A Real Spy Story: Part Thirty

This is the thirtieth part of a fiction serial, in 757 words.

That evening, I spent a lot of time going through my notes. It seemed Helen was getting close to the end of her story now, so I began writing them up in some semblance of order. Then I made sure the camera was fully charged and had a new memory card, ready for the next day. Next morning, I had a light breakfast before returning to my room to go through all the papers I had copied. I was convinced that they were all genuine, one hundred percent. When I approached her door later, she opened it before I knocked. Once again very presentable, she seemed to be in a very good mood.

“In you come, Martin. I am keen to get on and tell you what happened when I got back to England”.

As usual, she drank vodka and smoked as I set up.

“Nicola and I were the only two people on the RAF flight to Brize Norton. There was no passport control or immigration check, and our baggage went through as diplomatic. Inside the aircraft, I was amazed that nobody elese was in the medium-sized passenger jet, and suspected that they didn’t want me to be seen by any other staff who might normally fly home using that service. Less than four hours later we landed, and when we walked down the steps our bags were ready for collection. There was a fancy-looking car waiting at the edge of the runway, and a well-dressed man standing next to it. He approached and shook my hand, saying ‘Welcome home, Helen, I am John Holdsworth’. Another one of course, not my one. He was close to fifty, politely spoken, and so obviously security service. I got in the back of the car with him and Nicola put my canvas holdall on the front seat then walked in the direction of the airport buildings, wheeling her small case. She didn’t say goodbye, didn’t even look at me. Then we left for London, and I soon found myself travelling eastbound on the A40”.

Helen stopped for a moment, and she seemed to be deciding whether or not to add something.

“Holdsworth didn’t say much at first, and I sat gawping at the changed surroundings. So many cars, so much new housing. And as we got closer to London, the amount of high-rise developments took my breath away. Once we were held up by gridlocked traffic in the suburbs, Holdsworth became chatty. He spoke about things that would be new to me. When I had left England, we were not in the EU. Now I was back, we were on the verge of trying to get out of it. Decimal currency would be new to me, as would multi-channel colour television, buses and tube trains no longer taking cash, and so much more that I would have to get used to. One thing I had forgotten was how much warmer it was, and when I tried to open the car window, I couldn’t find a handle. He smiled, and told the driver to switch on the air-conditioning. In seconds, i could feel the cold air refreshing me. I wasn’t allowed to smoke in the car, and that was making me edgy. Then when Holdworth told me that I was going to be debriefed for six weeks, I got plain angry. Pause there, Martin, I need something to eat”.

She had obviously been out that morning, as she came back from the kitchen with two large pork pies still in the shop’s bag. After muching her way through one, she carried on.

“Once we were at Paddington, I started to recognise some streets. But there was a huge new hospital, and many more tower blocks and skyscrapers. London felt closed in and oppressive, so different to when I had lived there. We turned off before Baker Street, and I could tell we were going north. Twenty minutes later, the driver turned into a quiet road near Swiss Cottage, and stopped the car outside a double-fronted house with tall gates across the driveway. The gates opened by themselves, and we walked from the car to the front door. It was already open, and a stern-looking woman was standing there. Holdsworth introduced her to me as Mrs Lee, then without another word, he turned and walked back to the car. I followed the woman inside into a large hallway, and she turned and said ‘Welcome, Miss Renton. This will be your temporary home’. ”

Helen paused at that point, and ate the second pork pie.

32 thoughts on “A Real Spy Story: Part Thirty

  1. (1) I’m in the dark as to what a light breakfast entails. Does Swiss Cottage cheese qualify as a light breakfast?
    (2) I missed the last RAF raffle. I don’t care how obsolete the plane is, as long as its wings aren’t glued to the fuselage.
    (3) Does Nicola drive a Tesla? Or does she drive a Ni-Cola Classic purchased at the auction in Ladenburg?
    (4) “I soon found myself travelling eastbound on the A40.” Helen stopped for a moment. (I hope she didn’t get rear-ended.)
    (5) Gawp forbid I should have to look up a British vocabulary word!
    (6) Bad citation: “Once we were at Paddington, I started to recognise some streets. But I thought it strange that the neighbors had all congregated on the sidewalks to fête a talking bear!”
    (7) The driver stopped briefly at 221B Baker Street. John Holdsworth (a fake name) wanted to consult with someone (a fictional person).
    (8) Warner Bros. denies rumors that Porky Pig ended up in a pie.

    Note: Your mention of color television reminds me of a road trip I took from Detmold to Berlin back in 1994, during which I saw Russian tanks pulling out of former East Germany. The country may have been reunited at that time, but the difference between former West and East was astounding. The West was green, colorful, beautiful. The East was drab, gray, and run-down. I assume that since that trip long ago, the countryside and villages of former East Germany have been “colorized.” (And by the way, I was really impressed with Berlin, and hope to return one day!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hoped you might be attracted to Baker Street. (It is a very busy thoroughfare in London, and has a large terminus station on the underground network.)
      Well done with another reference to ‘Home About Six’.
      Helen had not seen any televisions since 1962. She would have been amazed at the colour, and also by the size of the screens in 2015.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 6 weeks de-briefing? I would have punched him in the eye. Brize Norton…back in the dark ages of 1969 I used to process RAF VC10 flights to Brize Norton. Boy did those people travel heavy!

    Liked by 1 person

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