By Will Tippett
In the summer of 1962, the Cornish Guardian listed a post for Chief Security Supervisor.
Stan Miller is invited to attend an interview.
The position requires an adequate education and previous military experience is imperative.
Stan spends 18 months at Victoria Barracks in Bodmin, although top of his regiment, he faced ridicule and daily torment. Following his passing out ceremony, Stan swore to leave his military past behind him and at 20, seeks sanctuary in a less conflicting environment.
We follow our protagonist to Fore Street Bank, a community-led setting in sleepy Bodmin. Stan appears slight in build, bespectacled, with slick, yet balding dark hair. He wears a loosely fitted dark suit. The tie around his neck almost seems to be strangling him, with wet palms and quick breath Stan appears nervous as he enters the giant oak door of Fore Street Bank.
Before he has time to compose himself he is snatched by a stocky gent to an office, its walls mostly made of glass. A radio resonates through the room Stan struggles to compete with the commentator’s voice. The interviewer is calm in disposition, with a confident manner. He coolly twists his glass of whisky, with one ear for the radio and one for Stan, the interviewer calmly examines his character. Ignoring Stan’s response, the interviewer raises his hand; intently taking in the radio’s increasingly overpowering sound.
Through the glass, Stan notices a distinct figure in the lobby. The coat is easily recognisable. It was a standard issue National Service trench coat, the figure almost glides across the lobby, turning his head to reveal a haunting gasmask over his face. Stan knew the man, it was a former service man from Victoria Barracks, and his bellowing voice confirmed his fears. He dealt our protagonist a great deal of pain, everyday at the barracks, a feeling he was trying so hard to forget.
Pulling out a revolver the figure taps menacingly on the cashier’s window. The sound swept the room as the interviewers face is stricken with fear. Stan realises he can stop the intruder but how can he be face to face with the man that made his life hell for so long? The assailant bellows and shakes a bag for the cashier to fill, his dark shrill stirs no reaction from the woman behind the glass, she is frozen in fear. Shaking with a mixture of anger and fear the masked figure rotates his glare towards Stan, who sits ashen faced. The pair connects for a moment – a hypnotic exchange: one where Stan overwhelms his opponent. Through nerves the bully slams his fist on the counter and spins his huge boots the robber runs from the bank, grasping a bag and jogs through the giant oak door. “The tables have turned” Stan thought.