The Egg Salad Sandwich at the End of Western Civilization: An Imaginary Cold War Espionage Thriller (Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art)

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Good Evening:

So far, top secret ace MI6 agent Nigel Basil Reginald Thorne-Blackthorne-Black did not like the month of February 1970. Not. At. All.

First, his 1965 racing green MG Midget Mark II had gone into the repair shop–yet again. Then, he had to break up with yet another girlfriend because she had tried to assassinate him–and that was starting to get quite boring. Worst of all, Master had forced him to give away his ticket to The Who’s concert at Leeds University just to fly off to San Francisco for a routine fetch of a routine package at a routine drop. San Francisco! Home of The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and similar dismal bands.

“Given the choice between Her Majesty’s Empire and The Who,” he grumbled at the 4th and Mission Street bus stop, “I’ll take Moon and the lads any day.”

Cover Art for The Egg Salad Sandwich at the End of Western Civilization

Cover Art for The Egg Salad Sandwich at the End of Western Civilization

Safely back at the safe house, Her Majesty’s top secret operative rifled through the contents of the bag. The usual dull dim-witted diplomatic dispatches, but they weren’t what he sought. Thorne-Blackthorne-Black wanted to find a paper lunch bag. Ah, there it is. He emptied the contents onto his table, removed the foil wrapping around the contents, then the clear plastic wrapping.

An egg salad sandwich. But not just any egg salad sandwich, but the The egg salad sandwich. The signal. The signal that the Free World, democracy, Western Civilization, and all that is good and worthy in this world, stood perilously close to falling to the Soviet Union and to Communist tyranny–and The Free World, democracy, Western Civilization, and all that is good and worthy in this world did not even know it.

“Well send me to Blazes,” he muttered. “I have to save the Free World again.”

He nibbled at one corner and smiled. Just the right amount of black pepper. He smiled a bigger smile.

Nigel Basil Reginald Thorne-Blackthorne-Black, legendary MI6 operative, was beginning to like February 1970.

Vonn Scott Bair

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