Spot 007: Spies and Secrets


by Nicole E. Hirschi

Exaggerated sighs could be heard all around when rumor of his death was heard, after all, how could it be so, considering his age?

In all likelihood of things unseen, there couldn’t be and wasn’t another way. The alibi, cheap as it might be, held strong, and despite old world views, women can’t be tried for witchcraft and burned at the stake any longer.

Strengths previously un-possessed lingered for months after the affair leaving visitors and well-wishers with an unhealthy feeling of need to make a sign to ward off the evil eye once outside of her home.

Light replaced the once dark world to Jancie, but her countenance, continued to beat an unholy black darker than night, feeding off of the lighter auras of those around her.

“Tell us something about the blasphemous affair!” Gossiping women would often demand.

“Majik,” she’d say, pouring herself and the uneasy women around her a cup of tea, “is just another proof that God and the Devil, indeed do, exist.”

See Authors page for Nicole’s bio.



by Bill Lapham

Just after Harry died he was thinking of all the things that had happened in his life, all his desires and revulsions, his pleasures and pains, his friends and enemies.

He remembered a secret he had kept for many years, locked away so deep he never thought about it, almost didn’t recognize it now that everything seemed so clear, so simple, so easy to remember.

Harry wasn’t sure how he could remember all these things only that he could. The last four years of his life had been bewildering; he had lost his memory, didn’t even know his wife and kids.

What seemed so recent and so vivid were scenes from his youth, like they had happened yesterday: playing baseball with his friends behind school, running on trails through the woods by the creek, celebrating mass as an altar boy, inventing places to hide.

Now dead, his world was kaleidoscopic, filled with colors and shapes and motion, and from behind a dazzling blue crystal stepped a little old man in robes, walking with a cane but not taking any steps.

He asked Harry if he had any secrets to tell.

Harry was afraid and said, none that I can remember.

Are you sure, the old man asked, most people’s memories are pretty clear at this point.

Yes, I’m sure, Harry said.

That’s too bad, the old man said, I can’t let you proceed with secrets, Harry.

Harry turned and walked away, taking the memories of the priest with him.

See Authors page for Bill’s bio.



by Sandra Davies

“But it says “proceeds from the sale of house and contents plus twenty thousand pounds to each of my two sons,” that’s only …” and here David had the grace to acknowledge with a self-conscious grimace the inappropriateness of that ‘only’, if not the greed.
Impatient at the interruption his younger sibling asked “Only what?”
“Only what Dad left her, three years ago. The exact wording of his will. There should be more.”
“What more?”
“Well, there were those books she was supposed to have written – actually wrote apparently – don’t know what, I never read any of them …”
“Oh yeah, I remember her always scribbling … and then she got herself a computer, didn’t she?” “Thing is, I remember Dad saying, five years or so before he died, that she’d earned more than him the previous year. He’d meant to sound pleased but I got the impression he was less than happy about it.”
“Royalties I suppose, and suchlike. Advances?”
“And maybe film rights, or TV – she did go to America a couple of times didn’t she?”
“Christ yes, so she did! Smartened herself up quite a bit after he died. So where’s the money from all that then?”
“Precisely. We’ll have to ask the solicitor – she probably didn’t instruct him properly.”

But the solicitor had no knowledge of any other will. Nor of any nom de plume, of any other bequest, of any lover, of any daughter. Or of any other life led by the recently deceased

See Authors page for Sandra’s bio.



by Michael D. Brown

At first, he thought women were avoiding him, that kind of thing going with the territory. He knew they were very much in love. It was obvious by the ostentatious displays they put on for the benefit of observers, those less fortunate, who had not yet found life’s true happiness.
In his obscurity, however, he noted life’s other truth. All the lovers were spying on each other comparing their levels of appeasement. Who had the biggest ring? Whose mate would go broke first? Whose phone held the fewest contacts? Who was dying to ask, but could not bring themselves to utter the words?
On weekend nights, he walked alone, only waving, while never stopping to intrude.
The men pitied him for all the wrong reasons. The women kept their own counsel. Each of them had known him intimately before their current situations and knew also that it would be indiscrete to discuss that knowledge among themselves. Thus, they maintained a cautious distance from the subject of love, preferring to act it out, and “interpret that how you will.”
One Saturday, he met Laurita, sitting alone until he joined her for cocktails. They made small talk, and sat, and observed. She shocked him when she confided, “I’ve dated three of those guys, and now they won’t even say hello.” He feigned disillusionment as he came to the conclusion the spy business was the more overcrowded field, but smiled upon noting the glint of a wedding band inside her see-through paneled handbag.

See Authors page for Michael’s bio.



by Paul de Denus

“The name’s Bahn. James Bahn.” Yeah, it always gets a big laugh around the office. “Good morning Mr. Bahn!” Haha! I get it, the staff having a little fun at the new guy’s expense. No problem. It’s about the only interesting thing about me anyway. But I do pay attention and I am catching on… like to the dirty little secrets the mucky-mucks hide around this place.

Ty Rollins and Bill Bender for instance, over by the water cooler talking stock trades. They banter information openly, staring through me as if I didn’t have a clue about what they were talking about. Okay, it’s not my department but I’m not as slow as they think. They’re talking insider trading for their clients and it’s illegal. And the other day while in old Pitchford’s office, I heard something else. He was on the phone with the mayor – the mayor! – mentioning a few names and dollar numbers, lowering his voice as he waved me from the room.

That’s alright. I’ll keep all their secrets for a while. I know where they keep computer passwords and where Pitchford keeps his secrets: a list of problematic phone numbers and a private journal. I have the combination to Pitchford’s safe too and when the cash is right, I’ll do some trading of my own.

Yup, the name’s Bahn… James Bahn, janitorial service agent, but I have sweet information that’s hot enough to shake and stir.

See Authors page for Paul’s bio.



by Grey Johnson

If you click the c drive icon,

and then double click on Users,

and then double click on the file with his name

(because he would never look in his own file for something like that),

and then double click on Downloads

(because he never downloads anything),

you will find a document with a generic sounding name, like Resumé or Newsletter.

If you double click that document,

it will open to reveal

a list

of every item she plans to take with her when she leaves.

See Authors page for Grey’s bio.




All illustrations for Spot 007 supplied by Michael D. Brown.


9 Comments to “Spot 007: Spies and Secrets”

  1. loved these – a short but pointed and poised issue.
    Love the idea that no-one looks in their own computer files for secrets!

  2. Like Julia, I was enchanted by Grey’s hiding place – so well expressed, and once again Michael hints at such depth in his characters, frustratingly because I always finish thinking I have mislaid a page or two of the tale.

  3. What a great way to start my Sunday! I regret that I couldn’t participate this week. This might be my favorite of the collections thus far. The array of takes and execution are splendid.

  4. This is my favorite batch of all. I didn’t contribute this week due to the Labor Day travels and a death in the family, but I wish that I had. What great company to be in.
    Who knew what larcenous hearts lie hidden within my gentle writer friends.? As usual, I am typing his comment on a dark screen and can’t see my own words, so forgive typos please.

  5. Also, I am struck by this week’s use of photos. Really contemporary and apt for the pieces.

  6. I agree with the use of the photos for this spot – very nice. Good reading this time, as always. Paul’s final twist was great, as I have come to expect from him.

  7. Excellent week of posts – I really enjoyed these (even if I was a slacker and not contributing)

  8. Yes another great grouping- I hope I may continue to find the time- I have a huge art project looming and may find the time to write difficult!!

  9. @Paul: set aside 90 minutes a week to write a MuDSpoT or a MuDJoB. If you don’t, we’ll miss you.

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