged. He reported them to the police.