TITLE: The Shadow Service
GENRE: Urban fantasy
They have sent another one. Antonio glanced at the warning from the deputy minister and absent-mindedly shredded the note with his pale fingers.
A few years ago such a memo would have filled him with something akin to excitement. But quite frankly, the spies had disappointed him. It had been absurdly easy to control their minds, although he always felt vaguely guilty exercising his powers. After all, as a former Jesuit priest, he had once stood on the side of the church.
Antonio sighed and dropped the feathery strips of paper into his waste paper basket. He peered at his nails. They were far too long, more like pointed talons. He made a mental note to pare them before he went out for the night.
He checked his watch. It was almost 10 a.m., but you would never know it. The windowless office was cast in perpetual gloom. The weak light from the solitary desk lamp and soft glow of his computer screen provided enough light to reveal walls as bare as a monk’s cell. It would seem old habits were hard to break. Except for the framed photo on his bookcase, the Persian carpet blanketing the floor was his only concession to adornment. In fact, the rug proved quite useful; it hid the green carpeting that spread across government office floors like creeping mold.