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Spies by Micheal Frayn Essay

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The second train should be coming any time now, it’s been almost two and a half hours now. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without something like the train timetable to occupy my mind. For the half hour leading up to the train pulling in past where I’m now situated I count down the minutes. Even though I’m now living, well, surviving, here in what we called “the Barns” when I was living with Dee and Milly, I can still hear the train just as clearly as before.

I don’t really know why we ever called it the Barns, there’s not really any barns or any kind of shelter here, just a barren landscape scattered with random discarded items, pots and pans, cooking utensils and the such like but really – What was that? Probably nothing. I often think I imagine things down here. Being all alone all day every day has changed me more than I could have imagined. Then again, since I got back, nothing’s really been the same. Im a coward. A spineless weak coward. Coming to terms with that is just about the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

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Harder even than leaving Milly, harder than all the training, harder than the sleepless nights and corporal punishments, harder that anything I’d ever imagined I’d have to do. After working all my life up to one moment when I was meant to be brave, noble, courageous… I can’t even blame anyone else for it. Not then and not now. I’m sure there’s something going on up there. I can hear faint voices, this time closer than at other times. Sometimes I hear the boisterous rantings of the people living in the rundown cottages just a little way from here.

I’ve never really warmed to those folk, always looking a bit unscrubbed and wearing ill-fitted clothes. Then again, I never thought I’d end up like this… in a desolate field all alone, being delivered food occasionally, with nothing to do but count down the hours – There it was again. I’m straining my ears as hard as I can but I can’t quite make out what the noise is. Footsteps. Getting closer and closer. Silence. They’ve stopped. What or whoever that was has stopped at about a metre away from me. I feel curiosity whelming up inside me, who could it be?

I’m not expecting anyone, certainly not Bobs, especially due to problems with Ted at the moment. Holding my breath so as not to miss a noise I think I can make out some whispering, indicating there’s more than one person there. How did they know I’m here? Would she have told anyone? No, no she wouldn’t. She loves me. She wouldn’t. She couldn’t. Right on time, the train rumbles pass, making it impossible to make out any of the conversation going on above. The noise calms me a bit, as it does eight times every other day. But this isn’t any other day. This is here and now and there are people outside that probably know I’m here.

The train slowly dies away into the distance. I’m suddenly overcome with an urgent need to cough. Something is irritating my throat but if I cough they’ll definitely know I’m here. I try to swallow to suppress the increasing itch in my throat but it’s too much. I muffle the noise with a silken scarf I wear round my neck. Then there’s silence again. I don’t understand. If they didn’t know I’m here and if by some miracle they didn’t hear me cough then why else would they come to this dump? Unless they’re iron collectors or something obscure like that.

If they are, they had better not try and remove the thick iron sheet that I’m underneath right now, its about all the protection I’ve got – More disruption. This time its about two or three metres to the left of me, I hear metal clanking like someone’s trying to find something underneath the other scraps. And now I’m coughing again, I never seem to stop down here. Clunk. Metal on metal. Something just fell on the roof. Alternatively, someone just tapped it. The sound echoes around me and I hold my breath. Tap. Again. What the hell is going on here? Is someone trying to kill me down here?

And then there’s silence again. Maybe it will stop now… or maybe, maybe they’re just doing the same as me – listening. Crash. Harder this time, and the vibrations buzz all around my head. This isn’t just a gentle game of tapping cat and mouse any more. SMASH! CRASH! CRASH! SMASH! The noise is literally deafening, I almost can’t hear anything because the noise is so intense. A searing pain rockets through my ears and into my head, I’m squashed into the smallest space possible with my arms folded as tightly as they can squeeze over my head and ears. Make it stop. Make it stop. I’m out of control, it all comes back.

When the three enemy planes surrounded me and my eyes just glazed over and my head was just a stream of random thoughts that I couldn’t seem to piece together. I can’t fall apart again. But what would it matter? Next to no one knows I’m even alive and even if they did would they even – And then it’s over. In a single second there is peace. And then, everything goes black. ?? ?? ?? ?? Spies Coursework Lucy Goodwin 10C 20/02/07 1 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

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