OLD FRIEND

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.’


200-05-may-21st-2017

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. […] via OLD FRIEND — Iain Kelly […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How sad. Cold-blooded Phillips! 😠

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, he has a set idea of what needs to be done, regardless of personal feelings.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an interesting story!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting story because it leaves you wanting more!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shooting a man who averted nuclear catastrophe- whose the traitor!
    Intriguing story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you got the moral quandary at the heart of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Right out of a Len Deighton novel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. High praise, thank you.

      Like

  7. 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

    1. Thanks Joy, you summed it up nicely.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. 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

    1. I think he may have have already resigned himself to what he had to do beforehand. For him, loyalty to his country comes above all else it seems.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, you’re right because he would have known this beforehand and prepared himself.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, that’s quite a moment. You could write an entire novel starting with this scene. Maybe Travers knew something Phillips didn’t, and Phillips figures that out, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely has possibilities. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Whoa! What a dramatic ending!
    There are times you should think twice about who you give your loyalty to!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, thanks Joy

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I hope that the second shot was for Philip.😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Afraid not, but I think his deeds may catch up with him in the end.

      Like

  12. Ouch, I noticed many of your stories turn towards intrigue, perhaps you are a spy novelist in the making. Good stuff

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I certainly read a lot of spy novels, so I’m happy you see that in my writing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Nice story full of intrigue. Obviously, conviction overrides friendship.
    But what about false conviction, or, is that an oxymoron? Well written, Lian.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I imagine Phillips would find his conviction tested in today’s climate of government. Thanks Neel

      Like

  14. Wonderful story! There’s this interesting question of who the real “traitor” is: Phillips or Travers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you saw the paradox 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. 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

    1. Thank you Jade, so kind 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. 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

    1. Indeed you do. Thanks NJ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. 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

    1. Thank you. I think Phillips has got used to doing many things he has to bury away. This one might tip him over the edge.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Such a lot said in so few words – very well done Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It seems Phillips could do it. Good dialogue and writing, Iain. — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phillips is nothing if not to the point. Thanks Suzanne.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. 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

    1. You got it exactly right 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. […] The character of Phillips previously appeared in my short story OLD FRIEND. […]

    Like

  22. Hello Mr Philips! Let’s see who you are!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is still a bit of a mystery, like all good spies should be 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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