This story is for the innovative challenge placed by Liz Elias on the hubbers' community forum.
I would like to thank Liz for such a lovely opportunity to get our creative juices flowing.
I decided to take the story in a dark direction and hope I have been able to do it some justice.
The story is set in the early 1940s just around the time the German army decided to march to the Soviet Union.
The challenge was to write a flash fiction (short story) in which the following sentence would appear somewhere -
"Analisa sat alone on the park bench, the scowl on her face as dark as the gathering thunderclouds."
The Skilled Operative
She is called Anastasia Molchalin now. That is because she was adopted at the age of ten by a Russian couple who adored her and brought her up as their own. Before that very incident which marked the beginning of the rest of her life, she was called Analisa. Her origin was unknown to her as was her family name.
She still remembers the orphanage, its pointed wooden barrier encircling the periphery, Sister Rosa who never smiled and spoke in a throaty voice, 'Lights off, off to bed'. She remembers her friends Miguel and Ela circling around a short shrub (she forgets the kind) singing their favourite tune.
It has now been years after the first war. She can never fathom how she got involved in this mess. The present war is at a tyrannical epitome of butchering and the Fuhrer now has his eyes eastwards.
She has been in the spy business since eighteen, travelling across the world, using her sharp communication skills along with her elegant sexual aura. She is a highly intelligent agent, best at her job and has never left a trace behind to be tracked or captured.
She has lived by so many names that her identity gets muddled and translucent to herself quite often.
Her husband is back in St Petersburg after a successful mission of gathering quite a bit of intelligence.
They had been living in the same country but in different cities for the last three years without communicating, to protect their identities and continue their pseudo roles without obstruction or suspicion.
Now he is back home in the comfort of his family and she is still in peril, grave peril.
About a year ago Analisa met a handsome German soldier named Hans. She was then working as a receptionist to an officer in east Berlin.
Her name in Germany is Analisa Hernando, a personal choice as her days of spying seemed to turn her interest and affinity more and more towards her original roots.
She was lonely and Hans had the most polite and cheerful demeanour she had seen in a long time. The attraction was immediate and mutual. They spent every free minute they could find and Analisa fell in love head over heels. She was so smitten that her marital obligations dissipated underneath her intense affection for Hans.
Soon their affair broke privacy as Hans decided to introduce her to his friends. Amidst a hoard of enemy soldiers, she felt alienated and terrified. But years of practice helped her guard the feelings with fake smiles and a poker face where necessary. Her charm, beauty and wit soon won over their hearts and though she riled inside, the perfect mole showed no true colours.
She moved in with Hans and they began a blissful life together though she tactfully kept avoiding every prospective discussion about marriage.
It has now been four months that she was promoted as assistant to one of the senior command leaders and thus has access to many crucial documents and information. But the incident last night could change everything and add a noose around her head.
After dinner as Hans worked in the office, he was frantically looking for a file, when he came across a hidden drawer underneath the large mahogany desk. A bit taken aback, he jimmied his way into it to find copied records of multiple covert operations and their plans. The handwriting was known to him and there was no scope of doubt.
Hans dropped to the floor, covered his head and sighed as his heart broke to bits. Just then Analisa walked into the room, all decked up and requesting Hans to help her with a necklace.
'All this time!' exclaimed Hans, 'A mole! What betrayal! !'Such guile!'
Her face turned pale as she saw him holding the familiar sheets of paper with her perfect handwriting on them.
Everything after that happened very fast. They looked at each other, Hans reached for the telephone on the desk, Analisa picked up the fire iron, ran forward and stabbed him repeatedly as he cried and groaned in pain. Her face was a mess of tears, with every blow she could feel her heart break into tiny pieces never to be restored again.
As she dropped the weapon and succumbed to the ground, Hans' limp body lay in a pool of blood at the foot of the desk.
She cried uncontrollably as she cradled his lifeless head and closed the horror-stricken eyes.
She finally forced herself to calm down and do what was necessary.
Hans lay in his own back garden, a bush carefully planted right on his grave.
After cleaning the room and herself thoroughly, the distraught woman had to step out. There was a pretty little park two blocks down, where she often went to clear her thoughts.
Analisa sat alone on the park bench, the scowl on her face as dark as the gathering thunderclouds. She could still imagine the smell of the blood on her hands and nails. The clouds gave way and so did she. Her welling heart flooded the warm tears down her cheeks that disappeared into the heavy rain.
© 2019 Tiyasha Maitra