Generation of Vipers

Short Stories

Coming Up Roses?

A Story by KC Abbott

Bertie Greenwood was a spy.

If he were not the quintessential English gentleman, his colleagues in the Foreign Office might have suspected something but, as it was, no one dreamed he could be a traitor. He had been to the right kind of school, he spoke with the right accent and he certainly looked the part. He had travelled extensively in Europe, of course, including Germany, but so had every English gentleman of taste and education. After all, the Kaiser was the old Queen’s grandson; England and Germany were two sides of the same coin. Greenwood had worked in the Foreign Office for over twelve years and if, in that time, Great Britain’s relationship with mighty Germany had changed somewhat, the Foreign Office’s attitude to its staff most certainly had not: Greenwood was a Foreign Office official and an English gentleman – his loyalty was therefore beyond question.

It was an ordinary Friday morning. Greenwood was early – few of his colleagues ever arrived before ten – and the messenger had not yet finished making up the tiny fire which could not keep the room warm, even in June. Greenwood hung his bowler and umbrella on the regulation hat stand and absently stroked his neat moustache as he glanced round the office. The cream and brown paint would have been shiny if it had been clean, but the worn wooden furniture would never shine again. The drab neglect – so predictably British…


KC Abbott wrote this story, set in 1914, in remembrance of World War I.  To read it all as a webpage, click here, but be warned that it is quite long.

If you prefer to download the whole story onto your tablet or e-reader, you can do that by clicking on one of the links below (you will have to load it onto an e-reader via a USB cable).

Coming Up Roses - Mobi (Kindle)Coming Up Roses - epubComing Up Roses - PDF

Whichever you choose to do, Casey hopes you will enjoy this free story.  There will be more free stories here in the future.  If you sign up for Casey’s newsletter, you’ll be among the first to hear about them.

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