“World domination’s never actually been my bag, dear boy,” said Charles, striding across his study in a purple dressing gown and paisley cravat. “And there’s my bad back and dicky heart to think of, you know.” It was the summer of 1943 and sultry in his spacious Piccadilly flat.
“Look Charles, the PM’s rather depending on you.” We couldn’t pander to his hypochondria, a legacy of aristocratic German parents. I handed him a holdall. “Just try it on. Please. You’ll be back here in three days, snug as a bug in a rug!”
“Well, dear boy ….” He waved his hands in exasperation and took it into the bedroom.
I gazed out onto the street, watching the passersby scurrying about their anonymous business. Time crawled … Come on Charles!
Twenty minutes later, the door opened and a stranger entered. His short black hair was parted on the right and shiny with hair cream. He wore a khaki jacket with a black cross pinned to it and a red armband. He barked a short speech in German, clicked the heels of his jackboots and gave a straight-armed salute. “Sieg Heil!”
Charles smiled and stroked his small, square, black moustache.
Featured in the book, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories
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