Flash Fiction Challenge #13: The Mission

Jim found a table under an accommodating umbrella on the fountain side of the luxurious hotel pool.  All outdoor pools  were free of guests since the air raid warning earlier that morning.  Jim directly connected his cell phone to the heads-up display of his sunglasses and accessed the encrypted files Bailey had sent him.   For security reasons Bailey had found it necessary to bypass the usual route and sent the data via the region’s emergency broadcast system. The information was extremely sensitive.  Now all Jim needed was an iced tea and a French cigarette. He’d eat lunch in one of the dining salons with his next contact in under two hours.


In the afternoon, Jim had lunch with his guest in the Edwardian-style dining room, midst palm trees and fountains. The food was splendid and the service equally so, but he wished he had not agreed to meet with her. Although Ginger was craftily disguised, it was always best to be cautious than have to put out another fire at this juncture…

“When do you think you will hear?”

“Soon, I hope.”

Jim’s hand barely touched his glass when a waiter arrived with another glass of iced tea.Ginger was talking as Jim reflected on the expediency of the tea and wondered how their waiter had notified the other.  He decided to find out by dropping a spoon on the floor.  Their hovering waiter bent down nearest to Ginger and both spotted the minuscule earpiece. Charging like a racehorse out of the gate, another waiter was on the scene with another spoon. The two guests looked at each other, then talked about nothing more than weather for the rest of the meal.  Jim assumed it was enough to discourage someone’s interest.  After lunch Jim led Ginger to Reception, conspicuously asking for directions to another resort on the Dead Sea, a short distance from where he was staying.  After seeing her off, Jim went to his room to wait.

ImageEarly in the evening he received a phone call from Room Service regarding mushroom sauce on his steak. She was in. No communication to or from or even within the hotel would take place without Ginger knowing about it.  Jim’s mouth watered just thinking about the steak she ordered for him.

Jim waited a full hour and still no steak.  He phoned Room Service.  His order had been canceled. Something was wrong.  He was hungry and ordered a local dish made with lamb.  After dinner, Jim made himself comfortable on the sofa in the suite’s parlor and dozed.  At  precisely 1:00 A.M. the parlor phone rang. startling him.  Jim gazed at the phone:  Room Service.


“Sir, would you care for a nightcap or, perhaps a steak?”  It was Ginger.

“Well done.”  Jim hung up the phone and again stretched out on the sofa.  At 3:01 A.M. the phone rang again, rousing Jim from his somnolence.

“Good morning, Mr. Phillips.  You have the information?”


“The Old Mission, should you choose to tour it….”


Prompt:  A man gets a phone call in the middle of the night asking for sensitive information.


Thain In Vain

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