‘Don’t cross the border,’ his father had pleaded.

Cortez sat on what remained of the balcony. ‘Look at me now, Padre.’

His balcony.

It would take hard labour to fix the place up, but he had been doing hard labour his whole life.

This time though, the work would be for his benefit, not the gringo.

He chuckled thinking of the rich folk fleeing as the army approached. Their treasured wealth left behind.

The car had been in the garage, untouched as the bombs fell.

In the distance the battle for California raged on.

Cortez leaned back and sipped his beer.

Copyright Sandra Crook

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.

104 responses to “SPOILS OF WAR”

    • It doesn’t have it’s troubles to seek at the moment. I deliberately didn’t mention either side in the war – could be Mexico, but I suspect not, could be someone else entirely – Cortez seems to be ambivalent about it, apart from taking the opportunity to improve his lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Cortez is a character with great fictional potential. He’s complex and morally ambivalent, a scavenger, but one who is prepared to work hard. He’d be a great subject for a longer piece. Well written, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve fitted so much in and managed to get topical and timeless in one tale.

    At the risk of never again getting an ESTA/visa to visit the US, I’m wondering which side of the border Cortez’ beer is from. Will he take one more sip and head back home again?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Smart man, someone gets to enjoy the spoils of war, why not the small guy. Though this is clearly a work of fiction as the Great Wall of Trump will prevent anything like this in the future 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. loved the serous tone (surprised me) but not heavy – and even fun
    “not the gringo..”
    and side note – without having read yours I also mentioned beer in my fiction

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I also thought of history, but my thoughts ended up in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. Totally different altogether. I’m not sure how I feel about the rich fleeing as the army approached. But I assume the rich took the land by force in the first place.


  6. This is a brilliantly executed story, Iain. I loved the way you threw in the location of California near the end. Until then, I wasn’t sure if it was in the future (although suspected it was so). The name Cortez then made me think, does he come from somewhere south of a certain currently proposed wall?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’ve told us a lot about Cortez in this short story, and I feel myself rooting for him. Then I catch myself and remember that in war, there are no winners in war. Well told.

    Liked by 1 person

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