“The Opposite Mountain”

copyright Danny Bowman

(Photo copyright: Danny Bowman)

I positioned my photographic equipment so I could shoot down the mountain and capture the distant village below. The picturesque scene offered me prime calendar subject matter.
I took my photos, packed up my equipment and headed back to town.

My job was done. I’d gotten beautiful shots of the hamlet, and at the same time, had triggered the high-tech camera hidden in my tripod. It zoomed in on the opposite mountain where a pyramid-shaped formation concealed the entrance to the enemy’s underground nuclear research center.

Now all I had to do was sidestep the ominous-looking patrol headed my way.

(Written for Friday Fictioneers, Rochelle Wisoff Fields. March 7, 2014.)

This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to “The Opposite Mountain”

  1. Sandra says:

    I’m amazed at the diversity of the submissions this week. This was truly something else! Well done vb.

  2. I like the tension you created in this.

    • vbholmes says:

      Thanks, Lynne–and thanks for introducing me to the Sandman Book Co. Love the wall of books and look forward to visiting next time I’m in the area.

  3. Hala J. says:

    Oooh, sneaky stuff. Hope she or he makes it out alive!

  4. Dear VB,

    You really have me on the edge of my chair. In one sentence you turned a calm setting into a landscape of tension. Well done.



    • vbholmes says:

      Thanks, Rochelle. Always nice to hear the intent of the story works. Thoroughly enjoyed your sci-fi post this week. Hope the earthlings depart without ever discovering life exists on your planet.

  5. Very sneaky, vb, and very good.


    • vbholmes says:

      Thanks, Janet–your ending did a pretty good job of sneaking up on the reader as well. I can’t decide whether to keep the iron frying pan or dispose of it before it’s put to nefarious use.

  6. kman says:

    The side step turned into a side “fall”. The fall turned into a free-fall. And the free – fall became very costly … because of the landing. The costly landing, I would later learn, was due to the new lense I had bought for the camera earlier this afternoon…

    • vbholmes says:

      Actually, kman, you saved our hero. His “sidefall” sent him down the mountainside to land in a haystack on the edge of town. The expensive new lens caught the sun’s rays and set the side of the stack ablaze. The farmer came a’runnin’, doused the flames and rescued our man. He then secreted him in his haywagon, hitched up his mule and drove the only-slightly-rumpled photographer/spy to the nearby train station where he boarded a westbound train before the ominous-looking patrol made it to the bottom of the mountain. Motto of story: “All’s well that falls well”.

  7. Eric Alagan says:

    One never knows what hides and comes at us – well told tale 🙂

  8. Bryan Ens says:

    Very clever take. Like his espionage techniques!!

  9. Hi VB,
    I liked the way you intensified the story by moving it up a level from the simple story of a photographer, to a much more ominous hidden agenda. Ron

    • vbholmes says:

      Thanks, Ron. Our photographer is a pro (picture taker as well as international spy) and is used to being in “harm’s way”). He’s also Irish and loaded with luck so he’ll be alright.

  10. draliman says:

    Let’s hope he can talk his way out of this one! Nice take on the photo.

  11. K.Z. says:

    sneaky is the perfect way to describe it. a complicated and intriguing job. i enjoyed the sudden twist 🙂

  12. vbholmes says:

    Thanks K.Z. The cozy Miss Marple approach doesn’t seem to work anymore.

  13. atrm61 says:

    Ah!Espionage?Love the suspense and the tension at the end-I do hope he can evade that patrol!Great job Vb:-)

  14. vbholmes says:

    Can’t keep a good man down so the odds are with him. Thanks for visiting.

  15. elmowrites says:

    I love the layers you pile into this – the beauty and innocence with the murky world hidden beneath. Great job of putting all that together in a small space

    • vbholmes says:

      Many thanks, Jen. The life of an artistic international spy is complicated–takes real skill to get an art photo of a village at the same time you’re shooting a detailed shot of an stealth nuclear research center.

  16. Jan Brown says:

    Intriguing story, a great take on the photo prompt. And I like kman’s and your sequel, too 🙂

  17. JackieP says:

    Oh a spy! I love it. Very good take on the picture. 🙂

  18. Lewis Cave says:

    I always love a good spy story. Great work.

  19. pattisj says:

    I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes right about now, but I have a feeling he’ll handle it well.

  20. Very good and well written spy story. I especially enjoyed the tacked-on ending. Worthy of 007.

  21. What a well weaved spy tale.. amazing job.. I wounder who are the bad guys

  22. Great tension – I hope the photographer made it past the patrol

  23. vbholmes says:

    Thanks, Siobhan. A slip here, a fall there and he beat them to the train station.

  24. Oooer. Better eat the tripod – they’re not stupid.

  25. glossarch says:

    Good twist! Though building your nuclear research facility on a volcano might not have been wise 🙂

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