Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer
It really wasn’t clever. Every time that she went out, they followed her together.
On Tuesday morn when she went out, she carried a huge white bag. Not unusual when going to shop, but laden enough to sag. She sallied boldly round the mazes of the Schwarzenegger Memorial Mall, rushing here and browsing there, not really going anywhere at all.
Everywhere that Mary went, the men in grey went too. Barely pretending to browse or pause, waiting to see what she’d do. Her keen green eyes perused so much, but never lost track of her tail. A reflection here, a glance taken there, a peek through a garment rail. So that was how Mary’s day went by, from mall to plaza to café. Two extra shadows in her wake, mirthless all the way.
As evening stained the sky with dusk, some revellers entered the street. Bright party clothes and brighter smiles, each moving to their personal beat. They exhorted Mary to come and dance, to put down her bag and play. Mary just smiled and shook her head, but joined in with a gentle sway.
So Mary, revellers, and grey-suited men went down to the old shunting yard, where illicit pleasures and loud release could throw anyone off their guard. Amidst that colourful throng, Mary laughed and danced a little bit. Never letting go of the heavy bag, nor showing what was in it.
When twilight turned to night the partying turned serious: three hundred happy lawbreakers became ever more delirious. While at the edge of that gay throng, two suited figures stood stern. People thought they were security – they didn’t cause concern. Until their guns came out, and drones dropped from the skies. One of them had met the gaze of this Mary with blue eyes.
Agents stormed in and the crowd erupted, people running all over the place. But no-one managed to get by, everyone compared to her scanned face. The blue-eyed Mary smiled as she showed the white bag full of jewellery and cash, with a rumpled mess of discarded dress and nice shoes left atop the stash.
They searched high and they searched low, all night and on to midday. But all they found at the end of it all was that Mary had gotten away.