Home About Six: Part Ten

This is the tenth part of a fiction serial, in 947 words.

Anita was confused. “MI6? What, you mean like spies and stuff, James Bond? That’s crazy. Mike is just a hard-working glue salesman. Why would he ever be mixed up in anything like that?” Jane Dawes thought about her words. “I’m not saying he is mixed up in anything, but not everyone has someone like Judith Harley in their contacts list, that’s for sure. And what about Susan Judd? Have you ever heard her name mentioned? She used her home phone to call his mobile. When I checked her out, she was definitely secret squirrel, and I am talking ‘no information disclosed’ here. I can see I am going to end up being called in over my search history at work, but I guarantee they will tell me sod-all”.

Shaking her head in disbelief, Anita started to get annoyed. “Jane, I have never heard of any Susan Judd either. This is all getting too silly for words. The point is, as I see it, that it isn’t helping us find out where Mike is. Shouldn’t you do a broadcast on the TV news or something? I could put an advert in the newspapers, or speak to journalists about all this. It’s a mystery I know, but it seems to be getting too convoluted. My husband is missing, and all I am hearing is lists of names”. Jane was sympathetic, but realised Anita wasn’t considering the implications of this news.

“It’s not that simple, I’m afraid. We have all the usual missing person stuff in place, but we can’t start mentioning those contact names, not when some of them might go underground as a result. I have Constable Soni going over everything to do with the names we can trace. She’s very good, and I’m sure she will dig deep. But we have no decent CCTV images of Mike anywhere. The last confirmed sighting of his car on CCTV was at a motorway services on the way to Portsmouth. He only stopped for petrol, then nothing. Where his car was found isn’t covered on camera, and the approaches into the city don’t show up his car at all. It’s as if it was taken there by helicopter or something, and dropped into the street. My best guess is that it was taken there inside a larger vehicle, and off-loaded in plain sight. I don’t actually think Mike went to that city at all”.

Jane packed her stuff away, and stood up. “I’m sorry I can’t tell you something more positive, Anita. It is still early days as far as missing persons go, and we are doing our best for you. But we have a backlog of other cases to work on too, and not that many staff. I will be sure to let you know as soon as I have anything new. Meanwhile, you have to try to take care of your health, for the sake of you and the baby”.

When the detective had left, Anita tried Claudia’s mobile. She was going to tell her all the crazy stuff about the secret service, and see if Claude could shed any light on it. After all, she had known him at university, and might remember a name or two from his past. “Nita, great news! Betsy is awake! She came round in the early hours. Not speaking yet, but she knows who I am, and smiled at me. I’m just having a coffee in the hospital canteen. Are you alright, love?” Given the good news, Anita didn’t want to go into all that other stuff now. Best to let Claude enjoy the moment. “That’s great news, Claude. I just rang to check how she was. Please give her my love”.

Something else had occurred to her, and she rang Mike’s boss, Ian Winkowski. “Mrs Hollis, how can I help you? Do you have news of Mike?” She had thought about what to say, and repeated it as if from a script. “No, nothing new at the moment. He is still listed as missing. The reason I am phoning is to ask about his pay. I don’t know how it works, you know, when someone is missing. Will he still get paid?” He had obviously been prepared for this to be asked.

“Well, he is absent, and since he rang in sick, we ar treating it as that for one week. After that, we would usually need a medical certificate. I appreciate that the circumstances are exceptional, but we cannot continue to pay someone indefinitely, when they are not here. I would say that I will allow him paid holiday leave. That is thirty days for the year, added to one week counted as being off sick. After that, I will keep his job open for three months, in the hope he returns. But after that thirty days, I am afraid he will no longer be paid”.

After thanking him, she hung up, her mind ticking over.

Something else suddenly popped into her brain. Even if Mike got that thirty days pay, she wouldn’t be able to access his bank account, to draw it out or transfer it to hers. She knew there were some savings, but not how much. And they were in accounts in Mike’s name too. Beginning to get really worried, she got her i-pad, and logged in to her own online banking. It was no surprise to discover that she only had just over four hundred in her account. Hopefully, Mike’s arrangements would continue to pay the regular bills, but she didn’t have a clue how much was in his main account.

Once her cash ran out, she would have to depend on her credit card.

46 thoughts on “Home About Six: Part Ten

  1. Spy. Ah. Yes. I knew it. But all those women using their real names? Hmmmm…. also, why do the British always think Florida is so great? I’ve never been there but have also never wanted to. I think it’s because of old shows like Miami Vice that make it look so enticing. Really, though, we make jokes here because If there is a weird story in a newspaper anywhere in the country it often starts with “a Florida man…” and then usually the story details some truly bizarre thing the Florida man did – like feeding their cat to an alligator or something. Well, there you go – there is your free rabbit hole excursion of the day – in other words – I totally went off the rails in this comment. Looking forward to seeing if Mike is drudged up or what Anita drudges up about him.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pete, if nothing else, this is a great reminder to have access to all accounts for the family! Terrific chapter and I completely get how Anita is reacting to al of this news…and I suspect she will begin to take a deeper dive into her husband’s “work” as well…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David’s comments are almost as good as your chapters 😂

    Poor Anita, having left everything to her missing hubby is now going to leave her in a real quandary.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. (1) So Mike Hollis is some kind of international man of mystery? Sounds groovy, but maybe he’s shagged the wrong lady? Alotta things can go wrong when espionage turns you into a horny devil. If you ask me, Mike should have stuck with his job as a hard-working glue salesman.
    (2) James Bond knows all about glue.
    (3) I’m nut familiar with the expression, “secret squirrel.” Is that someone who’s permitted to gain in-tree into a highly guarded MI-6 computer in order to squirrel away classified information? Or am I barking up the wrong—oh, never mind!
    (4) I’m also not familiar with “sod-all.” Is that the British way of spelling “sawed-all?” As in, ” I ain’t a-kiddin’! I sawed-all ’em girls a-doin’ sumptin’ raw-raw in da boys locka room after d’game!”
    (5) I’m thinking something in the car was smuggled out of the country. Maybe a secret industrial glue formula? If so, it’s already being analyzed in a Chinese manufacturer’s lab.
    (6) “After thanking him, she hung up, her mind ticking over.” Not surprised, considering the bombshell just delivered by Jane Dawes. She needs to defuse her mind before the countdown reaches 006.
    (007) First, Anita’s husband ran out. And now her money is running out. I’m wondering if maybe Anita’s time is running out? (I’d add another comment, but I’ve run out of ideas.)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. 3) SECRET SQUIRREL
      You and/or someone is up to something …….They ain’t saying..
      He isn’t telling anyone anything,up to some secret squirrel shit again……
      #secret#sly#hush hush#clandestine#?#unknowing

      4) SOD ALL
      Typically British phrase. Used to mean the same as “nothing”
      Fred: “Hey Ben, what are you doing during your gap year?”
      Ben: “Sod all”
      #sod#all#bugger#nothing#nowt

      Nice ‘merge’ with Austin Powers too. 🙂
      Thanks, David.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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