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.


photo-20171016163112319
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.

43 responses to “THE PRICE OF TREASON”

  1. Snitches never get a happy end. They just get ended one way or the other. Nice interpretation of the prompt here, Iain.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very true. Of course one side’s snitch is another side’s hero.

      Like

  2. Farouk was a collaborator. Once the occupiers leave, they are usually disposed of in a rather unpleasant way, such as when the Germans were driven out of France during World War II.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, although in my mind perhaps he was trying to do the right thing and has ended up on the wrong side at the end of the war.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Each side thinks they’re the right side. No doubt he thought he was doing what was right, or at least what was profitable.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This apathy of looking the other way gets ingrained in war and terrorism-infested states. Maybe the onlookers are happy to be alive today – irrespective of who the victims or perpetrators are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think they are doing what they need to to survive rather than sacrifice themselves. In a war state perhaps that is the only way to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A good tale. It was apparent fairly quickly that something bad was coming, but the ending still took me by surprise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, glad it still managed to give you a surprise.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve just read my comment again and realized it might have looked like I was being critical, i.e. as if I was saying you’d made it really obvious that the ending wouldn’t be a happy one. I wasn’t saying that. What I meant was that, although there were suggestions things might be changing for the better, you’d somehow planted a clue that the balloon was going to burst. It was a compliment – sorry if that wasn’t clear.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No problem, I took it as a compliment, thank you for clarifying 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  5. We make our choices and live…or like Farouk, die…by them. Good tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True. I wonder if he regrets his choice now…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If he’s dead, probably not.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Chilling story Iain! Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a happy looking sign for a sad ending. Good one.

    Like

  8. I really liked the title, Iain.
    The meticulous details made it easy to visualise the scene.
    I really liked your portrayal of a war ravaged state.
    Great work .

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ah he paid the price of treachery- great one Kev!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. After reading the first few lines, that was not the direction I expected your tale to take. Terrific Iain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Keith, appreciated as always.

      Like

  11. Oof, terrifying. I guess his time of immediate danger wasn’t quite done yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just when he thought he was safe… Thanks Chad

      Like

  12. Very well written, Kelly.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The passersby who looked the other way were, maybe, being used to the killings/atrocities in the times of unrest. They maybe happy that they aren’t the target. Good interpretation of the sign.

    https://ideasolsi65.blogspot.in/2017/10/arrow.html

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I didn’t expect that twist. Great take on the prompt, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a story! He paid the price for his choices for sure!
    Powerful line at the end, “They had learned to look the other way!” That can be applied to different situations in society today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, it certainly can, and rarely is it a good thing.

      Like

      1. You are welcome and yes very true.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Wars always lead to huge price tag. He paid his due, may be…
    Sad end though…

    Anagha recently posted
    https://canvaswithrainbow.blogspot.in/2017/10/the-wall-of-humanity.html?m=1

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh, oh. Seems Farouk has never heard of the idiom “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He certainly didn’t expect up to get where he ended up.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. This was so full of hope before that chilling end. The last line so depressing – such a small action so powerful in its effect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It takes a long time for hope to win through after a long war I imagine.

      Like

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