#writephoto microfiction: Clandestine

Getting back into writing mode with this piece of flash fiction inspired by Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt.


They told her it would only be for a few hours. Already it seemed like a week. The entrance to the building was cavernous and draughty and few people either came in or went out. It was in a quiet, tree-shaded street in an expensive part of town. They would be looking for her in the tenements and the derelict shops of the poor quarters, they said, not here among the doctors and lawyers.

She shivered, her skimpy jacket unable to keep out the cold late autumn wind, her eyes fixed on the narrow slit in the stone where the post arrived. There was a box beneath to catch it. The servants came down in the morning to sort it and take it up to their respective employers’ apartments. She was not waiting for the post though, as the light dimmed and the short afternoon drew to a close. She was waiting for a package containing her false papers and a little money, enough to get her out of the country. She strained to see any movement outside, struggling to to keep her fear under control.

A blurred shape moved towards the door. She stiffened, unable to breathe. She caught the outline of a man’s face as he looked furtively right and left, before his bulk blotted out all light, and she heard the slither and clunk of the parcel as it fell into the box. The slit filled with pale light again and the man was gone.

Stumbling from her hiding place she grabbed the thick envelope and with trembling fingers, ripped it open. In confusion she stared at the contents: a door key, her door key; a photograph of herself and Stéphane sitting in the park, smiling, from before when they had still been together; and a folded piece of paper. What did it mean? She unfolded the paper. It said:

And now we have come for you.