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Runaway

The Path to Freedom

Agent 9 wakens to the sharp, blue ocean that is Mimi’s unblinking eyes and the rolling wave of vibrating sound designed by nature to hypnotise. Trance like, Agent 9 lifts herself out of bed to the sound of a joyful meow and the pad of determined feet as she makes her way to the kitchen. While preparing breakfast she thinks about how much she loves Mimi, her only companion and her only family. An affiliation diligently constructed to protect herself and the life that she has chosen.

Watching Mimi devour the latest flavour concocted for the cat ladies of the world to spoil their babies, Agent 9 reflects on the coming day. She is tired. Lately her physical craving for sleep is never quenched. Despite early nights and consulting google for tips on living a healthy lifestyle, she remains tired. In her garden Agent 9 sips her breakfast tea and watches Mimi hunt down a butterfly. Mimi the assassin, so like her mother, hunting the beautiful and fragile. Her own beauty becoming terrible in her success.

Agent 9 does not want to be terrible anymore. In fact she does not want to be Agent 9 anymore. She is tired of her life. She has to admit that perhaps this pervading feeling is really depression. For the last 10 years she has been exulted by the powerful as the most celebrated and ruthless spy of a secret government task force that defends freedom and justice.

Today the powerful do not know that Agent 9 is surrounded by nature’s colours popping after summer rain. That she watches the busy birds singing as they flit from feeder to tree one eye on the hunter, and so, they do not know that Agent 9 is remembering images from her life before she became the predator.

Memories from yesterday, no it only seems like yesterday. It was in fact, a long time ago. She had a different name then, she was searching for an identity that fit, she was idealistic and opportunistic, she was in love.

Agent 9 asks Mimi “If you had known my young man would you have liked him? Or would he have been a thorn in our little family?” Agent 9 closes her eyes as the past drifts and fades with the rising warmth of the sun.

From a distance, a sound disturbs Agent 9. It takes a few moments for her to recognise her ring tone “...I never was much of a romantic...” singing out to rival the garden birds. So for the second time today she rises like a zombie to fulfill her obligation. Yet her garden calls for her to remain in its perfumed walls as the soft grass cocoons her bare feet, the playful bees buzz over her head, and Mimi, beloved, winds her body around her pajama legs. Determined Agent 9 pushes on through their manipulations to the cool tiled floor following the sound and blinking light of her phone.

Agent 9 listens as she is summoned to headquarters to attend an emergency meeting. Agent 9 knows the routine. Agent 9 is so bored with the routine. Mimi stretches out before her, claws on the rug pushing and pulling. Look at me, she seems to purr, I know loneliness when you close the door and I watch the garden through the glass suspended from life, waiting. Agent 9 sighs, “Me and you honey are so alike.”

At the office Agent 9 feels like an observer, she feels detached from the people around the table. While business is discussed and jobs are allocated no one notices how Agent 9 is not present in their discussion. She nods and agrees abstractedly without real intent. Agent 9’s thoughts have found a different reality. A real world where she is approaching a girl with a name of a flower who finds adventures in a garden, on a beach, in a city. A girl who is sharing her memories and dreams with Agent 9.

Suddenly Agent 9 is hit by a bright, white avalanche of yearning and she is catapulted back to the work table. Her startled eyes look upon each face seated around her and she asks “Does anyone know my name?” Not waiting for a reply Agent 9 gets up from her chair and mumbles “I only just remember myself.” She is unaware of the bewildered eyes that follow her as she leaves the room.

Outside, the car park is grey and hard, the heat of the sun finding only a dull reflection on the tarmac. Agent 9 looks up to search for the true colour and warmth of the summer sky and as she does, a soft breeze carries a memory of a glorious day. A voice calls a name, that dances into focus and out again, allusive, softened by the passing years. “Come closer, my love, come closer my dear Rosa.”

Agent 9 whispers, “My name is Rosa.”

828 words

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Runaway
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