Spies must tell lies

'For years I'd been trying to piece together some form of family, and now I had a second chance. I wouldn't let it slip through my fingers.'

Charlotte Goode is fifteen.She speaks eighteen languages and knows how to fight. But she wants to know what really happened the night when her parents fought, and only one of them came out alive.

Spies must tell lies, but she is determined to find the truth.

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20. The Dollhouse

"Here we are," she said. I opened my eyes. We were a few minutes away from where we had started. We were right in front of where our house used to be, before it burnt. I reached for the door, but she was faster. She grabbed my arm, twisting it, making me cry out. She opened her door and walked around the car. I didn't like not being able to see her now - I knew she was plotting something. Probably how to kill me. But I've been training all my life. If I am to die, at least I know I was as prepared as I could be. 

She opened my door for me and pulled me out. I followed her up to the front door. 

"It was a lovely home," she said, but her words weren't for me. "They had another built straight after, but no-one ever moved in. It was still in our name." I bit down on my lip as she opened the door and pulled me inside. 

I instinctively turned left, heading for the living room, and gasped when I found it. It was exactly how I remembered it - the fireplace has the same patterns engraved on it, the sofas were the same material, everything. But why?

"We wanted to make it as similar as possible." My mother's voice carried across the room. Who's we? I thought. But there was no point. I tried to summon at least an ounce of courage as I faced her.

"Why are we here?" I asked, afraid to hear the answer. She took a step closer.

"I wanted you to remind that I wasn't always bad," she said softly, tracing the wallpaper with her fingers. "And no-one will think to look here." I took a step back. The light above me flickered, before fading completely.

"What-" I started, but a deafening smash interrupted my question. The glass of the french doors covered the carpet. Mr Solomon jumped down from the van, Zach right behind him. I recoiled in terror.

"Charlie." It was the first time I had heard Mr Solomon use my first name. "It's okay. Trust me." 

I looked around the room desperately, searching for a weapon, anything. But as ten agents clambered down from the van, I knew this was it. I couldn't take them all. I backed away into the corner as Zach took a step closer. I knew my mother was being handcuffed and led away, but she wasn't my concern anymore. My own brother had turned me in. 

"Stay away." My voice cracked. But Zach reached gently for my arm. I winced.

"Bruised, not broken," he said efficiently, sounding exactly like our father. Then his arms closed around me. I could hear glass crunching, footsteps thudding, the chaos of a crash echoing around us. But in that moment, we had won. We were safe. 

"Come on." Mr Solomon reached for me, ushered me towards the van, but then I remembered.

"She's dead." I whispered. "Abby's dead." 

"She's missing - it's not the same. Your mother would have said something like that to scare you," said Mr Solomon.

"Catherine," I said simply. He looked at me in confusion. "Her name is just Catherine. Not 'your mother'. Not any more." My voice trailed off. I was eager to get away from this place. It was a fraud, a copy of the beautiful home we used to live in when everything was fine. But then reality hit and we had no choice - we were spies. Spies are dangerous. We tell lies.

We are lies.

A lump settled in my throat as I looked around the room for the last time. A framed picture on the wall caught my eye. My mother was in a simple white gown, a bouquet in her hand. A stunning church stood behind. A scrawled line in the corner told me what I already knew - this was a picture from their wedding day.

Benjamin Goode married Catherine Johnson on April 3rd 1993.

 April 3rd 1993. Ten years before he died. 

My father looked  uncomfortable in a suit that was too big, but he smiled so reassuringly I couldn't help but smile at him too. I touched the glass briefly with my hand before turning away.

I could hear Mr Solomon starting up the van, the engine shuddering. But I noticed a scrap of paper on the floor. I reached for it, but the wind whipped it away. I reached again, specks of glass cutting my hand as I felt the rough paper beneath my palm. I turned it over.

London. Find her. And be careful.

-B

Blood trickled through my fingers, staining my father's words. His writing. His hand. I turned the paper over, my hands trembling, searching for a date.

 

November 12th 2011

 

Three weeks ago.

"He's alive."

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Author's note: Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed it! I hope to write a sequel for this... Thanks again :)

 

 

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