Any Port in a Storm
Any Port in a Storm by John G Thurloe
Copyright 2017 Rep of Ireland
Sea and Clouds are in cahoots, sometimes.
Wind and Clouds conspire ignoring the waves, many times.
Waves are waiting for the waxing moon, impatiently, to pummel harder.
The World of Intelligence Communities, as Secret Services prefer to be seen,
adopted this paradigm from the beginning.
Alliances were formed and dissolve just to be rekindled
with ex-foes and discarded friends.
Opportune or opprobrium it serves politicians perfectly.
Directives and countermands in succession voids are created.
Filled by sub–alliances of same vein different name.
Nobody needs to know, nobody cares to know – nobody wants to know.
Entities with daring diligence, own agenda and undefined resources
are entering. Their mandate is to keep the fire burning.
Absorbing lack of logic and guidance thus facilitated by impetus.
Absorbing lack of logic and guidance thus facilitated by impetus.
Finding fault with everything not divulging the remedy.
To wit, the remedy formula is simmered daily anew in a huge caldron called secrecy.
Dispensed in spoons so no one could assay the essence.
Department chiefs and segment commanders aligning flow of directives respectively their interpretations.
Tough times for field operatives and spooks.
Quid pro quo could lead to great interactions or to bricolage.
In-house lingo for croppers.Gaffes are part of their lives, operational hazards.
Gaffes are part of their lives, operational hazards.
There are gaucheries and there are blunders.
First one could cause a slap on the wrist.
Relegated to some tedious desk in a boring section.
Blunders weighing heavier.
Over 200 Marines were blown up in a single incidence.
Liaison between two agencies didn’t work.
Section chief ignored faulty communication.
Relied too much on co-operation with higher echelons in lieu of local spooks.
Calling upon allies turns out to be dealing with quick sand.
Keep them close, be on their toes invariably they are curious.
An illusion that backfired.
Hitherto five agents of an extremely close US cohort doing long stints in US penitentiaries for espionage.
Who needs enemies with friends like that?
A little cog, a pawn, is in trouble
Ringing phone bothers him.
‘After 10 PM, could only be mother…no one else knows this number.’
Ex – directory and residence not registered.
As it fits a real bachelor pad.
His latest conquest is still taking a shower. Actually, they took it together and he ‘s extremely relaxed.
‘Got more than I bargained for’ , grinning doesn’t make him look nice.
‘What is it this time, the washing machine again?’
“ Yes mother, I call you back tomorrow morning” and hangs up.
Phone starts pestering again, third ringing and he answers.
“ Mother I told ya tomorro…”
“ Don’t mother –me and don’t ya hang up on me ever again”,
interrupted a calm voice.
“ I thought ….”
“ Where is our man.. Why ya skip’d him? “
“ He was late and I ” ..
“ Balderdash! Find him y’ bompat …..sleeper didn’t see him.
Find him now…ya ken all holes …he pulled a chirper “.
“ Call me in three hours, got it? “ and hung up.
‘ How did he get the number..Jennifer , the office ..nobody has it..
Jen would love to get it.’
Erin has his own way to do things . Northern Rock is
Feedback at one in the morning is totally normal….for them.
‘Pubs were closing soon .Clubs just opening.Bye-bye- shower
Said three hours …any news? Speak up pillock. “
‘ More grumpy than ever, I’m 10 minutes late ’
“ Did ya hear, talk! Did ya find him ? “
‘ Have to calm him, need an idea ‘
“ Yes and no, that means …”
“ Don’t give me crap boy”
“ Found him in a club…eh he just left and …with a bird…guess I
know her ….will pick him up there first thing in the morning”
“ No , you do it right now …have to talk to him…off ya go and
report back you hear.” Line goes dead.
Fib gains him nothing. His hope for a reprieve went sour .
Half hour later effing and blinding, Haggerty breaks the
News that the man disappeared .Fact is he hopes he has
“ She said he left her after rumpy-pompy and he was
Word fragments , expletives, the entire gamut ; followed by
For a moment it seems Erin has vanished into space too.
“ Last bender he stuck on the Isle of Man” he sounds collected
“ No waves, no fuss , I’ll let you know.Bye .”
An almost cordial departure at nearly two o’clock.
Gratifyied by a drink he mulls over this encounter.
‘ Why did he get agitated over this indulging messenger?
Who had to collect some contracts …nothing else.
Or is there something more ? ‘
Waking up three hours later ,still on the couch with a stiff neck,
same thought strikes him again.
Some moons ago, back from a London job, close to Lewisham he noticed a tail.
Couldn’t shake it off. One of many Dolomites, part of national competition between
Avenger, Morris and Minx for ‘lemon of the month’.
First and best bet CID Criminal Investigation Department.
‘Last run for the Italians was two days ago…what went wrong?
Nailing culprits red handed proscribes burning rubber and
decimating monthly fuel allocation. A cropper for a honest copper.
Crackling on his two- way radio spits out garbled lines...
…” wee -wee can’t be too far away he …” rest got atmospheric.
…” not a shred of this SOB…”
“ fricking head…’…’ wi…p... hea...”
Police language constantly monitored would be sober even in hot pursuit.
In Alabama he could name instantly three groups notorious for night chevies.
More in Salvador. In Sussex? Passing a delivery van, it strikes him...the LHA…
Lewisham Hackney Association formed by five radio hire companies
last year. Vehicled vigilantes dedicated to mince everybody fittingly into molass
suspected of pilfering customers off their turf.
Causing accidents, coercing inebriated family men and their slurred speaking
spouses to change means of transports in a hailstorm.
Walloping chauffeurs who crossed ignorantly- innocently borough’ border lines.
Who would risk involving The Old Bill; not owning a set of extra wheels.
“ He‘s a bit bruised...rarara… wrong patch he cruised…rarara …”
Belted out by revellers at some waterholes in Lewis, Brighton, further afield.
‘Orphan’ next to him gets queasy. That’s how the streetwise calling randomly
plucked passengers .Hackney regulations strictly rule out rendering such services.
Apart from helping children at night who are not accompanied by parents.
Swinging side-ways into unchartered territory they are in super –troupers’ dazzling
crosshairs for a couple of moments . Not what Nic- hoped for.
Checkpoint in-making is his first instinct . Expecting coppers rushing all over the place
sussing them out. Meanwhile ‘Orphan’ wetting his pants; subsequent laughter is mortifying.
‘Electricians’ misdeemed them for ‘Benders’. No need to specify. Everybody in close-knit
Southeast knows policemen moonlighting for one or the other department.
Despite recently increases from Thatcher.
Nevertheless, they wouldn’t face disciplinary actions. Chalking up merit points instead.
“ Got burnt by bender from Haven...”
Deflecting his ignorance Nic just nods.
Another crooked cop between port’s spires and the lighthouse?
CID in the provinces should be shifted around every 12 months now >, he thought.
“ Pretty piece of pickled piss. Regular nine- to- five fart artist with Ol’ Bill there. “
“ How would ya know?”
“ Sallow like a pregnant sow. Never sees a decent hour of daylight…
Pal of mine run’ a tinker in B’hill.”…he laughs drily.
“ Know’ the sod .Posed as traf-copper. Checked out the looo...the load of me trucky…
Was at night eh bumfuzzled me yet says everythin’ okeydokey…
not real thick me-self had good paper on me. “
...a talking crow, saw one in a circus...was 6 or seven> Nic remembers
“ Tell ya what ..a week later I had the tax-man on me back…’” he huffed.
“ What was wrong you had documents ?”
” Not anymore ‘ his foil mutters....not anymore…’”
And after a sigh and a pause
“ it was slung to mate of mine in ESEF …”
Banking, arguably not unjustified, everybody down there would know SF would
stand for Seaford.”
“ Well SF…not easy “
Nic winged it...not understanding a word ..trying to keep things a-flow.
“Not easy?... my man...I tell ya what’s not easy…but first……’”
Handset activated and lights got killed. Arabian darkness.
”....yeah who’s after you? “
“ Lewisham buggers LHS…I guess...wonder why they didn’t…hm...”
‘” …appear? Harvesters hate gawkers…and night gawkers are a pest.’”
“ Apart from that they should have passed me first “ says a voice behind them.
. Resolute voice hints late twenties.
“How many times did I tell you dad the word is gawks...Gee...A ..Double –U…”
hesitates longer ...
“ K and S. Gawker is your creation.’”
“ Like you are me creation.”
“ She loves to diss her father. Favourite past-time , her pet `orse.”
The old man repeated miffed.
“ Linda he is…yeah, you `ave one, right? Didn’t hear your name…”
“ Like wise …had no time for formalities when you plucked us.”
After a beat,” I‘m Nic. ”
Sailing under true colours seems to be the best approach.
“ I’m Ben …guess we should copperfielding…before your friends …
Anyway we’ toddle off to L’ui.”
“ Tell me what happens next?”
“ Jus’ told ya we‘re off to L’ui..”
Making it sound like a French man’s first name or even a V-D.
Nothing that breathes remotely East Sussex’ capital.
”..Sister ‘as a patch there and some udders. Quite comfy..”
“ Thought about the tax –man... “‘ insists Nic.
“ Ah that caper” Ben grunts..” tell ya later..”
Man at the entrance who relieved Linda waves them through.
“..Got this number in T’n’ridge …always thought E’borne is doin’ me… well....”
Changing gears is a noisy affair. Cogwheels entering transmission with grinded teeth.
Meeting exhausted jigs. Fed up to be manhandled that way.
Though they should be used to it.
Ignored by unruffled Ben.
“ Me, cautious like a cat ...you know...cautious like a kitten… well then..
…asked me mate in B’hill to bell this number on the top of this bumph.’”
Accelerated thingamabob leaps forward groaningly expressing pain.
“ He’s on the horn and yes me matey gets a familiar voice...M’mbles ‘wrong number’..
and that’s it…”
“ Transit copper with odd connections.. a crumpet on a side ..whose wheels he’s paying
for strictly with notes...Honestly ..I mean, look ..” he scoffs.
Stirring up whinging gearbox he is too fagged to finish…
“ ….a wheeler- peeler in cahoots with the ropers..Me man I tell ya this cod smells strange..
Or should say cad? “
Nic keeps comment for himself. Hopes for the best chit chat dies down if he doesn`t
show not any interest.
Plodding along with less than thirty miles on stealthy high horse has its moments for
him…enjoying different, elevated perspective of sleeping pastures watched
by dozing gables.
Datsun with stunned still wet orphan under rigged canopy.
” Dad, let me drive you`re bushed. ”
And squeezes herself into the front seats next to Nic.
Ben`s knobbly knee chafes against Nic.
Not a sensation. The fugacious touch of her hand is one.
Welcomed titillation refining nocturnal lumbering through fairy-tale scenery.
Fleeting encounter galvanizes his fingertips..
Not to alarm Ben he studies the road ahead.
There is nothing baring the occasional rodent evading the furtive fox.
He would do a lot to freeze this moment… driving through a never-ending night,forever.
Contemplating this option he feels her breath.A moment later her head on his shoulder.
Enticing him to kiss her when Ben butts in
” In a m’nute she snores like fishm’nger..you’ll see.”
Eyes glued to the track. Giggles like a bag of old screws.
Fills the cabin, mixes with the smell of grease and yenning.
Sniggering dad doesn`t sit well with romantic notions.
Notwithstanding helmsman has hit the nail…
“ She’ll ‘cut’ the weald’ with oomph in no time. Swinging like a rusty axe.
Oih before I forget geezers name is…something ringing…. like Johnston Harding…
‘Y’ never know…it`s a funny odd world”
True so true > he thought and started unwillingly to synchronize vibrations of his
own soft palate.