Bad Timing

shopping centre

© A Mixed Bag 2013

There are always a few cars left overnight in any parking garage. Some had battery trouble and couldn’t be towed before the end of business while others belonged to people who’d have one too many at a local pub. It was a Sunday morning and the gates were shut and locked so no entry and no exit.

Smith (not her real name) let herself out of the boot of a gray Audi and took the service stairs up to street level. Her victim Medina came into his shop Sunday mornings ostensibly to catch up on paperwork, but in reality he was her competition. There was only room for one assassin in southern England.

Smith looked at her antique analog watch. He should be in the back of his shop by now getting ready for his next assignment. Wait. The shop is dark. He locks the front door but keeps the light on. What the devil?

She hears the silenced shot the same instant the impact strikes her lower spine and she collapses onto the floor. A shoe slips under and rolls her over. Smith looks up at Medina. “Stupid. Did you forget about Daylight Savings Time? You’re early.”

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge of March 11th 2018. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 198.

I hate Daylight Savings Time, especially in the Spring when I lose an hour’s worth of sleep. It was made worse today because last night I stayed up late and this morning, I had to be at the gym by eight so I could claim the one and only squat rack they have. It sucked.

I decided to vent my ire by writing this tale. Poor Smith’s analog watch didn’t automatically update as so many digital watches do these days. Oh, before someone mentions it, I know the time change doesn’t occur in the UK until March 25th.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to




© Sue Vincent

A warm summer breeze blew from one end of the passageway to the other. Raisa Hewitt could feel it gently caress her face and flow like fingers through her long, dark hair. She could hear the friendly chattering of birds from outside the arch ahead of her, the rustle of leaves in tree branches, she inhaled sweet almond and jacaranda blossoms. The scene was supremely idyllic and she realized she couldn’t be in more danger.

She’d dressed casually like a tourist, an American on holiday taking in the ruins of Spanish castles and churches. Soft canvas shoes made not a whisper as she padded like a cat across the flat stones beneath her. Jeans over a black leotard and a light cotton shirt afforded comfort and mobility. The Springfield XDM Compact in the holster at the base of her spine offered both maximum portability and stopping power. She hoped she wouldn’t have to use it.

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