Jul 16

Saving Time

Saving Time

Vatu lowered his binoculars and stretched his aching body before settling back down for another hour of surveillance. The snowy landscape around the Tuvkhun Khiid Temple in Mongolia was a far cry from the tropical climate of his native Fiji. It would be nightfall soon, under cover of darkness he would be able to complete his mission.

His attention was diverted when he noticed movement within the temple compound. Raising his binoculars for a closer look, he grunted in satisfaction when he saw Milo strolling around before jumping on the wall to survey his domain. His silky fur coat glowed orange in the light of the sunset.

Vatu felt a thrill of anticipation. After months of tracking Milo he was finally within his clutches. Reaching inside his jacket he pulled out the package that his country had entrusted to him. Opening it with care, he gazed upon it in wonder. Whoever thought of creating a pen with a watch built into it was a genius in Vatu’s opinion. He felt a pang of homesickness as he looked at the time on the pen – Fijian time. He’d been away from home far too long in his quest to find Milo.

The hairs on the back of Vatu’s neck prickled moments before he heard the twig snapping behind him. Hastily he shoved the pen in his pocket as hands grabbed his legs and dragged him from his hideout. Using all his strength he twisted round, pulled his knees towards his chest, then kicked back as hard as he could. His assailants were flung backwards as he scampered up and vaulted over the rocky outcrop he’d been hiding behind. Sprinting blindly through the trees he ducked and swerved as he heard the thwock of an arrow embedding itself in the tree he was passing. With heart thudding, he made the most of his six foot four frame and years of rugby experience to increase the distance between himself and his pursuers.

Vatu’s headlong dash through the trees came to a crashing halt when the ground disappeared beneath his feet. With a loud whoosh, and a sinking feeling in his stomach, he flew upwards encased in a net. The net swung wildly before settling into a gentle, rhythmic swinging motion high up in the tree canopy. He looked down at the sound of laughter; two Mongolian men, both with arrows notched in their bows and pointed towards him, were grinning at his plight. Vatu closed his eyes as he waited for the arrows to pierce his skin, but when nothing happened, he opened them again to find the Mongolians had gone.

Vatu grabbed the knife he always carried with him and began cutting the rope net. Holding on to the net, he swung back and forwards until he could reach the tree trunk and wrap his legs around it. He grinned as he shimmied down the trunk – trees were no barrier to Fijians who spent their childhood scampering up and down coconut trees.

Quickly getting his bearings in the fading light, Vatu raced towards the temple. As he neared the wall he slowed down and stealthily crept forwards. His attackers were just ahead, facing away from him – they never heard him coming. He left them slumped on the ground together, unconscious from having their heads bashed together.

Making his way to where he’d last seen Milo, he carefully climbed up the wall and felt around until his hands found a small hole with a package nestled within. Inside it was a digital watch – the height of technology in 1982 and an essential tool in Milo’s spy mission. Removing the battery, Vatu produced a brand new one and inserted it into the watch. Pulling out his pen, he carefully synchronised the time on the two devices before returning the watch to the hole in the wall.

He had made it  just in time. If left for just a few more minutes the battery would have been flat.


The writing challenge set by Brain Tomahawk

Object #1 – Fijian Spy
Object #2 – Milo (a cat)
Location – Mongolia 1982
Plot – Saving Time! (Digital watch)
Genre – Thriller
Word Count – 611 words
Check out the other two stories in this challenge by Brain Tomahawk and Old Dog New Tits

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