Monday, February 16, 2009

assignment: the dungeons

i present to you coded transcripts of file XI. XXX agent greenglass.

Date: blacked out. Location: London

It was a slow day. When B popped his head in, I was just slipping on my Dior coat, hoping to make a quick getaway.

But his smile told me it wasn’t to be.

“The Dungeons await you agent.”

I could see the curiosity in his eyes. I have to admit, I was just as foxed. After all, it’s not every day that the Queen summons you to her palace.

The last time B and I made a trip to see her, it was because her Finance Minister was found floating in a Greek billionaires pool. It took us ten days to unravel a story fuelled with drugs, money and power.

But that was a year back. And B was still looking at me with his brown fox-hound eyes. He knew.

Four months back, I had met the queen. This time because her dearest last born was so infatuated by me, that he kept insisting I meet his mother or he would slash his wrists. I should have known better. Getting involved with a notorious bisexual who had suicidal tendencies was bad enough. Add monarchy and secret service’s most attractive female to that and you have a combination that would gladden every tabloid editor’s heart.

But that was then. And I’m sure the Queen wasn’t calling me to tea, to ask why I had dropped her darling son like a hot scone.

Still, I decided it was just the kind of thing that would demand a break in tradition. So I refused to change out of my gorgeous purple Erdem dress. So what if it showed my bare shoulders?

And I lit a Slims as I slid into the unmarked car.

Smoking always makes me sad. So by the time the car entered the mammoth grounds of the Palace, I was actually feeling sympathetic.

The old lady was having a bad patch. A bitter undersecretary had gone to the press. The jilted son was crying his eyes out. And her favourite great granddaughter‘s slight bump was developing into an enormous scandal. Not just because she was seventeen, but because no one knew who the father was.

Rumour had it that the girl was an heiress, and the father could lay claim not just to her money but also her title.

I felt a bit like the English weather when I walked in through those imposing doors. And all those dead kings and queens in their severe clothes, they did nothing to improve my mood.

I stood inside the Grand Hall, expecting to be taken through to the East Gallery. But the Queen likes surprises. And a sour faced secretary briskly told me, “Her Majesty would like you to have tea with her in her private quarters.”

So there I was, being whisked away, past the Grand Staircase, the State Dining Room, The Music Room till finally we reached the Bow Room.

My Christian Louboutins are meant for traipsing not walking, but then I don’t expect any of the women in the house to understand that. The silver framed family portraits that stared down at me from the marble mantelpiece showed generation after generation of princesses in muddy riding boots and sensible walking shoes.

I don’t know what sent a sudden chill up my spine. Their complete lack of fashion. Or the damp of the Palace we called the Dungeons.

The door opened. And I saw the most beautiful face. Accompanied by an even more beautiful body.

He was black, like polished ivory. His jaw line was perfect, his body was sculpted, his nostrils flared with just a hint of what it would be like to in bed with him.

“Would madam like her tea served now?”

I would have preferred the junior Page to tea, but all I could do was nod.

He smiled, bowed and disappeared. And before I could even blink, the tea trolley was being rolled in. By yet another gorgeous young man. The head Page was Italian judging by the olive of his skin, the jet black hair, and those sensual lips.

As I stared mesmerised at him, the food trolley was brought in. By yet another glorious specimen of manhood. He wasn’t very tall, but you could tell he was muscular by the way his crisp white shirt stretched over his shoulders. You could also tell the Footman was a Gorkha, because his eyes slanted deliciously, and his face was flawless. The broad nose, the proud tilt of the chin.

I knew something was amiss. Equal recruitment was one thing, but bringing the entire world on a platter for me, was something else.

But before I could put my finger to it, the Butler walked in and bowed. He was Spanish. His clothes fitted him like a matador. And his eyelashes dipped till you wanted to drown in them.

“Her Majesty.”

And the Queen walked in. I managed a quick courtesy; she motioned me to sit down, and nodded to start the tea service.

“I know its short notice, but it lovely to see you again.”

I managed to smile and say thank you, and talk about the weather, and the races, and ask about the corgis. But all the while I was watching. Not knowing for what, but sensing that a drama was being played out for me.

The junior Page was laying out the cucumber sandwiches and the jammy dodgers. He worked fast, with his eyes down. The head Page had set the crumpets up on a Wedgewood plate. He was pouring clotted cream. The Footman was standing in attention behind the Butler, holding the teapot. The distinct fragrance of Keemun Hao Ya filled the room. The Queen nodded and put out her hand.

The Butler had her cup of tea in his hand. She asked after my parents, her hand stretched out. The tea was still in his hand, as he looked at her for just a split second, a silken smile appearing in the corners of his mouth. And then, he stretched and handed her the teacup.

That was it. As I told her how my parents had just embarked on a vacation to Sardinia, the penny dropped.

Why the best looking men in the palace were waiting on me. Why the Queen wanted to see me, for no apparent reason. Why the butler took more than two seconds to hand her the tea.

It was simple. He knew he had a future. And I knew he had none.

So as she leaned over, I whispered, “Ma’am, the Butler did...her.”

Clutching my Sergio Rossi clutch, I curtseyed my way out of the Bow Room. My eyes slid over the Butler. And I knew I’d never see him again.

The Dungeon had claimed another victim.

the files of agentgreenglass are copyright protected. please do not reprint or publish them without her permission. the consequences, needless to say, can be deadly.

1 comment:

This is that said...

Nice agent.I was reading it like the english talk. Rather balmy. Enjoying the adventures of green glass.