Why I Came Back

apartment building

© John Robinson

He could feel the blood seeping down his calf from his injured knee. He wished he could enjoy the morning air, but he had to finish this.

Just go over the bridge to the apartment complex, find which one is her’s break in, and then wait. She left for university over an hour ago but she’d be back by noon.

He pressed different buttons on the intercom and as each resident answered, he said, “It’s me.”

Only one opened the door for him, but that’s all he needed.

He had found a first aid kit in the pantry, bound his wound, and cleaned up the blood. He was sitting in a kitchen chair when he heard her unlock the door.

She didn’t see him at first in the darkness. Then she turned on the light and gasped.

“I won’t hurt you. Please sit down.”

“Who are you?” She was trembling.

“Please sit down. I need to tell you what happened to your parents.”

She stood in the middle of her living room. “My mother. She shot my father and then committed suicide.”

“No, Nika. I killed them, but that was a long time ago. I’ve come back to tell you why.”

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction of September 17th 2017 writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is exactly 200.

I think it was in the film The Bourne Supremacy (2004) that Jason Bourne confessed to a young Russian woman why he had killed her parents when she was a child. It was his first kill, and one where he was specifically manipulated to forget what he’d done. When he finally started recovering his memories, he felt he owed it to the young woman to explain that he had murdered them rather than have her continue to believe her mother murdered her father and then committed suicide.

When I saw the photo prompt, it reminded me of that particular sequence in the movie, so I decided to recreate it. I know that’s horribly unoriginal of me, but it was the very first thing to pop into my head.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

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The Dossier

Trump and Putin

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Aleksey Nikolskyi/Getty Images and Jim Watson/Getty Images.

Ex-KGB Chief Oleg Erovinkin was found dead in the back of his black Lexus just blocks from the Kremlin. The cause of death had not been revealed, but it was under mysterious circumstances.

Thousands of kilometers away, MI6 Agent Christopher Steele bought a “burner” phone and made a call to a number less than a dozen people knew about.

“Station Sahara. The line is secure.”

“This is Christopher Steele. I have the dossier. I want to come in.”

“Requesting identity confirmation.” The voice on the other end was deliberately distorted and Steele realized he had minutes before they traced his call.

“November three sixteen charter gulf forty-seven.”

“Identity acknowledged. Continue.”

“I want to be brought in by Adam Hunter personally. I will call this number again in twenty-four hours and will give the location of the meet only to him.” Being brought in from the cold by MI6’s Chief of Operations was a lot to ask, but they’d do it. The dossier was that important.

Steele didn’t wait for a reply. He broke the connection, threw the burner on the concrete floor of the basement apartment he had rented, and crushed it under his foot. In twenty-four hours, he’d be in a different country. He had to come in before the Kremlin reached him.

Ten minutes later, he had hired a taxi and was headed toward the Athens airport. He had the dossier on a thumb drive. Everyone, including his colleagues at MI6, believed it held incriminating evidence against America’s newly inaugurated and widely hated President Donald Trump.

The Russians had killed Steele’s confederate Oleg Erovinkin so he couldn’t reveal the truth and now they were after him. Steele found Trump as reprehensible as many others in the western nations, but he was not the subject of their exposé, and it was worth his life and the lives of anyone who he’d come in contact with to reveal his information.

Steele made the mistake of allowing himself to relax in the back of the taxi, so he didn’t immediately realize it was pulling over on a nearly deserted stretch of road.

“What?” Steele opened his eyes to see a silencer fitted over the barrel of an automatic. “Time for you to join Erovinkin.”

The taxi driver emptied his clip into Steele’s chest, relieved him of the thumb drive hidden in the inner lining of his jacket, dumped the body on the side of the road, and then drove away.

An hour later, the assassin was on a flight to Moscow, the dossier once again secure in Russian hands. No one must know President Putin’s true ally in the American government. Not until it was time to act.

This story, including the characters, is based on an actual news story published at a number of independent sources including this one. It strongly suggests that the Kremlin had former KGB Chief Oleg Erovinkin killed because he had helped compile a dossier implicating Donald Trump in illicit cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. MI6 Agent Christopher Steele is currently in hiding, supposedly because his life is at risk as well.

I decided to twist the information into the realm of fiction for the sake of suspense and intrigue. I have no idea how true any of the information is at my original source, but it seemed worthy of a small, modern-day spy story.

The story is somewhat similar to one written by J. Hardy Carroll which was also based on a true event. Hopefully, my spin on the tale makes it unique.