The Wanderer. February 2016 Muse Of The Month Winning Entry By Shreya Das

A woman secret service agent? Yes! Read on this breathtaking tale of a woman spy, with a twist in the end.

A woman secret service agent? Yes! Read on this breathtaking tale of a woman spy, with a twist in the end.

This year, we bring you again the Muse of the Month contest. We have received some wonderful entries for the February Muse of the Month, and had a hard time picking just 5 winners. Congratulations to all of them!

The cue for February 2016 was:

“Normal is something I can never take for granted again.”– Andaleeb Wajid, When She Went Away.

The second winning entry is by Shreya Das.

The Wanderer

She ran in the dark, her heels pounding on the hard pavement. She could hear her pursuers behind closing in. Her shoes tangled into an undergrowth bush and she fell face forward. Quickly she rolled over into the bushes lining the path and pulled dead leaves on top of her.

She heard them stop, right next to her, breathing hard. Thankfully the dimly lit path of the hotel garden led to low visibility. She heard them whisper among themselves, then two sets of footsteps went ahead and one ran back.

She got up brushing mud and dead leaves from her black lace dress. “Definitely ruined”, she thought ruefully. A twig snapped and she whirled around. The pursuer who had presumably gone back had been waiting for her, it was a trap. He lunged forward, but years of practice and combat training had readied her for such eventualities.

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She pulled out the short army knife from the scabbard tied around her thigh, and plunged it into the abdomen of the oncoming attacker. His speed acted against him as the knife plunged deep in. She pulled it out in a swift motion and stepped back as her attacker collapsed near her feet.

She pulled out the blue scarf knotted around her neck and wrapped it around the blood stained knife and cleaned her fingers. She looked around in the dark for her purse, picked it up and calmly walked across the hotel to the popular coffee joint across the street.

She sat in the Starbucks cafe, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf.

Myra was 29 years old, and worked for the top secret service agency of India which was responsible for collecting information on terrorist attacks and hopefully eliminating them. An offshoot of CBI, the agency consisted of secret service agents and spies who followed the basic rule of kill or die.

She had started out as an IPS officer and it had not been an easy journey. Being a pretty girl in a male dominated set up meant that she had to work doubly hard. When she joined, her petite figure and delicate features had led some of her seniors to underestimate her but they soon regretted it. Her courage, fearlessness, twisting of protocols to suit the situation, and complete lack of respect for authority had gotten her noticed by the top management of the said agency.

When Myra was called for this opportunity, she was told clearly – “You will work only for the agency and mostly be your own boss. If you are on an assignment and anything goes wrong then you will be disowned. We will refuse to recognise you or take any responsibility for your actions. Are you ready for it?”

Oh yes, she was! Myra loved her job. But it had been difficult trying to explain this great shift to her parents. It had been more difficult trying to deflect the marriage proposals they kept sending her way. Myra loved living on edge, but she did not want to involve another individual in this. What’s more, it could be potentially dangerous for him. Most mornings she didn’t know where her evening would be. She had chosen to be a wanderer, with no known destination, except the final end.

“Normal is something I can never take for granted again”, she thought.

To her, all that mattered was making a difference, using the skills she had to make the world a better and safer place, because once you were gone all that you could leave behind was the result of your actions.

Though Myra had gone through extensive training before joining the force, her training for this role had been brutal. She still had scars that she had received while training. Her assignments later had added many more. But they had taught her to think calmly and strategize quickly in tough situations. Which is what she did now. She viewed her options. She was in Bali, spying on one of the terrorist organisation’s lead player.

For the outside world, Ahmed Kafi was a debonair businessman, but the agency had kept an eye on him for years. Some of his activities simply did not add up. There were also unexplained transactions involving large sums of money which disappeared into little known charities. The agency knew that Kafi was funding and organising various terror attacks. He was responsible for killing hundreds of innocents, but he was careful. No government could ever pin him down or connect him to anything.

They had recently received information that he was planning a major attack in one of the big metropolitans of India and he was in Bali to meet the main operators and finalise dates and venues. They needed these details to limit casualties and hopefully stop the attacks.

Myra was chosen for the job because of her success in such covert operations, and also because she was a girl. Kafi was a known womaniser. Her instructions were simple, get the information and get out, do not engage the target. They were aware that Kafi was travelling with his bodyguards and was potentially dangerous himself.

She had travelled by a commercial airline under a different name and taken a room in the same hotel in which the target was lodged. She had spent the day tailing Kafi and keeping an eye on the people he met.

That evening, Myra had taken care to dress up. She was connected with the head office via a real time camera in the huge locket of her necklace and a small microphone in her ear. She had also armed herself with a small army knife and a pistol with a silencer supplied to her by the agency’s contact in Bali.

Aware of the target’s schedule, she had seated herself at the bar at 7pm when Kafi had come down for dinner with his set of bodyguards.

Early in her career, Myra had realised that no matter how hardened a criminal, a man could not resist a woman’s attention, especially a womaniser like him. She had directed fluttering eyelashes and shy smiles towards Kafi, and soon gotten the desired result. He sent her a message to join him.

Her background story was that she was here on a pleasure trip with some friends and this was her last evening, so she had wandered out alone.

He was more than happy to keep her company. When his phone had rung, she had turned her face to look around ensuring that the microphone picked up every syllable he spoke. She also played with her locket, and captured the papers peeking out of a folder on the table. She knew it was not enough, she had to get in his room to get all details.

That’s when things started going downhill. One of his goons, who had been looking at her suspiciously since she sat down came and whispered something in Kafi’s ears.

Kafi’s charming smile changed into something feral as he turned towards her and politely asked, “Should we leave?”
She smiled innocently. “Can I just visit the ladies room?” She asked and without waiting for an answer, picked up her purse walked out of the restaurant.

She knew that these people were dangerous and would not mind hurting innocents if it came to that. She also knew that his goons would follow as soon as she moved and so she directed them away from the crowd. As she reached the lobby, she walked out to the hotel garden and then broke into a run.

She finished her coffee and sat thinking. Myra needed to get her hands on all the details of the attack. Her locket and microphone lay discarded in her bag, where her phone beeped constantly. She did not take the call, she knew it would be her boss advising her to abandon the mission and come back. They had seen and heard the entire chase sequence via the microphone and camera.

She had to get in Kafi’s room and there was no better time like now. She picked up her bag and knife wrapped in blue scarf and walked back to the hotel. Taking the elevator to the top floor, she rang the bell of the penthouse.

One of Kafi’s goons, who had been with him during the dinner, opened the room. His surprised yelp was cut short as she shot him with her silenced pistol. She walked in and went straight to the master bedroom. The running shower meant that Kafi was in bathroom. She quickly went through the folder kept on his bed. It was the same one sitting on the dinner table earlier this evening. There lay all the details she needed – the names, places and timings of planned attacks. The click of the safety latch of a pistol opening announced that she was not alone in the room. She turned to see Kafi’s bodyguard who had warned him about her, standing behind her, his pistol pointed at her chest.

She heard the shower stop and turned to see Kafi standing at the open door of the bathroom in a robe. He assessed the situation quickly.

“Well, hello my dear. You sure left in a hurry after dinner.” He smiled cruelly as he walked up to her and took her pistol from her hand. She did not fight.

“You see, my darling. We also keep ourselves updated on our enemy list. It seems your face had popped up when some of our trainees had been killed last year. Muhammad here was one of the few lucky survivors and remembered meeting you there.”

She knew he was referring to an operation carried out in war torn Afghanistan. They had ambushed and destroyed one of the trainee camps of terrorists. Her gaze flicked to Muhammad, who was staring at her with undisguised hatred.

Myra turned again as Kafi walked away and stood facing her. Muhammad blocked her exit from the room and the balcony on her right would plunge her twelve floors below to certain death. She had one minuscule chance and she better make it work. She knew that Kafi would shoot at her and simultaneously give a signal for his minion to shoot.

She stood staring at him, not daring to blink. She saw the hardening of his eyes, the tightening of his fingers on the trigger and the slight nod he gave to Muhammad. She ducked just as the shots rang out.

She saw Kafi’s surprised look as the blood bloomed on his chest and he went down. He was still staring at her when he died. She turned to see Muhammad, also hit on the chest struggling to get another shot out. She kicked him on his chest, picked up his pistol and shot him twice. Ensuring they both had stopped breathing she picked up the folder, slung her bag and went to checkout.

She had a flight to catch.

Shreya Das wins a Rs 250 Flipkart voucher, as well as a chance to be picked one among the 10 top winners at the end of 2016. Congratulations!

Image source: woman spy by Shutterstock.

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My first book - Second Chances has just released and is present on all online book stores. Do pick up a copy to read about the adventures of a novice ghost. read more...

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