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Topic: Rogue Escape—a very short story

Here is a very short story I wrote quickly for my own amusement. A variation on a theme, although it is not a particularly good variation. Just a bit of fun for me; any comments would be welcomed greatly. ajb007/smile

[line]
Bond was trapped. But did they know it? Did they realise the meticulous efficiency with which they had him cornered? Was this the calculated precision of the professional, or the stroke of luck of the gambler?

Sweat pounded from Bond’s temple pushing the dirt down his face. Was this really him—a double-O, wading through some Haitian swamp in the peasant heat of a raw July? Bond was struggling to breath now, struggling to pull his aching body through the profuse liquid as he felt his body getting heavier and heavier and the swamp thicker and thicker. His movement restricted increasingly by the caking mud on his skin Bond was slowing, and he could almost feel the breath of his pursuers on the nape of his neck.

So that was that. The Chinese gone, the mission failed; all that was left was to escape from this baking hellhole alive and with some semblance of dignity. The girl, admittedly, had been of use, and the manner of her dispatch had been too grisly. Alec’s guilty face over the dead girl would be etched on Bond’s mind forever. Alec could not have been forgiven.

Almost static Bond reflected that should he make it back to London the inevitable meeting with Sir James would be awkward. That he needed help seemed above dispute; that some puffed up mind doctor could provide it was doubtful. One of the many voodoo chaps on the godforsaken island would be rather more qualified.

Cursing himself and the blasted island and the mud that was crusting on his body with the heat Bond heaved himself towards the bank with what little strength he could muster. The flies continued to attack him with the cruelty and spite of Japanese kamikazes. The dank heavy air continued to envelope him. Reaching the vertical bank, with a six-foot climb to land, Bond quickly concluded that this was a no-hope. As the only exit the magnitude of the situation hit him like a bullet.

From the beginning the run had been like playing a hit in blackjack holding a pair of tens. The notion that he could outrun the natives on their territory was optimistic yet laughable. Having been discovered in the room with a dead Alec and a dead girl Bond had leapt out the un-paned window with the swiftness of a panther. The eyes of the natives had betrayed a malignant penchant for violence, seething below the surface, without the patience to ask questions first. His eyes fierce slits Bond ran down the muddy road of the village and into the unknown wild and, slower than his pursuers, was gradually forced into the dead-end predicament in which he found himself.

At the crucial moment, however, they bungled the job. These men were not professionals: Bond could hear them moving in the opposite direction not realising that they had pushed him into the muddy cul-de-sac. Either Bond had lost them genuinely or they assumed that he had slipped away: either way his pursuers seemed to be heading back to the village.

Waiting a few minutes until he was sure that the natives had turned back, Bond made fists holding the strong grass sprouting from the top of the bank. These were his handles as he tried to pull his dead weight out of the morass and onto dry land. He felt he had to be quick as the villagers may have doubted the pursuers’ claim to have lost him and a search may have begun with renewed impetus.

On the first attempt he could not maintain a foothold and fell reverse straight into the profuse bog. On his back and becoming swamped Bond recalled a childhood nightmare of drowning in quicksand. Making a heroic effort he dragged himself upwards so that he was standing upright; Bond’s heart beat with excruciating rapidity. Moving to a different part of the bank Bond made a second try and was more successful: able to hold himself on that bank he was suspended, lacking the strength to push himself further and grab a higher chunk of grass with one of his hands. Finally with one last exertion which required all the might of his muscles and all the vigour of his sinew Bond hurled himself forcibly over the top of the bank.

Utterly fatigued both physically and mentally Bond lay inert on the dry land he had so craved. For three or four minutes he became immovable like part of the landscape; a fallen log or solid rock. The muscles in his legs, arms and back tensed painfully and became hard as stone. Lying there could have been a dead man.

Two further minutes passed and Bond heard something in the distance. Whether it was man or animal was indiscernible, but Bond knew he could not take another chance. Standing up and stretching to loosen up his aching muscles Bond saw that he was close to a beach by the coast, whence he could swim round back to the port of the village and take one of the boats quietly to Port-au-Prince. Bond ran and ran and ran until his lungs felt fit to collapse and his skin pulsed with the sweat attempting rapidly to escape his exhausted body.

It wasn’t his fault, Bond reflected. Alec’s face had been guilty, rightly so. The girl’s face had been guilty too, and both deserved the penalty Bond’s hot blood determined proper. Neither Alec nor the girl could have been forgiven for the betrayal: they were unworthy of mercy. Bond could not regret that his hand, in an almost involuntary spasm, twice pulled the trigger targeting the naked bodies splayed on the bed.

But what should Bond reveal to Sir James Molony? Caught in the crossfire? Murder and suicide? Whatever. Sir James would believe him. Sir James always did.

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Re: Rogue Escape—a very short story

Lazenby880 wrote:

Here is a very short story I wrote quickly for my own amusement. A variation on a theme, although it is not a particularly good variation. Just a bit of fun for me; any comments would be welcomed greatly. ajb007/smile

[line]
Bond was trapped. But did they know it? Did they realise the meticulous efficiency with which they had him cornered? Was this the calculated precision of the professional, or the stroke of luck of the gambler?

Sweat pounded from Bond’s temple pushing the dirt down his face. Was this really him—a double-O, wading through some Haitian swamp in the peasant heat of a raw July? Bond was struggling to breath now, struggling to pull his aching body through the profuse liquid as he felt his body getting heavier and heavier and the swamp thicker and thicker. His movement restricted increasingly by the caking mud on his skin Bond was slowing, and he could almost feel the breath of his pursuers on the nape of his neck.

So that was that. The Chinese gone, the mission failed; all that was left was to escape from this baking hellhole alive and with some semblance of dignity. The girl, admittedly, had been of use, and the manner of her dispatch had been too grisly. Alec’s guilty face over the dead girl would be etched on Bond’s mind forever. Alec could not have been forgiven.

Almost static Bond reflected that should he make it back to London the inevitable meeting with Sir James would be awkward. That he needed help seemed above dispute; that some puffed up mind doctor could provide it was doubtful. One of the many voodoo chaps on the godforsaken island would be rather more qualified.

Cursing himself and the blasted island and the mud that was crusting on his body with the heat Bond heaved himself towards the bank with what little strength he could muster. The flies continued to attack him with the cruelty and spite of Japanese kamikazes. The dank heavy air continued to envelope him. Reaching the vertical bank, with a six-foot climb to land, Bond quickly concluded that this was a no-hope. As the only exit the magnitude of the situation hit him like a bullet.

From the beginning the run had been like playing a hit in blackjack holding a pair of tens. The notion that he could outrun the natives on their territory was optimistic yet laughable. Having been discovered in the room with a dead Alec and a dead girl Bond had leapt out the un-paned window with the swiftness of a panther. The eyes of the natives had betrayed a malignant penchant for violence, seething below the surface, without the patience to ask questions first. His eyes fierce slits Bond ran down the muddy road of the village and into the unknown wild and, slower than his pursuers, was gradually forced into the dead-end predicament in which he found himself.

At the crucial moment, however, they bungled the job. These men were not professionals: Bond could hear them moving in the opposite direction not realising that they had pushed him into the muddy cul-de-sac. Either Bond had lost them genuinely or they assumed that he had slipped away: either way his pursuers seemed to be heading back to the village.

Waiting a few minutes until he was sure that the natives had turned back, Bond made fists holding the strong grass sprouting from the top of the bank. These were his handles as he tried to pull his dead weight out of the morass and onto dry land. He felt he had to be quick as the villagers may have doubted the pursuers’ claim to have lost him and a search may have begun with renewed impetus.

On the first attempt he could not maintain a foothold and fell reverse straight into the profuse bog. On his back and becoming swamped Bond recalled a childhood nightmare of drowning in quicksand. Making a heroic effort he dragged himself upwards so that he was standing upright; Bond’s heart beat with excruciating rapidity. Moving to a different part of the bank Bond made a second try and was more successful: able to hold himself on that bank he was suspended, lacking the strength to push himself further and grab a higher chunk of grass with one of his hands. Finally with one last exertion which required all the might of his muscles and all the vigour of his sinew Bond hurled himself forcibly over the top of the bank.

Utterly fatigued both physically and mentally Bond lay inert on the dry land he had so craved. For three or four minutes he became immovable like part of the landscape; a fallen log or solid rock. The muscles in his legs, arms and back tensed painfully and became hard as stone. Lying there could have been a dead man.

Two further minutes passed and Bond heard something in the distance. Whether it was man or animal was indiscernible, but Bond knew he could not take another chance. Standing up and stretching to loosen up his aching muscles Bond saw that he was close to a beach by the coast, whence he could swim round back to the port of the village and take one of the boats quietly to Port-au-Prince. Bond ran and ran and ran until his lungs felt fit to collapse and his skin pulsed with the sweat attempting rapidly to escape his exhausted body.

It wasn’t his fault, Bond reflected. Alec’s face had been guilty, rightly so. The girl’s face had been guilty too, and both deserved the penalty Bond’s hot blood determined proper. Neither Alec nor the girl could have been forgiven for the betrayal: they were unworthy of mercy. Bond could not regret that his hand, in an almost involuntary spasm, twice pulled the trigger targeting the naked bodies splayed on the bed.

But what should Bond reveal to Sir James Molony? Caught in the crossfire? Murder and suicide? Whatever. Sir James would believe him. Sir James always did.

Excellent scene, L880! Very Fleming-esque...I especially enjoyed the line about being part of 'the landscape'. I like the reference to James Molony, but for some reason, I always imagined that Molony was someone Bond never purposefully sought out, but reluctantly consulted with at the behest of M and the government.

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Re: Rogue Escape—a very short story

darenhat wrote:

Excellent scene, L880! Very Fleming-esque...I especially enjoyed the line about being part of 'the landscape'. I like the reference to James Molony, but for some reason, I always imagined that Molony was someone Bond never purposefully sought out, but reluctantly consulted with at the behest of M and the government.

Thank you very much indeed Daren. ajb007/smile

You are right in my view, however I tried to convey that Bond doesn't want to meet Molony; hence the 'inevitable' nature of the 'awkward' meeting and the fact that he does need help. Then again, that probably does not come across in the short!

I was wondering about whether it is clear what is going on with Alec and the girl. Earlier on the reader is supposed to assume that Alec has killed the girl and Bond has, ergo, killed Alec. Then at the end I try and reveal what actually happened: Bond saw Alec and the girl in bed. Alec's 'guilty' face was due to the betrayal of Bond and not due to killing the girl. However, upon re-reading a few times I'm not sure that is entirely clear. ajb007/insane

Nevertheless, I really do appreciate your comments. Much appreciated. ajb007/smile

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Re: Rogue Escape—a very short story

The pieces come together toward the end of the story, just as you probably intended. The revelation has quite the shocking effect as you realize both were targets of Bond. ajb007/smile