they will never know

Posted: September 15, 2011 in Fiction
Tags: , , ,

I read minds. It is one of my more brilliant talents, but no one here in the square knows that. They notice me, but I’m a passing consideration, almost invisible. Young or old, makes no difference. They see an old man eating chips in the Durham Markets and this fleeting thought comes to them: “Poor sod. Spends his days watching the world pass by. How sad and pathetic.” For that brief instant the young can’t hide their mocking scorn as easily as the older ones mask their pity. A long forgotten man, probably worked the mills, set out to pasture. That’s what they think.

I look around and see everything. People laughing and carefree, without a serious thought crowding their brain. Some are taking snapshots and posing in front of statues that mean nothing to them. Others shop or are taking a lunch. Thirty meters to my left a tattooed bloke is trying to pick up a tart ten years too young for him. I see everything because that was my training. It’s what I did for 32 years before I stepped aside for the next generation.

With a glance these people streaming around me think they know my life, but they don’t know shite. I’ve seen and done things that would make your toes curl, mate.

They don’t know in ’72 I spent four days and nights holed up on Downing Street with Heath and his boys deciding the most efficient way to deal with IRA terrorists. They don’t know that some of the lads who disappeared in Belfast shortly afterwards did so because it was me who convinced the PM it was the best solution. They don’t know about my daily interrogations of suspected spies back when the KGB infiltrated everywhere. They don’t about the methods of extracting information I used, methods publically denounced as barbaric by the very people who authorized their use. They don’t how, near the end of my service to the Crown, it was me who was central to the capture of that bastard traitor Bettaney. They don’t know because during that time it was my job to be invisible.

I read minds and see everything. I used to be invisible in every sense of the word. Now, only my contributions remain invisible. People spot an old codger who scowls thinking he is bitter and lonely, but they are wrong. I scowl because I sense your scorn and pity and want no part of it. Actually, a proper thank you would be in order. But that will never come because they can never know who I am, who I was: a protector of the highest order, living in the shadows, guarding a way of life which today they so blithely enjoy.

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Comments
  1. brainrants says:

    Wow… and I like the picture.

    Like

  2. Bob says:

    Dude, I just got in (made my connecting train), grabbed my iPad and stepped out to have a cigarette and check your Facebook for the you sent from Patriots. I scrolled down a bit and saw your post They Will Never Know on Trask…..as I said to you when we were strolling earlier, you, my friend, are in the wrong line of work. I smell a book possibly in the making……great to see you and to hang out a bit. Let’s try to get out again before the bitter cold sets in

    Like

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