INFORMANT

Chavy watched the dusty streets of Phnom Penh gradually fade away behind him. The  brown water of the Mekong river disappeared to the east while the bus headed north.

The roads changed from tarmac to dust. The buildings from stone to wood. The beggars remained regardless.

The bus stopped.

‘Checkpoint,’ the young white man next to him said. ‘Just present your papers and stay calm. You’re on a pilgrimage to the Sambor Prei Kuk temple. You don’t know me.’

With that the man stood and pulled his own papers out. He walked forward waving them. ‘British diplomat. You see?’ The bewildered Khmer Rouge soldier shoved the man roughly off the bus.

As the bus pulled away, Chavy saw the man called Phillips arguing with four heavily armed men. Someone tapped his shoulder.

‘Don’t worry. He was the diversion. He’ll be okay. The main thing is we get you out.’


cambodia

Written for ‘What Pegman Saw’, a weekly prompt based on a view from Google Maps. The idea is to write a piece of fiction of around 150 words based on the prompt. Full details can be found HERE. This week we’re off to Cambodia, the World Heritage site of the Sambor Prei Kuk temple and a glimpse of the past that still haunts the history of this country.

For more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Read more stories featuring the British spy Phillips: THE PHILLIPS SPY STORIES.

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WINSTON IN PARADISE

Winston waved off the liner as the huge ship was towed away from the harbour.

He saw the Havillands and the Haliburtons waving back as he pocketed their money in his shirt pocket.

Didn’t he feel like a slave ferrying the rich tourists round the island in his car, taking them out fishing in his motor boat, showing them the sights of the island? At their call twenty-four seven, bowing and scraping. Yes, Boss. Sorry, Boss. Is the lady feeling the heat too much today, Boss?

Soon they would be back in their stuffy, cold houses, slaving away in their offices, stuck in their traffic jams.

Their stay in paradise was temporary, a fleeting glimpse. Winston had spent his whole life in paradise. He was perfectly happy to take their money when he needed to.

Thanks to the Havillands and the Haliburtons he had a couple of months relaxing in his hut by the beach to look forward to.


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Written for ‘What Pegman Saw’, a weekly prompt based on a view from Google Maps. The idea is to write a piece of fiction of around 150 words based on the prompt. Full details can be found HERE. This week we’re off to Nassau in the Bahamas for a purely fictional tale.

For more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Feature Image – Aqua Beach by Daniel Piraino via Google Maps.

FLOWERS OF UGANDA

‘Pull over here, Kisekka,’ Arnold instructed the driver of the jeep.

‘We are not there yet, Sir,’ Kisekka replied.

Kukomesha!’ Arnold utilised one of the few Swahili words he knew.

Kisekka brought the jeep to a stop.

‘What’s in there?’ Arnold asked, pointing at the white structures that covered the fields.

‘They grow flowers, Arnold Sir.’

Growing flowers on an industrial scale miles from Kampala made no sense, and according to his map, this was government-owned land.

He jumped down. ‘Wait for me here,’ he instructed Kisekka.

He saw no sign of any security cameras or guards.

Arnold jumped the fence. He heard chatter. Young voices among the sound of machinery.

There was a gap in the sheeting. Arnold peered through.

Hundreds of young boys were inside the tent. Each had a table of metal pieces in front of them. They expertly assembled the various pieces.

Arnold had found what he had been sent to discover: Idi Amin’s weapons factory.


africa

Written for ‘What Pegman Saw’, a weekly prompt based on a view from Google Maps. The idea is to write a piece of fiction of around 150 words based on the prompt. Full details can be found HERE. This week we’re off to Uganda, a country with a long history of civil war and child labour.

For more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

GOD BLESS THE CAUSE FOR WHICH I DIE

The St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were over. An old drunk started singing ‘The Dying Rebel.’

‘I never would have thought those songs would be anything but historical,’ said the red-haired woman.

‘I never thought they’d put up a border posts across Ireland again,’ the man replied.

He looked at the woman. ‘We need to make America side with Europe. If they do, Britain has no choice but to concede the North.’

‘And Ireland is one,’ the woman said. ‘Everything is ready?’

‘The car with British plates is parked in the alley.’

He handed her an envelope. She pulled out a British passport. ‘Who was David Phillips?’

‘Attache at the British Embassy. Leave his papers in the car. Park outside the American Embassy at midday. You’ll have five minutes to get clear before detonation.’

‘A British attack on their embassy. Do you think the Americans will buy it?’

The drunk reached his final line: ‘God bless the cause for which I die.’


dublin

Written for ‘What Pegman Saw’, a weekly prompt based on a view from Google Maps. The idea is to write a piece of fiction of around 150 words based on the prompt. Full details can be found HERE. This week we’re off to Dublin.

This is an imagined scenario based on the very real problem that the British exit from the European Union will result in a hard border returning between Ireland and Northern Ireland, putting the still fragile peace process there at extreme risk. Just one of the many troublesome results of this ridiculous British political and economic folly. It should not be taken as a reflection of my own thoughts, sympathies or otherwise about the situation in Ireland, past or present.

For more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

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BLOODHOUND LAW

The steamboat Yellowstone sat at the dock. The new boat for the American Fur Company was due to depart up the Mississippi later that day.

Grafton Edgefield looked out between wooden planks. He hadn’t eaten since he’d arrived in St. Louis three days ago. His clothes were in pieces, his bare feet shredded.

He’d avoided the slave catchers and their dogs to get this far.

The Yellowstone was planning to get further North than any boat before it. The Underground Railroad said he was one of a group they were planning to smuggle on board. They told him to wait here until they got back with the others.

Feverish and exhausted, Grafton heard the dogs coming. He couldn’t go back now. He couldn’t take another beating.

He threw open the door and staggered out, heading for the steamboat that would carry him to freedom.

The sound of the chasing bloodhounds grew louder.


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Written for ‘What Pegman Saw’, a weekly prompt based on a view from Google Maps. The idea is to write a piece of fiction of around 150 words based on the prompt. Full details can be found HERE. This week we’re off to St. Louis, and a trip back into the past.

For more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Feature image: Yellow Stone at St Louis by George Catlin