THE PRICE OF TREASON

A beautiful day in the Old Town, or what remained of it.

The buildings that had stood for centuries were now reduced to rubble.

As Farouk walked through the cluttered streets there were signs of life re-emerging. Children’s voices could be heard. Groups of people gathered and gossiped as they had done before the war.

The occupying forces had left. The time of immediate danger was over.

The chalk sign on the door to his house had been a surprise. Two dashes with a curve – meet at midday in the main square cafe.

He had thought all the international agencies had left the country.

A last farewell perhaps, maybe a final reward for the information Farouk had provided over the years.

The table they usually met at was unoccupied. A piece of paper was lying on it.

His stomach lurched.

In Arabic letters it read: ‘Do you know the price of treason?’

The world went dark as a black bag smothered Farouk’s face.

Passersby carried on walking. They had learned to look the other way.


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Copyright Grant-Sud

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

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ISN’T IT ALWAYS

Jean-Louis watched the person in the water.

He had piloted his small coal barge for thirty years, travelling back and forth along the canal between Arles and For-Sur-Mer on the coast.

The canal was straight, had only one lock, and passed through farmland and a nature reserveIt was unusual to see anyone on the paths alongside the canal, let alone jumping into the water to meet his barge.

He picked up his pole with the mooring hook attached and held it out to the incoming swimmer.

The man gratefully grabbed the hook and Jean-Louis pulled him aboard.

Merci,’ the man said, having regained his breath. He wore only a shirt and underwear.

‘Pas de problème,‘ Jean-Louis replied.

‘You must think I am crazy.’

‘The thought had crossed my mind,’ Jean-Louis said, taking hold of the tiller.

‘There is a good reason for my strange behaviour.’

‘It is none of my concern,’ Jean-Louis shrugged.

Problème de femme,‘ the man explained.

‘Ah,’ Jean-Louis nodded his head. ‘N‘est-ce pas toujours.’


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Copyright BarbCT

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Translation:
Merci – thank you
Pas de problème – no problem
Problème de femme – woman trouble
N‘est-ce pas toujours – isn’t it always

LOVE

‘Fifty-nine dead. Five hundred injured.’ Hannah says it more to herself than anyone else.

‘Terrorists again?’ the young girl playing on the floor asks her.

‘Just a man with a gun.’

‘It’s never going to stop, is it, Mum?’

‘It hasn’t stopped since time began. All this violence toward each other,’ she shakes her head. ‘All of it senseless.’

‘Then there is nothing we can do to make it better.’

Hannah looks at her daughter and sees the look of fear.

‘No, we never give up. We never let the violence win. Get your paint and some paper.’

Hannah helps her paint the word ‘love’ in bold blue letters. The ten year-old adds love hearts.

‘Come,’ Hannah says. They go out into the street and walk to the town centre, carrying the homemade sign.

Hannah lights the candle she brought with her and stands holding her daughter’s hand. The small crowd grows, standing together in peaceful remembrance and defiance.

She looks into the innocent brown eyes staring up at her. ‘Hate never wins.’


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Copyright Elaine Farrington Johnson

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

POIROT’S COFFEE AT DEAUVILLE

‘When did it become fashionable for the French not to serve coffee in a china teacup and saucer?’ Madame Beaumont said, loud enough to ensure the maitre d’ would hear.

‘Mother,’ Alice chided. ‘You shall have to get used to it once I have married Jacques.’

‘Alice, once you have married Jacques we shall no longer have to stay in common resorts like this.’ She gestured to the crowded beach below. ‘I am allowing this marriage precisely because of your fiance’s inheritance. I do not intend to see out my days as a penniless widow.’

‘Well, you shall have to wait. Jacques parents are in extremely good health.’ Alice stood and stormed off.

Madame Beaumont lifted her mug of coffee and took a small sip. ‘We shall see about that, my dear,’ she muttered.

At the table behind her an impeccably dressed short man with brilliantined hair and a waxed moustache perched his egg-shaped head to one side. His green eyes sparkled like a cat’s as he adjusted his cutlery so that it sat symmetrically.


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Copyright @Shivamt25

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

TERRORIST

Blackness enveloped the city.

The power curfew began at midnight. The grid was shutdown.

Homes were silent. Streetlights dark. A flicker of rare candlelight betrayed the restaurant or club that refused to close.

An occasional set of car headlights crept passed, driven by those lucky enough to still have access to the electricity needed to power them.

Beside the river rose two bright towers, the only illumination for miles around. The weapons factory was kept open twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year.

A shuttle train deposited the night shift. A fleet of robots fully charged and ready to work. The exhausted day shift departed, taken back to their pods to be re-energised.

As the train left the security monitor didn’t notice the tiny figure who leapt across the tracks.

In the shadows, Alejandro waited. He double-checked the wiring and the fuse on the package.

His death was imminent. His hope was that it would not be in vain.

Tonight, humanity began the fight back.


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Copyright Pamela S. Canepa

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE