Specks of dancing light floated through the dark sky, borne from the dying fire.

There was no more firewood in the barren mountain landscape. It would not take long for the cold to achieve its conquest.

Phillips had no choice but to move, to stay in the same place was to die.

How much more of this could they take? They were no longer young, yet they were playing a young man’s game. He belonged behind a desk back home with nights spent in a comfortable bed.

Somewhere out there, a half-day ahead of him, his quarry lurked. The landscape was different to Berlin or Moscow, where their paths had crossed before, but the objective was still the same: kill or be killed. They were old enough to know that what happened between them changed nothing in the world, but they played anyway.

He stamped on the remaining embers until the fire was extinguished. Once more unto the breach, dear friend, once more.

This time only one of them would return home.

Copyright Enisa

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story or poem in around 150 – 175 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.

Previous short stories featuring the British spy Phillips can be found here: THE PHILLIPS SPY STORIES.

44 responses to “EMBERS”

      • Your story seemed to imply both of them were experts in urban settings and that currently both were out of their element. If he can’t find enough wood to burn for a fire at night, he could freeze depending on how low the temps got, and no amount of moving would save him.

        This might be a story worth expanding to explore how they both got into this situation and what they had to do to survive (assuming both did).

        Liked by 1 person

  1. It is no fun these days being a spy. I think the lack of heat is the least of their troubles. Especially if the Beast from the East turns up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Is that going to be the survival of the fittest or just a matter of mind strength? Oh this could well turn into a sequel and I would love to know the prequel as well…
    Great story Ian!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So good. I hope Phillips makes it to his desk job. Great sense of age catching up and the tug of war between equally matched adversaries.

    Liked by 1 person

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