“Have you made up your mind, Sir?” he said, latex-gloved hands clasped gently in front of him.
“Yes, I have. I’m going to stick with my initial mixture, but I’d like to add three portions of Subterfuge. The good stuff. Not that cheap rubbish.”
“An excellent choice.” He picked up the tablet and scrolled through Mr Kerfield’s chart. “That will complement the Espionage flavours nicely. We’ll be able to give you something quite special.”
Kerfield smiled and leant back in the chair, arms down to his sides, ready to be strapped in for the procedure.
“One moment, please. We just need your thumb here,” he held the tablet down, “and here, for final confirmation.” Mr Kerfield raised himself on one elbow and jabbed his thumb roughly at the tablet.
“Very good, Sir.” He strapped Kerfield in, started the machine, and strode around the corner to his accomplice. They shut and locked the door.
“We’d better be quick. I give him ten minutes before he realises something’s up and starts fidgeting. Big chap. I don’t think the straps or the door will keep him for more than a few minutes.” They bolted off down the corridor.

The drone in the chair whirred and clicked inside, sending data across the street to the real Mr Kerfield.
“Dammit,” he cursed, banging his fist on the table. “Another charlatan. How am I supposed steal their method if they don’t have one?”
He set the drone to self destruct and flipped back to the classifieds. Maybe the next one would live up to its promises.

5 thoughts on “Subterfuge”

  1. Apologies accepted, except the last one, because unnecessary.

    I really liked this piece! I love the straight take on “subterfuge” followed by a twist and a double-twist – that was fun and quick and lightfooted, very clever!

    I especially like that the nature of the procedure is not revealed at all, it works your imagination and also fits the theme – none of the characters are really interested in what the procedure does either, only how it’s done (and how much to charge for it!).

    I think this is great, and fits into my general vision of comovedy-future – quick, strange and commercially viable 😉

    thank you!

  2. Never apologise for rubbish-ness – if everyone started doing this the internet would run out of space.

    Cool story – another comovedy future: still filled with deceit, dishonesty and joyous frippery; the future according to Dickens

    Like the idea of the procedure (as little described as it is) and the idea of the double subterfuge within – the fraudsters trying to steal money by deceit and the client trying to steal IP by deceit.

    Certainly the second twist took me by surprise. Good cool fun – I would have liked to see more about exactly what the service being sold was – perhaps the text of the classified advert might have been great.

  3. What everyone else said. This is great, as usual :-) Pithy, clever, twisty and light. Lovely fun to read. I love the layers and the way it just keeps on twisting. Thanks.

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