All kinds of strap shoes hang in rows. Black, red, white, tan.

Thoughts coalesce.

Her shoes on the bedroom closet. Shoes for every occasion. Imelda Marcos-scale collection.

He burned them all. The clothes too. The closet, the bedroom, the house. All up in flames.

It had to look real. They found the charred remains. They assumed it was them.

They never suspected it was two homeless hobos he enticed from the street.

Then they fled.

Manila. The Philippines. Far enough away to be safe?

Between the sandals he scans the market square.

Sweat. Heat. Crowded. No hitman vibes.

She smiles at him. Newly purchased moccasins in hand.

They can start again. Build another house. Fill another closet. Hide the skim money beneath her new Marcos-scale collection.

The only cloud – the looonnnng reach of the mafioso.

Stay alert. Don’t get complacent. Be ready to scram if vibes get pricked.

Enjoy the new life.

Don’t yearn for the Sunday game and a cold beer.

Pretend it was all worth it.

Buy her the shoes and smile.

Copyright Yarnspinner

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.

29 responses to “IN A MANILA MARKET”

  1. Hmm…I found this story a little confusing, and I wasn’t sure who the narrator was referring to sometimes. So the narrator and the woman faked their deaths in a fire?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have it exactly. Faked there deaths to escape after stealing from the mafia, and are on the run, but will they ever be truly safe again?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the line ‘Pretend it was all worth it.’

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Burnt to death two homeless hobos? Who are these people? What are they hiding and from whom?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Caught up in mafia business – never a good thing to have to run from.


  4. Interesting blend here. I see the fake death & the meeting in another world to escape to a new illusion. But I do read into things like dark human natures. Nicely done

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, glad it intrigued and drew you in.


  5. I love your reference to Imelda Marcos (scale) of shoe collection. She smiles while he sweats. I enjoyed the suspense.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, great story! They get their money by scamming! I wouldn’t want their life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t think I could live with the constant feeling that someone will be coming to get you anytime! Thanks PJ 🙂


  7. On the run, always hiding, afraid of getting caught, afraid of being found alive… Yeah was it worth it? Great suspense and contradictions Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jo, is it ever worth it?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. michael1148humphris Avatar

    Iain This story it me had such a realistic tone to it, that I hoped that they get caught.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great intense feel to this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I was aiming for that feel 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I hope she’s got some running shoes just in case! Nice one Iain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They could come in handy!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. blogitwithsurabhi Avatar

    Fake death and escaping to another place! Are they dreaming to be safe! Police in Action! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are dreaming, but I don’t think they will ever feel safe. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂


  12. Love the short pacy sentences giving so much story. And then the killer line, ‘Pretend it was all worth it.’

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great story, Iain! But to give up on beer and football? I hope it was worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have to make some difficult sacrifices sometimes! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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