This prompt from the Daily Inkling has decided me to admit to one of the silliest ideas I have ever had.

This is a true story. It happened last summer, our first in this house, and I was being introduced to normal, everyday country things that seemed utterly strange to me. I was walking Finbar along our lane one evening after dark. The lane runs along the side of a valley with a ditch on either hand, and on the hill side of the lane, the land rises in a bank higher than my head height. As we passed where the neighbour’s driveway cuts through the bank, I noticed a small, very bright green light in the grass of the banking. I tried to get closer to see what it was, but it was on the other side of the ditch, which was full of water, frogs and tall grass.

The first thought that popped into my head was that scene in A Beautiful Mind when Nash imagines he is being shown around a secret Pentagon lab where Soviet codes are being deciphered. The place is full of computer screens, a greenish light and a faint humming. I’m almost ashamed to admit the loopy idea that I had, to go up to the neighbour’s and warn them that there was secret espionage activity going on in an underground bunker at the end of their driveway. I think if I hadn’t had Finbar straining at the leash to go home, I would have done.

Instead, with the conviction that I had made an exciting and frightening discovery, I let Finbar race me home, told husband about the underground bunker and how the Roberts were exposed to an unknown peril. To his credit, husband put on his shoes and came up the lane with me to see if he could get close enough to the peep hole to see inside the bunker. When we got to the place, there was no light.

He didn’t say, I told you so, or you’re nuts, he just said I must have been mistaken. I was thankful we didn’t have to knock on the Robert’s door to explain about the Soviet or CIA or whatever threat, but the doubt remained. I had seen light escaping from a hole in the bank, nobody was going to tell me otherwise. It took the clear light of day and a bit of research on the internet to discover that the green light escaping from a tiny hole in the bunker wall was in fact a glow worm.


Photo ©Quit007


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Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

29 thoughts on “Espionage”

      1. Loved the story. How true it is of city life though! One of the reasons I left was the cameras up all over Johannesburg, ostensibly to fight crime.

      2. Well, there’s none of that here. Not even street lights. The crime is pretty small beer (kids stealing stuff out of unlocked cars) even though the locals can get steamed up about it.

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