The Mission

A glance at the tower clock said it was almost time. Fingers drummed nervously on the café table. Stop he admonished himself mentally. He couldn’t afford to draw attention to himself. Not now.

The mission was about to take place, delivery was crucial. Crucial to national security, maybe even global from the impressions he got during briefing.

After one last sip of the pungent tea he pulled a few dollars from his wallet and tossed it on the bill. Standing the young spy glanced again at the clock in the square. It was time.

Knowing the importance of this meeting made it difficult to keep a strolling pace to the park. He wanted to hurry and be a hero to his country. An unknown hero since he was one of the men in black as they say.

Focus man, focus. To keep his concentration on the task at hand he began to sing the instructions in his head.

Near a tree by a river, there’s a hole in the ground. Where an old man of Aran goes around and around.

It had taken him a bit to decipher the cryptic message. Then suddenly it all snapped into place once he found the tree. Behind it a river gently flowing with children on the bank skipping rocks long the water’s surface.

An old man with a thick Irish accent sat on a stool in the shade of that great oak. The table in font of him filled with all sorts of whirly gigs to catch the wind and spin around and around.

The young spy took a deep breath. This was it, the moment he’d been training for.  Hand in pocket around a small pistol he approached the table of wares. “Good afternoon.”

The old man gave him a slight nod. “Afternoon. See anything you like there?”

He picked up a bird shaped pinwheel. “This one I think. Reminds me of something.” He gave a pause and made eye contact with the old man. “The blackbird sings on bluebird hill.”

The old man nodded and took the offered money for the trinket and dolled out the spy’s change. “Thanks to the calling of the wild. You must be a wise man’s child.”

His heart sped, this was it. The old man knew the code phrase. The hand in his pocket moved away from the gun to a keyring. “Indeed, thank you.”

Blood thumped in his ears as he pulled the ring from his pocket slowly. Keeping it hidden in his closed hand. With out breaking his pace he dropped the keys into the hole by the great oak tree.

It was hard to keep the grin off his face until he’d exited the park. Success, he’d done it.

The old man pulled the keys from the hole and sighed. Why did H.Q. insist on testing the rookies like this? The wig came off revealing jet black hair. This was the last time he’d forget his keys in the office.



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