Small World (Day 13)


I turned, startled into betraying myself by the sheer unthinkability of this eventuality. I had been in this ridiculous little city in the middle of America less that twelve hours, having never been across the Atlantic before in my life. I had spent considerable care on my disguise at every stage, and Command had made it clear that this was a mission of the utmost international sensitivity, and therefore secrecy. So who on earth (literally) could be shouting my name (a name I had not used in nearly a decade) in the middle of the afternoon on what undoubtedly was passing for a crowded street in these parts?

She was waving energetically about thirty meters behind me, standing next to a parked minivan I had presumably just walked by a few moments before. It took me a long moment before I recognized her: the American student, in Ibiza on her Spring Break, what had it been: fifteen years ago now? He knew the protocol: he should ignore her, lose her in the crowd, report the potential breach on his next code-in. But I felt so stupid, staring at a woman (for she was certainly that now) I had known for three days half a lifetime ago; three days in which there had not been a lot of chit-chat. And really, there wasn’t nearly enough of a crowd to even attempt to lose anyone here.

So this is what it feels like to see your career evaporate in an instant. I finally get a top-level mission like this, and now I’ll be lucky to salvage a desk job. Assuming I even make it out of here alive.

3 thoughts on “Small World (Day 13)

  1. Dammit. That’s the thing I don’t like about this short story business. The whole unfinished and leave me hanging thing has me frustrated.
    You should consider Small World 2 or Another Small World. 🙂

  2. Yeah – are serial stories allowed in this project?


    Yes. Since it was my idea, I vote that you can continue stories from day to day, as long as each new episode is a different scene.


  3. Seems reasonable: stories can be linked as long as they can more or less stand alone as well?

    And I am fearful, personally, that I may too often mistake such unresolution for dramatic tension. I want to make these things be able to shine on their own more, not just like juicy random slices off some bigger unseen story-sausage.

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