November 2019- 75 Word Writing Challenge -- VICTORY TO MOSAIX!

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pixie druid
Staff member
May 4, 2005
I may live in Yorkshire but I'm a Scot
Write a story inspired by the chosen theme and genre in no more than 75 words, not including the title

ONE entry per person

NO links, commentary or extraneous material in the posts, please -- the stories must stand on their own


All stories Copyright 2019 by their respective authors
who grant the Chronicles Network the non-exclusive right to publish them here

The complete rules can be found at RULES FOR THE WRITING CHALLENGES

Contest ends at 11:59 pm GMT, November 23rd 2019

Voting ends at 11:59 pm GMT, November 28th 2019

You do not have to submit a story in order to vote --
in fact, we encourage all Chrons members to take part in choosing a winner

The Magnificent Prize:

The Dignified Congratulations/Grovelling Admiration of Your Peers
and the challenge of choosing next month's theme and genre




Spy Thriller

This thread to be used for entries only
Please keep all comments to the Discussion Thread November 2019 75 Word Writing Challenge.

We invite (and indeed hope for) lively discussion and speculation about the stories as they are posted, as long as it doesn't involve the author explaining the plot

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Unbirthday Party: A Solve-It-Yourself Mystery

Doctor Ravani, chief cryptographer for the Service, studied the telegram in her hand.


"Professor Nilsson sent identical telegrams to every intelligence agency on Earth," the Director said. "The man with the key to cold fusion, hiding in the largest hotel in London. We can't search the entire place before rival agents show up, ready to kill him for the secret."

"He's in Room 1712."

How did she know?
By Any Other Name
I left my flat. As it was Tuesday I entered the first pub with a yellow sign.
The number I called rang once. “Yes?”
“Anything new?”

“Rose is dead.”
“How? Her new identity was flawless.”
“You sent her flowers.”
“That could have been to anyone.”
“She kept the same birthday. They checked every florist you visited for that delivery date. A process of elimination. Literally.”
Dial tone.
The world was just that little bit colder.
Looking Sharp

The bundle of printed intelligence was conspicuously absent on his 31st birthday. He got a call in the middle of the night instead, which hauled him out of bed and all the way into the city.

One helicopter ride later, he found himself in the top floor office suite. There was a knife protruding out of his superior's back, lovingly tied up with pink ribbon.

'Since you don't wear ties' the note read. Quite so.
So, we meet again...

Strapped to a chair in a featureless room, he faced his captors. They wouldn’t break him. Years of training, first navy, then special forces and finally double-0 had forged him like tempered steel.

A squeaking trolley rolled into view.

Ah, the torture… his phone?

“I won’t give you the code, Blufeld.”

“Why, Mr Bund, you already have. I see by your badge a ‘Happy Birthday’ is due. You really need to select a better password.”
Make A Wish...

"Please excuse me, Agent, but I didn’t get a cake. It’s important, however, that we commemorate surviving yet another year, especially considering all you’ve been through: armies of loyal, albeit highly inaccurate, henchmen; simple torture techniques, to more elaborate machinations. Why, it beggars belief. Truly, you’re a marvel.
"So, I’ve organised a special surprise for you this year, with some rather dear friends.
"Don’t worry. They don’t bite… much. Their lasers, however, are decidedly deadly…"
I won't be doing this again.

Tomorrow I was going on a bender to celebrate my birthday. However today I had an important job to do. It was important that I got it right. All I had to do was walk across the station concourse to the lockers and retrieve a package. I was so focused on what I was doing, I didn't see a man in a raincoat approach.

A Guilty Mind.
He placed the package in the bin, looked round quickly and left the park. Heart thumping, he thought this double agent malarkey is killing me.


He turned and saw Amber and Black; each had a reputation for torture.

“You need to come with us."

“Where to?”

Amber shrugged.

Terrified, he followed them to HQ; they pushed him into a dark room where he could hear breathing.

Suddenly lights went on, voices sang “Happy Birthday.”

"Birthdays," Smith exclaimed, "they ain't nuthin, just another day. Say you're 30, that's 10957 days, so what? 10956 or 10958, so what?, Just another opportunity for ridiculous cards, useless gifts and sugared teeth rotting cake!"
"And Valentine's day"
Finally the double agent sitting across the room said " Enough, do what you're gonna do but Please Shut Up!I
Smith fired, Jones died.
While checking his pockets Smith wished Jones " Happy Deathday "
From behind; "You too."
I sensed that I had picked up a tail. I dodged into the farmer's market. I elbowed a passerby and commandeered his motorcycle.

I splattered through a pile of watermelons, crashed through crates of live chickens; then careened into a heap of bananas and casabas.

When I came to, I was blindfolded. Invisible goons hustled me into a dark chamber.

My blindfold was removed. Light flared.

My friends jumped out from hiding:

"Surprise! Happy Birthday!"

The equipment was in place, the microdrones relaying to the VR headset he wore.

Feeds had been quiet since the morning but now, movement, voices from outside.

He checked the time, 17:30 hours.

The package was being delivered, no wait, more than one.

“Billy, are you coming down?”

Dammit, cover blown, play it cool.

“That ain’t gonna happen.”

“It’s your birthday, don’t be so silly”

“It’s my party and I’ll spy if I want to!”

The first two rules of survival could be summed up as don’t open it unless you know what it is. After testing it, I didn’t believe it could lead to my demise.

In fact, someone wrote it in something that was familiar with law enforcement. It took me a couple hours but I got it and laughed as a result.

The Black Cat, a known criminal, wished me a Happy Birthday.
Gatecrasher: Exterminate

You freeze. Another two seconds, and the masked gunman will fire into your terrified crowd of birthday guests.

On the table beside you, the pile of presents from your co-workers at MI7 sit open, contents half-distributed on the table. You know *someone* gave you the latest model of freeze-ray--but in which box?

(If you reach into the red box, turn to page 23. If you reach into the blue box, turn to page 96.)
Asset Management

Snipers nestle in the bridge's superstructure.

Demitri makes a game of spotting them.

He smiles into his coffee, then he sees me.

"Something amiss?" he asks.

"My daughter's three today…"

Demitri laughs. "She'll not recall your absence… this exchange, a twofer, yes?"

"Who told you?"

He shrugs and sips his latte.

Later, we walk out above the narrows.

I return, our people intact.

Demitri chances the lake below.

He shouts, "They don't trust me either!"
Break In

It started at the break in. She ran, clutching government secrets, before he could fire. He got her back; her briefcase disappearing in the hands of a waiter she thought looked familiar.
They met at a cafe and talked over tea, guns beneath the table. Next came hotel rooms.
It ended with a break in. She walked past him in handcuffs, caught inside his office. On his desk he found a card.
Happy Birthday.
Once A Spy...

"100 grandma! Happy birthday!"

"Thank you, Alice."

"100! Lots of memories."

"Oh yes. A lot."

"Tell me! Tell me!"

"Well, I shouldn't but... it was a long time ago..."


Frowning, she examines her cell phone.

'761408 140207 190404' she reads. Taking a worn copy of Moby Dick from a shelf she turns to page 76 and her unsteady fingers trace down and across the lines.

tell...” she murmurs.

She turns more pages. “ one”.
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The spy who came in 'cos he’s old.

Control hissed, “Eleven years building the legend and helping you get promoted, another five weeks and we’d have a pipeline into their intelligence, and you simply walk out, come to the Circus and demand your pension, unbelievable!

Lamax stared coldly back, “It’s in the regulations, voluntary retirement at 55 for field agents”

What? Ridiculous, who on earth -“

Lamax interrupted, “You, 28 years ago when you ran the HR desk, and today’s my birthday”
Code Name: Peitho

My mission was to infiltrate this group of men and gather information from their private conversations. Crouched in my hiding place, I could hear
their discussions and had already picked out some interesting details.

Now for phase two.

The countdown began.
Jumping up, I burst through the top tier of the cake.
“Happy birthday, Mr. President!”
The cool air hit my scantily clad body as I struck an inviting pose.
Time for the grunt work.
All in a days work

As a girl I dreamed of being an actress.

An actress I now am, but a wonderful dream - no.
Each day the masquerade; the mask; the lie; my life.

Another contraction, excruciating agony! I’m trained to ignore pain, but this wasn’t in the manual.

I don’t love him. Don’t even like the man, the father of this child now forcing its way into this pretence.

Happy birthday son.
Confidential Affairs

Sweat tickled his cheek. Each tick of the bomb strapped to his seat sent a shudder through his bound frame. Straining, he grasped at the face of his diving watch.

What was the trigger for the laser cutter? Think man! What did K say it was again? My wife’s birthday?

He twisted feverishly. Nothing.

No, dammit, that’s that Brazilian girl Tina’s.

Twist. Nothing.

Blast, that’s Agent Gettemoff’s!


Doctor Honeymelon’s!

The bomb stopped ticking.
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