WHEN BLOOD RUNS COLD
Mystery Scene|Fall #165, 2020
Why is spying often referred to as a game? There is nothing remotely diverting about it.
Daniella Bernett

I’ve often wondered whether someone grows up with the ambition to become a spy, or if a confluence of unexpected circumstances make the choice a fait accompli? On the other hand, perhaps it’s an innate restlessness that can only be sated by living on the edge. Clearly, one must have a penchant for deception to make a career out of spying. For it is lethal, ruthless, and, above all, cold. The consummate professional works alone. He is at home in the shadows because trust is a luxury a spy can ill-afford. Succumbing to emotions or forming attachments can only lead to distractions and fatal errors in judgment.

The risks are even greater for a defector because his existence is built on a tangled web of lies, divided loyalties, and, ultimately, betrayal. A defector lives on borrowed time. He’s constantly running, his nerves stretched Daniella Bernett taut by fear. But the past has a way of catching up with one at the least opportune moment.

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