The grey clouds hung low over the surrounding rooftops. Phillips stood next to the gate. His breath formed small puffs of mist. He pressed his hands deeper into his pockets.

‘They sent you.’

Phillips recognised the voice from the other side of the gate. He had last heard it in the bar in Whitehall all those years ago.

‘They needed someone who could confirm your identity.’ Phillips peered through the small gaps in the gate’s bars. ‘Show yourself.’

Travers stepped out from behind the wall. ‘Satisfied?’

‘It’s good to see you.’ Phillips said.

‘And you, old friend.’ Travers replied.

‘Why did you do it?’ Phillips asked.

Travers shrugged. ‘Someone had to. Wars were being fought over false information.’

‘What about your loyalty to our government?’

‘Governments come and go.’

‘To your country then?’

‘What are countries but artificial borders dividing people. Better to sacrifice oneself and prevent nuclear war.’

Phillips knew his friend was genuine in his belief. ‘You know what my orders are.’

‘Can you do it though?’ Travers smiled.

Phillips pulled the gun from his pocket and fired two shots. Travers slumped against the gate.

‘Goodbye, old friend.’


Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

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

44 responses to “OLD FRIEND”

  1. Great insight into how two people can be friends and yet end up on opposite sides of a conflict, both believing in their own actions and hating the action of the other. Nice nuance. And a tragic ending, for both of them, but one that had to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very well done, Iain. You would think that even though he was doing the right thing he might show a smidgen of hesitation in shooting a friend who had averted disaster, but then certain structures become part of character.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh man, this story only left me wondering about the kind of history and friendship these two had. Thrilling take on the photo Iain! You rarely disappoint with your flash fiction pieces 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Whoa! Ending the life of someone who was supposed to be a friend and who helped prevent disaster… You wonder who’s the actual traitor.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Follow your heart, or follow your orders. Each had done one. A pity he will never be hailed the hero for saving millions of lives by sacrificing his own. I wonder if Phillips will be able to live with himself for what he had done.

    Good story Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very sad, he has to shoot friend for his traitorous actions. I guess they were both agents of some kind and Travers went rogue. Your use of ‘old friend’ reminded me of the Xmen movies and the relationshio between Dr. X played by Patrick Stewart and the role of Magneto played by Sir Ian McKlellan. It’s the same feeling, that one day Dr.X is going to halve to get rid of Magneto.

    Liked by 1 person

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