I don’t exactly have it all together today, so here’s another old one, written for a contest prompt:
Oliver hated the airport. It was his first time there, but he was pretty certain the feeling would stick.
At age eleven, he was too young to travel on his own, but certainly old enough to want to. Maybe, he thought, he’d like the airport better if he didn’t have Aunt Alice with him.
Then at least he could explore – see whatever there was to see in this place. Although as far as he could tell, all there was to see was chairs and angry people rushing back and forth.
He glanced over at his Aunt. She sat calmly in the chair next to him, nose in her novel, wearing her ‘comfortable airport shoes’ with her hair swept up in a ponytail. She was thirty-two, but she might as well be 75 for all the fun she let him have.
Ostensibly, they were taking this lovely weekend trip because she wanted to spend more time with her favorite nephew (read: her only nephew). Oliver wasn’t stupid. He knew she’d agreed to take him on the trip because his parents wanted a weekend of ‘alone’ time together.
Not that he wanted to think about it.
Trying to scrub his mind clean of ‘alone time’ images, he returned his gaze to the chairs – and some movement caught his attention out of the corner of his eye.
Not that there wasn’t movement. People were rushing by all the time. But this was different. This guy was just a guy in a suit carrying a briefcase, like a bajillion other guys in the airport.
This guy moved differently. It was like he glided instead of walking. There was something smooth and oily in his movement. Oliver wondered, just for a moment, if the guy had something to hide.
And in that moment, Oliver decided to follow him.
He stood up and got a whole two steps away. The book came down from in front of her face, revealing two brown eyes.
“Where are you going?” she asked.
“I’m just going to the bathroom, Aunt Alice.”
“All right,” she said. “But be careful. Don’t take too long.”
“Yes, Aunt Alice,” he said.
He’d come back when he wanted to and not sooner. But he wasn’t going to tell her that.
The book moved back up to cover her eyes and he jogged away from her, trying to catch up to the man in the black suit.
Oliver kept his distance, not wanting to get caught. But when the man in the black suit turned into a long, dark hallway off of the main concourse, Oliver saw. He turned into the same hall, keeping to the shadows along the wall so that he wouldn’t be noticed.
But he saw as the man walked all the way down the end of the hall, a seeming dead end with locked doors. He didn’t open the doors. Oliver watched as the man reached into an almost-invisible crack in the wall and pulled out something silvery – a disc, Oliver realized, as he watched it gleaming silver in the low lighting.
The man tucked the disc into his briefcase and made his way back along the hall. Oliver ducked out of the hallway as quickly as he could. And he kept following the man, as he walked all the way back to Oliver’s gate, planting himself in a chair and leaning back, dropping his briefcase into the seat beside him. Like he was just a normal businessman, on a normal trip. Like a million other guys in that same airport.
Oliver knew better. He knew now that he was looking at a spy. And he intended to find out what the man was up to. Oliver was going to find out what was hidden on that disc.
To be continued….
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