Another Assignment


Found at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Image credit unavailable

This could be a lot of places in the world spanning decades or even centuries. I don’t know how I got here, but then, I never do. It’s morning but it’s getting warm fast, which probably means summer. Where are the people? There should be people here.

Electrical conduits. That puts me somewhere in the 20th or maybe 21st century. Wait. That sounds like radio or maybe a television set. Maradona does what? Now there’s a huge amount of cheering. Of course. Maradona. The 1986 World Cup. That was the goal that made him internationally famous.

I’m in Argentina. Now I’m remembering. My assignments are always to save a single human life or to take it. I’m a gun used by unseen forces to eliminate a threat to the timeline, or the hand used to protect an asset to history. Yes, it’s this door. In the next few seconds, I have to change history, but until the moment arrives, I won’t know how.

I wrote this for the 174th FFfAW Challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long. My word count is 162.

I received a certain set of reactions to how I depicted Diego Maradona in my wee tale The Fan, so I thought I’d take another stab at it by at least mentioning the 1986 World Cup and his famous “Hand of God” goal as well as the “Goal of the Century.” It made him an instant legend, so I suppose I should give credit where credit is due, though it means less to my mysterious time traveler than his current assignment, whatever that is.

To read other tales based on the prompt, visit

12 thoughts on “Another Assignment

  1. Ahh … — Perhaps your protagonist (we are seeing Jonathan Cypher here, are we not?) is about to save Tomas Cabrera, though not his family, as mentioned in your story “The Fan”.


    • I hadn’t thought about connecting this to Cabrera. The “mystery man” is more of a Cypher-type being, since Jonathan isn’t likely to be an assassin, and as previous stories about him have revealed, he is now fully aware of who and what he is.


      • I thought this might be a retrospective vignette from early in Cypher’s career, before he had entirely figured things out. But certainly your suggestion would work to envision another Cypher agent in the making.


      • I suppose it depends on which one becomes “official.” I have a Jonathan Cypher story submitted for potential publication, so who knows? I’ve got six rejections and no accepted stories under my belt so far.


  2. Putin just yesterday made a reference to the past that would require some moments of thinking things through (if not also time to look into facts not normally known) to get one’s bearings (like landing in a random timeframe). He tried to make his questioner hearken back to the killing of President Kennedy in supposed order to excuse his own elimination of political enemies in the tradition of Soviet authoritarian Russia; according to his misdirection, we should see the United States as just like Russia even though Oswald was a Castro and Soviet sympathizer and had recently enough traveled to — yet, more than that, lived in — Russia.


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