Darkness engulfs the world for John Terry. Despite his vexation, nothing is allowing the unrelenting dark to give way to light; to life and to reason.
Suddenly forced into a cold, hard chair by the cold, hard hand gripping his shoulder, JT winces as brilliant whiteness breaks into his vision and a sweaty rag is taken away from his eyes.
“Mr Terry,” begins an almost trembling voice, its drawn out vowels making it Russian; unmistakably Russian. “We’ve been expecting you.”
“Cor, f*ck me, it’s like a James Bond film all this, innit? Seen that Skyfall? Cor, f*ck me, let me tell you, son, the birds in that. Cor blimey. You talk like one of them meerkats what insures my cars.”
“Mr Terry, please, silence. For Christ’s sake, you’re being held by the KGB: one of the world’s most deadly agencies. As you British say, “put a sock in it”.”
Spartak fans have had a rough week. They've had to convince themselves that Denis Glushakov is better than Claudio Marchisio, because Fedun told them so, and now they'll have to pretend John Terry is a good signing. Stay strong, lads.
— Eliot Rothwell (@EliotRothwell) September 8, 2018
The nameless Russian continued. “Anyway, you need to talk. What exactly is a wealthy Englishman doing on Russian soil? And, please, spare us the crap about your life as a footballer and the switch to Spartak Moscow. No sane human would see that as a feasible move.”
“Better than Birmingham, innit? And it’s God’s honest truth, I’m just out ‘ere looking at flats and that what to move to when I start playing for the new club. Don’t half mind that gaff what with the swirly colourful bits on top.”
A mechanic whirring began and John Terry was strapped to his chair as it swung back to make his quaking body parallel with the stone, chilled floor of his captivity.
“If you’re going to lie, Mr Terry, we’re going to have to do some not so nice things to make you tell the truth. Igor, the tongs, please.”
“Well blow me down with a feather, lads, no need to get hasty.”
The Russian stood, a leather jacket hanging from his broad shoulders to his steel-toe capped boots. He held a long metal object firmly in one hand and a grin on his face of sheer, crazed glee. “Talk, Mr Terry. Why are you here?”
“I swear, it’s for the football. On my old girl’s life it’s for the football!”
“You’re lying, Mr Terry,” the man grew louder with every drawn-out syllable. “Don’t lie to us.”
“I like the club’s ethos, always wanted to play there since I was a littlun, promise.”
The whirring quickened and John Terry could feel his life hanging in the balance. “Mr Terry -”
“Alright, alright, I’ll talk. Just put away the nutty machines for two seconds. Look, I was online the other week, right? Nothing wrong with that. Anyway, there’s this advert what tells me a beautiful Russian lady finds me highly attractive and would like to meet me one time. Says she’s three miles away. Next time I went online, she weren’t up there as being three miles away no more and so I figured she’d come home, back to Russia.
“Then I see this other advert that says, “Gorgeous Russian girls for you”, and I’m thinking, ‘cor, John, these Russian sorts sound a bit naughty. Get yerself over there, lad’. That’s why I’m here, boys, you ain’t seen a tall blonde sweetheart called Olga have you?”
BREAKING: John Terry is due to undergo a medical at Spartak Moscow!
John Terry v Steven Gerrard in the Europa League! ?
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) September 8, 2018
The Russians were crestfallen, thinking they’d unearthed a top British spy. Sadly, JT was about as expert a spy as a baby elephant could be.
“And here’s me thinkin’ it’d be all vodka and beating up skinny people. What a disappointment.”
Holding a crumpled up printed screenshot of a woman – possibly Olga – Terry was bundled from the KGB complex and thrust back into the throng of a Russian street. He straightened himself up and took a deep breath. Glancing round furtively, he held his watch up closely to his mouth.
“Boss, I’ve ditched the agents. Close call there but I’ve lost them, the cover-up didn’t work. Anyway, I’m going for the Kremlin. Operation Spartak is still go.”
Back in England, a bomb-proof office in Vauxhall breathes a collective sigh of relief at Terry’s message on the intercom. Somewhere, Judy Dench fondly scolds his unorthodox methods but, hey, you can’t say they don’t work.
Back in Russia, Agent Terry removes his watch and drops it into a glass of single malt whisky. “Good evening, Olga, the name’s Terry. John Terry.”
“Which?” asks the stunning blonde.