Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike


Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: Spy.


25 thoughts on “Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

  1. The woman wasn’t a woman and was very dangerous.

    Like me, she was a Meta-Person and walked as if she could defeat anybody who tried to stop her.

    Hopefully, she wouldn’t spot me trailing her but even if she did, she wouldn’t see my partner, Ches.

    Like the legendary Cheshire Cat, nobody saw Ches unless he want to be seen.

    Ches was the perfect spy.

  2. “It’s a simple enough test, Mark.”
    “Sure, Tom, it’s simple. But why invite the ‘welfare check’ that might ensure if things are that bad?”

    “Ok, Google.. they shoot spies, don’t they?”
    “Siri, they shoot spies, don’t they?”
    “Alexa, they shoot spies, don’t they?”

    There was a knock at the door.

  3. The small droid was made to be not noticed. The lazy bureaucrat who gave it the instructions wanted recordings of a specific violation of the Loyalty Law. The activities of the small group it was following fit the algorithm but was not a violation of the law.
    Spy was confused.

  4. To spy on a mage takes skill, preparation, training, quite a bit of luck, and the fond hope that your spying isn’t being used to feed you false information.

    So, I spent about $500 on a zero day exploit, rooted his Android phone while he’s at the gym, and installed a very illegal app. No cameras in the locker room, wore gloves, and made sure to destroy any fibers or trace evidence that I had. Beat the ward by penetrating the locker behind his, as he had only warded the locker door itself.

    Then, I went to the hot tub, showered, got dressed, and left the gym. Now, to wait.

  5. Then, reading the news this morning, I found there is the 96 year old Holocaust survivor, Inge Ginsberg, who ran a spy operation out of Switzerland, wrote songs for Doris Day and Dean Martin and who is today fronting a death metal band.

    Sometimes truth is stranger than science fiction.

    1. My Adventures as a Spy by Baden-Powell of Gilwell

      (per Wikipedia, but I have read about this in a biography before)
      He frequently travelled disguised as a butterfly collector, incorporating plans of military installations into his drawings of butterfly wings.
      [In re the siege of Mafeking] The garrison held out until relieved, in part thanks to cunning deceptions, many devised by Baden-Powell. Fake minefields were planted and his soldiers pretended to avoid non-existent barbed wire while moving between trenches.[25] Baden-Powell did much reconnaissance work himself.[26] In one instance, noting that the Boers had not removed the rail line, Baden-Powell loaded an armoured locomotive with sharpshooters and sent it down the rails into the heart of the Boer encampment and back again in a successful attack.[24]

  6. Hiding in plain sight was a favorite technique of the spy. A clipboard, utility uniform, and brisk walk would make him practically invisible to those he passed. The few who noticed would dismiss him quickly.

    He walked up to the beat cop and asked, “Which way to the nuclear wessels?”

  7. The apple hung on the tree looking across the row to the trees on the other side. She could see that they too were greenish, flushed with red stripes.
    “Aren’t they such sweet apples?” she said to her branch mate.
    “They’re nothing special,” her friend said.
    “They’re spies, like us.”

  8. I spy with my little eye
    Something thirteen meters high.
    It does not seem to want to play
    But might come back some other day.

    Mama said for me to try
    To approach folk different than I.
    I hope that creature, in the end
    Becomes to me a special fiend.

    1. Aargh! friend. Special *friend*. Though I suppose ‘fiend’ would work in context, it loses the rhyme.

  9. It is utterly impossible to hire servants who are honest in the city of magpies. The trick is to hint that you are up to secret plots. Ask whether a person you have no reason to consider is going to be in the city, for instance.
    Thus, spies, not thieves.

  10. “I spy,” said Jot, “something bright!”

    “I know!” cried Miki. “This little guy!” She pointed to the firefly on her finger, which barely illuminated her face in the starlight.

    “Right! Your turn.”

    “I spy,” said Miki, “something warm.”

    Jot pondered fruitlessly. “I don’t know.”

    “This!” she said, and kissed him.

      1. Thanks. I like to use the vignettes exercises to play around with my characters, sort of like getting to know them better, but in 50 words, max. The thing is, with that limitation, it was kind of hard to fit the vignette into a particular genre.

  11. “Nice catch, Tovra.” Elada’s was warm with admiration. “To spy that among all that background clutter took some tricky filter work. ”

    “Can we intercept it?”

    “I’m working on it.” Ra’ing spoke quietly but promptly and with no hint of apology. She had come a long way.

  12. The private office of the Archbishop of Raus-ceil-quein looked much as Ligonier Rafferty remembered it from his first visit as a young priest. More ornate than he was accustomed to at home in Codytown, but to be expected in a culture in which important individuals must live in rich and beautiful surroundings to be taken seriously.

    Still, Miquail Calailquai had placed his own mark upon this space. The helmet of a firefighter, once belonging to his father and still bearing the marks of the fire that had taken the older man’s life. A framed front page, the first headline article written by his youngest brother, a journalist.

    However, they were not here to talk about old times and family connections. Officially they were meeting to discuss co-operation between their two nation’s universities, an acceptable reason for such high ranking clerics to meet in private. Unofficially, they were discussing the matter of the nation to Salquain’s west, and the tyrant who had seized control of its government.

    “There is no question that Gorlath is a dark magician of the first rank.” Miquail held his voice firm, but Ligo could hear the fear his friend would not show. “He seems to be particularly fascinated with transformation magic, and many of the refugees who have escaped have shown disturbing changes, often grotesque.”

    Ligo nodded. “I’ve heard.”

    A flash of surprise, almost invisible because his friend’s brows were so pale they blended into his milk-white skin. “How so?”

    Ligo’s lips quirked into a smile and he forced them back straight, not wishing to appear to mock his friend. “The Heirs to Cody maintain a network of spies in parallel to the Outfit’s intelligence efforts. Cody himself is said to have started it, before the Crossing, although some modern historians believe that it came about at least a generation later.”

    “Then you can get people on the ground in Maroa?” Miquail made no effort to hide his astonishment.

    “I already have one person in place. The Archdiocese of Codytown provides chaplains for all Codyland’s embassies, and I can have them report to me at need. However, I’ve been reluctant to have Fr. McCauley carry out any sort of obvious investigation, since anything that could damage our diplomatic relations with Maroa could make things awkward for me with Don Andrea at the Four Deuces.”

  13. Ryan started at the tap on his shoulder. “You’re not a very good spy,” she said.

    “That’s because I’m not a spy. I’m an FBI agent.”

    “You’re saying that explains why I snuck up on you while you were following me?”

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