MISTAKEN IDENTITY

James stood against the railing, feeling refreshed in his tuxedo.

It had been an arduous fortnight.

Tomorrow, disembark at Alexandria, then a plane ride back home to London.

A woman approached, dressed in an elegant ballgown.

‘Join me?’ she asked, offering a flute of champagne.

A boy ran between them and vomited over the side of the boat.

‘Too much buffet, Dad.’

James looked at his son. Some of the sick had landed on James’ trousers.

‘Sorry,’ James shrugged at the woman.

On the deck above, Phillips stood in a tuxedo, checked a roll of film was safe in his pocket, and sipped champagne.


fridays-moon-ted-strutz
Copyright Ted Strutz

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

You can read more short stories about the spy Phillips here: THE PHILLIPS SPY STORIES.

95 responses to “MISTAKEN IDENTITY”

  1. Dear Iain,

    Nothing like a little barf on the trousers to destroy the facade. Nice little spy drama.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A bit confused about the woman’s role in this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An innocent looking for romance, a friendly spy checking everything’s okay or an enemy agent looking to intercept the film roll. You can decide, either way, she has the wrong man.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Eew. Glad I’m not a spy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least the travel is good 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe–if it’s vomit-free 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Intriguing story. I suppose the woman lost interest in Mr. Spy after the vomiting incident.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Was he a spy or just a father on holiday with a troublesome son?!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hmm … not sure. You keep your readers guessing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s part of the fun 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Intriguing! He was spying on him? One can interpret many possibilities and that is the beauty of it. Great one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Meha for entering into the spirit of the spy story, where it is part of the mystery that you are unsure who anyone really is, or what their motives are! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Poor James Bond. Marriage and parenthood has ruined his mystique.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I figured calling him James would help set the genre in which the tale is set.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True, poor fellow. For the rest of us, it would be just another day in the life, but for Bond it must be sheer torture.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I love it! So full of intrigue, brought down to earth by the intervention of regurgitated food! Great stuff, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyday life usually gets in the way – it’s not like in the movies! Thanks Edith.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. So much rich, and unanswered back-story…begging for a “What happened next?”, post-haste!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One day I will take one of these short stories and write a novel from it… one day!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. There is no such thing as someday! You got to do it now. Your talent needs to be showcased for the world to read.
        Go for it Iain!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. NanoWriMo is just around the bend…

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thanks for the reminder 😕

          Like

          1. I tell people I’m exploring my “Pantser-self” & will be avoiding schedules and discipline…

            Liked by 1 person

  9. One deck out – how will they explain that to their bosses?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Will they be given a chance to explain?

      Like

  10. She must be one crappy Spy. Good fun, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Harsh, but her bosses might think the same! Thanks Varad.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m fairly sure performance evaluations are very tough in the spy business.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Ah! Nice. With a booming twist.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That’s the problem with cruises – too many men drinking champers and wearing monket suits! Nicely done Iain. I wonder if she will ever find her man?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think he has slipped her by. Thanks Lynn.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He’ll be in trouble when he returns to HQ … 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. A nicely written spy story, from the days when espionage was glamorous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Penny, much easier to write spy stories before the internet, mobile phones and the like came along! 🙂

      Like

  14. A spy story with a bit of puke chucked in to make it more exciting! Nice one Iain.
    Click to read my FriFic!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That was fun indeed, Iain. So many directions this story could go. Nothing like a little puke to put a damper on what could have been…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s never a good time for a vomiting child to arrive on the scene.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My son Iain was known as the “Duke of Puke” – so yeah… never a good sign…

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Nothing is better than when glamour collides with grit… but being barfed upon is perhaps on page 14 in the double O manuals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always have a spare tuxedo standing by.

      Like

  17. at least nobody died. saved for another day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Versatility at its best !
    Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I had to read this twice- so I would interpret it as the spy clicks his photo with her and uses it to blackmail him?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an interesting theory, and a good one. Thanks Akshata 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Poor James. Worst nightmare – someone barfing when you are trying to chat up a significant other. Nicely written

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The story of James’ holiday I fear. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  21. Kids can be little saviours sometimes, can’t they? Nicely played out drama 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even if they don’t mean to be! Thank you.

      Like

  22. James, the lady and Philips are playing the game of cat and mouse with each other. The little boy seems to be out of place on the cruise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. James would certainly prefer him not to be there at that moment for sure 🙂

      Like

  23. Was he spying on him… on her… or maybe just the moon 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a mystery to me too, I should probably try and figure it out… 🙂

      Like

  24. I’m up to speed now. What is Phillips up to ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not even sure. He’s a tricky guy to pin down, but a survivor for sure 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Lot’s of intrigue here, Iain, with a splash of humor thrown in. Good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. At least Phillips was too far away to get vomit on the film. That would have been embarrassing.

    Like

  27. You can always trust a child to ruin the moment! Nice story Iain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too true! Thanks Madison.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I think I’m missing too much of the story. I don’t see how the film comes in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I leave that up to you to decide what could be on the film, why he might be stealing it, why she might be after it – or maybe it’s none of those things at all.

      Like

  29. Poor James, thinking he had a shot for a moment there. But if she’s in the same business as Phillips, his son’s vomit might have just saved his life…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly that. Thanks Joy.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Good one. Whether your appetite for more!💐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, auto correction messed it up!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Whets your appetite for more

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks, glad you liked it 🙂

          Like

  31. What a wonderfully balanced story about spies and parenthood. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alicia, much appreciated compliment.

      Like

  32. was confused about Phillips at the end – but read comment to J hardy and got it all…
    but love the on the deck scene – felt right there

    Liked by 1 person

  33. So much for feeling refeshed in the tuxedo. Very compact writing. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. An intriguing write, so many questions so many possibilities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dahlia, certainly a lot of different theories from the comments that I’m enjoying reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Lovely intrigue and a classy build up, before the son came along and brought us back to back to reality.

    Like

  36. Ah so he had two very different roles. Poor kid, needs one of this patches to put behind his ear so he won’t be sick!

    Liked by 1 person

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