The antique shop in the middle of Oxfordshire looked dusty and rusty and a little dark. The crow perched on the lamppost outside added to this aura of despondency.

“That’s a treasure trove my friend,” Stankovich, looked grave and important. I wondered if that was his real name but at the moment it really didn’t matter. I was desperate.

“Don’t look at it directly,” he added,  keeping his gaze fixed towards the Christchurch meadow across the street. He lighted a cigarette and passed on to me, I took a puff inhaling deeply to fill my senses. The cold was biting even with a feathered jacket on I shivered and took another puff. My nose usually froze first in all of my face making the tip red. I looked like the clown that had nothing better to do than entertain. I considered my odds. A foreign student with limited visa and I get robbed in London. 

All my money had been stolen, I was stranded and this crook of a man was offering me a way out.

“It’s between this and becoming a donkey, your choice laddie.” he could sense my desperation,  like a hyena he circled me.

“Being a mule for your package you mean?” I tried to rectify nervously my breath coming out in vapours.

“Whatever you want to be boy.” He laughed throwing his head back revealing a nasty soul through a row of black teeth.

Carrying his package was a felony I couldn’t afford on my visa but I had a bit of of time on my hands to plan this one out, and it seemed somewhat manageable although not entirely an exotic one to engage in, I could survive.

The Cherwell river met the Thames in the bend that was slightly hidden from where we stood, although you couldn’t  see it the sense of it being there was powerful enough.

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