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Short story: <i>The Spy</i>


I’m pretty sure I know what I want to be when I grow up.

I want to be a spy. The kind of spy who wears big coats and smokes a pipe and has a dashing hat cocked over one eye. And I have to be able to raise one eyebrow, just so, to show everyone how worldly and wise I am, and how I don’t believe no-one, and it will make all the girls want to kiss me like they do to spies in the movies.

My dad has some misgivings about my choice of career, that’s what he calls them, misgivings. He’s said what he wants for me is to start in some big grey office as a clerk, and work my way up cutting throats and ruining reputations and eventually find myself being one of the upper-middle managers in a big multinational. That’s what he wants for me.

He says that being a spy is unrealistic, and that I need to start thinking straight and realistic and stop dreaming and wake up to the bleak unexcitement of reality. He actually told me those dreams should be ‘discontinued’, like the line of my favourite chocolate bars were in the supermarket. As though I should stop producing those dreams because there just isn’t enough demand.

I can’t understand how there wasn’t enough demand for those chocolate bars. They were like pure heaven.

But I still want to be a spy. A spy’s his own man. He don’t answer to anybody, not upper middle management or lower middle management or the bossy clerk in the next stall. He just answers to his country and the government, and they always let him do what he wants because he’s smarter than all of them. Nobody ever bawls out a spy in the middle of the supermarket or whacks him with a belt on the backs of his legs for sass or clips him one on the ear with the corner of a readers digest.

And spies don’t ever cry, or slink off with shameful bruises they ain’t allowed to show at school. They get shot with guns and slashed with knives by the enemy and get to wear their scars out proud and have girls say “ooooh! You’re so brave!” all the time.

When I grow up, I’m going to be a spy.

This is the result of a fifteen minute writing exercise. The only constrictions were the time limit and five randomly selected words from the dictionary. Today the words were: misgiving, discontinue, bawl, spy, and multinational.

Image courtesy of jovike.

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