One final piece of The Book of Pain before I publish.
My hero has stumbled into the fourth century of his life, and found himself in the world of counter espionage during the Second World War. Yet as hard as he tries, both to rid himself of the curse, and hide his secret, somebody always seems to find out.
‘This whole department is a bloody farce.’ Fletcher announced on his return, utilising yet more new expletives acquired during his brief internment in a navy POW camp.
‘It was a bit of a cock-up.’ Wedge admitted ruefully. ‘But these things happen in war time. Someone must have talked or turned on us. Never mind.’ He smiled, rubbing his hands together briskly. ‘I have something rather special lined up for you in a couple of days. Get some rest. Oh,’ he frowned, ‘but you don’t rest, do you. When was the last time you did sleep?’ For a moment Fletcher thought the man knew something he should not. It was probably just a mistake.
‘Oh, I get a bit here and there.’ Hopefully that would be enough.
‘Well when was it? This century, last?’ Perhaps he was making another of those nebulous jokes he loved so much. Fletcher decided to ignore him for if he really knew, or even suspected any of the real truth then he would have to leave this place quickly. No one could who knew his real identity, or anything about the curse. However, it seemed as if Wedge was determined to pursue this.
‘Talk to me, Thomas. How old are you? Your face says about twenty something but your eyes tell a different story. Look, there’s no one else here. You can tell me and I swear that anything you say stays with me.’ He was no longer smiling. His open and usually humorous expression was absent. Fletcher had no idea what to say? The new expression, “a bag of worms” he’d heard so many times seemed singularly apt. ‘I notice that you never touch anyone, Tom. Why is that?’ The smile was gone. In his eyes a deep glare challenged Fletcher to say something – even to lie if he chose.