DUMBER THAN BOMBS

Think of the most humiliating moment of your life. It can be anything. A Primary school beating. Maybe the first time you really pissed away all your potential. Did you lose the scholarship? Fumble the ball? Shred your gullet out with liters of glorified engine grease with the boys at yet another boarding school where you broke yet another prized alumni this or that in some glass wall casing of whatsit that matters to tradition or pride? 

Some failures are worse than others. What I and most people learn is that it’s never the severity of the smack, the arch of the broken nose, the rage of your parents over an expulsion, the dead school mascot, the fox hunt gone awry, the “I’m sorry I didn’t know that was the duke of I don’t care”. The details matter way less than the theater. All that matters is that you had fun. 

Variety is the spice of life. 

Live it up.

More often than not failure opens opportunities for victory. 

Never an old codger that ever regretted the things he broke having a good time. 

Jacques says in Shakespeare’s As You Like It:

“All the world’s a stage.” 

You better believe it is. 

I’ll advise any young man. Have a good time. Earn your medals and stay professional. This country was built on discipline. Also spices. 

But run for the hills from dancers. Prostitutes are fine. The crossover between the two is death. Every great war has its Mata Hari.   

My ribs shock up against the back of a jeep speeding up a very pastoral, very moth blessed road traveling up the Scottish countryside. At least it’s the best part of spring. May 1941. The sun just starts to burst over what probably used to be some blood-soaked medieval commons. I’m spread out in the back seat but even from here I can daydream about dashing thirteenth century thieves running through the woods plundering and blundering in pointy shoes and tights. 

“Where are we lad? All of this nonsense looks the same.” 

The driver and front seat passenger are both RAF children. Twenties at best. This is a babysit job en route to at best a series of pubs that will disappoint increasingly the further north up we drive. 

“Sir, we’re twenty minutes away due northwest.” 

My head drops back. The headache I can deal with, it’s the goddamn countryside I can’t. There can’t be and will never be anything up here. No matter how nobbled out this particular trip might end up. London was great – apart from the bombings, and even those I can’t say were that bad. It’s all about perspective. 

“Have you ever been to Scotland, Sir?” 

I’ve never traveled further north than Manchester. 

“No. What’s your name, lad?” 

“Oswald Moran Sir, Flight Lieutenant.”

Every other Mi5 Officer, which is to say, men that work a little bit harder than what it’s worth that got this explicitly stupid assignment, were sent to New Forrest National Park or Newport on the southern tip of England. This is already an assignment for imbeciles. This is not a promotion. Even the other agents sent to the other sites are still my competition. “Operation Cone of Power” is printed on the mission packet crushed up in my rucksack. I didn’t read the mission packet. More on that later. 

Three days earlier I was nursing another hangover sitting in Deputy Director Nicholas Brackenbury’s office in what was left of an Mi5 field office in East London. 

His eyes were less afire with rage and more with distraction over the slice of uneaten cake on his desk. The delirious oaf of a man still had a line of sugar frosting on his mouth. 

“Waterfoot, East Renfrewshire, lad” 

Dear God no. 

“With all due respect, sir, I believe my talents are best suited to London. Just think of the possible spies. I have a flawless record of extracting intel. I know the blackmail networks. I find exactly where the kraut rats hide in their hovels. Even during the air raids, right now German spies move through this city relaying strategic positions to the Luftwaffe. You have to give me more time.”

He was thrashing inside for the rest of the cake on his desk as I spoke, 

“Graham, you know we’ve made special accommodations for you always. Your father’s recommendation went a long way. He is a war hero after all, and you ought to live up to his example. Let’s see,  second in your class, and competent enough but this time it’s gone too far. You should be happy that we’re not discharging you. These numbers here are just, oh my, preposterous…” 

“Director Brackenbury. I can show you my notes. I tracked these two German spies for weeks. My expense reports track everything. The leads all speak for themselves. “ 

“Graham. There’s a £300 expense for lodging in what are obviously brothels, £700 for food and drink we both know is entirely alcohol, and you didn’t even try to conceal this one. £600 for what is this, mescaline?”

“That was extremely important sir. It’s how I gained the spies’ trust. I had trusted intel on those underground cabarets during the blitz. Just read the reports, Sir” 

“Graham in all honesty, we brought you on more because of the plausible deniability of anyone thinking you could be on his Majesty’s intelligence services. You’ve always turned up good intel, yes, but I was not enchanted about the whole business in Warsaw last year with those Austrian contortionists. I even put in a good word for you when you wrote an expense report for wardrobe upgrades that included liquid cocaine. But low and behold to all of our surprise you really did fish out an Italian spy in the Austrian consulate. But ask yourself this, Graham. How much of your record is luck and how much of it is real work?” 

“Sir, it’s neither, Sir. It’s intuition. I understand the mind of espionage, the mind of the criminal and the foreign infiltrator. They cross over quite closely, Director. Of course, I need to blend into their spaces. My cover is everything.” 

“Really. Is it not something else, Graham? It’s not that for the last five operations you’ve repeated the same pattern of following around expensive foreign ne’er-do-wells and tripping your way into …” 

I interrupted, “Those are professional women sir. World class performers. They travel throughout the continent, speak multiple languages and have access to valuable intel, enemy positions, blackmail. I have a system Sir. I find all the skeletons in all the cupboards. You can’t send me to Scotland. I repeat… respectfully My talents will be wasted there.” 

A fallout siren blared out right after the last word ached through my mouth. 

“Oh dear, downstairs it is Graham, do me a kindness and hand me the helmet from over there, dear boy.” 

Director Brackenbury inhaled the last of the cake slice, greasing his helmet edge with cake sugar as he unceremoniously topped his dwarven head of white fire with the ill-fitting metal. 

The Director and I rushed out of the office through to the staircases to the basement fallout shelters. Mi5 staff, secretaries, other agents scrambled through the hallways covering their heads as clouds of dust and insulation filled the air. I passed an office and caught a glimpse of Greta and Christa in an interrogation room being shuffled out with the rest of us. Two perfect platinum blondes with identical harsh bobs. God, they’re beautiful. 

Okay so maybe Greta and Christa might not have been Nazi spies. Usually I’m spot on with these things, but I sincerely believed them to be at first. They were German after all. Two of the most expensive and well-connected escorts in London. Damn charming too. Mine was a method proven. Experience and intuition. It just worked. To think this is what his Majesty’s intelligence service does with the best because of just one embarrassing expense report during air raids. 

The lot of us shimmied down into the shelter, Brackenbury grabbing my arm just after a bomb struck the side of our building. 

“Enough of this! You’re going to Waterfoot! Look at what I have to deal with here. And please read your mission packet documents before you leave tomorrow. This is an odd one. I’m confident you will do fine.  Keep a tight ship on this one, lad. Strictly professional, and I’ll put in a good word to have you reassigned, maybe even promoted. You could have my job someday.  This is on you to prove. There may be a high-profile target involved here.” 

The next day I was being shipped off to adult detention. It was the Woldingham School all over again. Only I’m not eleven years old and it doesn’t involve roman candles and the school chess club. 

Back in the jeep now I grab a canteen from under the seat finishing some last drops with an aspirin. 

“No whiskey until we get to the mission site” I think to myself as the flask in my field jacket starts to grow cartoon eyes and a Cheshire grin. 

Oswald waves his hand up, “This is the site, Sir” 

We turn off a country dirt road to drive up a chromatic long driveway beneath side to side cherry blossoms. Spring petals blow in the wind as we approach a modest but opulently eccentric estate. It looks Edwardian with a flourish of Greek revivalist. Columns are so tacky. The driveway merges into a roundabout centered with a fish pond topped with a statue of St. Michael descending from the sky, spear in hands striking the dragon beast beneath his feet. Satan has a unibrow. The jeep comes to a stop in front of the main heavy wooden double doors. 

I tap the other RAF lad on the shoulder. “What about you, name and rank?” 

“I’m Ian Hook sir, specialist second class.” 

Both the lads sound Northern.

I shuffle out to open the jeep door.

“Why is RAF assigned here and not some other branch? There’s no airfield. This is some country estate.”

“Not my place to know, Sir. We were informed by command that RAF was overseeing the other Operation Cone of Power sites. All the details should be in your packet, Sir.” 

I never ever read the packet until I’ve arrived. Good to go from the gut sometimes. The three of us get our bags from the boot as I start rifling through a manila binder stamped with ‘classified’, ‘secret’, all the usual. 

First page is a map with three sites. The two in New Forrest I already know about. By know about I mean know that they exist. At each site marker is a ‘critical personnel asset’ for the war effort. No one I’ve ever heard of before, certainly not military and no one I’ve crossed paths with in Mi5. A Gerald Gardner at New Forrest Park, above pinned a photo of a ludicrous old Merlin ponce. At Newport, a Dion Fortune, above pinned a photo of a dreadful stout woman. Here at wankersburry Scotland, the most boring place in the great war, with a tiny “(USA)” next to the asset names, one, Lavinia King. A blurry photograph of an older but fit woman, maybe late 40s, is pinned right above. King’s profile describes her as a ‘modern dance choreographer and performer traveling with her students, the Berkley California School of Modern Dance.”

“American?” 

“I don’t quite know Sir, please review your mission packet.” 

These RAF lads are idiots. Their accents are going to give me a hemorrhage. 

The three of us approach the front door. A heavy metal knocker in the shape of a small imp grins back at me from the thick floral and tree branch decorated dark wood. It grins wider and friendlier than the flask in my pocket and for a moment I’m filled with the most peculiar sensation. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all? I pull the knocker and slam it down hard thinking, “who is even going to hear this?” 

Some fluttery crashing sounds from the other side of the door bleed through before a delicate looking small gentleman with a burgundy waistcoat striped trousers, elegant Cuban heeled boots and what I can only describe as Oscar Wilde hair, laboriously pries open the antique door. 

“You must be the military envoy. I was told we were going to have more support than this. Lavinia requested balloons. Six hot air. Is it really just you three? Where are the balloons?” 

He talks with his hands. 

I cut in front of the RAF boys and held out my hand. 

“Hello, Graham Cunningham at your service. I’m with intelligence. I’m sure no matter what we can make due. This is a lovely estate we have you set up in.” 

The man sighs and gestures for us to come inside. The main hall is decorated with medieval tapestries. Filigree vines wrap around banisters and overhead is a chandelier buttressed by mermaids swimming out holding hanging barnacle lanterns. We follow the anxious chap to a den beyond the main circular staircase with giant floor to ceiling glass windows facing a rear garden field. 

“Please sit, I’ll bring tea and set up introductions,” the stranger whines at us. 

I’m thumbing through the mission documents looking for profiles, a directory, anything. I find the man’s photo. “Neville Norton”, Australian, playwright, and composer, married to Lavinia King. 

Neville returns with a tray of teacups and black tea.

“The ladies will be here soon, they’re just finishing up a ceremonial process outside in the gardens as a rehearsal.” Neville gestures to the windows after setting down the tea tray and pouring out three cups for us. 

My headache is subsiding. The mission packet defines a “Cone of Power” as a “field of psychic energy produced by a group circle with the use of dance and visualization.” Below it are intel blurbs about locations of circle placements along the shore lines of the Battle of Gravelines in 1558 during the Anglo-Spanish War to spot enemy positions via remote viewing. A subsection describes Sir Francis Drake’s recruitment of sea witches on privateer ships to affect weather patterns during naval battles against the Armada. There are statistical charts, a section on theory pulled from the Society for Psychical Research written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and more notes about “non-human intelligences.” I don’t have enough mescaline for this. Either the Deputy Director and the field office are having a laugh, or this is a stroke of genius. I imagine Sir Frances Drake on his galleon in 1558. Sea witches right? They better be fit. Live it up. Variety is the East India Company spice of life. 

A counter intel document has extensive Mi5 research on German ‘black magicians’ within the Nazi regime. A taxonomy of various rituals, maps of expeditionary sites, and a red marked key location on a map showing North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. A Castle Wewelsburg. There is a list of high value targets within Nazi leadership. I need to comb the index to even find out what in the hell are the Thule Society and the Ahnenerbe. Ariosophy, occult ceremonies and archaeological expeditions. Fucking hell, if what Mi5 is doing is a load of bollocks, these German queers are really reaching here. 

Methods for the operations at this estate are described for “penetrating enemy targets with offensive astral projection contact via ‘circling dives.” It describes “group ritual for the induction of mania and suicidal ideation into enemy targets.”  With the use of “fear and sex based cognitive security infiltration….” Down at the bottom a footnote, “Progress made with enemy target subject, Rudolf Hess.”

That’s the Deputy Führer. Perhaps there is a play here I can work.

An independent audit is included from Lodge Prince of Wales 426. It describes a secondary astral auditing of primary astral projection work performed by Lavinia King and the Berkley California School of Modern Dance from the weeks before I and my team arrived. This one is supposed to be practical evidence that what goes on here actually works. Leave it to some 33rd degree tosser to lead me here to the middle of nowhere on a hunch. 

I’m not drunk enough for this. 

I finally notice the scene through the garden facing windows. 

I don’t have enough drugs for this. 

Sure enough outside, five young women dressed like naiads in sheer Grecian dresses leaving little to the imagination are possessed by interpretive dance delirium under the afternoon sun, led by the most ravishing governess of an arts teacher I have ever seen. They’re gallivanting in a circle as if dancing through water. I can hear Mozart’s Mass in D Major, K. 194 -Benedictus laughing synesthesia from my jacket Cheshire flask into my chest. 

Oh dear. Here we go again. 

“Shut up cat!” I scream inside my thoughts to the flask. 

The flask keeps taunting, 

“Think of Sir Francis, dear boy. Sea Witches”

I turn away from the windows to Neville, 

“Your wife and her students, yes?” I ask, dropping a sugar cube into a teacup and after fumbling through my rucksack for my tobacco pipe. 

Neville fixes his glasses,  

“Oh, yes, that would be the so very Amazonian one. Strawberry blonde. My dear wife and closest friend. Yes, I write much of the music for her dance performances. I don’t know if you boys are the boheme type, but we’ve traveled all about Europe even as far as Communist Russia…. Dreadful place. One of her lovers opened a school for her there to teach underprivileged children the arts of modern dance.”

I cough mid inhale from my pipe. 

“Lovers?” I ask. 

“While it’s no concern for the English government, yes we do all practice a more bohemian lifestyle. I have my own tastes, but Lavinia and her students are a bit more than just a dance school. Something of a coven. I can’t imagine your other recruits at the other sites are all that different.” 

What in hell is Brackenbury’s angle here? Is this a test? 

All that different? I remember the photos of that fat woman and the mad vagrant old man from the mission packet. New Forrest and Newport. Is that where my “top Mi5” competitors got sent? 

If I ever need evidence that I’m doing everything right, the universe always provides. Or something like that. I need to stay in the spirit here. T. E. Lawrence had the right idea. Always go native. Plus sea witches. 

The RAF lads are giving each other glances. I furrow at both of them. 

“No” I mouth in a whisper to Ian and Oswald. 

I raise my teacup in a mock toast, 

“Neville. I’ll have you know that none of this makes me uncomfortable at all. You’d be surprised what his Majesty’s intelligence service encounters between the snowy Carpathians and the very delightful heat of the Tangier interzone.”

Neville rolls his eyes. 

“Not that I care. I’m here for the silence, I have deadlines and compositions to finish. Lavinia will lead everything, just don’t bother me in the east wing.”

The tea scent is like angel’s breath. If I could still cry, maybe a single tear would slip from one of my eyes. I take a sip of tea. It tastes….odd.

“I know we’re going to get along just fine. We’re all patriotic saviors of King and Country here. The specter of fascism shall never reach these shores. Also, what is the, dare I say, booze situation at this estate?” 

Outside the six sirens are dashing back to the estate still floating. The Cheshire flask starts humming Mozart’s Requiem: Angus Dei. It whispers into my chest: 

“You’re going to be dishonorably discharged.” 

“Shut up cat!” I yell slamming my fist against the flask in my field jacket.

The RAF Lads and Neville all immediately begin staring at me. 

“Oh oh no, what I mean to say is. I would love to learn more about this ceremonial process. My father is a Freemason. Never cared for it, but I understand the place for this kind of thing.” 

Neville, seated across from us, lights a cigarette from a long narrow cigarette holder. I only now notice his fingernails are painted just a slight color of gold. 

“To your first question, there’s a bar in almost every room in this macabre place. All seem very creature themed, you’ll see. Ask Lavinia if you want something stronger.” 

“To your second question, I don’t know anything about it, it’s all pageantry to me, darling. She floats about and I direct her. She’s a hanger. For my music and costumes.” 

Myself and the two RAF lads all turn our eyes to the mermaid wood engraved doors to our left. The sounds of laughter and sweet service in his Majesty’s war effort fill the room like magic. Please no. 

This assignment is supposed to be boring. 

I need to detox. I have rules about this excursion. I’m still hungover. 

The doors blast open, Lavinia trots in holding hands in a chain with each woman behind her. Lavinia towers over Neville, wraps her arms around him pulling him off his chair and presses a kiss on his forehead. Neville doesn’t so much recoil as much as he endures. Neville fixes his hair, brushing his fingers through the front facing bangs throwing them back. 

Lavinia and the girls all sit on the Afghan rug around us at the den tea table, she cups her chin with both hands and tilts her head side to side facing Neville. 

“Neville darling! Are these the brave young men that are helping us cast a spell on Hitler’s naughties.” The young women laugh together with her. 

The Cheshire flask is weeping in laughter. I keep myself together. 

I stand up and direct Ian and Oswald to stand. I hold out my hand. 

“Mrs. Lavinia King, I’m Graham Cunningham of his Majesty’s intelligence service. These two outstanding chaps are the finest the Royal Air Force has to offer, Ian and Oswald something… or other.” 

“Pleased to make your acquaintance ma’am”

Ian struggles not to look like a horny twat

Oswald meekly puts out his hand. 

The women smile and exchange glances. Lavinia stands up and throws her coral reef of red locks back and shakes our hands. 

“Brilliant! As I know you English like to say! I’ll go around and introduce…” 

Lavinia walks back behind her students on the tips of her toes. She taps each of the five girls on the head with a mahogany wand that slides out like a proboscis emerging from her sleeve.

“This is, Ahathoor from Paris, Clytemnestra, from Montreal, Hecate from New York City, Sappho from Florence, and Dido from my hometown San Francisco.” 

She smiles and squints.

I need to find a room bar now. 

Neville interrupts waving his hand through smoke, 

“The RAF didn’t deliver all the requested materials, loves. That is beyond anything apart from delivering these beautiful boys.” 

Dido springs up and leaps between the two RAF boys throwing both her arms over them tapping her hands on their chest like daddy long leg tips. 

“Please do tell us you’ve sent for our balloons.” 

I mouth my pipe while unbuttoning my field jacket, “Miss Dido. Unfortunately, it is only us as military advisors during this exercise. No supplies beyond what we have here already.” 

Lavinia lifts the other women up and clasps her hands together, the wand disappearing into her dress like a snake fang retracting into bone. She holds her hands up as if in Lord’s prayer. 

“Dido, this is wonderful news. In our circling meditations, I’ve converged with each of you about our visions from the aetheric void. It is not from within this space that Kether will whisper to us but from without. We must be open to change.” 

Clytemnestra has Louise Brooks hair and a face that screams “bored, hot, and bothered.” She touches Lavinia’s waist. Too intimate. It’s too good.  

“You don’t have to see him come from the sky, darling. Divine genius of the daemon. It’s done already. We’ve already done this for days. He’s lain with all of us. How many astral dives into Wewelsburg do we need to do to get your next man here? I know he’s spruce and virile, but this is easy. All we have to do tonight is invoke nine Venusian spirits. One for each of us here. Neville, don’t worry we’re leaving you alone this time.” 

Neville gets up and does a dignified bow, winking at Ian and Oswald. 

“I’ll set up breakfast for all of you tomorrow. I’m retreating to work after six. Don’t let Lavinia feed you too much of that tea. If the stars align for these silly girls, maybe I will see you beautiful boys later tonight too.” 

Cheshire flask isn’t singing. I tap it trying to get him to do anything, a meow, something.

The girls scatter about around Lavinia, laughter like deer dodging into a forest, dragging Ian and Oswald away with them through the den door into the circle staircase entryway deep into the estate innards. I am left alone with Lavinia. Afternoon is turning into dusk. How did so much time pass? What time is it? I sit back down trying to remember. 

I deeply don’t have enough booze for this. 

Lavinia floats towards me and sits in front of me on the rug. She is luminous. The room is warping. I’m tapping Cheshire flask for a sign of life. 

“Wake up cat, laugh, you twat.” 

Lavinia picks up my mission packet from the side table. I don’t stop her. She licks the tip of her finger and starts thumbing through the Mi5 documents. Her hair is glowing in front of a fire sonnenrad halo behind her head. It’s the spitting spinning image of the ones in the Mi5 counter intel doc about the enemy’s black magic. That should mean something right? I should’ve read the mission packet on the drive here. What the fuck was in that tea? 

“Tell me Graham, did you really think we needed balloons? Did you read any of this?”

Lavinia’s face is falling in and out of focus. She is farther and closer away. I start grasping at the Cheshire flask with sweat soaked hands. I unscrew the cap and gulp down aged sweet English whiskey, drowning myself. I grab the pipe from the cushion of the chair and look down. It’s a warping cicada flapping two pairs of wings with a bowl of half burnt tobacco right at the tip of its throbbing abdomen. My fingers move in delayed breathing, flipping my lighter to spark the pipe. Nicotine won’t ever fix your problems. 

Lavinia spreads my legs open laying the packet on my right leg as she reads through every page and fondles from my inner thighs to my crotch with a single finger over my trousers. The light of her sinister spinning halo lights the pages in the dark room. Twilight settles into the outside garden to night. I can hear the distant sounds of chorus music upstairs. 

“Oh Graham, I already know you’re going to be Kedemel tonight.” 

She tosses the mission packet aside and starts drawing a shape onto my chest with her finger. 

“Do you know what card I predict you’d pull if I had a deck with me now? Maybe think about it. Get up.” 

I stand frantically grasping at the cicada in my hand while its wings bat against my fingers. It’s trying to fly away. The Cheshire flask is still silent. 

“The satyric Komos dance is your path to your comrades upstairs, follow me as I move.” 

Lavinia touches one shoulder and her whole dress drops. Her body is oiled, scented of oakmoss and amber. The flesh beneath her thighs fades into fur of faun legs ending in black stiletto animal hooves. 

I don’t have enough drugs for this. Ever want to fuck a monster? 

I need this creature. 

“Keep it together Graham,” she shouts, “maintain eye contact, dance with me.” 

Lavinia takes my hand just after the cicada pipe flies away darting into the night cast den. 

For King and Country, “All the world’s a stage.” 

Through the main hall I try to mimic Lavinia’s movements as she threads the two of us to the staircase. The ceiling mermaids are swimming through liquid air fondling their breasts gazing down on us above illuminated barnacles descending into the space like deep sea lanternfish. The whole estate is submerged in gel water. I follow Lavinia, the curves of her body shift in rhythm with the clack sound of her hooves against each step. The sound is like deep sea crashes through the waving haze, not quite gas, not quite water. Light from her black sun halo lights up portrait paintings ascending next to us up the stair case curve. My body is an overheated furnace. I peel the field jacket off, the tie, shirt, to a sweat laced chest blending with the aquatic space between me and this “critical personnel asset for the war effort, Lavinia King.” She drags me deeper into the chanting upper bedrooms. 

Those RAF kids are idiots. Damn smart idiots that is. 

In the west wing master bedroom my RAF escort crew is a contorted sea of bodies with what might be Lavinia’s students. I’ve been privy to orgies more times than I can count, but I have to hand it to the lads. At least until I realize Ian is sodomizing Neville who clearly is not in for the night to write bloody classical compositions. Capital job Neville, you know how to do it. 

The women are all different forms. Did the mission packet mention “non-human intelligence”? Protean abyssal Baphomets glowing under bioluminescence. If there is a sex act I have seen and done it’s displayed chimeric and radiant. Have you ever seen a woman with bat wings perform cunnilingus on a sphinx. What about double penetration of a wood nymph while a homosexual satyr plays voyeur? 

Hecate from New York sporting a dashing pair of curved horns and draconian slit pupils is plucking at a harpy shaped full length gold harp shouting out in rhythmic meter; 

“Rudolf Hess! Feel us! Feel your astral lover Lavinia calling to you! Fly to us! Witness us!” 

Lavinia circles around me and has us kneel together, eyes locked, my hands on her goat thighs. 

“Thank you for bringing these men. I needed this Vril to reach my love…. You know Rudolf right? He is in your briefings is he not? Darling, we haven’t done a single ritual from that stupid Mi5 document you brought after first contact. No, my girls have been helping me project to my astral lover, Rudolf. I tried harming him at first, but oh dear, I just fell in love with his spirit body. I’ve been convincing him to fly here and abandon the Führer for weeks now. Thank you so much, I could not have done it without your dearest help.” 

She embraces my head with both hands and kisses me deeply. Her mouth is a pond of eels. It tastes like honey and semen. 

I fall into it and blackout. Cheshire flask is laughing from downstairs. 

“These aren’t even German spies you twat, this is some dumb whore trying to fuck the Reichsminister” 

Thank you, Cheshire flask. Way to let me know earlier you bastard, I thought we were friends. 

I wake to the crashing, blasting ever so familiar sound of a Messerschmitt Bf 110 Luftwaffe heavy bomber slow diving into the rear garden. These things bomb London enough while I’m in one woman or another, it’s hard to forget the sound. The bedroom is full of contorted idiot bodies wrapped in each other under the daylight windows. All human. Not a creature in sight, except maybe Neville. If Director Brackenbury is testing my purity, he’s got my number for the first time. I didn’t spend a goddamn dime. This time it really wasn’t me. My fucking pants are still on. I approach the bedroom window overlooking the garden to view the wreckage. 

Dear God, Yes. Never luck. Always intuition.  

Failure leads to victory, lads. 

I just captured the Nazi Reichsminister… sort of. 

On the hung off wing of the wreckage, there in beautiful splayed out glory. Lavinia King is bent over surrounded in fire. She has regular gorgeous human woman legs and ankles, not a satyr hoof in sight. That unibrowed kraut mutant Rudolf Hess is slamming into her from behind. I’ve never seen anyone get fucked on a plane wreckage before. 

That was supposed to be me fucking that strumpet.

Cheshire flask laughs from downstairs. 

“You’re getting promoted, congratulations.” 

Thank you, Cheshire flask. We’ll defeat Hitler yet. 

I glance down and see a tarot card on the window side table. 

“The Fool.”

— Adrian Georges Silva is from New York City. He used to work in arts and fashion but learned how to write bad Enochian that passes for computer code. He may or may not reside near the “Electa” point of the capital pentagram. He has a Twitter and a Substack.

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