The Fugitive – Flash Fiction For 11/15/13

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The Fugitive

Espionage Suspense – 100 words

Photo Copyright Kent Bonham

Photo Copyright Kent Bonham

The American fugitive walked the streets of his new city, impressed that even the alleys were clean and stylish. He took a deep breath of free air, safe from the authorities because this country had no extradition treaty with the U.S. Two attractive girls walked toward him and he watched them covertly. Drawing near, they both flashed big smiles, and he smiled back and wished he spoke the language. Suddenly, he felt a prick in the back of his thigh and he spun around and an operative in black faced him down.

“Edward Snowden, you’re coming in from the cold.”

28 responses to “The Fugitive – Flash Fiction For 11/15/13

  1. Maybe in your last sentence, “Suddenly, he felt a prick in the back of his thigh and he spun around and an operative in black faced him down”, you could eliminate (so to speak) that second “and”, which would improve the flow. “Suddenly, he felt a prick in the back of his thigh and as he tried to spin around, a man in black grabbed him.” What do you think? Even if you leave everything else the same, take out that second “and”. “Suddenly, he felt a prick in the back of his thigh and he spun around, where an operative in black faced him down.” I don’t really like the “operative in black faced him down.”

    All right. I’m done. Hope you don’t mind the comment.


    • Thanks, Janet. These stories are written on the fly and there’s always room for improvement. But what I’d really like to know as what do you and the other fictioneers think about Snowden? Hero or traitor? I’ll be bold and go on record. I think anybody who stands up to the U.S. government to let millions of innocent people know they’re being spied on using their own tax dollars is a whistle blowing hero. I also fear that covert means will be used against him. Et tu Brutus?

  2. An original take on the prompt, and an interesting topic. I’m usually on the side of whistleblowers, but in this case and since I’ve read about Al Quaeda rubbing their hands with glee and changing the way they operate as a result of the information imparted… I’m thinking again.

  3. I used to love spy stories. Now my favourite is Homeland, although I did like the one called “The Americans” that I saw last year when I was in the USA. It doesn’t show in Britain and I wonder if it was cancelled. I thought it was really unique. Life from the point of view of Russian spies in the 1980’s suburban America.

  4. as for the “and” and other sentences, when action like that is happening – short, choppy sentences can quicken the pace and add to the drama. so i agree with janet (occasionally!)

    as for snowden, two things – yes, what he divulged is important. however, – there’s a “how” that needs to be examined. if he is a hero – why did he flee to another country? and why flee to countries who seem to work against us? what secrets did he give them in trade for protection? there’s no way china and russia would give him protection unless he gave something significant back.

    to be a “whistleblower,” you have to follow protocol. there are lower steps you try before giving state secrets to the world. he did none of those. and running to our enemies is not the way to go. he likely has given more important information to our enemies than he gave to the american people. he could have done it differently. he is no hero to me. he could have had a press conference here in america and stated his case.

    • Flight does make you look guilty. But I think Snowden had no choice but to run because our powerful, multiple spy agencies were embarrassed and angry and the federal government would have thrown him in jail and prosecuted him and he’d have gone to prison for a long time. Yes, technically he is guilty of divulging classified info. But sometimes one has to commit civil disobedience for the overall good.

      • we don’t know what info he may have given to china and russia. the potential damage goes a lot further than “civil disobedience.” civil disobedience is blocking a highway with posters and placards. giving secrets to russia and china goes far further “IF” he gave them secrets. we don’t yet know, but we can speculate.

        as for getting thrown in jail – yes, disappearing into guantanimo is a scary possibility, but he could have protected himself differently. he went to the media, although the UK media. he could have gotten legal protection, and maybe he tried to surround himself with something to guard himself from the feds. he could have – and may have – sought legal help and created such a buzz about it that the govt. wouldn’t touch him. he might have created such attention that world focus would have prevented the feds from going too far.

        we don’t know enough yet. he might have tried and learned that he had no choice but to flee. or, he might not have tried at all and didn’t think enough.

      • I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m a former newspaper writer, and my former profession has influenced my views of government. As a member of the media, you’re constantly struggling with government officials who are trying to block your access to information or giving you only information they want passed on to the public. So I’m prejudiced against the government. The Fourth Amendment provision against illegal searches was ignored by the NSA when they monitored the communications of upstanding citizens. I don’t want to aid our enemies, but in the fervor to stop terrorism, we can’t abandon the principles on which our country was founded. BTW, just wanted to say I think it’s extremely generous of you to come read FF stories when you aren’t posting one yourself!

      • Now I am more jealous. All through college I dreamed about working for a newspaper. That is fabulous and certainly would affect someone’s perspective.

        As for generous, I think that is too strong a word. I don’t read all of them, only a few. I mainly read the ones that I see on Facebook. Unfortunately, because of timing, I don’t see all of them. Janet might post hers at a certain time. But then the feed goes by enough that I miss it. Not sure if I am explaining that well.

  5. Cool use of a spy thriller — not a lot of those in the Friday Fictioneers stories. And you’ve sparked a conversation about Edward Snowden. In the comments, you wondered about others’ views of him. I agree with Janet, in that I think he’s a hero for airing NSA’s surveillance of communications by regular citizens. But if he’s sharing classified secrets with other governments, then my view of him as a hero stops.

  6. Snowden will never know peace again; he’ll be constantly on the move, permanently looking over his shoulder and wondering if every moment is his last. It takes a brave person to swap a life for that. ‘In from the cold’ ? More like ‘frozen out’. Good story.

  7. LOVED THIS. AND I loved the John Le Carre “Spy Who Came In From The Cold” reference — especially apt due to his name.
    Just brilliant. I’m going to keep my pretty head out of the political discussion, though, if it’s all the same to you.

  8. Ron, the story is very good because it makes no judgments on Snowden but rather reflects the life he’s living and the potential implications of that life. My own view: he’s an asshole who may have done some good but probably for the wrong reasons. More knowledge than I have about the information he revealed is necessary to fully determine whether what he did was for good or ill. Abuses need to be exposed; covert operations that may prevent terrorism or save lives do not. But great job on the story!

  9. I can’t help but think of him as a traitor. He didn’t really blow the whistle (IMHO) as much as voice his opinions on policies he was against. But since he worked for the government I don’t feel it was his place. Or if it was his place he didn’t go about it in the proper way. There is such a thing as chain of command and even in the private sector it’s a matter of respect to try that route first.

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