InkMature

Nobody knows who Cole James is. Unfortunately either does he. Does he stay with the law or does he fight against it to get to the bottom of the mystery - who is Cole James and why does somebody want him dead?

Upon struggling to touch his mouth he quickly retracted his hand. His lips felt bulbous and swollen; a blurry trace of blood graced the tip of his finger. Voices seem to swell around him, blurred and distorted in echoes.

“No possessions I assume?” a male voice struggled through the storm of white noise.

“Some. His clothes were found twenty feet or so from his body. No wallet, so we’ve had no way to identify him. Packet of cigarettes, some Casino chips and five pound, thirty-seven pence in coins” a woman’s voice responded.

“These tattoos, are they-”

“Fresh, yes. It’s strange…”

His head cleared and the voices became audible. He blinked; the haze in front of his eyes was a mesh of diffused colours, painted across his vision. He tried to move but it felt as though gravity was too strong, his head wouldn’t lift from the pillow behind him. His arms were heavy and felt restrained. His movements seemed sluggish, as though he only performed them seconds after he had thought of them.

“Very interesting.”

As his eyes came into focus and his arms began to move, he studied his arm carefully. He looked at the enigmatic patterns that were scrawled down and around his tanned flesh. He couldn’t seem to recall where these markings came from. The markings had scabbed over; it appeared as though they were relatively new.

He held his head; trying to stop the room from spinning around him, every time he focussed on a spot it seemed to slide right out of view again. It felt like the world’s worst hang over. He couldn’t remember a thing. Not even, it occurred to him, his name.

“Cole?” the female voice was speaking to him.

He tried to look in the direction of the voice but his eyes seemed to wander across the wall instead.

“Is your name Cole James?” the voice of the man bounced around his head this time.

Opening his mouth, as if to speak, he found that he was extremely dehydrated. His tongue felt like sandpaper against the roof of his mouth. In attempts to get saliva flowing he swallowed hard a couple of times but it just seemed to make him feel sick. He buried his head back in his hands.

“I… I don’t really know” his voice croaked, dry and raspy.

“Well that’s what these dog tags say, they were found near his body,” she said to the other male.

“Well, we’ll call him Cole for now, we’ll see if anything new turns up. Thank you for your time” the man responded.

A couple of days passed and Cole was regaining his strength and health, he would soon be able to move around by himself. The nurses in his ward constantly regarded his recovery as a miracle.

Police lurked around the ward; Cole had been informed that they wanted to make an inquiry into his attack and a few other bits of information. This was in spite of the fact he had constantly assured them that he couldn’t remember much but was willing to help them out with anything, if he could.

The third day after Cole had regained consciousness a Jamaican nurse informed him that they would have to keep him in until he recovered more of his memory – “, for your safety darlin’.”

As Cole came around later that evening from a quick nap that had occurred owing to boredom he found himself looking up into the face of a rather stern policeman. He sat at the side of Cole’s bed filling in paperwork and frequently sipping on a coffee that smelt as though it could kill a small animal.

“Cole James, correct?” the policeman didn’t look up.

“As far as I’m aware…” Cole begun to speak as he pulled himself up in bed.

“You’re something of an enigma to me, Mr James. We’ve done visual checks for a file on you” he paused as if awaiting a reaction, “you have one. Which, let me tell you, is more than I expected to find. However, your file is also something of an enigma.”

“Oh?”

“You see, according to your file, Mr James, you are 84 years old. Quite frankly that is just a infinitesimal fragment of the information on you that I am struggling to believe.”

“84?” Cole raised an eyebrow

“You see my predicament.”

“Someone must have tampered with your system?”

“So it would seem” taking another sip of his coffee the policeman finally looked up from the papers he was jotting on. “Unfortunately for you, it isn’t that simple.”

“I imagined it wouldn’t be.”

“You’re on the government’s wanted list m’boy, amongst other wanted lists you have restricted files galore. Things I can’t even access… that is something I have never come across before.”

“I’m not sure whether to be scared or flattered?”

“You’re wanted by several English secret services and a handful of other agencies around the world…” he continued.

“There must be some mistake?” Cole protested.

“Have you ever heard of a project called ‘Ninth Divide’?”

The End

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