Some say that there is no place for scarlet ribbon, white roses and blighted intelligence in the heat of debate, yet they (whomsoever ‘they’ are) overlook that in make-believe anything and everything is possible.

This day she would make as if she were a femme fatale, double agent spy gal, after all in the face of a completely hopeless feigning ‘possession by the Devil’ on the London Underground the previous day, espionage perhaps would afford her with something to get her teeth into.

What was it her boss Yuri Andropov had once said?  She recalls it was late autumn, an afternoon, a transparent sun, bit by bit being nibbled up by a peckish, open-mouthed skyline. Andropov, as ever, stood erect, his back to her, perhaps struggling for the right words in her mother tongue as he stared out at the statue of ‘Iron Felix’ in Dzerzhinsky Square below his then fabled third floor office at KGB headquarters in the Lubyanka Building, downtown Moscow. Turning about face, and more by way of threat than anything else, “There will always be consequences when enough slaves share the same dream.”  Such weighty words of a democratic birthing, yet surely a curse for a life time Leninist?  He had shared neat vodka with her, nothing more. Andropov bored her beyond measure anyhow.

Why exactly was it that all the secret agents she thought up were old, fat, generally unattractive with fetid breath? This really would not do. It was over a coffee (one more acidic than she had imagined) and croissant at a street café near Waterloo Bridge watching the passers-by she recalled that three dreams and a nightmare ago she had visualized a land where unicorns flourished, grazing on a village green to the backdrop of leather upon willow. Perhaps she would be a unicorn tamer…perhaps not, they all seemed pretty docile upon reflection.  A bed warmer for a handsome prince? Maybe a food taster for Rasputin? What about a wing-walker on one of those biplanes from the 1920’s? Vertigo and the lack of a parachute put pay to that idea, and as to Rasputin, his love of almonds and her nut allergy slammed shut the door on that one, whereas the handsome prince gig was somewhat passé.

She concluded this would have to be a day of rest; a recharging of the batteries. That the straightjacket she wore always itched puzzled her, although being spoon fed leek and carrot soup remained an astonishing much treasured delight. Padded walls, ceilings and floors were rather chic, nice and cosy also. No need for a bed, no place for a side table.  Sometimes, in lucid moments she wondered what would become of her. Winsome Mary, the one who cared for her often told her that one day all would be well again; that one day soon a suitable donor would at last be found, and a new brain would be offered up for transplant.




  1. The straightjacket she wore always itched… somehow these words ring a bell for me. Maybe they were never laundered..? Or even those in the loony bin get allergies too, you know.

  2. Great stuff Mike…I wanted to write a noir about a femme fatale spy in the 40’s but decided it required too much research. Your twist on this is a mind blower, hats off!!

      1. I was going to make the f fetale a Mata Hari type double agent during the war, you can see why I gave up the plan. lol!

    1. Maybe there is a bit of a resolved philosophy in there somewhere. I like to think she has always been living her imaginings in the real world…but then again I am barking mad!

      1. I think you are correct in your summation. To an extent we are all mad by dint of our different make up, yet to accept it (rather than play to it) is the finest thing of all…one’s mind can travel only upon acceptance.

      2. Having just returned from looking over La Manche at a well defined France in almost silhouette, this thread has just given me an idea…may madness live on…to the keyboard I shall be glued!

    1. Cheers Paul…I am, by the way, mesmerized by the Trump/Clinton show as much as I was with our Brexit debacle. We live in the strangest times, whatever side of the fence we stand…I rather think you should have stood for President!

      1. they are both abominations – the results of a crippled political system – I stand with neither, so my conscience will vote for an as yet undecided 3rd party – I’ll stand for President if you’ll stand for PM – together we might form a coalition to save the future

  3. Femme fatale theme has always been my favorite.
    When enough slaves share the same dream, they become dangerous, because, well, they are slaves and will always be. Unless, a new brain…

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