Walking Getting Better







It seemed like every day, my only role was to practise walking. I had strolled through the hallways of the underground spy hospital so many times that I had memorised every thin crack or mark along the cement walls. It wasn’t a good place to be. The hospital was sparsely populated, as spy injuries were so rare in modern times. The only other people I saw were doctors and podiatrists. I wasn’t allowed above ground – even though it had been months since I failed my mission and let down my entire team, I was still being sequestered away from the other spies in case I compromised information. I don’t often get hurt or offended, but I was indignant when my boss sat me down to tell me that little tidbit. I’d been a spy for three decades, and part of my current organisation for two of those. Surely they trusted me now. Up until this point, every mission I had been part of or commanded had been a raging success. The information I had gleaned as a spy was priceless. It had saved lives, changed the course of international politics, and made the world better for millions of people. Why was I being treated like a common civilian? Part of me wondered if it was simply my injury, the fact that I had to wear gel toe and shoe pads over the outside of my shoes. Maybe I was being treated differently because I could no longer work in the same way as other spies. But then I remembered: how many failed spies had I seen working at my organisation? None. There were none, in the two decades I had been working here. When a spy failed, they simply disappeared. As I hobbled through the halls, pondering my fate, my footsteps echoed loudly. An anxious gnawing began in my stomach, the first anxiety I had felt since I fell over that cliff, the first since the best foot specialist in Cheltenham told me I may never walk again. But I pushed both of those thoughts aside. I had always overcome every odd that I had faced. Before the fall, I was one of the world’s best spies. I had to get back there.

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