The One Who Returned

Photo by: J Hardy Carroll

Two Mi-6 agents faced each other in a cabin 100 kilometers outside Moscow. A fire crackled in the fireplace. A bottle of vodka rested on the table. The two agents aimed their pistols at each other.”

“They say you’re a double agent,” said Agent 032. “Sorry, chap. I’ve got to bring you in.”

“It’s not true,” said Agent 027. “I’ve just got information no one wants out.” Slowly, he handed a stained picture to 032.

Agent 032 gazed at it. It was an apartment hallway with a door at the end. “What’s this?”

“57 people, most of them MI-6 agents, disappeared through that door. Only one man ever returned. He’s where I got my information.”

“Sounds dangerous. What’s beyond it?”

“An alternate Earth. Everyone there is beautiful and kind. The beer is fantastic and always free. Women are equal with men and never mistreated. There’s no disease and no war. The rich never exploit the poor to become richer. In fact there’s no rich or poor. Everyone is equal, and there’s no need for government.”

“Sounds like Utopia!”

“It is.”

“One chap returned? What kind of bloody pillock would come back from that?”

Agent 027 shrugged. “He was a politician.”
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Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/sunday-photo-fiiction-february-11th-2018/

Author’s Notes:

MI-6: “…The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6, is the foreign intelligence service of the government of the United Kingdom…”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Intelligence_Service

Pillock (British slang): “…Noun for Idiot, fool. Originally a slang term for the penis but fairly inoffensive now its this meaning has been forgotten.”
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Pillock

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Quick! Run Away!

Massimo met Lilliana by accident at a cafe. They chatted happily over mochas. Lilliana’s eyes were like the sky in spring, her laughter like the song of birds. Massimo fell madly in love with her.

Soon she had to leave. Massimo begged her, “Where do you live? I must see you again!” With a smile that could make flowers bloom, she wrote it down on his hand.

Later, Massimo forgetfully washed his hands, wiping away the address.

Not to worry! The address was surely 161 Via Peccini.

With his life savings Massimo bought a magical guitar that played love songs, but only once. That afternoon he played the guitar before the door at 161 Via Peccini. Soon the upper window opened and a wrinkled old crone looked out. “Darling!” she croaked.

“You are not Lilliana,” shuddered Massimo.

“No. She lives at 191 Via Peccini. But not to worry, my love. I am yours!”
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Written for What Pegman Saw: https://whatpegmansaw.com/2018/02/10/terni-italy/

Author’s Notes:

Before anyone asks, Massimo eventually found Lilliana. Turns out he didn’t need a magical guitar. She was already in love with him. They started out their lives quite poor since Massimo spent all his money on the guitar. They’re very happy with their four kids and an Irish Setter. Unfortunately, they move a lot. Mrs. Gambini is constantly looking for Massimo.

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The Spy Hotel

Photo by: J S Brand

Marcus Poole hoped to retire anonymously. A former CIA agent who knew too much, he slipped away. He hoped to hide within the tiny Pacific island’s single hotel.

He sat drinking at the little bar beside the dining patio.

“CIA?” said a voice beside him.

“Eh?” said Marcus, preparing to kill.

“Relax,” said the man. “I’m Monty–MI-6. Over there is Yuri–KGB, Ben-Aryeh–Mossad, and Rutajit–Indian Intelligence. We’re all retired.”

Marcus groaned, “Everyone’s here. If aliens existed, they’d be here too.”

“Oh, aliens?”

“It’s a joke!”

Monty pointed. “That three-eyed one is Tryvalye–Galactic Intelligence.”
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Written for the Friday Fictioneers: https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/02/07/9-february-2018/

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A Dangerous Snack

Photo by: Yinglan

Safari guide E.R. Pankow led the tourists through the trees of the planet, Barton.

“It’s quite safe here if you follow the rules” he said. “Don’t touch anything unless I say so.” He pointed to a giant footprint in a mud flat. It was large enough for the entire safari group to stand in.

Pankow continued, “The only dangerous creature here left that foot print. It’s a giant, walking fungus called a Palygrud. Its six legs look identical to trees. You could be standing beside one and never know it. If antagonized they can go berserk and stomp everything in sight. You’ll know them because they smell and taste like a dessert.”

Darcy wondered where her husband went while the guide spoke. She found Bill 20 yards away, chewing. “Bill! What are you doing?”

He sliced another piece of bark off the tree beside him. “Hey Hun! You should try this. It tastes just like Rice Krispie Treats!”
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Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/fffaw-challenge-week-of-february-6-2018/

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The Subtle Signs

Photo by: Dawn Miller

FBI Investigations Team Leader, Frank Howard sighed. It should’ve been easy to find aliens. Unfortunately these aliens looked nearly identical to terrestrial Elm trees, except the aliens could run pretty fast. Adding to their troubles was they hunted them in a heavily forested Montana ranch.

There were subtle signs his agents were getting frustrated, even bored with the difficult search.

He found Agents Audrey Polyczyk and Gerry Hampden beside a log pile and a wood chipper. It was clear the pair had become bored with the search.

“How’s the search going?”

“Frustrating, sir,” said Audrey. “It’s a challenging search.”

“That’s right, sir,” said Gerry. “It’s like looking for a particular piece of hay in a haystack.”

“I know it’s tough. Perhaps I’ll leave you to finish your break.”

“We weren’t on a break,” Audrey said hurriedly.

“We’re dedicated to the mission,” added Gerry.

Frank idly sifted through a wheelbarrow full of wood chips. “Well, with my keen eye and my 20 years experience in the Bureau, I can see you both were exerting yourselves.”

“Right, sir.”

“Your shirt tail is out and your hair is mussed, Audrey.”

“Sorry, sir.”

“And Gerry. I’m pretty sure the bra you’re wearing isn’t your size.”
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Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2018/02/04/sunday-photo-fiction-february-4th-2018/

Author’s Notes:

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Turns out the Super Bowl is 2nd biggest eating holiday behind Thanksgiving. Here’s some interesting Super Bowl facts:

– Last year 111.3 Million people watched the Super Bowl.
– This year an estimated 1.25 Billion chicken wings will be eaten (will chicken breasts be on sale?).
– 60% of all delivery orders will be for pizza.
– 8,000,000 pounds of guacamole gets consumed.

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Great Narwhal

The largest Narwhals ever seen could be found off the hamlet of Haavsket in northern Norway. That’s what brought famed Narwhal hunter, Sven Brinoche to its shores.

“This is a bad time to hunt for Narwhal,” said hamlet elder, Erling.

“It’s the best time!” said Sven, swigging his ale with abandon. “The biggest whales arrive in November.”

“But it’s the time when the Great Narwhal visits our shores.”

“What’s that?”

“He’s been a local deity for eons. He’s huge and dangerous.”

“Ha! A narwhal god? Excellent. The bigger the better!”

Days later, his life boat drifted to shore. Brinoche was battered and broken, barely alive. Just out to sea a giant narwhal had skewered his boat on its horn and spun the vessel around like a toy.

“You never said the Great Narwhal was that big!” moaned Brinoche.

Erling shook his head. “That’s only one of Great Narwhal’s babies.”
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Written for What Pegman Saw: https://whatpegmansaw.com/2018/02/03/northern-coast-finland/

Author’s Notes:

Narwhals(Unicorns of the Sea): “The narwhal (Monodon monoceros), or narwhale, is a medium-sized toothed whale that possesses a large “tusk” from a protruding canine tooth…The narwhal males are distinguished by a long, straight, helical tusk, which is an elongated upper left canine.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narwhal

There is little protection for narwhals against hunting. According to endangerednarwhals.org:
“Narwhals have been listed as “Nearly Threatened” since 2008. Very few laws have been proposed in attempts to protect this interesting species. In an effort to support conservation, the European Union established an import ban on tusks. Narwhals are becoming extinct for three main reasons. The primary catalyst for the series of events that have led to decrease narwhal populations is unprecedentedly rapid climate change.”
Why Endangered?

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Hannah’s Hobbies

Hannah is much like us. She has a lot of hobbies and is developing new ones. Here’s just a few.

Hannah put this look together all by herself. She is a fashionista.

We’re so happy Hannah is developing an interest in birds.

Chicken always tastes better in the park.

Hannah loves magic. Alakazam!

After all that work it’s time to settle down and relax.

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